You never know when a gun battle is going to explode right in front of you, while you’re hanging out at the mall, or even while you’re on the job. Some of the best death scenes ever come from innocent bystanders, both on and off the job, and those just happen to be my favorite. Thankfully for late 80s/early 90s cinema, this sort of thing kind of happened frequently. My only complaint is that it doesn’t happen more often now. Here are my personal picks for the Top Innocent Bystander Death Scenes:

5. & 4. Mall Janitor Guy/Security Guy – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991)

The T-1000 isn’t down with people quenching their thirst. When a janitor stumbles around a hallway of the mall, drinking a Pepsi on his break, the T-1000 comes in and empties a clip into his chest. All he wanted was a Pepsi.



Then, when Lewis (a security guard at Sarah Connor’s mental institution) is getting his nightly coffee, the T-1000 pops out of the floor and shoves some metal in his eye.

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3. Hospital Patient Guys/GirlsHard Boiled (John Woo, 1992)

Imagine you just broke your leg and you’re spending some time in the hospital recuperating. I bet you didn’t expect some random gunfire to your chest before bedtime, did you?

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2. Escalator Guy Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven, 1990)

Imagine getting onto an escalator after a busy ride on a subway when all of the sudden a gun battle breaks out right in front of you. Even worse, Arnold just used you as a human shield. Looks like your wife and kids are going to miss you at dinner tonight.

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1. Important Executive Guy – RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987)

I bet when you got that job at OCP, you never thought you’d take 4,000 bullets in your chest during an important board meeting, did you?

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ED-209 is probably the best robot ever in the history of robots. But that’s a story for another time…

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  1. Saimfeld says:

    About #2, what exactly does a “busy ride on a subway” entail? What are the passengers busy with, exactly? Don’t you just stand and hold onto something?

  2. William Goss says:

    Them’s some mighty fine screenshots you got there…

    (Oh, and the picks are cool too.)

  3. Jeremy Knox says:

    I agree with the list, but not the order. Total Recall had a much cooler bystander death than Robocop. Guy didn’t even have a line. Ahnuld just grabs him and uses his body as a human shield after he gets shot a couple times. Hell, he probably wasn’t even dead yet. That’s the best bystander death ever because it’s not just ignored like in other movies, instead the callousness toward human life is amplified a million fold, and I think that’s awesome!

    The only other movie that could have had a cooler bystander death was The Peacemaker with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. Remember at the end when Clooney and Kidman are yelling at a sniper to shoot right through a kid in order to nail the bad guy and sniper won’t do it. Well, if the filmmakers hadn’t pussied out that would have been the best death ever. BOOM! Shoot kid, end movie. Big celebration where everyone gets a medal. Awesome + 1.

  4. Mr B Natural says:

    Great top 5 Mike, creative idea. Plus I fully support any list that endorses Robocop.

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