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Memorable Villain Deaths

And after spending an entire movie watching the bad guy wreaking havoc and doing a bunch of not-so-nice stuff, it’s good to see them finally get their comeuppance. Part of what makes a film interesting is how much the audience wants to encounter their downfall. For this list, we’re taking a look at movie scenes that feature the demise of some of film’s most despised villains.

Norman Stansfield
“Léon: The Professional” (1994)

Considering Stansfield’s heavy pursuit of a highly skilled assassin and his preteen charge, he was basically signing his own death warrant. Leon, the film’s antihero, almost makes it out of an ambush alive; but not before Stansfield shoots him in the back. However, Leon’s farewell present is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Captain Henry Rhodes
“Day of the Dead” (1985)

The last thing you’re expecting when you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, is for the zombies to start having emotions and wanting revenge. Tell that to Bub, the zombie with memories of his past and heart of gold. After Bub discovers his scientist friend dead at the hands of Rhodes, he guns him down in the halls of a military complex, leaving him to die at the hands of fellow zombies with a final salute.

Alec Trevelyan
“GoldenEye” (1995)

So when a former MI6 agent and friend, 006, develops a convoluted plan to exact revenge on Britain for past wrongs, a dramatic death is obviously in order. There’s no shortage of nefarious villains with elaborate schemes in 007’s life. Bond and Trevelyan end up in hand-to-hand combat atop an antenna several hundred feet in the air. And if the fall don’t kill ya, the plummeting and fiery metal certainly will.

Emperor Palpatine
“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983)

Palpatine was actually trying to supplant Darth Vader with a younger, less blemished model and thought Luke Skywalker would be the perfect fit. Unfortunately for Palpatine, the younger Skywalker wouldn’t give in to the dark side. Even more unfortunate for him, Vader wasn’t just about to sit around and watch some pale wrinkly dude kill his kid.

Colin Sullivan
“The Departed” (2006)

Matt Damon stars in yet another film set in Boston, but this time as a cop doing double duty as a man on the inside for a mob boss and somehow manages to survive one dirty move after another – even going so far as to kill his mob boss and longtime mentor in order to protect his identity. And by the end of the movie, he seems to be in the clear. That is, until he enters his apartment.

T-1000
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

The T-1000’s expressionless cop face was enough to make us root for something really bad to happen to it; and while it was designed to be the ultimate killing machine to finish the job its turncoat predecessor started, it had a little bit of an attitude, too. That is, until its own face got split in half and it was dumped into a vat of molten steel.

Howard Payne
“Speed” (1994)

Though the film may’ve been the perfect vehicle to showcase Keanu Reeves’ limitless and varied acting talent, the audiences really only cared about what was going to happen with that bus. The bad guy behind the attempted bus bombing had to be dealt with, and of course the speed had to be increased by moving the action to a subway train. And that’s where Payne gets a little…ahead of himself.

Arjen Rudd
“Lethal Weapon 2” (1989)

When an all-around awful South African consul-slash-smuggler gets in the way of Riggs and Murtaugh’s investigation into his dealings, it all boils down to a shootout without a blanket of government protection and with what is quite possibly the best send-off line in cinema history – cheesy as it may be.

Clarence Boddicker
“RoboCop” (1987)

Mr. Boddicker killed Alex Murphy, and, that was just him and his goons shooting cops for fun. Unfortunately for him, that cop he killed later became armed with some cool tech and a taste for stabbing. That all leads to a final conflict at a drug factory, where Robocop finally gets the upper hand.

Annie Wilkes
“Misery” (1990)

Annie’s a deranged woman who holds her favorite author, Paul Sheldon, hostage after saving him from a car crash during a snowstorm. After months of torture, Paul Sheldon fights back, and he and Annie engage in a wrestling battle to the death. But, as Paul learns the hard way, it takes more than a few blows to the skull to stop a stalker.

Honourable mentions:

– Lord Voldemort
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)
– Mola Ram
“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)
– Dieter Von Cunth
“MacGruber” (2010)

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