Everybody loves surprises. Whether it's a birthday party or a sudden financial windfall, surprises are a welcome part of human existence - there to teach us lessons of life, or simply to puncture the tedium of the status quo. The same thinking can be applied to death - not in real-life, of course, but in the movies, where shocking movie deaths are part and parcel of the narrative business, brilliantly explaining to us why it's not wise to walk under falling panes of glass, whilst - at the same time - jolting us out from movie-watching complacency. A truly memorable movie death is often startling or awfully violent. Put the two together, though, and you get something special - a death scene for which you might end up comically uttering the words, "Well, that escalated quickly" (if you weren't already silenced and sickened, of course). In no particular order, then, here are 10 brutally violent movie deaths that took us by surprise...
10. Death By Extraterrestrial Birth - Alien (1979)
Even if years of familiarity have robbed the moment of any surprise, Alien's "chestburster" scene remains a vicious about-face as well as probably the harshest treatment anyone has ever given to Commander of the British Empire John Hurt. But in 1979, when the chestburster scene was fresh, audiences had never seen anything like H.R Giger's Xenomorph creature, and knew even less about its reproductive habits. Thus, the sequence in which the beast escapes from Hurt's body was - back then - enough to reduce cinema-goers to gibbering wrecks. Having seemingly recovered from his meeting with an alien face-hugger, Kane (Hurt) settles down to dinner with his fellow Nostromo shipmates, finally free from the grip of his new extra terrestrial buddy. "The first thing that I'm gonna do when I get back is get some decent food," Kane says, not realising he has a mischievous baby extraterrestrial growing inside of him. Seconds later, and the Xenomorph is bustin' out, using the chest cavity it's just gifted to Kane as an escape tunnel.
Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1