been a while since the last full team-based CHUD LIST. Too long. With
the goal being to ease back into the swing of things and hopefully get
us on track to a list a month, here’s the latest, BAD FOR US, WORSE FOR
THEM. The concept is simple.
This isn’t a “Best Kills” list.
We’ve done that and done it better than anyone ever could (though we’ll
revisit that at some point to rewrite the history books). This is a
list of forty deaths in cinema, twenty of which that have a profound
affect on the viewer whether by the sheer tragedy of it, how
emotionally impactful it is, or how it is a catalyst for a real descent
in the progression of the story. The other twenty are deaths that go
beyond the call of duty, not because they’re cool or really well
executed FX, but because they are just knee-capping in their immediacy,
brutality, or simple visceral impact. Kills that will probably leave a
We could have done hundreds of these, but here’s twenty of
each from the CHUD staff, delivered two a day for you until the list is
Day Eleven - Radiation Bad
Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Hands down, the most gutwrenching death in the entire Trekverse: Spock’s heroic demise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [Buy it from CHUD!]. So gutwrenching in fact, that it can still choke up certain CHUD writers (I ain’t dropping any names, but I know one of them pretty well). So emotionally draining that the ending had to be tweaked to make it more uplifting when test audiences reacted badly to it. So heartfelt that the next movie found the rest of the Enterprise crew committing space treason and risking everything just to pick up his body for a proper Vulcan burial ritual. And no one was affected or gave up more to see to the needs of his friend than Kirk, his BFF. His ship, his son, his command. Fuck ‘em. Spock needed him, so he went. Loyalty. Sacrifice. that’s what it’s about, man.
Going down to an engine room flooded with radiation to get the mains back on line was a death sentence. Spock knew that; but it didn’t matter, because if they didn’t have warp speed in three minutes they were all dead anyway. And as he reminded his friend in an earlier, elegantly-written conversation: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one). This was Spock’s answer to a real-life Kobayashi Maru test, which he hadn’t taken until now. What do we think of his solution? We won’t debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings, we just grieve for this most human of souls we’ve encountered in our travels.
“Okay, Okay, I get it, open the doors, we’re all dead. But exactly what the hell is it this guy’s trying to do down there?”
Pain of Death: INTOLERABLE. Goddamn, was Bones right.
Emotional Loss: EXCRUCIATING. Kirk, meet Death. Death, meet Kirk.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: Tried that, didn’t take.
Insult To Injury: For a while, Bones knew Spock’s most depraved desires about that little Stratos City Dweller bitch.
“I know you! You’re dead! We killed you!” Well they sure as hell gave it their best shot(s), including one right to the noggin in Robocop [Buy it from CHUD!]. But Murphy didn’t die; rather, he came back with a shitload of titanium and kevlar and an even bigger need for payback for Clarence Boddicker and his running buddies. And even though Robocop was commanded by four directives, there was nothing in that list that said he couldn’t let some dirtbag drive himself into a container of toxic waste. Which is where we find Emil, post dousing and coming out of the affair looking like Tarman’s cousin.
Now it can be pretty much surmised that Emil was already a dead man
walking when he came up on Leon with dripping flesh and a bad case of
radioactive asthma. But just to put the capper on things, when you pit
Tarcousin against speeding 6000 SUX, you get the mother of all
nastified roadkill. Good thing that Clarence totaled the SUX right
after, because the resale on that bitch was pretty much reduced to
nothing. I mean honestly, you try putting that thing on Craigslist
with bits of Toxie Emil in the dash panel. Ain’t happening.
Pain of Death: HIGH. Roentgens suck even more than hood ornamentization.
Emotional Loss: Minor. Points for overkill originality though.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: More like an appointment with a HazMat crew and some plastic baggies.
Insult To Injury: Ain’t nobody buying that for a dollar.
Today’s installment written by David Oliver.
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