Top 5 Most Violent Death Scenes

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According to psychoanalyst Ken Eisold, it is the intensity of the act that is integral to the thrall of violence. Memorable violent deaths in movies go beyond entertainment; they are used to make a point, elicit a reaction or simply feed your bloodlust. Violence is used to get you mad. Real mad. Root-for-the-main-character mad. Do-something-about-it mad. A truly successful violent death scene makes you realize just how disturbing the taking of a life is.

5 Most Violent Follow-Up Death Scene

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Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” isn’t shy about impetuous moments of violence, but it’s the scene when you realize a victim is still alive that precedes one of the most disturbing examples of unrestrained brutality. When Joe Pesci loses his temper and beats Billy Batts, a man protected by the Gambino crime family, to what he thinks is certain death, it is a shocking scene. But it doesn’t compare to when the group of friends takes the body out to bury it and discovers Batts is still kicking. Pesci flies into a rage, stabbing the body in the car’s trunk repeatedly until Batts finally stops moving, horrifying the other characters, and the audience.

4 Most Violent Death in a Musical

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Sorry, Sweeney Todd. Just because you have a high body count doesn’t necessarily make you the most violent. Just about every victim in the Sondheim classic dies instantly from a severed jugular. Quite merciful compared to some other musical theater characters’ final moments. The most violent death, even though it happens somewhat offscreen, is the murder of Nancy in the 1968 musical “Oliver!” It is unrelenting and interminable. Based on the muckraking book “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens, just about every moment of cruelty is meant to inspire anger in the audience at the deplorable lives of orphans in early 19th-century London. It is only by distracting her abusive boyfriend Bill Sykes that Nancy is able to save little Oliver, and her efforts are immediately rewarded by being beaten to death. It could be worse, though, in the 1982 adaptation, Bill blinds her first.

3 Most Violent Death by Dog

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Hitler getting shot repeatedly in the face at the climax of “Inglourious Basterds,” is entertainingly violent. Watching a slave get ripped apart by a pack of dogs while both the villains and the heroes watch in “Django Unchained” is not just more violent, it’s nightmare-inducing. Quentin Tarantino defends his film by reminding people that slaves were treated far worse than anything he could depict. Perhaps the violence is treated with more realism in the film he won an Oscar for directing because racism continues to be a life-threatening issue in America, whereas Hitler isn’t coming back any time soon. Whatever the reason, this violent death is definitely a chart-topper.

2 Most Violent Death by Boot

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The most disturbing thing about a killer who uses his foot is the commitment required of him to finish the job. When Ryan Gosling stomps a killer’s head to pieces in an elevator in “Drive,” it’s a gruesome scene because it takes a long time. But even more unforgettable, and the most violent example, is the single-kick murder performed by Ed Norton in “American History X.” We don’t see exactly what happens to the victim’s head after Norton asks him to bite a cement curb and delivers a bone-snapping stomp to his head, but what we imagine is one of the most gruesome deaths a real-world villain can cause.

1 Most Violent Death Scene by Bullet

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Thousands of bullets are fired in “The Matrix” (blanks of course). The character John Murphy gets ripped to pieces by bullets in “Robo-Cop.” But the award for most disturbing act of gunfire violence goes to the film “Boys Don’t Cry.” When Hilary Swank’s brains get blown away by the homophobic character played by Peter Sarsgaard, the shock doesn’t just stun the audience, it stuns the other characters in the scene, including the murderer who can’t seem to believe he just killed her. Most upsetting of all is that this is a true story.

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