Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Murder?

dial_m_for_murderLots of killing this weekend at the Box Office. Both new movies were killtaculars… the mob movie “Killing Them Softly” featured a couple of hits, and the story revolved around the planning and prep of said hits, while “The Collection” basically showcases a psychopath busy slaughtering.

Murder, and lesser violence, is a big part of film. Danger sets up suspense, and there’s no bigger danger than the loss of life. Thus it winds up making its way into the movies frequently.

Today, we’ll take a trip to the dark side and discuss our favorite instances of murder on film. It’s such a huge part of film, there should be NO shortage of potential answers. From classics (such as the “Psycho” shower scene or the strangulation of Luca Brasi), to the comedic (I have to confess, “American Psycho” cracks me up) to the contemporary (hey never too early for “The Collection” to make the cut!) there will be hundreds and hundreds of potential answers to choose from.

Who’s a sickie? Who really wants to play today? Anyone with guilt issues want to object? Let’s hear it! What’s YOUR favorite movie murder?!

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122 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Murder?

  1. Actually I don’t know what i’m thinking….my favourite scene of all time is a murder! Chris Walken killing Dennis Hopper in ‘True Romance’. Perfection.

    last one…I promise.

  2. Two rank at the top. One is Clint in Unforgiven:
    LITTLE BILL
    Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch. You just shot an un-armed man.
    MUNNY
    Well, he should have armed himself if he was going to decorate his saloon with my friend.
    LITTLE BILL
    I don’t deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house.
    MUNNY
    Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
    LITTLE BILL
    I’ll see you in hell, William Munny.

    The other is the seated brawl between Bill and The Black Mamba in Kill Bill 2 where at the end of the intense battle she uses the exploding palm technique and he asks her how he looks just before he dies and she says ready.

    Dont get any better than that.

    • Yeah, on the second one, a lot of people feel it’s anti-climactic, a bit of a let down… but I love it, too. Big fan of both chapters of the Kill Bill saga.

      And Unforgiven is one of the greatest Westerns ever. Once Munny hits the bottle, hold on to your hats. You KNOW all hell’s breakin’ loose! :D

      • Kill Bill I find is like scotch, an acquired taste. David Carradines almost groan blood spit and resignated sigh of surprise when he says, “He Taught You the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique,” and her vengeful yet sad reply, “of course he did.” Is cinematic perfection in my mind … but some would say I am an odd duck to make that assertion! ;-)

  3. The first one that came to mind was “I just shot Marvin in the face”. Though as that was unintentional, it’s more on the lines of felony murder rather than straight-up premeditated murder.

    Another consideration is the “battle of wits” in The Princess Bride. Sure, it was justifiable, and Vizzini was planning to kill him and Buttercup both, but there’s no question that the man in black had no intention of playing fair or letting Vizzini walk away, while he deliberately made sure both Inigo and Fezzik lived.

    • Nice! LOL “I just shot Marvin in the face” deservedly getting some props, although, as Duncan (Filmdrivel) pointed out, that might technically be manslaughter…

      That battle of wits scene is hillarious. An all time classic.

      “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line” CO ;) Words to live by, right there!

      • I’m pretty sure shooting Marvin would be felony murder… unintentional, but they were in the process of committing a felony at the time, weren’t they? (Granted I’m a little fuzzy on the details.)

    • If we’re going with Princess Bride, let me just say:
      “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father, prepare to die!”
      “HELLO! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father, prepare to die!”
      “STOP SAYING THAT!”
      “HELLO! MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA! YOU KILLED MY FATHER! PREPARE TO DIE!” …. “I want my father back you son of a bitch.”
      and later….
      “I’ve been in the revenge business so long, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”
      “You know, you’d make a wonderful dread pirate Roberts.”

  4. I would say Dexter, but that’s not a movie…yet. Um….I can’t just pick one. I mean, Patrick Batemen from American Psycho (but did he really kill anyone), Bane (TDKR), and that creepy girl from the Ring. Brrr…still gives me chills to think of that little girl.

    • I liked Dexter Season 1 & 2… by 3, they were starting to lose me, even though the final episodes of S4 were strong. :( I’m out on it now though…. dont like the things I’ve been hearing, either.

      I love how you make that point about American Psycho. I may have to write that movie up just to definitively work that out for myself. I lean towards no… that its the ultimate commentary on the banality of the 80s. Fantasizing about killing people was preferable to taking part in it. LOL :) But I need to break it down!! Study it!! :D

      • How exciting! I can’t wait to read about it. My finals is almost finished (yes!). So, I’m going to re-watch American Psycho. It’s been a while.

  5. The immense pressure. You ask this question to someone who studied Criminology *and* Film Studies in college, someone who took an entire class on Hitchcock — and another on Horror films — and you expect results. Good ones.

    So I’m going to have to dwell on it a bit and come back to it, cause all that’s popping up in the brain right now is Braveheart. *hangs head….not in the method pertaining to this discussion…*

    • I did it just to mess with you Q ;) LOL

      Braveheart is cool. Kind of like an execution, but they definitely did kill ‘em. You know? And its a great scene…

      I’m pissed at Mel for turning %$&#ing crazy. Dude, why’d you do it Mel? WTF…

  6. Probably insame head-impailing of the journalist in Hot Fuzz. Major Shock/gross out factor that somehow fits in a comedy

    • Seen it… but have to confess I dont recall. I enjoyed the flick, but all that really stuck with me is them watching Point Break. Which I love. LOL

      I should revisit, I do recall liking it quite a bit.

  7. Man, I dunno. I remember having a really bad day in a shitty job before going to the cinema to see Irreversible and finding myself positively electrified watching the scene at the start where Pierre takes the fire extinguisher to that random guy’s head in La Rectum nightclub. Watching the skull being smashed apart repeatedly, and cinema patrons walking out in disgust, I couldn’t help but imagine the onscreen murder victim being one (or all) of the dickheads that pissed me off earlier in work, and I took dark pleasure in watching the atrocity play out.

    Now I’m a little ashamed of that episode, I have to admit.

    • Hahaha, yeahhhhh… LOL It does reveal a bit of psychosis there, Dave. ;) Nice!

      I’ve never seen the movie, but the comment does just fine without it. LOL :D

      I knew this would be a fun topic today. LOL

    • Soooooo… Mr Blonde getting killed after the razor dance? Cause… not to be a stickler for details or anything, but he doesnt kill the cop in the chair. He gets killed, Orange reveals he’s a Cop, then when Nice Guy Eddie comes in , HE kills the cop.

      You know, just sayin’. ;)

  8. Bruno doing over Guy’s Wife in Strangers on a Train is a phenomenal scene. I also like Uma chopping off part of Lucy Lui’s head in Kill Bill and a certain Mr Indiana Jones shooting that dude with the massive sword in whichever Indy flick it was, it escapes me right now.

  9. The best one for me is definitely the shower scene in Psycho, just because it’s so insanely well shot and it actually made me scared when i was in the shower after seeing the movie :)

    I also love the murders in Se7en because of how brilliantly crafted and disturbing they were. The one with lust *shivers*

    • That lust one is the nastiest, isn’t it? Sickening.

      The “Psycho” shower scene is one of the most classic scenes of any kind, in movie history! Love it. Still amazes me that that movie came out during the Eisenhower administration! God… Such a twisted flick, and that was like, “Happy Days” times! Lol

  10. Well there are certainly a bunch in the Bond movies, ahah. Two memorable ones are Bond lighting Sanchez on fire in Licence to Kill and Blofeld getting dropped from the helicopter in For Your Eyes Only :D

    • Love that Sanchez death, so freaking cold. One of Dalton’s finest moments.

      The Blofeld death always bugs me though… Because of the backstory of Kevin McClory and the legal entanglements. So they couldn’t even show his face or use his name. :( I think the Moore era could have benefitted from Blofeld!

      Anyways, yeah, the Bond series has SO many great death scenes, doesn’t it? :D Kananga… Odd Job… Dr No!! :D Good stuff!

      Now lookit what you did, you got me ranting about Bond, lol!!

  11. Murder is an entire genre. Not a murder within a film but the entire film. Like “Dial M…” where the movie hinges on THE murder. To that end I dig flix like “Sleuth”(the Olivier version, now out of print) and “Deathtrap”. A more recent one, and the one I pick for this topic is “Fracture”. Tony Hopkins murdering his adulterous wife and all the twisted events connected to it.
    I hope that Hitch collection you got has “Rear Window”. Another classic gem of a murder movie! Oh so good, so good!

    • Yup. It does. May be watching that for this week’s MTESS, though Ive seen it plenty of times. :D

      I wasnt a big fan of “Fracture”, thought it was a little lame. It did have the benefit of Hopkins though… thats always a treat. Dial M, and Deathtrap are good stuff though! :D

  12. Not sure I have one favorite, but my fave sequence is the jungle scene in Rambo First Blood Part II…actually now that I think about it. I’ll say my favorite is when the Viet Cong Lt. is trying to shoot him with the pistol at the waterfall. Rambo stares him down, not caring that he is shooting at him, slowly pulls out an arrow and blows him up.

  13. First thought was Raiders, Indy shooting the swordsman. I guess technically it could be considered self-defense… the dude was brandishing a sword with intent to harm, but still that was pretty cold-blooded. And awesome.

    Second thought was DeNiro as Al Capone in Untouchables beating the lackey to death with a baseball bat at the dinner table. “Enthusiasms… enthusiasms”.

    Someone mentioned Sgt. Dudley shooting Detective Vansanse in LA Confidential. Another good one from the same movie was Ed Exley shooting Dudley after the Victory Motel shoot-out.

    In the end, I think I’ll go with Darth Vader strangling the incompetent Admiral Ozzel via closed-circuit TV in Empire Strikes Back. “You are in command now, ADMIRAL Piett!”

    • Ah, Darth Vader. When he was a BAD ASS. Good times, good times.

      Hey that De Niro Al Capone scene is a good choice. I hadnt thought of that, but that is a really great scene.

      LA Confidential is pure awesomeness isnt it? I have to reprioritize that in my to do list, I’m starting to jones to see it again. :D Thanks! LOL

    • Great, great choices. I can’t believe the baseball bat scene slipped my mind, but that really may be top three for me.

      And, of course, the Darth Vader murder is classic. He makes it look so clean and easy. There’s just too much blood in some of these other murders. ;)

  14. Hi, Fogs and company:

    Most realistic murder:

    Robert Duvall taking out recent defector, Helmut Dantine with a slow motion head shot via Duvall’s silenced .22 Colt Woodsman…. Very old school.

    Also Burt Lancaster killing CIA Director, John Colicos inside his limo with a silenced .38 through a brown paper lunch bag right after a minor accident in ‘Scorpio’.

    Most drawn out and/or shocking:

    James Caan’s Sonny Corleone’s ambush and massacre by Tommy Guns in ‘The Godfather’.

    The lecturer whose head explodes in Cronenberg’s ‘Scanners’.

    • LOL. As opposed to posting the .gif that’s been getting so much use here. :D

      And yeah, they certainly didnt go easy on the squibs for Santino’s sake, did they Jack? :D Great murder. Anything Godfather related (I or II of course) is classic! :D

      • Hi, Fogs:

        Actually, I looked for and couldn’t find a clip of the .22 head shot to Helmut Dantine in ‘The Killer Elite’. A great and quite believable looking few seconds of slow motion cinema.

        I remember James Caan being on the old ‘Mike Douglas Show’ after ‘The
        Godfather’ came out. Talking about the two hours of prep work by the special effects guys. Who created a skeletal ‘Squib Harness’ and had Caan sit still while around 70 squibs were wired around his thighs and chest before the scene was shot.

        Caan did not have a good time being wired in as the techs hemmed and
        hawed and jokingly hoped it all would work. Thankfully, it did and the
        scene was done in one take.

      • :D Why is it not difficult for me to picture Jimmy Caan getting irritable on the Godfather set. LOL

        Yeah, cant help on “Killer Elite”, but as usual Jack, I trust in your good taste :)

  15. All right, I’ve dwelt long enough on this one. I think what I kept stumbling over was what makes a murder scene my “favorite.” (And if you don’t want movies that are a few years old spoiled for you, don’t read past here :P )

    “Favorite” murder could imply a murder I was glad happened. You know, that moment where you’re like, “Finally! Someone whacked that guy!” Like, oh, say:

    I don’t know about you, but after *everyone else* died, I was in disbelief: “What, Damon just walks away? Come on!”
    Also in this category would be Mrs. Lovitt’s murder in Sweeney Todd. She was a lying, manipulative murderous wench — she deserved to get the meat pie treatment.

    Some murders I enjoy for the pure emotion of the scene itself. The victim’s display of betrayal, the murderer’s display of hatred or evil or…complete crazy.

    Last time I watched this, I was 13. It hits me even harder now that I’m an adult (and parent). Mufasa’s shock, Simba’s terror and grief, and Scar is just that more menacing to me now too. Truly one of the most sinister Disney villians, even if he never became the size of a house like so many others. :P

    Damon may be a creep, and completely looney tunes, but I actually relate with his emotion here. I could see myself killing Jude Law. Certainly possible. ;) And such phenomenal acting, really.

    Some murders I enjoy for the motive, pure and simple. The murder itself may not have been juicey or an epic moment in film, but the reason this guy/girl is being killed rises above the traditional revenge or momentary passion or just being in the way. Teddy’s murder in Memento fits here. I love Memento, and while we don’t really appreciate Teddy’s murder at the beginning, by the end it had a whole new meaning. Teddy is murdered because Leonard *needs* to keep hunting and killing just to hold on to some part of himself and not completely forget who he is. And, you know, because he made the silly mistake of telling his real name.

    Finally, some murders are favorites just for the way they’re done. But, even this category breaks into two. There’s liking the way it’s done by the filmmakers, and there’s liking the way it’s done by the murdering character himself/herself. As far as “the way it’s done” for filmmakers, Hitchcock certainly deserves the love. But there’s some other notable ones for me. Hero’s killing of Moon by Flying Snow. Absolutely breathtaking visuals. And what makes the murder itself so stunning for me, besides the duel as a whole, is that the moment Moon dies — everything turns red.

    Then, there’s the classic Boondock Saints “there was a fire fight!” scene. I love watching the detective live through the entire murder with the saints, while he’s deducing what exactly happened. And then conducting the shootout like a symphony. Beautiful stuff.

    As for enjoying “the way it’s done” by the characters themselves? Here comes two more clips!

    “That, my friends, is the minority vote.” I love it. First time I saw this movie, this murder took me by complete surprise. It’s so brutal. I’m just not much of a death-by-gunshot girl; the blunter the weapon, the better. It has to make you feel pain in your theater seat.
    And just to counter all the people rooting for Indy with the gun in the sword fight…

    Gah. The guys in the backseat. And then stepping on your own hand? And shooting yourself in the forehead? “She doesn’t quite chop his head off; she makes a Pez Dispenser out of him.” Nice.

    I’ll try not to rant as much next TIOT. ;)

    • Holy YouTube, Batman!

      That Wahlberg shooting Damon moment is a great add here. SO cathartic. Awesome end to that movie. I love Damon’s resignation to it.

      Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa! Sometimes Disney doesn’t pull any punches… I wonder how little kids must have thought of that. LOL

      I still havent seen “Mr Ripley”, but Gangs of New York and SIn City are awesome.

      That scene with Dafoe you’re referring to is about the extent of my recollection of Boondock Saints though. Saw it once to see what the fuss was about and left a little underwhelmed. I can tell from this thread youre a big fan though!

      • Oh definitely. Might even make it on a personal top ten all-time favorites. I’m surprised you didn’t like it as much, though; it has some great lines. Was it just too highly praised, so you had big expectations?

        And yeah, I’m a bit of a Scorsese, DiCaprio, and Damon fan too. ;)

      • I dunno. It had a really cult kind of buzz to it, and I love low life crime dramas… So I thought I’d be into it more than I was. I should give it another shot one of these days.

        And, I think we all are! :D

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