The 5 Worst Ways to Die in Sci-Fi

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 9:55AM
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 9:55AM
The 5 Worst Ways to Die in Sci-Fi
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In space, no one can hear you scream—but that doesn't make dying there any less terrifying. From hallucinating nightmares while being eaten alive to being ripped apart by the birth of a xenomorph, dying in sci-fi isn't for the faint of heart.

We're not even going to touch the mundane causes of death (suffocation from the lack of oxygen, freezing to death, rapid depressurization, etc.)-we're going straight for the worst-case scenarios. These are the five worst ways to die in all of sci-fi.

5. Mutilated by Lasers (Resident Evil)

2002's Resident Evil is a rung above the Doom movie, but it's still pretty unimaginative for a video game movie: an amnesiac badass and a bunch of SWAT commandos have to navigate an underground facility to stop the chronically evil Umbrella corporation from causing a zombie virus outbreak.

Along the way, the team has to battle with the Red Queen, a computer program designed to protect the facility. The Red Queen pulled a GLaDoS and released a poisonous gas to kill the rest of the scientists in the facility, but it has something else for Alice's commando friends: laser limbo.

We imagine that death by laser lattice would be relatively painless, but that doesn't help us sleep at night. Especially the sound it makes when all the cubes of meat fall apart.

4. Black Hole (Various)


Floating into a black hole is probably on the top of the list of things not to do in real life, but it's not the worst fate in science fiction, depending on what your tolerance is for existential questions.

Apart from the ridiculously named spaghettification phenomenon, which would stretch and contort you like a stick of taffy across space-time, there's Hawking radiation, which is a current of hot particles that surrounds the periphery of the black holes.

These two phenomena are more than enough to kill someone, but then things get weird.

Here's the BBC's description of what would happen: "When you reach the horizon, [an observer] sees you freeze, like someone has hit the pause button. You remain plastered there, motionless, stretched across the surface of the horizon as a growing heat begins to engulf you. According to Anne, you are slowly obliterated by the stretching of space, the stopping of time and the fires of Hawking radiation. Before you ever cross over into the black hole's darkness, you're reduced to ash."

That's not the end of the story. According to one theoretical answer to the infamous black hole paradox (which deals with the destruction of information), one version of you would remain alive within the black hole. No one knows what that would be like, but Einstein imagined that it would be like freefalling…forever.

3. Sarlaac Pit (Star Wars)


All things considered, being eaten by a sarlacc combines the worst aspects of being devoured by a giant snake and undergoing the worst LSD trip unimaginable.

02According to C-3PO, Luke and pals would "find a new definition of pain and suffering" within the sarlacc, where they would be "slowly digested over a thousand years."

You might think that a normal victim would die of hunger or thirst after a while, so it's not that terrible, but most fans don't know about the hallucinations.

Depending on who you talk to (and what's still considered canon), a sarlacc can telepathically torture its victims while digesting them, and may even possess a primitive form of sentience that allows it to concoct horrifying, living nightmares for its prey.

Considering Rogue One already showed us one telepathic, tentacled torture monster, we're going to say it's possible.

2. The Infamous Blood Orgy (Event Horizon)

With Event Horizon, we've crossed over into real nightmare territory.

The 1997 film is a cross between Alien, The Shining, and Hellraiser, and thought it doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of plot resolution, what you see on the way is enough to scar most people.

One of the most graphic and terrifying parts of the movie is a scene involving a video log that apparently shows the crew engaged in violent, bloody orgy, including a shot of a crewmember holding up his gouged eyes to the camera and whispering in Latin about Hell.

There's also a short clip of a crewmember either vomiting out his organs or having them pulled out of his mouth. The scene was severely cut down to make sure the movie made it into theaters, which makes sense considering it originally included amputees and porn actors to make the mutilation and sexual elements more "realistic."

As for the all the crucifixion left in the scene, that was pulled off with regular actors. The rest of the film has short bursts of terrifying imagery, but that blood orgy is almost guaranteed to haunt viewers for at least a few weeks.

There have been rumors that a Director's Cut of Event Horizon might someday see the light of the day, but so far the hope has been a forlorn one. It may be for the best, since that small glimpse of Hell is enough to make No. 2 on this list.

1. Xenomorph Birth


The worst way to die in any science fiction medium has to involve Giger's biomechanical masterpiece, the xenomorph.

There's no way around it—from its overtly sexual, mouth-directed impregnation process to its whip-like, barbed tail, the xenomorph is literally dripping with deadly potential. But being ripped apart or decapitated by an adult xenomorph is preferable to birthing one of its young.

The first chestburster terrified audiences by forcing viewers to imagine something growing and writhing inside of them, then rupturing their stomach like a C-section from Hell.

One of the promotions for Alien: Covenant was a VR experience that allowed viewers to re-live the experience from the nascent xenomorph's point of view, and the effect was genuinely stomach-churning (no pun intended).

Covenant took the concept of a chestburster to the next level by introducing backbursters, which force giant white spikes out of their hosts before forcibly expelling their spines.

Either way, the hallmarks of a xenomorph birth remain the same: violent sickness, sharp pains, a desperate appeal to one's crew mates to help you, vomiting blood, screaming, and near-epileptic shaking before a slippery, murderous alien erupts from your torso. We can't think of a worse way to die.
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The 5 Worst Ways to Die in Sci-Fi