The only thing America loves more than an underdog success story is seeing a powerful, amoral asshole get his comeuppance. This is especially true for celebrities. The success of magazines like People, Star and Us Weekly isn't predicated on how interested humanity is in Blake Lively's new dress, the issues sell because dental patients and grocery shoppers want to see if Blake Lively has caught on fire yet. Watching famous people fall (particularly into fires) is a special indulgence for most of us, and the gratification only intensifies when the star never deserved such a high perch in the first place.
I aim to capitalize on this hatred. I've collected footage from seven films in which unacceptably famous celebrities play characters that die horrific deaths. Even with an audience willing to grant the suspension of disbelief, these stars still can't help but drag their big, stupid personalities into every role, and humanity collectively cheers when a killer bleeds it out of them.
David Caruso-King of New York
I'm still holding out hope that David Caruso is playing an elaborate hoax on the world. Somewhere between NYPD Blue and CSI Miami he was clearing out some old things and decided he didn't need functional social etiquette anymore. He has lost all context for how regular people interact with one another, which is a crucial skill set for actors. Perhaps in a very literal attempt to avoid insulting co-stars, he refuses to talk down to anyone; instead he stoops as low as he possibly can and then looks up like a dog that just defecated in the study again. It's especially absurd to watch when he has to talk to children.
"Unlike you and me, not every murder case is...black and white."
Despite the hail of insults and fast food I'm assuming he's pelted with daily, David Caruso maintains remarkably high self esteem. It's nice to see him knocked down a peg once in awhile, or more literally, shot in the face.
Paris Hilton-House of Wax
When humanity turned against Paris Hilton it wasn't prepared for her to live so long. There was an early and hard sprint of hatred with no consideration for how exhausting it would be in the later laps. In recent years she hasn't done anything to redeem herself but it's almost too tiring to offer her any more attention.
"I'm serious, Paris. Get the f*ck off of my lawn. This is getting old."
Still, I'm doing it. Quiet hatred is still hatred. Each time she climbed out of a car vagina first, or answered her phone during sex, or wept like a child in the back of a cop car, everyone cried "rehab!" but only for the shame it would bring her, no one actually wanted to see Paris Hilton get better. On the inside, the world was whispering a prayer that that someone would throw a stake through her face instead. House of Wax answered that prayer.
Steven Seagal-Executive Decision
Actor-performer is a generous term for Steven Seagal, it feels more applicable to call him a pretend-Native-American-who-does-martial-arts-while-cameras-roll. He has acted in over 35 films and stubbornly refuses to get any better at it. Yet, even with his illustrious career making movies and his labored musical persuits, Steven Seagal still finds time for love. He made headlines this year when his assistant accused him keeping and abusing sex slaves. The assaults described, while horrific, were considerably more lumbering and awkward than anyone anticipated from an accomplished martial artist. Then again, there are few elegant ways to choke a sex slave. So, on the scale of human decency, Steven Seagal sits squarely behind the chimpanzee that ripped that woman's face off a while back.
"Damnit ape, you're on deadly ground."
What his death in Executive Decision lacks in blood or dying gasps, it makes up for in hilarious prematurity. He dies in the first half of the movie after getting sucked out of a jet midair. He doesn't get to roundhouse anyone or dole out any Native American wisdom; leaving him only with acting to justify his presence onscreen, something he presumably hates because he only does it while wincing. His death is particularly gratifying to watch given the back story of the film's production. Steven Seagal didn't want his character to die, concerned his fan(s) wouldn't like it. Eventually he was forced to do the scene as it was written with the studio threatening a breach of contract lawsuit. Knowing that his death was also a stab at his ego is its own special reward.
Tara Reid-Urban Legend
There's a scene in The Shining when Jack Nicholson kisses a beautiful naked woman in a bathroom before her body decays instantly and she becomes a bloated, festering corpse in his arms. I imagine that's how a lot of teenage boys felt about Tara Reid while using her as masturbation fodder in the late 90s.
You know, I think I'll just do my homework.
Not even meth can destroy a human body as quickly as Tara Reid has destroyed hers. Like a walking D.A.R.E. scare tactic, she is the end result of a life of over-stimulation, except she achieved it in only a few years. Her tireless dedication to impulse earned her the reality show Taradise for a year before audiences lost interest in watching a pie-wagon shaped drunk chicken fight in a pool over and over.
Since the end of her show, she slipped off the radar of intense celebrity hatred. Still, the appeal of watching her hacked to death by an axe still holds up after all this time.