15 Movie Characters I Was Glad to See Die

Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm
By Shane Rivers

There are plenty of annoying movie characters out there, but some are so downright loathsome that I get absolutely giddy when they bite the dust. Maybe I hate them because of an amazing performance on the part of the actor or actress, or maybe they just found an unintentional way to get on my bad side. Whatever the case, their deaths confirm that some amount of justice does exist in the world of Hollywood (with the exception, of course, of Jar Jar Binks). I now present 15 Movie Characters I Was Glad to See Die.

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Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone) from Casino

How She Died: Drug overdose, possibly arranged by the mob

Ginger McKennaWhy I Rejoiced: Ginger starts the movie as a small time hustler, and it’s pretty much all downhill from there. After marrying Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert DeNiro), her drinking increases, her spending increases, and she still finds time to occasionally have sex with her sleazy pimp/hustler ex-boyfriend (James Woods). She ties her own daughter to a bed at a point, just to make sure the child doesn’t get into any trouble while she goes out for a drink. And to top it all off, she begins banging the psychotic Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and has the nerve to ask him to murder her husband. Stone is great in the role, playing Ginger as a beautiful but inherently damaged individual. Bad wife, bad mother, bad person…her death near the end of the movie was more than welcome.

Kia Waterson (Kelly Rowland) from Freddy vs. Jason

How She Died: Hit by machete/propelled into tree

Why I Rejoiced: The sassy best friend of the film’s lead heroine, Kia’s the type to have a condescending remark for everything. Of course, Kelly Rowland’s limited acting talents only serve to make the character even more annoying than originally intended. Her late-in-the-film act of redemption is a day late and a dollar short, as she draws Freddy Krueger’s attention to buy time for the lead protagonists. She weakly taunts everyone’s favorite glove-wearing burn victim with insults that wouldn‘t even pass muster on a school playground, but God bless Robert Englund for trying his best to play along. Luckily, Jason Voorhees shows up and quickly ends the exchange. In addition to being fatally whacked with Jason’s machete, Kia is thrown through the air by the impact and slams violently into a nearby tree. Oh, no he didn’t!

Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley) from The Devil’s Rejects

How He Died: Shot to death while speeding towards a police roadblock

Why I Rejoiced: A total psychopath who liked raping women, killing them, and then raping them some more, Otis was cast as one of the “heroes” of The Devil’s Rejects. Actor Bill Moseley made him more than one dimensional, but you just knew Otis was going to have to pay for his heinous deeds. Besides getting gunned down in the film’s Skynyrd-laden finale, it was also satisfying to see Otis get his ass handed to him by crazy-eyed bounty hunter Billy Ray Snapper (Diamond Dallas Page). There’s little doubt that the former albino had it coming.

Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) from Miller’s Crossing

Bernie BernbaumHow He Died: Shot to death by a man he betrayed

Why I Rejoiced: One of the biggest weasels in film history, Bennie Bernbaum was a crooked bookie with a habit of double-crossing his friends. This gets him in dutch with a mob boss who order Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) to carry out a hit on Bernie at the lonely stretch of woods known as Miller’s Crossing. Not one to go quietly, Bernie begs for his life like no man (or woman) has ever begged before. It’s so pathetic, in fact, that Tom decides to let him go. But true to his nature as a total rat, Bernie promptly returns to town and tries to blackmail Tom into killing the mobster who ordered the killing in the first place. It’s oh-so-satisfying when Bernie finally gets what’s coming to him.

David (Dylan Moran) from Shaun of the Dead

How He Died: Torn apart and eaten by zombies

Why I Rejoiced: David is the flatmate of Shaun’s girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), and he also harbors feelings for the cute blonde. This results in him belittling both Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his plans whenever possible, and nobody likes the supporting character who tries to screw over the hero. But the clincher comes when Shaun’s sweet mother, Barbara (Penelope Wilton), gets bitten by the undead. Instead of showing the least bit of compassion, this faux-intellectual is all for promptly blowing her brains out. From that moment on, you absolutely know that David is doomed to die in a manner most foul. He does, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) from The Mist

How She Died: Shot to death by the “other” Truman Capote

Why I Rejoiced: As the residents of Bridgton, Maine huddle inside a supermarket to escape a strange mist filled with otherworldly creatures, one local resident begins to wave her Bible and talk about the apocalypse. Before long, the self-righteous Mrs. Carmody has quite the congregation, but things turn nasty when she claims that God is demanding a human sacrifice (specifically the young son of the film’s hero and a smoking‘ hot local schoolteacher). Luckily, the store’s assistant manager (Toby Jones) comes to the rescue, popping multiple caps into her God-fearing ass. Who knew the local supermarket could be so dangerous?

“Steamboat Willie” (Joerg Stadler) from Saving Private Ryan

Steamboat WillieHow He Died: Shot to death by a soldier with “rat paws”

Why I Rejoiced: The lone German survivor of an attack by our heroes, “Steamboat Willie” expresses a fondness for American things like Betty Grable, Betty Boop and the Walt Disney cartoon that grants him his nickname. After begging for his life (“F**k Hitler!”), and being at the center of a heated controversy between the American soldiers, he’s blindfolded and allowed to leave (on the condition that he turn himself in to the next American patrol he comes across). That never happens, as he’s rescued by his own side and turns up in the film’s climatic battle. He seals his fate by gunning down Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks), an action which causes him to be killed soon thereafter by one of Miller’s men (the cowardly Timothy E. Upham).

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) from the Saw series

How He Died: Throat sliced with a power saw

Why I Rejoiced: Even though he’s still showing up in flashbacks, I was happy to see Jigsaw die simply because it meant reduced screen time for the already tiresome movie villain. While I’m certainly happy for the success actor Tobin Bell has enjoyed with the trap-oriented character, the gimmick got old long ago. How this franchise continues to be profitable is beyond me.

Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton) from The Shawshank Redemption

How He Died: Put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger

Why I Rejoiced: Completely uninterested in the innocence of lead character Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), the corrupt prison warden is far more concerned with lining his pockets through various unethical schemes. Once Andy becomes his personal money launderer, Warden Norton is even willing to have an inmate murdered to keep him behind bars. Hiding behind his Bible and a smug sense of superiority, Norton is completely oblivious to Andy’s scheme to escape and gain revenge. When his misdeeds are finally exposed, the warden takes the easy way out and eats a hot lead sandwich.

“Jungle” Julia Lucai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) from Death Proof

Jungle JuliaHow She Died: Torn apart in a head-on car crash

Why I Rejoiced: The ultra-pretentious disc jockey for an Austin radio station, Jungle Julia likes to talk about the kind of meaningless, faux-hipster stuff that only Quentin Tarantino could come up with. After boring the audience to death for what seems like hours, this leggy Amazon finally meets her maker when Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) intentionally rams her and her friends in a head-on collision. Strangely, Julia’s leg doesn’t look nearly as attractive when it’s severed and flopping on the asphalt, but at least it shut her the hell up.

Caine “Kaydee” Lawson (Tyrin Turner) from Menace II Society

How He Died: Shot multiple times in a drive-by, yo

Why I Rejoiced: Caine robs, steals, murders and even refuses to take care of his own child, and he’s the film’s protagonist! Word has it that the psychotic O-Dog (Larenz Tate) was added to the script to make Caine’s character seem more sympathetic. It’s didn’t work. I suppose I was meant to feel sorry for this young man trapped in an endless spiral of violence, but his demise by the film’s end felt like just desserts to me.

Gollum aka Sméagol (Andy Serkis) from The Lord of the Rings trilogy

How He Died: Fell into a volcano

Why I Rejoiced: He looked like a toad, talked funny, and none of his scenes involved Gandalf kicking someone’s ass. By the end of the trilogy, I was frankly sick of Gollum, Sam, Frodo, and their entire moping quest. That made it particularly satisfying when the vile little bugger known as Gollum finally grabbed his “Precious” and got charbroiled by the volcanic fires of Mount Doom. Fire burnses, don’t you know.

Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth) from Rob Roy

Archibald CunninghamHow He Died: Eviscerated in a dual with Liam Neeson

Why I Rejoiced: With his wig and frilly clothes, Archibald Cunningham might as well have been known as Mr. Fancy Pants. And if his fashion choices weren’t bad enough, the Scottish sociopath also raped the wife of Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) and murdered the chieftain’s right hand man (Eric Stoltz). Walking around with a sneer throughout the whole film, he finally gets his comeuppance during a climatic duel with Liam Neeson. Too bad he didn’t see Taken, or he would’ve known not to f**k with Liam Neeson, regardless of the time period.

“Long Hair” Asa Watts (Bruce Dern) from The Cowboys

How He Died: Dragged to death by a horse

Why I Rejoiced: He shot John Wayne in the back. Need I say more? There’s a special place in Hell for guys who kill The Duke. That’s why cancer will eventually go to Hell.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) from Full Metal Jacket

Gunnery Sergeant HartmanHow He Died: Shot in the chest by Pvt. Pyle

Why I Rejoiced: Charged with getting young Marines ready to serve in Vietnam, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is the drill instructor from hell. He takes special interest in riding one solider, an overweight young man nicknamed Pvt. Pyle (as in Gomer Pyle). Whether he’s humiliating Pyle in front of his fellow soldiers, physically assaulting him, or punishing the entire group for his mistakes, Hartman makes Pyle so miserable that he just flips right out of his overweight skull. Hartman berates the soldier right up until the end, but a single round from Pyle’s M14 rifle forever silences the Gunnery Sergeant’s protests. Oorah!