Off With Their Heads: The Best Horror Movie Decapitations

Marie Antoinette practically made losing your head in vogue and my how it’s lasted through the years! Undoubtedly one of the worst ways to go, our favorite genre films kept rolling (ha!) with the punches, supplying one gratuitous decapitation after another. And how we love them!

1. The Omen (1976) – Without a doubt, the greatest decapitation scene brought to celluloid, David Warner’s infamous death left audiences in horror rapture.

2. Friday the 13th – Mrs. Vorhees’ gruesome decapitation really needs no introductions. It would have come in first, if the Omen hadn’t of been so damn GOOD.

3. Blood Diner (1987) – “Ever heard of battered girlfriends,” is the question Mike Tutman poses before he deep fries his victim’s cranium and when she’s breaded to perfection, he knocks it off with a broomstick! It brings new meaning to the words Hush Puppy!

4. Halloween H20 (1998) – Perhaps the most shocking beheading, originally Laurie was to have ended Michael Myer’s reign with a swift axe move. Unfortunately, the box office dictated otherwise, and it turns out Michael’s baby sis had accidentally killed an innocent man. It’s still one of the best should-have-been endings of any franchise series.

5. Prom Night (1980) – Heads literally roll in this silly and endlessly enduring slasher classic. Lou, the school bully literally loses his mind when his ex wins Prom Queen. He decides to rain on her parade though and his noggin ends up on the dance floor during the festivities. Ah Lou, we hardly new ya!

6. Hide and Go Shriek (1988) – As if it wasn’t enough that poor Kimmy had to wear stonewashed denim shorts, she’s also beheaded in a nasty elevator mishap. Then to add insult to injury, her head gets kicked by a potential victim attempting to get away!

7. Trauma (1993) – Horror master Dario Argento crafts a fun, if not mind-blowing, movie all about losing one’s head. Best scene – a recently beheaded man speaks moments before the end. Creepy.

8. Nightmare (1981) – If watching heads getting cut off is your bag, check out the underrated grindhouse classic The Nightmare Never Ends. There’s only one beheading but it’s played over and over again with such gratuitous and gleeful gluttony, it’s a memorable experience. Aka Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

9. Macabro (1980) – Not only do you get an awesome decapitation (in slow mo no less!), Macabro is all about the noggin. Literally. When a philandering wife loses her lover’s head, she loses her mind. A must see.

10. Madman (1982) – An underrated slasher, Madman goes as far as to decapitate a woman via a truck hood, leaving a little gift for the next hapless victim!

Honorable Mention: Getting you block knocked off

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – Jason punches Julian’s head off his shoulders and off the building!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) - Klown exacts revenge on bully. YAY!

Deadly Friend (1986) - Kristy Swanson commits a foul against Anne Ramsey during a not-so-spirited game of basketball

Se7en (1995) – You never see the decapitation, but I’ll be damned if you don’t remember Kevin Spacey’s little gift to Brad Pitt.

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28 Responses to “ Off With Their Heads: The Best Horror Movie Decapitations ”

  1. I looooooove this list!!!! Great job Amanda! Hard to believe, but you are correct that THE OMEN has still never been topped! Something about that slo-mo from different angles…It’s still jaw-dropping incredible. Thanks, you made my day, I’m a card carrying fan of decapitations!!!!

  2. I thought of one more honorable mention… That head in the aquarium in EYES OF A STRANGER!

  3. That makes me think of the head in the aquarium in He Knows You’re Alone. This list might need a sequel (or perhaps just a list of heads in fishtanks!).

    Thanks for reading!!!

  4. nice list! but i think these need to be on there: Maniac and Prowler shot gun to head explosions! Chopping Mall’s laser beam head decap!

  5. I’m telling you… a part 2 is in the works! Just you wait!

    I think when I made the list, I was thinking of the more traditional decapitations because those never came to mind. I’ve got my wheels spinning now!

  6. “The Omen” is obviously the best choice so good call. I would have like to have seen “Deadly Friend” make the main list, love the basketball scene!

    “Sleepaway Camp III” has a great decapitation. And even if the rest of the movie was kind of weak, a woman’s head being used as a soccer ball in “Hostel Part II” was a neat moment.

  7. Pretty good list! I’m glad to see Madman was on there….definitely a very underrated slasher. That decapitation is my favorite kill in the entire movie.

  8. Has everyone forgotten that awesome elevator scene in “Final Destination 2″…that was hysterical, mean spirited, and funny!

  9. When I play “Drinking Slasher Movies”, we do 2 drinks for a decap, 3 for a decap-head rolls.

  10. For shame, kind maiden, for not laying down on thy scroll “House on Sorority Row”. Perhaps I should offer up a dueling article to address thy foolishness. Verily!

  11. What about the poor gimp in Don’t Go in the Woods? Poor guy spends most of the film wheeling himself up the mountain, only to get the big chop when he reaches the top.

  12. great selection very fucking nice ho a gote a question wer i can find MADMAN, blood dinner,Hide and Go Shriek en nightmare en macabro

  13. Oh…and of course the unforgettable head in the toilet from “Curtains”

    Think it’s time for a sequel Amanda…might I suggest the title “Not Enough Head the First Time Around” ??

  14. Bear, I think you’re on to something! I think I’ll make a fan favorites list and mention you all in it!

  15. One of my most favorite scenes is in The Intruder when the killers is walking around with a decapitation head in one hand and eating a sandwich in the other. Priceless.

  16. Great article by the way, Sunshine.

  17. i think though one of the best modern decapitations has to be in Wrong Turn Part 1,Emmanuelle Chirriqui’s death scene left me stunned!

  18. The funniest one that I can think of is from ,The Lift.When a security guard gets his head pinched off by a deadly elevator in a hillarious scene.

  19. I just can’t believe no one has mentioned Dawn of the Dead. Big headed zombie meets helicopter blades…splatter!

  20. Hey, so I’ve been making lists on this site for a while and ran into this one. I love me a great horror list, and thought that this one deserved to be video. For anyone who hasn’t seen these gems here’s this same list only with videos for almost every item item….freaking…awesome.

  21. Hey, so I’ve been making lists on this site for a while
    and ran into this one. I love me a great horror list, and
    thought that this one deserved to be video. For anyone who
    hasn’t seen these gems here’s this same list only
    with videos for almost every item…freaking…awesome.

  22. Doh, misclicked and double posted. Btw here’s the URL–best-horror-movie-decapitations/pt_tesla

  23. You forgot Dick-O- Neal’s demise in “Wolfen” you can actuly see the mouth on the severed head move.

  24. The decapitation with a piece of funrniture in High Tension is a real bleeder.

  25. Hey, did you guys know that the Omen’s production was plagued with so many problems that many think that it was cursed???

  26. i cant believe that nobody has mentioned the oh so slow machete decapitation from the The Exterminator -

  27. or the one from american werewolf in london for that matter lol

  28. Oh God, yes that Se7en “beheading” was one of the most intense scene in the movie. You couldn’t see it, but you know damn well John Doe did it! and the impact is very powerful!

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