5 Most Unexpected Deaths in Movies
Movie makers have always tried to shock and surprise audiences. One trick that is always guaranteed to invoke a response is to kill off a character when the audience least expects it. Here are the 5 most unexpected deaths in movies that left audiences at least a little dumbfounded.
5. Austin Travis (Executive Decision)
When you see Steven Seagal leading a special-ops team into a plane hijacked by terrorists, you know that some serious action will ensue. However, what you do not expect is Seagal getting killed even before he can get on the plane. The manner of his passing may be unique, but that did not soften the blow for fans who were disappointed at not being able to see Seagal karate-chop a terrorist in the face.
4. Billy Costigan (The Departed)
Billy Costigan’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) death probably did not come as a surprise to those who had seen Infernal Affairs, the Hong-Kong crime film that The Departed was based upon. However, for most people, seeing Billy getting shot in the head just as he had turned the tables on Matt Damon was definitely a big surprise. In a movie filled with hard-hitting scenes (as expected from any Scorsese film), the elevator shooting scene is definitely the one that stands out the most.
3. Colonel Joseph ‘Von’ Ryan (Von Ryan’s Express)
All critics can agree that Von Ryan’s Express is definitely one of Frank Sinatra’s great films. Playing the role of Colonel Joseph Ryan, Sinatra puts in one of his best performances as an actor. However, it was his creative input on the plot that made the biggest difference. Those who had read the upbeat ending in the book knew that Colonel Ryan would go on to escape the Nazis and all would end well. However, in the movie, Ryan is shot in the back just as Major Fincham reaches out and yells at him to run faster. The German troops may have missed their mark in the book, but the movie’s Von Ryan was not so lucky.
2. Bill Murray (Zombieland)
How do you make a good movie even better? The answer is simple; just add Bill Murray. How can it possibly be more awesome? Even simpler; have Bill Murray play himself. Murray’s cameo in the 2009 zombie comedy, Zombieland, was an unexpected treat for every viewer. However, getting shot and killed by Jesse Eisenberg while playing a prank was definitely not on the cards. Fans were left shocked as the character’s tragic demise turned out to be just as surprising as his cameo appearance.
1. Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne (Serenity)
After the TV series Firefly was canceled, show creator Joss Whedon and the legions of Firefly fans (Browncoats) went to great lengths to bring the show back in some form or another. Universal Pictures picked up Joss Whedon’s script for the movie Serenity, a continuation of the adventures of the crew from Firefly. Browncoats around the world packed theatres in eager anticipation. However, many of them stumbled out at the end of the movie, often caught mumbling “Can’t believe he’s gone? Why, Joss Whedon? Why?” Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne’s death was a shock to all viewers, but especially so for Firefly fans, who often identified Wash as ‘the funny one’ in the show. Not only was the manner of his death unexpected, to get pierced by a massive wooden stake, right in front of your wife, is probably not the best way to go.
A tip-of-the-hat to the characters who just missed out on breaking into the top 5 list: Joe Black (Brad Pitt – Meet Joe Black), Tracey Mills (Gwyneth Paltrow – Se7en), and Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway – Chinatown).
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