Welcome back to the EYG Top 10 list. This is where we at EYG give our own list of the topic that is presented by the Top 10 podcast, with John Rocha and Matt Knost. I so enjoy listening to these gentlemen talk about movies that I want to participate in some way.
This week was a Patreon member topic, from Christopher Brockman, and it was the Top 10 Surprising Movie Deaths. This was a fun topic and I am looking forward to filling out my list.
The key word is “surprising” so not every death in a movie would qualify.
#10. Stoick the Vast (How to Train Your Dragon 2). This was a major shock to me, especially since the character, the father of Hiccup, wound up being killed by a controlled Toothless. I never thought that they would have one of our main heroes kill the father of the other one. I actually thought this plot point would cause more of a problem between Hiccup and Toothless than it did.
#9. Tony Stark (Avengers: Endgame). I was kind of expecting Tony to die. Many people thought it would be Steve Rogers, but I thought it would be Tony. However, I have to admit, I got to the point that I beleived that Tony was making it through alive. Then… “I am Iron Man” happened and suddenly you could see how everything was pointing to this moment since early on in the MCU. In a movie filled with emotional beats, the death of Tony Stark put a period on the end.
#8. Lee Abbott (A Quiet Place). Lee was the father in A Quiet Place, played by John Krasinski. I did not see his death coming at all, sacrificing himself to give his kids a chance to get away from the monsters that were about to kill them. I would have bet any money that he would have survived as a family, especially after the tragic, and very surprising, death of his little son.
#7. Tracy Mills (Seven). Gwyneth Paltrow was the wife of police officer Brad Pitt in Seven and he has been chasing this horrible serial killer who is basing his murders on the 7 Deadly Sins. Little did we know, or Brad knew, she was pregnant. They seemed to be a happy couple, but appearances can be deceiving. And then… “What’s in the box! What’s in the box!” This was one of the most unbelievably shocking moments in any movie.
#6. Peter Parker (Avengers: Infinity War). Yes, I know he came back, but you cannot disagree with the shocking moment that it was. People gasped in the theater when Peter Parker stumbles over to Tony Stark and says “I don’t feel so good.” As he dusted in Tony Stark’s arms, Tom Holland showed why he is the best Peter Parker in the movies with is own little adlib. Then, the memory of Peter is what eventually leads Tony Stark to figure out time travel in Endgame.
#5. Optimus Prime (Transformers: The Movie). What did they do? They killed Optimus? No, that can not be. They kill him early in the movie and they scarred children of my generation for years to come. I remember not believing what I was seeing and I was pretty sure he would come back during the the film. I mean, he had “The Touch.” He couldn’t die. He was our main hero. And yet, Optimus Prime did not return. He was gone, turned to grey. And there were tears for our fallen hero, providing children everywhere their first introduction to loss and grief and death.
#4. Marvin (Pulp Fiction). Yes, he is minor character, but his death is as shocking as it is funny. “Aw man, I shot Marvin in the face,” says Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, in the most calm and deadpan manner. Marvin was a guy Vincent and Jules were taking to Marcellis Wallace. They were in their typical debate in the front seat when Vincent turned around and asked Marvin what he thought. “I don’t even have an opinion” was the last words to come out of Marvin’s mouth as the gun that Vincent was unintentionally pointing at Marvin goes off and blows his head to hell, all over the back seat of their car. One of the great moments of Pulp Fiction.
#3. Bing Bong (Inside Out). One of those scenes that rip your heart out every time that you see it. Bing Bong was the imaginary friend of Riley and he was helping Joy find her way around Riley’s mindscape. When they wound up in the land where memories disappear, Bing Bong sacrificed himself so Joy could escape and find her way back to where she belonged. Watching him fade from memory is one of the times where Pixar ripped out your heart.
#2. Thomas J. Sennett (My Girl). Macaulay Culkin was a big star from Home Alone, and he was a draw for the film, My Girl. His character was a sweet, young boy, friend of Vada, played by Anna Chlumsky. Then, we were shown the cutest scene between the two kids where they share a kiss. And then the movie rips it away from us as Thomas J gets attacked by bees, which he was allergic to, after going back to a hive the pair had knocked down earlier, to search for her mood ring that Vada had lost. Anna’s reaction at Thomas J’s funeral was crushing. “He can’t see without his glasses.” Young children should not die and this movie showed us that was not out of the realm of possibility.
#1. Dr. Malcolm Crowe (The Sixth Sense). Bruce Willis played Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a successful child psychologist, who gets shot early in the movie by one of his patients. However, he clearly recovered from the gunshot because the next scene we see is in the future and there he was. See , Bruce was alive and fine, out to help young Cole Sear with his problems. The Sixth Sense created a great and mysterious world for Cole Sear, who we discover could see dead people. The film kept going as Crowe was helping Cole and then we realize the twist. It is not Crowe helping Cole but the other way around. Crowe had died from that gunshot would and Cole was helping him accept it and say goodbye. Nobody saw it coming. It is, perhaps, one of the greatest twists in movie history. The most shocking death is the one that you didn’t know you saw.
Honorable Mentions: There are a bunch of these as well. I almost put Rachel from The Dark Knight on the list, but I decided that I had enough comic book movies, so I left her off, but her death by explosion was shocking for sure. General Zod having his neck snapped by Superman in Man of Steel was a surprise, but I did not like the set up. I could see too many other options for it to work. Marion Crane is perhaps the most famous shocking death of all time in Psycho, but when I had seen it, I knew it was coming. If it were just a list of famous shocking deaths, she in her shower would be right at the top. I dropped Black Widow from consideration because I already had Iron Man from Endgame, but few people thought she would die. Spock from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a great death and very unexpected. Yondu‘s death at the end of The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was heart wrenching too. After the film spent so much time building up Yondu, to see him die was unexpected. I considered Bill Murray in Zombieland, but he was not as impactful as the rest of the list.