20 Iconic Horror Movie Murder Weapons: How I’d Like to Die in the Movies
If you’re in a horror movie, especially if you happen to be a buxom blonde, chances are pretty good that you’re going to wind up being horrifically murdered. Rather than rail against the norm, I’ve decided to embrace it. Assuming, as a buxom blonde, I was going to be murdered, how would I want it to happen and why would I want it to happen in that particular fashion? The horror genre presents me with a wide variety of options for my demise and here I have ranked them, in order. I present to you: the 20 Iconic Horror Movie Murder Weapons.
A shotgun is featured in just about every single zombie apocalypse movie ever made and for good reason. The kill is loud and it’s gory and you feel a certain sense of satisfaction in watching the usually-a-zombie brains splatter. The ubiquitous shotgun has a long and venerated history in the horror genre, although the kill is over far too quickly.
#19 Angry Mother
The Angry Mother scenario is particularly frightening because we ALL have a mother and making your mother, or someone else’s mother, angry is never, ever a good idea. Horror movie mothers take this up several notches and that’s why we have the likes of Mrs. Voorhees of ‘Friday the 13th’ glory and Grace in ‘The Others’. An angry mother likely will take you out quickly and leave you as one in a long trail of victims. Die by an Angry Mother and you’ll fade a little too quickly into Faceless Victim Territory.
#18 Serial Killer
By definition, a serial killer has to be prolific. He (sometimes she) has to be willing to dispatch his victims without hesitation. ‘Halloween’, ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ all feature some quite laudable serial killers, especially considering the fact that they can, often times, be repeatedly resurrected. Because the victim of a movie serial killer essentially becomes one of a long line of frequently stupid victims, this particular method of movie death lands at #18, instead of higher on the list. If I have to die, I want to my death to be a stand-out death.
#17 Nightmare Haunter
Are you the kind of killer who is capable of killing AND invading someone’s dreams? Then congratulations, my friend. You have moved beyond your average, run of the mill serial killer and have delved into what I like to call “Nightmare Haunter” territory. This arena is occupied by the one and only Freddie Krueger. While there are several ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ movies from which to choose, I’d definitely want to be taken out in either the first or second movie or in ‘New Nightmare’.
#16 Deadly Virus
If you’re going out by deadly virus, it’s not going to be fun. The upside is that, with a little luck, your death can be distinctly gruesome. Whether you’re afflicted by the kind of viruses we see in the ‘Cabin Fever’ series and in ‘Carriers’ or you become slightly homicidal like the cast of ‘The Crazies’, a nice deadly virus could give you plenty of opportunities to shine. With a little luck, you’ll lose large amounts of skin and blood and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Ah, the knife. So simple in design and yet so deadly. The knife has been responsible for some of the best-known death scenes in all of cinema. What would movies like ‘Halloween’, ‘Scream’ and especially ‘Psycho’ be like if they didn’t have the knife? The great thing about the knife is that it’s readily available to anyone who has a murderous streak lurking in his or her soul. The downside to the knife is that, if your killer is effective, your death is over much too quickly.
A laser isn’t bad, it’s just designed that way. You have to be careful with lasers. Sure, a laser can gently resurface your skin or remove pesky body hair, but it can also slice you into a thousand little bloody pieces. For instance, if you are lucky enough to be in ‘Resident Evil’, you could be cleanly sliced up by a chain-link style laser. While it is the Red Queen who is doing the killing, it’s the lasers in this scene that lead to a quite notable horror movie death. Ugh…I should be so lucky.
#13 Vampire Bite
I want to clarify that, in my Vampire Bite scenario, vampires that sparkle or hang around morose, over-wrought teenagers are automatically disqualified. I’m talking about real vampires, the scary kind. The kind that inspire actual horror movies. There have been several movies over the years that have delivered satisfying vampire bites, like the old school ‘Nosferatu’ or the early 90s classic ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, a campy version, sure. But satisfying nonetheless. Or, more recently, ‘What We Do In the Shadows’, which offered a terrifying and funny look at the “real life” of vampires. A vampire bite has the obvious horror overtones, but also offers up a slightly sexual edge to your Horror Movie Death.
#12 Monsters of Various Types
A great number of you probably have been, at least once in your life, afraid of a monster. A monster isn’t easily definable. If you’re taken out by a movie monster, you are practically guaranteed a nice, gruesome death. One of the oldest types of horror, monsters have always been lurking under our beds and in our closets, ready to scare us as soon as the lights go out. If you’re in ‘Frankenstein’ and taken out by a classic monster or any number of scary monster movies made since then, your death by monster is sure to be a classic.
#11 Possessed Vehicle
So you know you’re going to die. It is a cinematic certainty. You’re going to want your death to be unique, you’re going to want it to mean something. Well, how about being taken out by a possessed vehicle? It’s different, it’s bound to be different and it is almost guaranteed to get you some face time with Stephen King. Maybe you’ll be taken out by Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury who haunts my nightmares every single time I see a classic car. Or maybe you’ll be destroyed in the campy ‘Maximum Overdrive’. Either way, you’re practically guaranteed a gruesome and memorable death.
#10 Telekinetic, Angry Teen or Child
Drew Barrymore is a ‘Firestarter’ and a good one at that. If you’re lucky enough to be dispatched by her, then you can go down knowing that you were killed by the offspring of Heather Locklear. Not a bad way to go at all. But, you might wind up being extra lucky. If that’s the case, then you’ve been killed by Carrie in ‘Carrie’. You might be covered in a little pig’s blood, but that’s a small price to pay.
#9 Demon Possession
If urban legends teach us anything, it’s that demon possessions are baaaaad. If you come up against a demon-possessed individual, chances are really, really good that you’re going to die. And because you’re about to be killed by a demon, you’re likely to go out in glorious fashion. It might be like one of the victims in ‘Session 9’, if you’re very fortunate, it’ll be like ‘Evil Dead’ or ‘Evil Dead 2’. But if you’re looking for sheer shock value, you’re best served by having Linda Blair scare you to death in ‘The Exorcist’. There’s a reason even non-horror fans know about this movie.
The axe. It isn’t meant to kill. It’s meant to do serious damage to trees. But as it turns out, the axe is practically guaranteed to deliver a bloody, compelling cinematic demise. ‘Friday the 13th III’ gives us a supremely wonderful example of how great it can be to go out via axe. ‘Frailty’ and ‘Urban Legend’ also give some nice examples of the glories that are to be found by being killed via axe. Sure, it’s going to hurt. But you’re gonna scream gloriously and audiences won’t forget you anytime soon.
#7 Overgrown Insects
Alright, I admit it. I desperately want Jeff Goldblum to be the person who kills me. Let’s get that out of the way right now. And really, what better way than to be taken out by a maniacal scientist who turns himself into a giant fly?! Alternatively, you could suffer your last breath at the tentacles of a giant alien insect, like in 2007’s ‘The Mist’, one of the very few movies that wound up being better than its original book version. Regardless of which insect movie you get killed in, you’re going to die in a remarkable fashion.
#6 Possessed Hotel/House
In order for a cast member to be worthy of my inevitable death, I want that cast member to be grand in scale. It needs to be spooky, it needs to be scary, it needs to be capable of inspiring dread by its architecture alone. In movies like ‘The Shining’ and ‘Amityville Horror’, you get the opportunity to die in spectacular fashion. You aren’t going to be killed by a standard serial killer or run of the mill knife. No. You need to have an entire possessed building after you in order to squash your horror spirit. You’re special, you’re a horror victim that’s hard to kill. In order to destroy your killer, you have to burn said killer to the ground. And even that might not be enough.
I have a soft spot in my tender little Horror Heart for the 80s. While ‘Gremlins’ might not be your typical horror movie, these little monsters are capable of instilling fear in the hardiest of souls. Even if you’re a hardened harpy, the Gremlins will still wreak havoc on your mansion full of cats. Death is headed your way and only the tiny demon souls of the Gremlins know your fate. Dying in a Gremlins movie means that audiences will be disgusted AND satisfied by your death.
#4 Alien Possession
Being sexy matters, especially in horror. For whatever reason, being possessed by an alien life form practically guarantees you a bloody, awesome, sexy demise. Take, for example, the teacher cast of ‘The Faculty’. Each victim is left smarter and sexier than they were before the alien possession. Or look at ‘Species’…that entire movie is basically a homage to being a sexy, alien killer. Even ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ isn’t without its merits. If you’re going to die in a horror movie, an alien invasion isn’t a bad way to go at all. Hopefully you’ll die with a little superhuman strength or sexiness.
#3 Alien Bursting Out of Chest
There might only be one really good instance of this particular cause of horror movie death, but what an amazing instance it is. Even the cast members had no idea what was coming. Really, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off this kind of horror death. No one can know what’s about to happen and it has to be so sublimely horrific that it can never be replicated. In ‘Alien’, John Hurt dies in a way that shocked movie goers for decades to come. If you’re going to die in a horror movie, this method definitely deserves some very serious consideration.
#2 Zombie Bite
Everyone has their favorite sub-genre in the horror world. Mine happens to be the zombie apocalypse. It gives the dying girl a chance to fire a gun, stab a guy in the head with a crowbar or scream mightily. There are just so many opportunities for greatness to be found in a zombie movie. ‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘Day of the Dead’…basically any George A. Romero movie practically guarantees that, if you’re a girl, you can die in a completely memorable way. You’re going to go down fighting and it’s more than likely that you’re going to die a hero.
We are there, ladies and gentleman. The goriest, bloodiest, most AWESOME way to go out in a movie. Yes, you’re going to die. But you are going to be a bloody, suffering, disgusting mess by the time you’ve taken your last breath. You’re going to get some incredible blood spatter. Every single victim in every single ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ movie has taught us that dying by chainsaw is a glorious way to go out. Furthermore, Ash in ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead 2’ and ‘Army of Darkness’ drives home the point that dying by chainsaw is the highest of deathly ideals.
There you have it folks. I operate under the assumption that I am always right on the verge of horror movie greatness and this article reminds me that there are some incredibly dramatic ways to die onscreen.