The Worst Sci-Fi Ways to Die
2/19/2013 10:00:00 AM
It’s no secret that I’m a big “Star Trek” fan. The “Trek” universe is chock full of lofty ideals. We humans put aside our petty differences to explore the stars. We don’t solve our problems through violence! We work together to achieve common solutions.
Despite that, people…and aliens…and other entities tend to die horrible deaths. I’ve been kicking them around in my head. Science Fiction presents infinite possibilities…for characters to reach a bad end. With that in mind, here’s my list of the worst sci-fi ways to die.
Eaten by the Visitors
The miniseries “V,” and its sequel “V: The Final Battle” will forever be known for the scene where the human gives birth to the alien baby. I was four years old when it originally ran on NBC, and I do remember having the daylights scared out of me.
“V” is an allegory for the Nazi conquest of Europe. Seemingly benevolent aliens from the planet Sirius arrive on Earth in search of water. In exchange, they say they will cure all diseases. Underneath their human looking exterior, the Visitors are actually lizard-aliens who want to take all the water…and eat the Humans.
Towards the end of “V: The Final Battle,” the character of Daniel Bernstein gets his just desserts. In the original miniseries, he joins up with the “Visitor Youth.” He is so taken with the invaders that he has no problem with turning in his own family.
The Visitor commanders express their gratitude by telling David that they are throwing a banquet in his honor.
“Where will I be,” he asks.
“On a serving platter, of course!”
Daniel is then dragged away, kicking and screaming…presumably to be eaten. You don’t see Danny’s character ever again – leaving it up to the viewer to imagine the horrors that await the boy when he is finally “prepared.”
In “Return of the Jedi,” Jabba the Hutt threatens to throw Luke Skywalker and Han Solo into the Sarlaac, a massive underground creature that slowly and painfully digests its victims over the course of thousands of years.
I’ll let the Star Wars wiki (known as Wookiepedia) explain what happens next:
“After being swallowed by the tongue, the victim made its way into the sarlacc’s stomach to be digested, purportedly being kept alive and slowly digested for a millennium. A strong network of vessels inside the stomach punctured the victim’s skin and muscles and then embedded itself into victims before injecting neurotoxins into them, preventing the victims from escaping and ensuring that they remained immersed in the acidic fluids in the stomach, and attached to the walls of the stomach.
The vessels also provided victims with nutrients to keep them alive while they were digested in agony; sometimes when a victim was in the stomach for a long time period, the sarlacc actually embedded it in the lining of the stomach to make room for other victims it swallowed and to make the stomach stronger so that other victims could not escape.”
Punched in head by Cyborg
“Cyborg Cop” was a terrible movie that ran on HBO in the early 90’s. It contained a scene where the Cyborg Cop punched a guy in the head:
Clearly, the Cyborg Cop didn’t know its own strength.
The “warp core breach” was the most common way to destroy a starship on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Warp drive allows a ship to travel faster than light. In order to generate the tremendous amount of energy required to warp time and space (hence, “warp speed”), ships store massive amounts of matter and anti-matter. The controlled explosion makes warp drive possible. But time after time, matter and antimatter would meet in an uncontrolled fashion, destroying the ship.
On most episodes of “TNG,” it was fairly simple. The special effects people would superimpose an explosion over the model of the unfortunate ship. But the producers went one better when depicting the destruction of the USS Yamato in the second season episode “Contaigon.”
Instead of the garden variety explosion, we get to watch the hull disintegrate, exposing the interior to the vacuum of space.
Again, you live long enough to survive the explosion, only to watch your ship melt around you.
By the way, I hear that scene looks FABULOUS in Blu Ray.
Sacrifice to Mola Ram
If you were a kid with a VCR in the 80’s, you watched the heart scene in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” over and over and over again.
Here’s the long and short, the evil Mola Ram takes a guy’s heart during a human sacrifice. The now heartless victim is lowered into a lava pit where he catches fire. Talk about adding insult to injury.
The Indiana Jones movies are full of terrible deaths. You have the opening of the ark:
And the guy who choose poorly in “Last Crusade”
In fact, I’ll just leave it to the guy who did the “Indiana Jones Body Count.”
Killed by the ED 209
I always feel bad for henchmen. Yes, they chose to work for evil people…but they should be allowed to live long and fruitful lives. Unless you’re in “Robocop,” and you’ve been targeted by ED 209, the crime fighting robot that works a little too well.
Notice all of these movies/TV shows came out in the 80’s. The art of killing people on film has gotten much better. But it is a testament to the power of a child’s imagination that these scenes pack more of a punch than they probably should.