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The Nastiest Decapitations in Horror Movies

Updated November 6, 2017 4.5k votes 768 voters 64.4k views27 items

List RulesVote 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. 
  • 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. 
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  • 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.
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    A Busload of Decapitations in "Tag (Riaru Onigokko)"

    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.
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  • Video: YouTube
    Character Who Loses Their Head: Medic
    Being trapped in a giant, underground military research lab full of zombies is never good. When four characters in that situation find themselves locked in a glass corridor with massive metal doors at either end, you know something really bad is coming. And come it does, in the form of lasers. It's not just Medic who gets sliced-and-diced, but she's the sole decapitation, and her head slides off her neck so cleanly you almost wanna admire it.
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