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"Good" characters with high body counts

In order to save the day, sometimes good guys have to get a little dirt on their hands. And sometimes that dirt is actually blood. Literally gallons of blood. That happens when our so-called "heroes" slash, hack, shoot, and generally eviscerate their way through any number of henchmen. Action movies are generally good for at least a few gory dirt naps, but some go above and beyond when it comes to dealing out death. Here's a list of some "good" characters who have no problem putting their adversaries down for the big sleep.

John Rambo - The Rambo Series

Any one of the Rambo movies qualifies Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo for this list. Described as "a pure fighting machine," Rambo is quite literally the perfect soldier. Using just his hands, he ends many a Vietcong or Russian soldier in either a whisper quiet strangulation or an effortless neck-snapping that's completed with such ease it looks like breaking a stick over a knee. With his survival knife, he not only builds MacGyver-esque death traps and finds landmines, but he literally cuts guys in half like their bodies are made of warm butter. Oh, and he's also alright with weapons. And by "alright" we mean "horrifyingly deadly" to the point where in the last movie, after stealing a giant machine gun, he proceeds to cut down dozens of Burmese militiamen whose bodies explode as if they ate a brick of C4 for breakfast. Great guy to have on your side—a nightmare to have as your enemy.

John Matrix - Commando

If there was a violent action hero commemorative coin, Stallone would be on one side, and Arnold Schwarzenegger would be on the other. Which is probably why they both starred in movies about special ops veterans forced out of retirement to become ruthless one-man armies. Well, that or Hollywood recycles every good idea for eternity. Anyway, Schwarzenegger's John Matrix in Commando definitely lacks the creativity of Rambo's kills, choosing to mostly just gun down his foes, but he does have one inspired scene thanks to an unlocked tool shed, which results in a variety of awful dismemberments. Sadly, however, this was before Arnold's signature lines became a thing, so only once does he pause to smile and say "Como Estas?" before gleefully tasering a guy in the heart. Though, now that we put it that way, that's actually good enough. We'll take it.

Beatrix Kiddo a.k.a. "The Bride" - Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2

The only woman to make this list is Uma Thurman's fantastic ninja assassin character, "The Bride" a.k.a. Beatrix Kiddo, from Quentin Tarantino's epic two-part Kill Bill saga. Armed not only with her master-level Kung Fu skills, but also her "Hatori Hanzo" blade, "Beatrix" takes on a crazy number of skilled fighters, sometimes all at once, or sometimes one-on-one like in the epic showdowns with her former Deadly Viper Assassins. Arguably the most satisfying death—other than "Bill's," of course—would have to be that of Elle Driver, when the Bride blinds her and leaves her convulsing around a trailer with a deadly black mamba snake waiting to finish the job. That's some stone cold satisfying revenge right there.

John McClane - The Die Hard Series

Even though Bruce Willis seems to approach each new Die Hard sequel with an increasing level of resentment and boredom, there was a time he seemed to have a lot of fun playing John McClane. While McClane does get creative with his numerous murders (we all remember the icicle in the eye, right?), he's probably more famous for the way he blithely quips through the mass slaughter of whatever terrorist crew he's accidentally fighting that day. Other action heroes have certainly aped this quality, but nobody really comes close to McClane's snark level, which includes mocking his victims even after they're dead. It takes an especially callous dude to laughably make Santa Claus jokes after emptying a clip into two men, but that's why there's only one John McClane.

Bryan Mills - The Taken Series

Liam Neeson enjoyed a late career resurgence when director Luc Besson discovered that he looks like a total badass elbowing and throat-striking dudes while wearing a leather bomber jacket. That, and some basic parkour, is literally all that comprises the Taken series. Series lead Bryan Mills runs through members of the Albanian criminal underworld like they're some sort of human obstacle course—one that you can only complete with karate chops and knee kicks. He definitely uses a bunch of guns as well, but that's not nearly as cool as chasing a guy off a bridge and watching him get smashed by a truck. That takes an impressive level of choreography.

John Preston - Equilibrium

The futuristic sci-fi movie Equilibrium was so intent on racking up a body count that the filmmakers utilized a Hong Kong filmmaking technique called "Gun Fu" or "Gun Kata," in which the characters physically move and fight like hand-to-hand martial arts, only they're also firing bullets at each other the entire time. Awesome. That would be like if the great white in Jaws had chainsaws for teeth. And he could fly. Anyway, Christian Bale plays John Preston, a cleric who's basically the Jet Li of shooting a bunch of dudes at point blank range super fast. As such, he goes around shooting a bunch of dudes in various situations at point blank range super fast. Trust us: take off your thinking caps and just enjoy the splatter on this one.

Superman - Man of Steel

We can all probably agree that Superman is the ultimate good guy. He generally never kills anyone, even the bad guys, he's powered by the Sun, and he was sent to Earth in part to keep humanity from destroying itself with its own stupidity. So that's why it's a little puzzling that the decision was made for Superman and General Zod to level almost all of Metropolis in their epic fistfight at the end of Man of Steel. Not to mention the dramatic snapping of Zod's neck. That had to make for a real awkward conversation on the car ride home for parents who brought their excited kids to see a superhero movie. Although, in hindsight, explaining that probably beats having to answer the question "Why did Superman murder all those people in those buildings that fell down?" So, yeah, hopefully Batman can rein in the super-rage a little in this next one.

Smith - Shoot 'Em Up

This strange, so-obviously-shot-for-3D adrenaline romp, barely even stops to formulate a plot other than: girl gets chased, guy shoots a million bullets at guys who chased girl. But before the man known only as "Smith"—played so perfectly deadpan by Clive Owen—even starts all that shooting, he sets the tone for the entire movie by slamming a carrot through the back of a guy's throat in a scene that would warm Michael Myers' heart. Smith does most of his killing with a baby tucked under his arm like a football, since the girl that was being chased had a baby and—okay, the plot really doesn't matter. He doesn't even let a sexual encounter get in the way of filling bad guys full of lead. By the way, that encounter hilariously results in a tremendous climax, because what woman isn't turned on by gunplay? This movie is equal parts ridiculous and violent, and we guarantee you'll never laugh so hard at people getting just annihilated. Oh yeah, and the carrot thing? That happens more than once.

Adrian Veidt a.k.a. Ozymandias - Watchmen

This one gets a little tricky for a couple of reasons. First, we know that the events of the movie differ from the comic books, but the slaughter of millions of people happens in both. Second, we know that in the end, Ozymandias ends up being the villain, which might disqualify him as "a good guy," but he doesn't start out that way. More importantly, his diabolical plan arguably saves the entire human race from nuclear destruction, so it's not so cut and dry. What is clear is that probably no other film character has ever single-handedly succeeded in killing that number of people or wiping all of New York City off the map. Ozymandias does both, and he does it with a badass horned lynx by his side, so he gets style points along with the brutality title that makes him win this list.