Hilarious ways movie characters bit the dust

Mel Brooks famously said, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." Look, there's nothing funny about death—unless, of course, it's happening to someone else. Then, well, all bets are off.

That's just one of the reasons we go to the movies: to be entertained by other people having to deal with the crap we go through, without the consequences. So when some roided-out stunt man falls through that sewer and hits every pipe on the way down, we don't worry about his friends and family, or who has to pay for his funeral services. We just point and laugh.

Running Man: Buzzsaw takes a buzzsaw ... down there

The spandex. The steroids. The sultry chainsaw action. In a movie full of outrageous deaths, this one just might take the cake. It's not just that Buzzsaw takes his own weapon of choice to the crotch, although that certainly doesn't hurt. (Well, we're sure it hurts a lot, actually.) It's really more that the screenwriter decided to take a day off from writing homicidal puns and just phoned this death in.

Buzzsaw tried to set something fun up: "I love this saw! It's a part of me … now I'm gonna make it part of you!" So what was Schwarzenegger, playing All-American Ben Richards', immortal comeback? "That's alright. Keep it." Really, Ben Richards? That's the best you could come up with? And then you dropped your "He had to split" line later in the movie, like George Costanza calling out The Jerk Store too late for it to matter to anyone.

The Happening: the real Lawnmower Man

Mark Wahlberg describes The Happening thusly. "F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can't blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn't playing a cop or a crook." Yep, that about sums up a movie filled with more ominous gusts of wind than a Chicago weekend.

Loads of people die in this frightful flick, but no one gets more points for originality than that dopey dad who decided to die by way of letting himself get run over and shredded to bits by a giant riding lawnmower. If you can't tell from Wahlberg's constipated reaction, this was the highpoint of a movie that featured dialogue like, "You know, hot dogs get a bad rep. They got a cool shape, they got protein. You like hot dogs, don't you?"

Maximum Overdrive: getting soda canned to death

Maximum Overdrive is what happens when Stephen King decides to tell the story of machines taking over the world, using cocaine as his inspiration. (That's not us saying it — King himself has admitted as much.) That kind of muse, kids, is how you end up with a soda machine killing a guy by drilling him in the ding-dong. Then the chest. Then the head. Then with dozens more soda cans shooting out at mach speed, likely breaking every bone in his body before running out of inventory.

Sometimes you write evil clowns … other times, this. Don't do drugs, kids.

Rambo: ripping a dude's throat out, literally

Look, Sylvester Stallone: we hate bad guys as much as the next guy, but sometimes strangling a dude to death is good enough, right? We get it: you're Rambo. We get that this is your fourth movie, and exploding arrows just aren't going to cut it anymore. But still, this just seems a bit … over the top. You're literally ripping a dude's throat out, which isn't just overkill — it's physically impossible, which actually hurts Rambo's credibility as a stone-cold killer. Throat-slitting? We get that. But throat-ripping? That's, like, sub-Troma.

But hey, what do we know? We've never tried to go back and win the Vietnam War single-handedly. Maybe you do need to rip out throats, as a time-saver or something. Maybe we should just leave this one to the murder-experts.

Broken Arrow: rocket to the crotch

John Travolta made some … interesting choices here. Yes, the legendary actor does seem to take about fifty punches to the face without ever feeling a blow, but that can be chalked up to director John Woo, who was introducing his particular style of action to American audiences for the first time here.

No, it's Travolta's peculiar expression as he's about to be hit in the groin with a nuclear warhead, that leaves us scratching our heads. He looks … happy about it. Satisfied. Does he … enjoy rockets to the groin? We get that Travolta's a particular cat, with a deep love of cheap wigs and challenging pronunciations, but this right here really leaves us scratching our heads. Even Xenu's gotta be laughing his tentacles off.

Happy Gilmore: Happy causes accident

It's never easy to hide your disappointment at a lousy gift. We've all had that awkward Christmas morning, opening up a six-pack of underwear and having to put on a happy face or risk pissing off Mom for the rest of the day. Chubbs, the one-handed golfer with a bad taste in protégés, knows that disappointment better than anyone.

You know what, Happy Gilmore? If a darn alligator bit your friend's hand off, maybe give him a head's up before you spring its dismembered head on him. Seems like common courtesy.

Chubbs doesn't even try for the Christmas morning poker face here. There are no strained smiles. Just abject horror, as he panics and falls out a window to his death. Oops. When you think about it, the only thing that's fallen faster, or harder, than Chubbs is Adam Sandler's career, and there's nothing funny about that. Don't take our word for it. Just watch The Ridiculous 6.

Live and Let Die: Bad guy balloons out

For kids who've grown up on Daniel Craig's dour, real-world Bond films, Roger Moore must feel like a cartoon character come to life. Full of double entendres and age-inappropriate sex scenes, Moore played Bond as a parody of himself.

Nothing encapsulates how far the franchise has come than the death of Solitaire, the voodoo-practicing Tarot card expert with a collection of killer sharks, whose portrayal had all the racial sensitivity of a Trump tweet. In his final faceoff with the super spy, the two fall into the shark tank. Bond, thinking quickly, grabs a compressed air pellet used in shark guns and shoves it into Solitaire's mouth.

What does Solitaire do? If you answered "spit it out and climb out of the water," then you don't understand how Big Bads operated back in the 1970s. No, he just sort of looks constipated, before inflating into a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float, and exploding. Sometimes villains know the movie's almost over, and it's just time to die.

Shoot 'Em Up: Maybe carrots aren't so good for your health

Shoot 'Em Up is what happens when you combine a hardnosed, viciously violent action movie with a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and the results are oh so glorious. The movie opens on Smith (Clive Owen) chomping down on a carrot, in case you were somehow too dense to get the inspiration. When a pregnant woman rushes by, panicked, he just keeps on chomping. It's only when a thug follows, gun in hand, that the reluctant hero intervenes, shoving the carrot through the guy's head and dropping a cheesy quip that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger proud.

This death launches the whole movie and tells you everything you need to know about how in the cheek its tongue is going to be. But if psycho salad killers are your thing, this is all you'll need to see. Eating vegetables has never been so unhealthy.

Dodgeball: Patches passes at worst possible moment

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. But that doesn't mean you can dodge a falling sign. It takes a lot of effort to die on cue. To wait for that ideal moment, when the irony will be at its most delicious, and everyone will be like, boy, we really set that one up perfectly.

Sure, Pete LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) was probably pretty bummed that his mentor died in a such a ridiculous way, being crushed to death by a neon sign in the middle of a casino, just as the stakes of their unlikely journey through the world of dodgeball was at its most precarious. But you also get the sense he would've been pretty impressed with his timing, stating, "As long as we got Patches, we've got a shot," seconds before the rowdy coach met his untimely end.

Add in that the Mr. O'Houlihan was crushed by a sign that read "Luck of the Irish," and Pete probably started wondering if there wasn't some higher power behind this death. Like a god, or a screenwriter.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - Julius loses his head in fight

There are so many ridiculous deaths in the Friday the 13th franchise that it's hard to pick only one, but this killshot from Part VIII is hard to ignore. After Jason corners boxing phenom Julius on a rooftop, he spends several minutes uselessly pummeling the horror movie icon to no effect. Talk about a Rope-a-Dope, Julius tires himself out so much, he ends up just giving Jason a free shot. And if there's one thing you never do, it's give the Crystal Lake Killer an opening.

This might not technically be a knock down, seeing how Julius is never going to get up again, but Jason proves you don't need good footwork or jabs when you have the punching power of a Mack Truck. You don't ever want to lose your head when you're fighting Jason, figuratively or literally. Poor Julius failed on both accounts.

Why don't they ever just run away? Jason moves slower than a grandma getting her exercise at the mall.

Pulp Fiction: I shot Marvin in the face

Poor Marvin. He was just trying to help out big boss Marcellu and stay out of Jules and Vincent's way. Maybe get a tasty Big Kahuna Burger for the effort. Instead, he took a bullet to the face. Whoops.

Pulp Fiction is one of the best movies of all time, but we're betting that Marvin probably isn't a fan. Not when his death is treated more as a punchline than a tragedy. Look, let's be honest. Vincent really needs to be more careful with his firearms when he chitchats. That's what this comes down to. Whether Jules drove over a bump or not, it's probably best not to blow a guy's head off in the middle of the day, deep in the Valley. Maybe Woodland Hills, because who goes out there? But when you need a fixer to help clean up your run to the burger joint, chances are you've really screwed something up.

Deadly Friend: Killer robot with some b-ball skillz

Boy meets girl. Girl gets pushed down the stairs by drunk father and goes brain dead. Boy inserts computer chip from his robot friend BB into her brain, turning her into a cold-blooded killing machine. It's a story as old as time itself. And yet the titular Deadly Friend, Samantha Pringle, still has some tricks up her sleeve. Murder tricks!

Showing more killer b-ball skills than Russell Westbrook playing one on one against Kevin Durant, Pringle seems to know that Mama Fratelli was never much of a rebounder. Combine that ridiculous exploding head with the midget in a dress that tries to pass itself off as a headless body, and you have one of the most beautifully stupid special effects to ever get crapped out in the hopes of not going over budget.

The late, great Wes Craven was responsible for this odd cult film, which feels more like a weird dream you have after eating pizza before bed than an outright nightmare. Oh, and, yes, her name is Samantha Pringle. We're presuming that Shirley Cheeto was deemed too realistic.

Jurassic Park: Hits the john, becomes dino-lunch

Can't a guy sit on the toilet in peace? If Yelp was around when Jurassic Park opened, you can bet it would have gotten a lousy review from Donald Gennaro, the weaselly lawyer who had about as much interest in dinosaurs as they do in the law. Still, being the pro he was, he joined his boss, John Hammond, on the park's initial tour and somehow found himself hiding in the men's room during a T-Rex rampage.

Clearly the dastardly dino never learned to knock, tearing the little hut down, and finding a snack waiting for him. We supposed the attorney at law could be grateful his pants weren't around his ankles, but that doesn't mean he didn't make a mess. If ever there was ever a pants-filling moment of terror, seeing the jaws of a T-Rex barreling down on you has got to be it. Life always finds a way, whether you're on the can or not.

Deep Blue Sea: Shark cuts monologue short

Is there anything better than a Samuel L. Jackson monologue? That man could fire up a snowman. He knows just how to sell a story, building the drama, until you're on the edge of your seat, dying to find out what the hell is going to happen next. Unfortunately for the crew of the Aquatica, a sea-bound research facility, they'll never get to hear that climax, because in one of the great fake outs in film history, Jackson gets devoured by a brain-enhanced shark just as he's getting to the good part.

This would be like if the shark in Jaws burst through the side of the boat just as Quint was getting to the sinking of the Indianapolis. In horror, surprise is the name of the game, and there has never been a bigger surprise Jackson getting chomped in two just as he's about to make a play for his Academy Award.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Brought a sword to a gun fight

Happy accidents come in all forms, even if some can be crappier than others. As legend has it, Harrison Ford, tired from three months of shooting in the hot Tunisian sun, and suffering from a wicked case of dysentery, was more interested in spending some time on the toilet than in the blistering sun for a three-day stunt sequence. He came up with the idea of dispatching a killer swordsman with his gun and just getting the whole thing done with.

From those modest, lazy roots came one of the most classic moments in film history. It just goes to show you, sometimes it's better to crap out a scene than to crap your pants during one. The scene was so beloved, they reference it in the sequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but this time, he forgot his gun and presumably wasn't suffering from a case of the runs.

Dr. Strangelove: Slim Pickens learns to love the bomb

If Major Kong is any indication, it's the end of the world and he feels fine. Yup, the satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb couldn't have ended in any other way than the all-American cowboy T.J. "King" Kong riding his nuclear bomb like a bucking bronco right into the apocalypse.

As famous as this movie is, this one shot has somehow become even more iconic, being parodied by everyone from The Simpsons to  Transformers. It's a raw example of cowboy diplomacy and unadulterated jingoism gone mad. It's also one darn ridiculous joke, a crystal clear comedic moment makes you think without ever losing its laugh.

Slim Pickens, who played the irascible Kong, never knew the movie was a comedy, having been told by director Stanley Kubrick that it was a trenchant drama, only making the ridiculousness of the rowdy ride to oblivion all the more incredible.

Big Trouble in Little China: Death by self-blimping

Look, right off the bat it should be explained that Big Trouble in Little China is probably the best movie ever made. And, if we are to accept that as fact, which most film reviewers and scientists do, then it becomes a question of what is the best death in Big Trouble in Little China. And that, friends, is no question at all.

The code of the samurai calls for honor above everything. When a samurai fails to protect his master, there is only one way to retain his honor: ritual suicide. But we're guessing no samurai ever committed seppuku quite like this, probably since this character is Chinese and not Japanese at all. Well, whatever. It's still an impressive sight to a see a man so overcome with grief that he turns himself into an exploding Garbage Pail Kid.

The effects here are somewhere between corny and impressive, which is really where most '80s movies lived, when you think about it. Here is one glorious hybrid of practical effects that don't look real but sold our eight-year-old selves on the fact that a ninja could make himself explode if he got mopey enough.