Graveyard Shift The Nastiest Decapitations in Horror Movies  

Christopher Myers
1.5k votes 349 voters 38k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the most gruesome and all around nastiest decapitation scenes in horror films from any era.

Decapitation is an age-old staple of the horror genre. It's is a quick, visceral, sensationalist way to kill a character that can both shock and satisfy and audience. The effectiveness of decapitations as a cinematic trick has touched all action-oriented genres in the 21st century, as filmmakers who started in horror and moved to the mainstream brought their severed heads with them (looking at you, Peter Jackson). And besides, who doesn't want to see a head get popped like a cork?

A list of horror characters who get decapitated could run for days. Here you will find some of the best, and nastiest, horror film decapitations. These are memorable scenes, mostly from quality movies, and will shock and awe you. They range from terrifying to ridiculous, and all flavors in between. Some will leave you questioning humanity, others will have you laughing uproariously. Pick your favorite and vote up the all-time nastiest horror movie decapitations.

WARNING: Spoilers and heinously NSFW videos ahead. 
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Character Who Loses Their Head: Billy

As gory as it is, Billy's death is more mercy killing than murder. When you are hemorrhaging blood from your stump-hand over a giant meat grinder as you slowly turn into a vampire, an ax to the throat isn't so bad. That's one way to cure vampirism. Billy probably welcomed it as a way out of his predicament. 

Warning: As you can probably surmise from the scene description, the video is extremely gruesome. 

Also Ranked

#56 on The Greatest Horror Films of All Time

#88 on The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

#4 on The Best Snowy Thriller Movies, Ranked

#19 on The Best Comic Book Movies Rated R

102 26
Is this nasty?
see more on 30 Days of Night
2 103 VOTES

A Busload of Decapitations in "Tag (Riaru Onigokko)"

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Character Who Loses Their Head: Everyone but Mitsuko
 

Tag is a uniquely Japanese existential slaughter fest. What's it about? Well, to quote IMDb, "A girl's [Mitsuko] life cascades into chaos as everyone around her suffers a gruesome fate while she herself becomes less and less certain of who she is and what kind of a world she lives in."

At one point in the film, a busload of school girls is traveling on their merry way when Mitsuko drops a pen. She bends down to pick it up at just the right time. While she is crouched, a strong gust of wind cleaves off the top half of the bus, decapitating everyone in it save her.
84 19
Is this nasty?
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
Character Who Loses Their Head: Billy
 
This decapitation is a classic fake out. The character marked for death is saved from a speeding train at the last second by a friend. Unfortunately, for Billy, a stray piece of scrap metal stuck under the train flies up and slices his head off as the train passes. C'est la mort.

Also Ranked

#25 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

#37 on The Greatest Horror Films of All Time

#13 on Rainy Day Horror Movies You Can Watch Again And Again

#3 on The Scariest Movies Set in Schools

68 12
Is this nasty?
see more on Final Destination
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
Character Who Loses Their Head: Norris
 
It isn't often that a head decapitates itself. But then, The Thing isn't your average movie, and that's exactly what happens here, as the assimilated Norris's head attempts to escape from the flamethrower after he removes his own noggin. The mutant, severed head is eventually brought to justice, though.

Also Ranked

#95 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#91 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#39 on The Best Horror Movie Franchises

#12 on The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

67 12
Is this nasty?
see more on The Thing