Let’s face it, there is nothing more satisfying than watching a film’s villain fall to their death. In the history of cinema, villians have fallen off cliffs, skyscrapers, bridges, space stations, radar dishes, volcanoes and all sorts of other crazy shit. Throughout the years, falling to your death special effects have advanced significantly. In the days of Alfred Hitchcock, falling death effects were achieved with a clever mix of matte paintings, rear projection shots, dummies, and clever editing. These days chroma key technology, computer generated “digital doubles” and other technological advancements have refined movie falling death scenes to a fine art form. But with so many death falls, it’s hard to sort out the best. Here’s a special guide to
The Top 5 Bad Guy Death Falls
5. Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon in Star Trek III
Captain James T. Kirk has had a bad day. His ship is destroyed, his son is dead, and his best friends have literally lost their minds. So when Klingon Captain Christopher Llyod tries to pull him into a huge pit of lava, he has no choice but to face kick him to his death. “I…have had enough…of YOU!!!”
4. 006 in Goldeneye
Alec Trevelyn and James Bond were once best friends—good old 006 and 007. But when Alec decides to become an evil supervillian, 007 has no choice but to drop him off a radar dish and watch him go splat.
3. Emperoror Palpatine
The evilest dude in the entire galaxy gets thrown down an elevator by his own apprentice, Darth Vader.
2. Fry in Saboteur
Hitchcock was the pioneer of the bad guy death fall. The combination of rear projection and matte shots used to produce the effect of the film’s villain tumbling from the Statue of Liberty is still impressive thanks to HIitchock’s nailbiting pacing. View a clip here.
1. Alan Rickman in Die Hard
Hans Gruber’s fall from Nakatomi Plaza at the climax of Die Hard is perhaps the seminal blue screen bad guy death. Couldn’t find a good clip of it on the net, but it’s on TV all the time and always in the Wal Mart DVD bargain bin.