VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Beca Dalimonte
Death doesn't always have to be so serious... For this list, we'll be looking at the funniest ways characters have perished in scary films. Since plot points will be discussed, a spoiler alert is now in effect. Our countdown includes scenes from "The Cabin in the Woods", "Sleepwalkers", "Zombieland" and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hilarious Horror Movie Deaths. For this list, we’ll be looking at the funniest ways characters have perished in scary films. Since plot points will be discussed, a spoiler alert is now in effect. Did we miss any of your favorite hilarious horror movie kills? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Julius Fails to Fight Jason
“Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” (1989)
If you’ve ever thought you could take Jason in a fight - think again! In the “Friday the 13th” franchise’s eighth film, “Jason Takes Manhattan,” a competitive boxer tries his hand at beating the masked killer in hand to hand combat. It goes…about as well as you’d expect. The athlete, Julius, hits an unaffected Jason so many times that he loses steam. Out of breath, the soon-to-be victim challenges his foe, prompting the latter to knock his head clean off his body and into a nearby dumpster. The ease with which Jason kills Julius after such a prolonged sequence just makes the already ridiculous scenario even funnier.
#9: Merman Kills Hadley
“The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)
The ending of “The Cabin in the Woods” is a total bloodbath. The horror comedy focuses on a covert research facility built to test run a variety of creatures in nightmarish scenarios. When all of those monsters are set loose inside the lab, they begin killing everything in sight. Facility technician Steve Hadley fires a gun into a crowd of the monsters until being thrown onto his back by an explosion. Although he’s worn out, it seems like he may make it out alive. That is, until a merman appears out of the fog. Hadley utters his amusingly apathetic final words before being eaten by the grotesque creature.
#8: “Garbage Day!”
“Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” (1987)
“Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” is an infamously terrible sequel, generally panned by the critics who saw it for recycling too much of its predecessor’s footage. Nonetheless, some horror fans still see worth in the film, citing the darkly comedic nature of Eric Freeman’s portrayal of Ricky Chapman. And we have to admit, they have a point! In one scene, Ricky stalks his neighborhood with a gun, shooting randomly at his neighbors in broad daylight. When he comes across one of them disposing of his garbage, he gleefully delivers a ridiculous line before pulling the trigger. It’s so unexpected that it’s hard not to laugh.
#7: Death by Corn
If you’re a horror fan, you’ve likely seen a lot of unconventional objects used as weapons. The Killer Klowns wrap their victims in cotton candy-type concoctions, and a woman in “Gremlins” uses a microwave to murder one of the out-of-control creatures. When it comes to weird weaponry, however, it’s hard to beat the killer corn in “Sleepwalkers.” In this movie, the antagonist cuts off one cop’s call to headquarters a little early - by stabbing him in the back with a piece of corn. Unlike the kills in “Killer Klowns” and “Gremlins,” though , this one isn’t necessarily meant to be comedic. But that definitely doesn’t stop it from making us chuckle.
#6: Basketball to the Face
“Deadly Friend” (1986)
Two years after directing “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Wes Craven helmed a movie titled “Deadly Friend.” Though it was initially intended to be something of a romance with a science fiction slant, disappointed test audiences led to radical changes in the script. It became more of a classic Craven horror flick, with lots of brutal murders. One of these involves the film’s antagonist, Samantha, killing an older woman named Elvira. In the scene, Elvira stands motionless and screaming as Samantha throws a basketball at her. When the ball makes contact, the woman’s head inexplicably shatters into a million pieces. It’s as though it was built like a watermelon!
#5: “They’re Eating Her!”
“Troll 2” (1990)
“Troll 2” is kind of a mess. When it was initially released, it was said to be a sequel to “Troll,” the ‘80s horror comedy flick. But in reality, the films have nothing to do with each other. In fact, the 1990 release doesn’t even feature trolls – the antagonists are referred to exclusively as goblins. So it’s no wonder that this “best worst movie” also has one of the best worst death scenes we’ve ever seen. Midway through, Arnold and an unnamed girl consume a potion that starts to turn them into plants. He sees his fate firsthand, as she painfully transforms and is devoured by the monsters. His hilariously drawn out reaction is truly something to behold.
#4: Bill Murray’s One Regret
The fictionalized Bill Murray has a brilliant idea to survive the zombie apocalypse: dress like one and blend in! This works well enough to fool the creatures, but a practical joke gone wrong causes his demise. When the actor, playing himself, enters his home theater moaning like the undead, Columbus panics and shoots him in the chest. As he lays dying, Little Rock asks him if he has any regrets, to which he responds [SB:“Garfield, maybe?”]. Of course, he’s referencing the critically panned live-action/CGI hybrid film for which he provided a voice. Tallahassee nods sagely as Murray lets out a very long dying breath, but, like Wichita, we can’t help but cackle.
#3: “He Played Pogo on His Lung”
It’s hard to imagine, but “Leprechaun” was initially meant to be a serious horror film. We’re thankful it ended up infusing comedy into the scares, because if it hadn’t, we might not have scenes like these! In pursuit of his gold coins, the titular Leprechaun bites a man named Joe on the leg before proclaiming it’s playtime. He then hops towards the individual on a pogo stick in slow motion, prompting the latter to yell out in protest. The stick stabs Joe repeatedly as the Leprechaun sings out a rhyme. Who knew such bloody carnage could be so comedic?
#2: Killer Vending Machine
“Maximum Overdrive” (1986)
“Maximum Overdrive” establishes its evil machinery premise early on with rude ATM machines, unpredictable bridges, and unruly gas dispensers. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t initially aware of this recent shift in power. At a seemingly normal baseball game, the Little League coach approaches a soda machine and attempts to get a drink. When it doesn’t deliver, he ends up hitting the machine - and it hits back! A soda shoots out of the dispenser and into the man’s groin. The kids are amused, until more cans start flying and they realize things are intensifying. The coach is killed as a result, and the children realize they could be next! The young characters’ terror feels real, but it’s impossible to take a killer vending machine seriously.
#1: Mike Falls Into a Woodchipper
“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” (2010)
When talking about “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” it’s difficult to highlight just one death. The horror comedy, which focuses on two ordinary guys that a bunch of college kids think are homicidal, is full of deadly misunderstandings. In one scene, Tucker runs from a swarm of bees with a chainsaw in hand, spooking one of the students, who then runs …directly into a tree branch. Another student charges at Dale with a spear, only to skewer himself. When it comes to outright hilarity, however, Mike’s death really takes the cake. Hoping to attack Tucker, Mike charges towards him, but ends up leaping into a woodchipper. The former tries to rescue him, but just ends up making the situation worse (and extra amusing!).