Death, patient, miserable prick that it is, awaits us all.
With this proverbial Sword of Damocles teetering over our heads it’s a minor miracle we’re not all driven entirely mad, petrified of our own fragile mortality, stealing anything that isn’t tied to something prohibitively heavy, wanking freely in the streets like kinky little fuck-apes, or mainlining heroin into the most prominent vein in our junk - all in a futile attempt to blot the horror of our inexorable plunge into the endless Noel’s House Party of Oblivion.
Yet we’re not, for the most part, doing these things, because we’ve developed handy coping strategies in dealing with death. One is mainlining heroin directly into the most prominent vein in our junk – a sound strategy indeed, with no foreseeable drawbacks, so let’s call that Plan A. Another is religion, but a requisite of this, in the words of Richard Dawkins, is that you must either be (a) ignorant, (b) insane, or (c) stupid, which rules an unfair proportion of us out.
One that doesn’t involve narcotics or insanity at all, and therefore one that many people plump for, is ensuring that you’ll be remembered by all those selfish enough to now be living instead of you. Legacy, family, photo albums, teary-eyed reminiscences, hordes of illegitimate children, preposterous gambling debts – all are effective.
But a far more noble and bitchin’ way of than these of being remembered is for the excellent and hella-awesome manner in which you pegged it. After all, even in death, one should not forget the importance of style. How about Polish farmer Krystof Azninski, who, in 1995, chopped off his own head with a chainsaw in a bet during a drinking game – a bet he, presumably, won? Or John Entwistle, The Who’s legendary bassist, who snuffed it aged 57 in a hotel room with a young stripper and enough cocaine to rot the gums and sprinkle the bell ends of the entire Ivory-Wayans dynasty? Perfect.
So, if you’ve decided that this is the path for you, and you’d quite like to give your own boring death a Mortazzle (©), then the good news – unless, that is, you’ve recently had some very bad news - is that there’s still time to give it some thought.
We’ve compiled a list of the most inventive and stylish cinematic clog-poppings for your perusal. These are the guys who did it right.
The Exploding Head - Scanners
In Cronenberg’s seminal body horror classic, ‘a scanner’ is simply a slightly cooler way of saying ‘a telepath’ than actually saying ‘a telepath’. Michael Ironside’s Darryl Revok is a particularly powerful ‘a telepath’, and he’s also a dick. These two characteristics combine wonderfully in the film’s most famous scene, in which he transforms one poor nameless wretch’s dome into a terrific, nebulous mess of blood, brain and bone. The bloke on the business end of this mind-bullet didn’t deserve a name, but by Jove he deserves a place in our hearts.
Style rating: 3/5 – Brilliant and memorable, if a little undignified.
Death by Stereo – The Lost Boys
This one has everything: hair, heavy metal, vampires, Corel Haim, a bow and arrow, electrocution, explosions and dismemberment. That there, pretty much, is every single box ticked. And, it provides one of the lesser vamps (there was Kiefer, Bill from Bill and Ted, and..err...the tall one? And the other tall one) a brief, memorable moment in the sun. Figuratively speaking.
Style rating: 5/5 – Like an Eton Mess, only more like explosive death and less like a school where cunts go.
Hello, Little Friend! - Scarface
In films, collecting your P45 in a hail of automatic weapons fire is fairly common, but doing so with the Space Hopper-bollocked panache of Tony Montana is not. His mansion’s been stormed by drug lord Alejandro Sosa’s hired goons, Tony knows he’s fucked, so what to do? Sit and wait? Hide? Piss himself? Pokey-bum wank? Place one last call to his loved ones? Fuck that. So he unleashes his Little Friend (a fairly whopping M16 assault rifle) upon as many of the trespassing bumhoops as he can, before they manage to fell him like a mighty Cuban oak. He also gets mad extra props for having some cool last words prepared and a nearby precipice to fall from. A fucking pro.
Style rating: 5/5 – Tony is the man.
Witch’s Tit – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Before he got old, shit, and became a ponce who pretty much didn’t kill anyone at all in The Crystal Skull, Indy sent many a hapless redshirt off to the afterlife, and none in more gruesome and memorable fashion than the poor Chief Guard in the mines of the Temple of Doom. He and Indy are engaged in a bit of a disagreement about worker’s rights, and it’s all going pretty well for the Chief (he’s having a bit of help from a Jones-shaped voodoo doll) until his decorative red sash becomes caught in a rock crusher, and he’s flattened in slow, blinding agony, paying the price for his sartorial excellence.
Style rating: 3/5 – Messy, but that red sash was really something.
Twisting my Melon - The Omen
When investigating a series of increasingly odd deaths, David Warner’s character in the 1976 horror classic is led to believe that it’s The Antichrist - walking the Earth in the ghastly form of a little dead-eyed little shit - who’s responsible. He’s discovered photographs taken of the victims before they died showing odd, intersecting markings - eerie predictors of the method in which they’d all meet their deities - but, before Jennings can do anything it, a sheet of glass flies from the back of a truck and lops off his thinking-dome in a balletic, slow-motion pirouette of dead.
Style rating: 4/5 – Both elegant and swift.
Snap, Crackle and Pop – Robocop
With the benefit of hindsight, the unfortunate Antonowski would probably say that, if you happen to find yourself proximate to an acid as harmful to human flesh as Lee Nelson’s comedy, drenching yourself in it should be the absolute last thing on your mind. For he made this error, and was destined to spend the rest of his life shambling horrifically, like a moist collage made from the inner thighs of an entire Runcorn hen do. Luckily for him, the rest of his life consisted of the thirty seconds or so before he was brutally hit by a car, scattering his remains across the windscreen and, concurrently, most of Michigan. In displaying such a selfless commitment to a memorable demise, we say: well done Antonowski, you beautiful bastard.
Style rating: 5/5 – Wonderful, painful, poetry.
Have you got any favourites? Let us know in the comments.