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The most satisfying deaths of hated movie characters

Death is a part of life. It's also a part of movies. It doesn't matter if you're watching an animated kids' film or a gory slasher flick — there's a chance that somebody might die. Sometimes it's a beloved hero, and that always makes us cry. Sometimes it's an evil but awesome villain. In that case, we're glad he's been defeated, but we're still sad to see him go. 

However, not every movie death makes us feel depressed. On certain occasions, we're downright elated to see someone bite the dust. These characters are despicable dirtbags, backstabbing traitors, and over-the-top loudmouths who need to learn a lesson. Perhaps they're major villains — or maybe they're just annoying — but when they finally get killed off, it's oh so very sweet to see them get what they deserve. From smarmy sidekicks who get shanked to blowhard bullies who kick the bucket, these are the most satisfying deaths of hated movie characters. Obviously, there are major spoilers below.

Emil is splattered in sci-fi style

The bad guys in RoboCop are a bunch of sadistic creeps. Led by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), these dudes pillage, plunder, and blow up anybody who gets in their way. And while everybody in the gang deserves Robo-justice, the worst of the bunch has got to be Emil. Played by Paul McCrane, Emil is the slimiest member of Boddicker's crew (and no, we're not just referring to his inevitable death). He cracks joke while terrorizing innocent citizens, spends his free time blowing up private property, and takes a whole lot of pleasure in killing cops. Worst of all, he thinks he's such a badass, when he's really the most pathetic punk on the streets.

Fortunately, Emil has the goriest death in the entire film, when he accidentally drives into a vat of toxic waste. He's covered in radioactive gunk, and he immediately morphs into a melty, mutated, rubbery ghoul. He starts staggering around like a criminal Quasimodo, and evidently, his mom didn't teach him to look both ways before crossing a street. As he's wandering around an abandoned steel mill, Emil is hit head-on by a speeding car, and this bad guy explodes like a big, juicy bug splattering against the windshield. Emil's guts go everywhere, and it's so wonderfully nasty that we can't help but cheer... after we're done gagging, anyway.

Harry Ellis dies hard

Die Hard is a movie filled with jerks who need a good sock on the jaw. There's the obnoxious police chief, the intrusive reporter, and a couple of FBI agents who are way too gung-ho about gunning people down. But the worst of the worst has got to be Harry Ellis (Hart Bochner). He's the ultimate '80s sleazeball — a coke-snorting trader who hits on married women. And when terrorists show up at Nakatomi Plaza, Ellis is only concerned about saving his own skin.

So, while John McClane (Bruce Willis) is busy fighting bad guys, Ellis is doing his best to sabotage the New York cop. This creep tries to convince McClane to return a bag full of detonators to the terrorists (because detonators and terrorists are always a great combo), and he even reveals McClane's identity to Euro-villain Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). Ellis might think he's the world's greatest negotiator, but really, he's just Benedict Arnold with a thing for blow. So when Gruber pulls out a pistol and sends Ellis to kingdom come, the German terrorist becomes our new white knight.

Warden Norton has a lot going through his mind

The Shawshank Redemption is filled with robbers, rapists, and murderers, but the guys behind bars are nowhere near as evil as the dudes running the joint. That's especially true for Warden Norton (Bob Gunton). He's a Bible-toting bully whose number one rule for inmates is "no blasphemy." But running scams, taking kickbacks, and killing people who might expose you? That's totally cool with the warden.

This bespectacled psycho does his very best to make Andy Dufresne's (Tim Robbins) life a living hell. After all, if Andy is exonerated for his crimes, that will expose all the shady things the warden's been doing over the years. Plus, Andy called him obtuse, and the warden really hates that word. So to keep Andy under his thumb, Norton has a poor rockabilly filled with lead and tosses Andy into solitary confinement for months. He even threatens to shut down the prison library, burn all the books, and introduce Andy to some unsavory characters.

Thankfully, Andy finds salvation with the help of a rock hammer, and when he exposes the warden's crimes, Norton has a tough choice to make: serve time at his own prison or see what the barrel of a gun tastes like. Norton opts for a bullet to the brain, and as Morgan Freeman puts it, we "like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him."

Stu goes out screaming

Even if Stu weren't a psycho killer, we'd want somebody to murder this guy. By far the most annoying character in Scream (a movie that also stars Jamie Kennedy), Stu Macher is the highschool clown who isn't funny and won't shut up. Played by Matthew Lillard, Stu is constantly screaming at the top of his lungs, always making incredibly goofy voices, and won't keep his tongue in his mouth. If you looked up obnoxious in the dictionary, his picture would be right there, grinning like a maniac.

Of course, it's made even worse when you realize Stu is one-half of a serial killing duo. Scarier still, this guy doesn't even have a motive. While his psychopathic partner, Billy (Skeet Ulrich), at least has a reason for ripping people up, Stu is just gutting people for the lols. And while he doesn't care about his screaming victims, he is worried about what'll happen when his parents learn about his after-school activities. Fortunately, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) puts an end to the giggling Ghostface by dropping a TV on his head and electrocuting him to death. We only wish it'd happened sooner.

Cypher's plans are tanked

Keanu Reeves is a talented actor who seems to be a genuinely likable dude. Anybody who talks smack about him is automatically on our bad list. And anyone who tries to do him physical harm, well, we're going to take satisfaction in seeing them go down. That's especially true for Cypher, who doesn't just try to kill Keanu — he betrays him, which makes everything so much worse.

A minor villain in The Matrix, Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) is a member of the Nebuchadnezzar, a ship full of freedom fighters dedicated to bringing down the Matrix. But fighting the good fight is difficult. Life outside the Matrix is incredibly hard and extremely dangerous, and after one too many bowls of gruel, Cypher really regrets not taking the blue pill. So when Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) offers him a chance to return to the Matrix, Cypher sells out his buddies over a steak dinner.

After cutting a deal with the bad guys, this cyberpunk Judas straight-up kills three of his crewmates. Then we're forced to watch as the creep slithers all over Trinity's (Carrie-Anne Moss) unconscious body before threatening to pull the plug on Neo (Reeves). Thankfully, that's when Tank (Marcus Chong) shows up to save the day, sending Cypher flying across the ship with a bolt of electricity. That's what you get when you betray your friends for filet mignon.

Commodus is dethroned

Joaquin Phoenix has come a long way since his Gladiator days, but the shadow of Commodus still looms large. It's one of Phoenix's best performances, and radically different from anything he's done since. Commodus is so slimy and repulsive that he makes us feel icky just watching his scenes. And to make it all worse, this creep is running the entire Roman empire.

A whimpering, simpering Caesar, Commodus sees himself as a god, but really, he's just a pervy prince who murdered his own dad. And once he ascends to the throne, he proceeds to make life miserable for everybody. He wants to sleep with his sister (Connie Nielsen) so he threatens to kill her son if she won't share his bed. That right there is enough for us to give this guy the thumbs down, and we haven't even talked about the messed-up stuff he does to Maximus (Russell Crowe). He butchers the guy's family, tries to feed him to tigers, and then literally stabs him in the back before tossing him into the Colosseum.

Fortunately, Commodus' own cockiness is what brings him down. He challenges Maximus to a duel in front of the Roman mob, thinking the wounded gladiator will quickly succumb to his wound. But Maximus is a man who really wants his revenge, and he makes short work of the sleazy Caesar. In fact, he kills Commodus with his own dagger, jabbing the knife into the emperor's throat. Are we not entertained? Oh, don't worry, Maximus. We're very entertained.

Colin Sullivan gets departed

In the world of cops and robbers, there's nothing worse than a rat, and Colin Sullivan is the nastiest rat of all. Played by Matt Damon, Sullivan is the main villain of The Departed, and while this movie is filled with psychopathic gangsters, it's Sullivan who truly deserves a bullet to the brain. He might look like a police officer, but secretly, he works for mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). So whenever the cops get close to busting Frank, Sullivan tips him off so the gangster can get away.

Sullivan also gets a bunch of cops killed, including poor Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio). But what really hurts is that by the end of the film, it looks like Sullivan will get away scot-free. He betrays his boss, is lauded as a hero, and nobody suspects he was secretly a mole for the mob. Sure, his girlfriend (Vera Farmiga) leaves him, but that's a small price to pay for getting DiCaprio killed.

Thankfully, there's one man who knows the truth: Sergeant Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg). Sure, he's retired from the force. And yeah, he can't actually prove Sullivan was working for the mob. But that doesn't stop him from going vigilante. When Sullivan comes home from the grocery store and sees Marky-Mark standing there in his apartment, pistol in hand, that's pure cinematic catharsis. It's rat meets exterminator, and one bullet later, Colin Sullivan has departed for good.

Mrs. Carmody meets her maker

Stephen King loves his religious nutjobs, like Big Jim Rennie in Under the Dome or Margaret White in Carrie. But of all King's freaky fundamentalists, there's none scarier than Mrs. Carmody from The Mist. One moment, she's a nasty old woman you want to avoid in the supermarket. The next, she's a crazed cult leader, inspiring her followers to commit acts of murder.

Of course, that has a lot to do with the supernatural fog that's just rolled up on the local grocery store, trapping a whole bunch of people inside. There are monsters in the mist, and when people are surrounded by tentacled creatures and oversized spiders, they tend to freak out. That's when Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) steps in to take charge. She's always been a hate-filled fearmonger preaching fire and brimstone. But now, with all those things outside, suddenly people are willing to listen.

Mrs. Carmody thinks she's a vessel of God, and she says the end of days is nigh. The only way to appease the Almighty and satiate the monsters, she says, is with a little old-fashioned human sacrifice. First, her frenzied followers toss a terrified soldier into the mist, where he's devoured by the world's biggest praying mantis. But when she wants to kill a little kid, that's when bag-boy Ollie (Toby Jones) defeats the Bible-thumper with a couple of bullets. Granted, the movie gets way darker after her death — that ending, shudders — but for a few brief seconds, we all said a prayer of thanks when Mrs. Carmody met the Lord face-to-face.  

Eli Sunday is finished

Paul Dano is one of the great modern-day character actors. While he's portrayed plenty of likable characters in movies like Swiss Army Man, Love & Mercy, and Little Miss Sunshine, his true talent is playing weaselly villains. He was a vile racist in 12 Years a Slave, an introverted creep in Prisoners, and a pathetic rabble-rouser in Cowboys & Aliens. But his sleaziest performance has got to be Eli Sunday in There Will Be Blood.

A money-grubbing, power-hungry preacher, Sunday revels in the praise of his congregation and cares more about making cash than tending to his flock. Sure, he's pretty skilled when it comes to theatrics, but this false prophet will do anything for a buck — even renounce his own religion. 

But the charlatan signs his own death warrant after "baptizing" oil baron Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis). Years after that humiliating church service, Daniel gets his revenge by beating the preacher to death with a bowling pin. Sure, Daniel Plainview is basically the devil incarnate. And yeah, in the eyes of the law, Sunday didn't deserve to die. But you know what? It sure was satisfying to watch.

Felix and Zee are next

There's nothing worse than entitled, upper-class trust fund babies who hire a bunch of animal-masked mercenaries to murder their entire family. They're just the worst. And while the killers in You're Next are pretty bad dudes, the really despicable ones are Felix, Zee, and — major spoilers — Crispian.

Felix and Crispian Davison (Nicholas Tucci and A.J. Bowen) aren't happy sitting around waiting for their inheritance. So these brothers team up with Felix's girlfriend, Zee (Wendy Glenn) to hire assassins to murder their family members so they can collect all that cash. If that wasn't bad enough, they guys they've hired are slasher villains who kill in incredibly gory ways — like razor wire to the throat — and taunt their victims with Manson-style blood-on-the-wall messages. Seriously, there are nicer ways to kill somebody.

And these losers aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Felix straight-up murders his brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) with every single tool known to man. On top of all that, Zee seems to get off on all these corpses lying aground. Of course, none of them expect Crispian's girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) to be some sort of survivalist ninja. And after dispatching the masked killers, she takes the aristocrats to task, putting a steak knife in Zee's head and turning Crispian into a shish kabob before unveiling the piece de resistance: driving a blender into Felix's head and making a smoothie inside of his skull. It's one of the all-time great horror kills, and it couldn't have happened to a more despicable dude.

The Armitage family gets taken out

Directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out finds Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) trapped in a never-ending nightmare of brainwashing, sadistic surgeries, and super creepy white people. The white folks in question are the incredibly eerie Armitage family. From the moment they step on screen, the parents are a little too friendly, the son is a little too edgy, and they're all a little too weird when black people are around. Sure, they would've voted for Obama a third time, but if they had the chance, they'd probably prefer to slice open his skull.

See, the Armitages aren't your typical casually racist white family. They're members of the Order of the Coagula, a cult that transplants white brains into unwilling black bodies. Chris is their next target, and they put this poor guy through hell. They hypnotize him with tea cups, lock him up with chokeholds, and break his heart with the world's cruelest case of catfishing. But before they can send him to the sunken place, Chris escapes his bonds and goes full Killmonger on the family.

Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) gets a mouthful of deer antlers. Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) has her prized cup smashed before meeting the business end of a knife. Jeremy Armitage (Caleb Landry Jones) loses a jiu-jitsu match and gets his head turned into blood pudding. And finally, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) stops drinking milk long enough to get shot and left to die in the middle of the road. The deaths are gory, grotesque, and so, so great.

Retch gets ravaged

Baby Groot is without a doubt the cutest character in the MCU. He loves dancing, taking naps, and riding around on alien rats. Seriously, who doesn't love this adorable little sapling?

Retch the Ravager, that's who.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Baby Groot finds himself in the middle of a deadly space mutiny. Taserface and his ugly allies have captured Rocket Raccoon, imprisoned Yondu, and tossed his loyal compatriots into space. For a moment, it looks like Groot might get turned into kindling, but Taserface decides the tree is too cute to kill. So Baby Groot is made into the Ravagers' mascot, but these space pirates have a weird way of treating their new pet.

Baby Groot is beaten and berated, hurt and humiliated, and most of the damage comes from Retch (Evan Jones), an especially nasty Ravager who definitely deserves to die. Retch is the one who asks Taserface if he can murder Groot. He then goes on to douse the little tree in beer before kicking the infant across the room. This is child abuse, plain and simple, so it's absolutely fantastic when Baby Groot gets his revenge.

In one of the best Marvel moments of all-time, Yondu retrieves his arrow, Rocket grabs a gun, and the bloodthirsty Guardians wreak havoc on the Ravagers, murdering everyone in sight. And when Baby Groot sees Retch running for his life, the angry little tree grabs his tormentor by the legs and hurls him to his doom. It goes to show that Groot is all bark and plenty of bite.