Horror and science fiction are notorious for their intense shock value and on-screen terror. That means that every horror movie, if done correctly, will utterly unnerve the viewer to the point of temporary insanity. That’s why we are bringing you an article with the 10 best head explosions.
If you are a long time patron of horror films, then it will take a lot to get you quite that upset at a horror movie. But for those who routinely watched Disney or other pop culture flicks, these ten movies might just give them a heart attack, even if they make you stand up and applaud the movie.
There are some films in particular that have such an intense scene of a head being chopped off, electrocuted or impaled that they could be a little too much for the average American audience. But for us horror fans, we applaud their efforts and enjoy the macabre nature of their art.
I am going to give you this list in a bubble, which basically means that every one of these horror films are equally unnerving and equally deserving of the top “head roll” spot. So in no particular order, take a look at what I have included.
Here are the 10 Best Head Explosions in Horror and Sci-fi!
Scanners (1981) is the most obvious choice to put on this list, but not because it is the best horror film out there. If there is one thing that fans of horror remember the most about Scanners, it is that scene where Michael Ironside (V, Starship Troopers) really put the screws to a government agency who he seeks revenge on.
Although Scanners is actually considered a sci-fi/horror film, David Cronenberg really put out some of his best material in this film that has resonated with horror fans for many years now.
Dawn of the Dead (1978) is the next most obvious choice to put on this list. Although Dawn of the Dead did not start the zombie genre, it did feature some of the most gruesome incarnations of blowing a zombie’s brains out back in 1978. Granted, there might have been a few movies before to feature the head rolls, this one just really jumps out with the best special effects brought to you by Tom Savini and the “Godfather of Zombie Horror,” George Romero.
For practical purposes, I am only going to list Dawn of the Dead as the only zombie movie on this list and allow it to represent all zombie films for its headlining status in the genre. So that is why you will not find The Walking Dead or Day of the Dead on this list. Although the latter had one of the most iconic scenes of zombies ripping a man’s body apart.
Saw IV (2007) truly stands out for its gut wrenching portrayal of not just an exploding head, but rather a head caught between two blocks of ice on a collision course while traveling at light speed.
For those fans of horror that have a hard time remembering which one Saw IV was, just picture one of the “New Kids on the Block” getting brainfreeze while loosely hanging from his neck by a rope.
Yep, that cleared it up for you.
Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) is not the most likely candidate to be on a list like this, but it did have one epic scene where Michael whacked a man that really had it coming.
Bradford English is one of those actors that most know by face, but few knew his name. Well, he was also the abusive patriarch of the Strode family in Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers, and when he went downstairs to find his wife in the washer, Michael gave him a dose of his own medicine.
Can anyone say, Poetic Justice?
The Omen (1976) came out the same year that American turned 200 and gave audiences all across the world a holy scare of epic proportions. The film was packed full of unnerving death scenes, which included a nanny hanging herself from the rooftop while Damien and his parents were having a birthday party for the young boy and his friends.
Of course the nanny suicide in The Omen was a disturbing scene to say the least, but there was also that decapitation scene from the truck gliding in reverse and suddenly stopping, sending the glass frame flying through the man’s neck. It certainly was a painless way to die, but it was uncomfortable to watch.
Mars Attacks! (1996) may not be the most direct horror film, but it certainly is the right kind of science fiction to attract a horror audience. The film was filled out with an all-star cast, which included Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Martin Short and Danny DeVito.
The scene from Mars Attacks! that sounded the victory bells for the human race was when the boy found out that his grandmother’s music was all that it took to explode their gigantic brains, which led to a slaughter-fest of the aliens. But to be honest, it was more about the laughs than anything else.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is the kind of science fiction that only Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can bring you. Although it is a far cry from a horror movie, it did have it’s special elements of horror in it that drew in the most-devoted of horror fans.
The end of Raiders of the Lost Ark is really were the horror cashed in. The scene where the Germans and the evil European capitalists finally opened the lost ark was the climax that really paid off for fans of horror. Not to mention the fact that the bad guys got their faces melted off.
Final Destination 3 (2006) is another modern head explosion scene. But this one was not for the faint of heart, as most of you already may know.
One thing that we know about horror movies is that sooner or later, the supernatural will eventually kill off a jock and make a glaring example out of him. And that is exactly what happened on Final Destination 3, when poor Lewis Romero thought that he had cheated death once again and got a little too excited.
Saw III (2006) is yet another in the Saw franchise that really deserved to be on this list. I realize that I was attempting to consolidate with the zombie entry, but this scene is a must include for head explosions, especially since it took an innocent character in the series.
When Jeff finally could not forgive the Jigsaw Killer for his daughter, Jeff takes revenge on him by slicing his throat with a grinder tool (or something similar to that). He finds out that the fate of his wife depended on what he did, but not until it was too late. That poor lady never even got to say goodbye.
Maniac (1980) was another one of those scenes from the 1980s that Tom Savini used to transform the visual horror arts medium with a spectacular head explosion.
That scene, among many others that Tom Savini did the special effects and makeup on, was something off a training video for industry professionals that came after him.
[Featured Image by Avco-Embassy Pictures]