Hollywood has taught us that some deaths are tragic, some are deserved, and some just make you go "OH, MY GOD HOLY SHIT, YES."

These are the ways we would go, if given the choice. Dying in a blaze of glory may be cool and all, but these folks prove it's always better to die in a blaze of awesome.

Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) in Deep Blue Sea

In an effort to cure Alzheimer's, scientists in an underwater lab inject science directly into the brains of regular sharks. In a twist that for some reason was unexpected by the scientists, the sharks become super smart. They use their new skills to terrorize the research team, who for some reason refuse to let the sharks just escape into the open ocean.

After several reasonably standard shark deaths, including a shark destroying a helicopter, Samuel L. Jackson takes stock of the situation, tells everyone to calm down, and provides an awe-inspiring rallying speeches in the face of disastrous adversity. He spends so much time going face-to-face with adversity, that he neglects to guard his back, which is aimed at the only giant hole in the lab where a super shark may be expected to hang out.

Not surprisingly, he gets his ass eaten by a super shark.

Why it's awesome
If we can't have this exact death (and our line of work makes it unlikely) then we want one in the same category. By that, we mean a death where one glance at the tombstone lets the world know that you were the only person to ever, ever die that way.

Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla) in Bad Boys II

Cuban kingpin Johnny Tapia has a gun to the Fresh Prince's head. How will his partner Martin Lawrence save him this time?

By pulling off a dead-center head shot with a handgun from what looks like 100 feet away at an angle far more likely to pick off his buddy, of course! Martin, you so crazy! Now, a bullet to the brain generally (if not 100 percent of the time) kills a man. But, just to be on the Michael Bay side, Tapia falls backwards onto a landmine and his entire upper torso explodes. Will Smith is, miraculously, unharmed and Michael Bay, even more miraculously, is allowed to keep making movies.

Why it's awesome
If we're ever near the end, we swear we're letting Michael Bay direct our deaths. This is exactly the kind of excessive death to highlight what a man you are. You can just imagine Tapia in the afterlife bragging to some of the thousands other people killed in this comedy.

"Yea, he shot me in the head, no big deal. Woulda walked it off, but then this fuckin' landmine came outta nowhere and blew my upper torso off. I would've used my tongue to drag my disembodied head back to the fight, but then a bear ate my face and someone tossed my dick in a blender, which also exploded."

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface

Tony Montana, armed only with his pride (and several guns), fights against ridiculous odds and, surprisingly, does pretty well for a while.

The constant bullets become too much, however, while the constant swearing just isn't enough. Tony eventually falls to his death and lands majestically in a swimming pool.

Why it's awesome
First of all, an indoor swimming pool? Talk about luxury. More importantly, though, this death is awesome because most scholars still can't agree on which was used more in this scene, bullets or the word "fuck." And when those two items rival each other in terms of gratuitous usage in a single scene, you know you're in for a badass ride. This is how every respectable gentleman should go out. Not at an old age, not peacefully, but taking dozens with him in a shitstorm of bullets and "fuck" words. That is the way to go.

Major T.J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) in Dr. Strangelove

You've been told it's Armageddon; it's USA vs. the Soviets. The nightmare ending to the Cold War. Your country is being bombarded by nukes, the president is dead, all that's left for you is blind retaliation and meaningless revenge.

You arrive at your target, but the bomb-bay doors have jammed. The bomb, the very point of your existence, now lies dormant. What do you do?

Why, you clamber onto the bomb and ride it down like Falkor the luckdragon in The NeverEnding Story.

Why it's awesome
This is all about demeanor. Have you ever ridden a giant bomb straight into the earth? Probably not, but if you did, we're guessing you'd scream in terror all the way down. Anyone can strap a saddle on an A-bomb and plummet to their death, but whooping for joy the whole time? Pure class.

V (Hugo Weaving) in V For Vendetta

V enters a shady-looking tunnel and gets surrounded by guys with guns. He is shot many, many times.

V politely informs his enemies that they will be soundly murdered once they run out of bullets. They fire, run out of bullets and are murdered (soundly). After V willingly accepts this barrage of bullets and murders everyone in a 5-mile radius, he lumbers away.

Why it's awesome
Before V dies of his wounds, he still manages to find his way back to Natalie Portman and a subway car loaded with explosives, the latter which is rammed into Parliament with V on board. Hell, we bet it was the explosion that finally killed him rather than the 10-dozen bullet wounds he was walking around with. We even stayed after the credits to see if it'd show V stumbling out of the Parliament rubble, brushing dust off his sleeves.

We've gotta say, this death has just about everything. Knives, a shit ton of guns, some explosives, Natalie Portman, and some seriously kick-ass lines. Nothing says "I'm a total badass" quite like explaining to someone precisely how you intend on killing them and then doing just fucking that.

When we at Cracked take our vengeance to the streets to achieve some vigilante-style justice, we like to first outline our course of action with a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation. Bullet points before bullets, people. Also, this might be reaching on our part, but given the phallic nature of a subway car, we don't think it's unreasonable to conclude that V (metaphorically) fucked Parliament to death.

Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in End of Days

Arnold Schwarzenegger as ... is that right? "Jericho Cane?" Yikes. What, was "Moses Towerofbabel" taken? Anyway, Jericho "Crucifix" Cane shoots the devil a bunch of times, but then gets possessed by him anyway.

Cane miraculously fights the dark one's power just long enough to leap onto a sword that happened to be in this particular church. Naturally, fire launches from the open wound, the world is saved, the spirit of the Devil is sent back to hell and Arnold collapses, dead.

Why it's awesome
Most people don't get a whole lot done in suicide. In End of Days, Arnold kills himself (even though murder-robots from the future cannot), banishes the Devil to hell for all eternity, and probably sets an Olympic world record for his unnecessarily long leap onto the sword. It's a little depressing that Jericho Cane accomplished more in his 12-second death than we at Cracked did ... well, ever. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the James Brown of killing yourself.

Louis del Grande (The Last ConSec Scanner) in Scanners

We've included this clip sans expository dialogue or any setting of scene because, really, who cares? This guy could have been anyone doing anything, and this would still be a cool death, because having your head explode is always fucking awesome.

Why it's awesome
Do we seriously need to explain it? Think of it this way. If a bunch of people are hanging out swapping stories, each of them trying to tell a more interesting story than the person before them, it is a stone-cold-motherfucking fact that whoever's story features the punch line "and then his fucking head exploded" will be the winner, hands down. There just isn't any topping that.

"Oh, you're brother got a full scholarship to Harvard? That's cool. My brother was attending the local community college and then his fucking head exploded."

"Really, Al, the Nobel Peace Prize? That's pretty impressive. Did I tell you about my old boss? Earl? Funny story. Last spring, he was promoted to District Branch Manager, but not before his fucking head exploded."

See? Here, stories otherwise boring are rendered legendary with the exploding-head attachment. That's why Scanners is No. 1 for quite possibly the first time ever, in any category.

Join the Cracked Movie Club

Expand your movie and TV brain--get the weekly Cracked Movie Club newsletter!

Forgot Password?