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 Fifteen - Hair Metal Toons.
Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie (1986)
This is a niche pick. For kids of the ’80s only; and one kid in particular. This death doesn’t him at 37 the same way it did when he was 14 of course, but back then, man that was some heavy shit. Optimus Prime was different than most cartoon heroes. There was an inherent nobility in him as voiced by Peter Cullen that transcended the boilerplate, soulless or preachy cartoon heroes that were as two-dimensional as they were drawn. He grew beyond the plastic and metal toy that stormed America in the mid-’80s. Sure, Prime would often fall prey to many bad episodes with bad writing and bad artwork, but he had a presence – as much as a kid can distinguish such a thing. His compassion and warrior’s heart came through the screen and was a tangible thing. Those of us that watched Prime not only enjoyed his exploits, we respected him. He sure as hell would never have been bitched out like so:
So when Transformers: The Movie [Buy it from CHUD!] came out, it was a disheartening thing to see this character with whom we had come to sympathize and deem worthy of our regard be written out to make way for…WTF? The next toy line series? Eat a dick on that…many of us couldn’t even afford the goddamned toys (that we wanted so much, nevertheless). But Prime became one with the matrix they way he should have if he had to, no doubt about it: smoking Decepticons left and right before one last great, albeit brief, battle with Megatron. Easily the most devastating Autobot death in a movie surprisingly filled with it. Nevermind the Dark Awakening and Return of Optimus Prime bullshit. Prime went out a hero, and that’s how his fans will remember him.
Pain of Death: GUTWRENCHING. Megatron went to work on those Peterbilt abs with a sharp hunk of rock, a lightsaber and a surprisingly powerful little laser pistol.
Emotional Loss: GUTWRENCHING. Haven’t you been reading? I’m pouring my soul out here.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: He ended up on some floating junkyard in space.
Barbarian Leader in Heavy Metal (1981)
Could there have been any other animated movie in this list more than Heavy Metal [Buy it From CHUD!] for Worse For Them? I think not. The whole friggin’ flick is Worse. For. Them. Dudes are getting melted by Loc-Nars, vaporized in taxis, ripped apart by killer bomber zombies, disassembled by Nyborg sniffers, and altogether massacred by barbarian assholes. Tough to pick just one, so might as well go for the head asshole: the Barbarian Leader. Now here’s a guy that had a hard-on for just ventilating people and a not-so-well-hidden Minotaur fetish. He didn’t start out that way, but when you take Loc-Nar bath, bad shit tends to happen.
At his bidding, the scientists and statesmen are given the Max Zorin corporate retirement plan, which incurs the wrath of Taarna, the last Taarakian. She’s hot (a plus), naked and stacked (a 1986 spankworthy plus), kicks ass and doesn’t say much (i.e. the perfect woman). Their final showdown was a bloody affair, both red and green. But it wasn’t Taarna who got the Colombian necktie with her own cuisinart and then a deathblow to the puss worthy of Chong Li.
Pain of Death: I’M THINKING HIGH. Couldn’t even scream when his face was turned into key lime pudding.
Emotional Loss: DICK. Guy had a naked Taarakian at his mercy and all he could think to do with her is a little (okay a lot) of S&M? He deserved to get his faced mash-potatoed.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: Well…
Insult To Injury: He missed out on a perfect opportunity for a Taarakian Sanchez before he went out.
Today’s installment written by David Oliver.
Discuss this list right here on our message boards.