Considering just how often slashers find themselves in heated battles against Final Girls or gangs of plucky teenagers, it's no surprise that sometimes, despite the villains' supernatural resilience, they come out on the losing end. Sometimes their deaths are serious and grand, but sometimes they're ridiculous. Here are a few of the dumbest ways that big baddies have met their end.
Killing a slasher with the tools of their own lethal trade has a taste of poetic justice to it, so when Jennifer gets her chance to give Dr. Giggles what he deserves, it feels right. Spilling water on the floor, she proceeds to electrocute the doctor with defibrillator paddles. Since Dr. Giggles was released in 1992, viewers are treated to a '90s classic: terrible CGI electricity.
While it wasn't so painful to watch when the film first released, technological advances have made the special effect glaringly bad to a modern audience. The doctor's high-pitched yelping only makes things more awkward, and it's a relief when Jennifer finally finishes the job, proving herself to be main character material.
Good films play to the strengths of their settings, and great films make the most of them. The 2005 remake of House of Wax is neither, so it does neither. Resolving its climactic conflict by having Carly stab Vincent is dumb because it wastes the film's fantastic setting, the house of wax itself.
Vincent could have drowned in wax. The house could have melted on top of him, sealing him inside. Even Carly just pushing him into a pool of molten wax would have been better imagery and more thematic. Yes, Vincent falls through the wax floor after being stabbed, but by then he's already lost. The house plays no part in his defeat, which is a massive missed opportunity.
Uncle Sam, a nightmarish parody of the classic personification of the United States, dies in a way that's as elaborate as it is ridiculous. Jody keeps Sam occupied while the others fetch a cannon, tow it to the house with a pickup truck, and set it up on the front lawn. They then blast Sam with the cannon, which sets him and the house on fire.
When he marches out of the house ablaze, they shoot him with the cannon again, a shot which inexplicably causes the house to explode as if packed with piles of dynamite. Even by slasher standards, Uncle Sam's death by cannon and exploding house is downright foolish.
While Chop Top chases the family's final victim, Lefty and Leatherface have a chainsaw fight, and Drayton huddles under a table, complaining about the plight of small businesses. Drayton then retrieves a grenade from Nubbins's corpse and detonates it.
While the deaths are not shown, the blast presumably kills Lefty, Leatherface, Grandpa, and Drayton himself. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is somewhere between black comedy and fever dream, so this chaotic finale keeps with the tone of the film. What makes it dumb is the way it dismissively wastes three of the franchise's strongest characters. The canon-ambivalent sequels may have brought Leatherface back, but disposing of the iconic character in this manner in the first place was ridiculous.
Everything about the execution of the final chase sequence in The Nail Gun Massacre is lacking, but particularly egregious is the way in which the killer in the motorcycle helmet dies. Doc, Linda, and the sheriff chase the killer to a textile factory, where the killer flees up a crane and falls to his death.
Given the over-the-top, traumatizing events that have led to this point, dispensing with the killer through a simple fall is anticlimactic. Worse, the fall is performed and shot in such a hammy way that the scene loses all intensity. Even the music undercuts the moment. Wrapping the whole thing up is a canned crunch sound effect and a cheesy top-down shot is the final nail. Nothing here is good.
Friday the 13th, like most classic slasher franchises, becomes more ridiculous with every sequel, drifting away from its more-or-less grounded origin into ever-deeper waters of absurdity. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is one of the most ridiculous entries in the franchise, as its climactic scene shows.
As they flee from Jason through the sewers, Rennie and Sean learn that the sewers flood with toxic waste every night at midnight. Rennie throws a vat of toxic waste on Jason's face, melting it. The waste then rushes through the sewer, striking Jason, which turns him back into the boy he was before the mask instead of melting him. Jason's defeat manages to be inexplicable, boring, and unsatisfying all at once.
Small Paul holds a picture of the Ice Cream King over his face, causing Gregory (the titular Ice Cream Man) to suffer a series of flashbacks to his time as a patient at Wishing Well Sanatorium. Distracted by Small Paul's ploy, Gregory doesn't react in time as his would-be victim activates the ice cream mixer, pulling Gregory in and grinding him up.
The use of the picture as a lure might be forgiven, even if its handling is awkward, but the decision to shoot the moment of Gregory's death in slow motion and accompany it with pyrotechnics from the ice cream mixer is inexcusable. It's not like Ice Cream Man was going to be the height of dramatic cinema regardless, but the handling of Gregory's death turns an already strange conclusion into a laughable one.
Alison vanquishes cultish bad boy Ezekial by throwing him into a flaming corn silo. Execution by flaming corn silo would in itself be enough to make the ending of Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror one of the dumber endings to a supernatural slasher film, but it doesn't end there.
Alison drops a bag of fertilizer into the already massive fire in order to stoke it, and then she bars the flimsy wooden door against the explosion, which miraculously manages to contain it. Ezekial's death is a delicious mix of bad CGI, bad practical effects, and bad story logic, but really the phrase "flaming corn silo" is explanation enough.
1997's Jack Frost features a killer snowman, which already makes it one of the most ridiculous slasher movies ever made. However, it's the manner of Jack's death that really pushes the movie into absurdity.
After being driven back into a furnace by blow dryers, Jack recondenses and makes one last attempt to kill Sam and Ryan. The pair escape after Sam throws antifreeze-infused oatmeal at Jack. Soon after, Jack is tackled into a truck bed full of antifreeze, where he melts. In one of cinema's most thorough attempts to dispose of a slasher villain once and for all, the heroes then bottle Jack in the antifreeze containers and bury him underground.
The only franchise to deserve two entries on the list of the dumbest slasher deaths, Friday the 13th is no stranger to ridiculous endings for its big bad. However, none are quite as dumb as Jason X.
It's the year 2455, and Jason's reign of terror has reached space itself. To facilitate their escape from the nanite-enhanced Voorhees, the crew of the starship Grendel distract the killer with a hologram of Camp Crystal Lake. The explosion of the pontoon as they escape propels Jason towards them, but he is intercepted at the last second by Brodski, and the two burn up upon reentering earth's atmosphere. Horror is full of dumb slasher deaths, but Jason X has one of the finest.