The 20 Best Michael Myers Kills Ranked

In his 43-year-long career, Michael Myers has killed 121 people on screen, and he's only getting started. Poised to murder dozens more with the release of the aptly titled "Halloween Kills" this October, few genre icons, if any, are as ceaselessly bloodthirsty as Michael. An unstoppable icon whose kills are more grounded than those of other slasher icons — there are no cryogenically-smashed heads or marionette murders here — Michael is the perennial monster in the closet, unknowable and unstoppable.

Here, we're counting down 20 of Michael's best, grisliest, and gnarliest kills. The only qualification is that the kill needs to have occurred on screen. As good as some of the off-screen kills are — including the gory carvings in David Gordon Green's "Halloween" — the audience doesn't actually see them. As such, they're ineligible for entry. Look, Michael's kills are very serious business around these parts. Let's begin.

20. An Oscar-winner's death — Halloween 2

Rob Zombie's "Halloween" and his creatively titled sequel, "Halloween 2" are, if nothing else, brutal. Less homage to and more antagonization of the "torture porn" horror films that dominated the early '00s, Zombie's remakes are unflinchingly violent, with Michael less an omnipresent boogeyman and more an indestructible, Brobdingnagian killing machine. Seriously, Michael Myers is enormous in these movies, framed with the same sense of scale and awe as one of Spielberg's T-rexes.

The sequel to Zombie's critically maligned but horrifically profitable remake, "Halloween 2" starts with a condensed retread of the original "Halloween 2" before becoming its own polarizing thing. The beginning, then, sees survivor Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor Compton) transported to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Once there, she's treated and sedated. 

Michael, though, tracks her down quickly, and as Laurie traipses through the empty halls, a nurse played by Oscar-darling Octavia Spencer stumbles around a corner. She's bleeding severely and collapses just as Michael appears behind her. Wasting no time, he slams his knife into her back, not once, but a dozen times. It's squishy overkill, but it's effective, emblematic of Zombie's ethos that, while he can't top the original, he can at least make it entirely his own.

19. The electric slide — Halloween 4

Poor Bucky. More than both Jason and Krueger, Michael Myers seems hellbent on killing blue collar workers. Custodians, gas station attendants, EMTs — if they're working in uniform, they have targets on their backs. Such is the case with Bucky, the electrical worker played by Harlow Marks in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers." Michael, as the title suggests, has returned to Haddonfield, this time in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) after Laurie Strode's canonical (in this timeline, anyway) off-screen death by dint of an auto accident.

Bucky is working at the Haddonfield power plant when Michael inexplicably appears. He grabs Bucky and throws him into a transformer. Bucky is instantly zapped. He squirms and screams as sparks abound. Then, Haddonfield is thrown into darkness. It's a quick kill of a bit character, but it works in service of both Michael's dramatic return home and in giving Michael another notch in his belt. As always, it's nice when it isn't a knife.

18. Impaled on a fence — Halloween

Oscar is not great. Drew Scheid is a talented actor, but his character in David Gordon Green's "Halloween" is just too irritating. He's loud, brash, and even rubs his nasty lip crust on friends at school. He's not comic relief. He's just a nuisance until his inevitable demise.

While walking home with the final girl and Strode granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), Oscar makes a move. He leans in for a kiss, certain that Allyson, reeling from her boyfriend's perceived unfaithfulness, is ready to reciprocate. She isn't. She shoves him away and insists that he find his own way home. He does, cutting through — in a cute homage to the original "Halloween" — Mr. Elrod's backyard, now equipped with motion lights. Michael appears, and Oscar presumes (on account of his intoxication) that it's simply Mr. Elrod. 

Unnerved enough to leave, Oscar stands. When the lights turn on again, Michael is right in front of him, knife in hand. He slashes and chases Oscar down before the teen is finally impaled, chin-first, on a wrought iron fence. It's a gory, bloody death, augmented by one of the best tracks from John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies' revamped soundtrack.

17. A genre icon dies — Rob Zombie's Halloween

No one is immune from overkill in Rob Zombie's first "Halloween" remake, not even genre stalwart Dee Wallace (yes, the mom from "E.T."). Speaking with Forbes, Rob Zombie remarked that making "Halloween" was a "miserable experience," largely on account of interference from the Weinstein brothers. Still, Zombie's distinct visual and narrative style breaks through intermittently, and his regard for the icons of the genre's past is clear.

Wallace plays Cynthia Strode, Laurie's adoptive mother. Once Laurie has left to babysit Tommy Doyle, Cynthia and her husband, Mason (Pat Skipper), pass out candy to straggling trick-or-treaters. Cynthia heads inside. Once she does, Michael appears and murders Mason. He drags him inside and corners Cynthia. He throws her onto a glass table and shoves a photo of Laurie into his face. Her maternal instincts in full swing, Cynthia begs for Michael to leave her baby alone. Michael, always a recalcitrant killer, isn't wont to listen. Instead, he stabs her off screen, snaps her neck, and leaves her for dead. It's a brutal, efficient kill punctuated by a great jump scare when Michael first appears.

16. Thrashed — Halloween 6

Poor Danielle Harris. Despite appearing in four Halloween movies, there was a period of time (namely between "5" and "6") when she couldn't catch a break. Rather than reprising her role as Jamie Lloyd in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers," the part was recast with J.C. Brandy. That's probably for the best, since Jamie's role in the film amounts to little more than a glorified cameo.

Jamie has been kidnapped by the Cult of Thorn and forcefully impregnated. She gives birth to Michael's child, but manages to escape with help from a sympathetic nurse. She flees from Michael and, in a clever bait-and-switch, swaps her child out with a bundle of paper towels, stowing the baby safely away at a bus depot. 

Michael tracks Jamie to an abandoned farm, and upon catching up to her, impales her on a corn thresher. She is violently ripped apart as a storm rages outside. It's a strong kill both visually and thematically and, for better or worse, puts an end to Jamie Lloyd's story.

15. Pinned to the pantry — Halloween

All Bob wanted to do was sneak out and spend some alone time with girlfriend, Lynda (P.J. Soles). Look, it was tough being a teenager in the late '70s. The only place to have sex was the bedroom of the parents of the kids your girlfriend's best friend happened to be babysitting. That was it. There were no other options.

As such, Bob and Lynda do, in fact, have sex in the upstairs bedroom of the Wallace household. Afterwards, Lynda asks Bob for a beer. Luckily, there were plenty downstairs. Why the couple unpacked in the house like they were living there isn't explained. 

Anyway, Bob traipses downstairs for a brew and thinks he hears someone. He opens the pantry, but it's empty. He then opens the other door behind him, and when he does, Michael appears, stabs Bob in the chest, and pins him to the door several feet off the ground. It's a memorable death, one that Rob Zombie recreated in his remake, and despite its shaky physics, it's a fun, quick, scary kill.

14. Rachel bites it — Halloween 5

"Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers" is aptly titled. Now that Michael has returned, he is out for revenge. And he's going to get it. Full stop. Rachel (Ellie Cornell) was lucky to survive the events of the previous movie alongside her adopted sister, Jamie. Unfortunately, she didn't know that she was going to be replaced as the lead by Tina (Wendy Kaplan) in the sequel.

Rachel is at home showering when she is notified by the authorities that Jamie has had some kind of psychic premonition regarding her death (it's never really explained). It's genuinely suspenseful as Rachel wanders through her home, the audience unaware of whether Michael is there ready to strike. Ostensibly a false alarm, things settle down when Rachel enters an upstairs bedroom — and then Michael appears from behind the door and kills her.

It's a quick death, one that mostly occurs off screen, but it's effective. The build-up is strong, exhibiting the kind of slow tension the Halloween series slowly abandoned over time, and the death genuinely hurts. Admittedly, it was likely the wrong decision to kill Rachel this early — if it all — but as it stands, it's one of the most affecting deaths in the series.

13. Through the windshield — Halloween 2

As previously noted, Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2" is a mixed beast. Quasi-supernatural, the prologue is a truncated version of the original, while the final act largely abandons supernatural hooey for sheer, brutal slaughter. Scout Taylor Compton's Laurie Strode has just discovered that she's Michael's sister, and after her friends are unceremoniously slaughtered for being friends with the wrong person at the wrong time, she escapes.

While running, she encounters Sean Whalen's Becks on the road. He offers her a ride, and Michael appears. Michael throws Becks through the windshield and then flips the car, Laurie still inside. It's a goofy exhibition of Michael's strength — he literally lifts a car — but it's a frenetic scene, one in which the chaos augments the horror. Michael is truly unstoppable here. From what's been evinced from the trailer, it appears to be an early template for what David Gordon Green and company look to accomplish in "Halloween Kills."

12. Gun through the chest — Halloween 4

Kelly Meeker (Kathleen Kinmont) exists in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" purely as an agent of chaos. She flirts with Rachel's boyfriend, Brady (Sasha Jenson), throws shade whenever possible, and reduces Michael's reappearance to nothing more than an inconvenience to her sexy Halloween plans.

Her father is the sheriff, though, and in the third act, everyone is holed up in their house while they wait for the state police. Michael, the sly fox, has nonetheless managed to find a way in. Kelly was at least kind enough to make everyone coffee, and as she approaches a deputy guarding the door, she spots a corpse in the corner of the room. The deputy in the chair, it turns out, is Michael. He stands and backs Kelly into the door. Then, using the cop's shotgun, he impales her, pinning Kelly to the door and leaving her hanging there. It's a kill that both pays homage to Bob's death in the original movie and gives Michael an opportunity to make use of more than just a kitchen knife.

11. Exploding heads — Halloween 6

Kelly and Oscar aren't the greatest, but John Strode (Bradford English) is the absolute worst. One has to wonder what, if anything, necessitates his character being just so awful. He's cruel to his children, batters his wife, and even moves his family (inexplicably) into the Myers house. That's right, the original Myers household. Why? It's never really explained beyond "because John Strode is terrible, that's why."

John returns home one night, unaware that his wife was hacked to death hours earlier. He goes to the basement to fuss with the fuse box, and notices that the washing machine has flooded. Inside are bloody sheets. Oh no. 

Michael appears and throws John into the fuse box. John shakes and foams at the mouth, and within moments, his entire head explodes. John is the rare character in the franchise who not only deserves their death, but deserves one this horrific. "Halloween 6" isn't great, but John's death is one of the gnarliest kills in the entire series. It's ooey-gooey practical magic.

10. Nurse Marion — Halloween H20

Unlike John Strode, Nurse Marion (Nancy Stephens) didn't deserve to die. Having appeared in both the original "Halloween" and "Halloween 2," and poised to appear in the forthcoming "Halloween Kills," Nurse Marion was a familiar face — a brusque, no-nonsense nurse as sick of Myers' killings as the rest of us.

Marion returns home on Halloween to find her house broken into. She enlists the aid of two neighbors to check the place out (one played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an early film role) and once they've given her the go-ahead, she returns home. Something still isn't quite right, though, so she runs next door to find the two boys dead and Michael lying in wait. She puts up a hell of a fight before Michael slashes her throat, just as the police arrive next door for an added dollop of irony. It's a fun kill, one beholden to the impact "Scream" had on '90s horror. This is the closest the series has ever come to a celebrity cameo kill, and it works like gangbusters.

9. Jump scares — Halloween 2

Alice Martin (Anne Bruner) is a bit player in the original "Halloween 2." She's on screen for less than five minutes, yet her death is impactful enough to crack the top 10. Picking up directly where the original left off, Dr. Loomis is racing through Haddonfield to track Michael down after unloading six shots into his chest. Alice is home alone, on the phone with her friend.

What's terrifying is that Alice doesn't even know that anything has happened. It isn't until her friend mentions it that Alice remarks that she can "hear the sirens." She's just a girl home alone, unaware that a serial murderer is stalking her sleepy suburban town.

As Alice wanders into her living room, she hears something. She puts the phone down and calls out. At first, there's nothing. No one is there. Then Michael, in a fantastic scare, pops up behind her. Swiftly, he plunges a knife into her chest as blood splatters on her face. 

"Halloween 2" quickly cuts away and never returns to Alice or her home. Granted, Alice's death probably only exists to pad the movie's body count, though it does establish Michael as more than just a singularly-driven killer. Here, killing at random in a stranger's house, he really is the boogeyman.

8. Beheadings — Halloween Resurrection

Katee Sackhoff's Jenna Danzig isn't only the one good character in "Halloween Resurrection." She also gets the only good kill. "Halloween Resurrection" is misguided from the start. Rick Rosenthal, who helmed "Halloween 2," returns to the director's chair, giving him the distinct honor of helming both the best and worst "Halloween" sequel. After Laurie Strode is killed off in a laughable introductory sequence, "Resurrection" shifts to a group of vapid, boring coeds and their successful audition for the online reality show "Dangertainment."

The hook, apparently, is that they'll spend the night in the Myers house and document it for an online audience. This is something "Halloween Resurrection" wants you to believe would have been popular in 2002. The coeds embark on their mission, Sackhoff's Jenna among them, and very little happens. It takes over an hour for the movie to really kick in, at which point only 20 minutes remain. Jenna is upstairs, and stumbles out to the stairwell after seeing her friend's corpse. She looks down to her friends as Michael approaches her and then, without warning, decapitates her. Her head rolls down the stairs and it takes everyone several seconds to realize it isn't a joke. Give Jenna's death credit for being the best kill in the movie, and for being one of Michael's few decapitations.

7. Annie is strangled — Halloween

Sex equals death. It's a trope that "Halloween," more than any other slasher franchise, cemented. To have sex is to invite the killer into the bedroom to slice and dice. There's no escaping it. Annie (Nancy Kyes) is inexplicably horned up on Halloween night and can't wait to meet up with her boyfriend, Paul (voiced on the phone by none other than director John Carpenter).

After spilling butter on her shirt, Annie walks out back to the curiously isolated laundry room and finds herself trapped. Audiences expect her to die, especially since Michael had already been skulking about the premises. Annie, though, is lucky. It isn't until she's trapped in the garage that she's murdered.

Forgetting her keys, Annie walks back inside, returns, then immediately gets into the car. It takes her a moment to realize that the car was already unlocked and, stranger still, is filled with condensation. Michael then emerges from the backseat and strangles her. It's a terrific scare, and the erotic sounds Annie emits are an exemplar of some classic slasher tropes.

6. Crispy nurse — Halloween 2

Nurse Karen Bailey (Pamela Susan Shoop) was a good time. Sure, she had bad taste in men, but what little character Haddonfield Memorial Hospital had was due entirely to her. She drove her friend home, even if it meant being late to work, and she was the only one on staff (Jimmy doesn't count) with a genuine interest in Laurie's well-being. Nurse Bailey was fun and flirty and didn't deserve to die.

After sneaking downstairs for some sexy hydrotherapy action, the water gets too hot and Bailey asks boy toy Budd (Leo Rossi) to turn it down. He obliges, and then Karen gets out and remarks that she should be getting back to work. A true tease. Budd, though, is already dead, and Michael appears behind her. Thinking it's Budd, she caresses his arm and nibbles his fingers before he shoves her into the boiling water several times. Her face melts, courtesy of some stellar practical effects, and Michael tosses her aside. It's a grisly death rendered worse on account of just how great Karen Bailey was.

5. Dumbwaiter death — Halloween H20

Horror sequels are usually about upping the ante when it comes to kills and gore. However, "Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later," despite its profoundly stupid title, was considerably more restrained than its forebears. Modeled after Carpenter's original movie more than its sequels or its '90s slasher peers, "H20" focused on atmosphere and tension, not graphic kills.

That is, of course, not counting than the death of Sarah (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) whose demise is uncharacteristically violent and cruel — not just for the movie, but for the entire franchise. In the kitchen of her boarding school's dining hall, she's cornered by Michael. The only method of escape is a dumbwaiter along the far wall. Unfortunately, her deceased boyfriend's body is inside, but Sarah still manages to crawl in and shut the door as Michael stabs her leg with his knife.

As she ascends to the next floor, Sarah struggles to get out, her foot pinned beneath her boyfriend's body. Downstairs, Michael begins to slice the frayed rope. When he does, the dumbwaiter collapses, crushing Sarah's leg in the process. The next we see, her leg is nearly cut in two, broken and bloodied. If that isn't enough, Michael then stabs Sarah several times and later, off screen, hollows her out and hangs her in the pantry. It's the murder showcase of "H20," and might just be Michael's most thorough kill.

4. A redux death — Halloween 2

Annie Brackett (a returning Danielle Harris) is killed partly off screen in Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2," but it's such a gut-wrenching kill, and enough of it is visible to the audience, that it deserves its placement here. Despite dying in Carpenter's original, Zombie kept Annie alive for his sequel. Having already survived a vicious attack from Myers, she — like best friend Laurie Strode — is reeling from trauma of her own.

Home alone save for the guard out front, Michael finally tracks Annie down in the third act, and in a series of quick cuts, chases her through both her bathroom and bedroom before killing her. It's a harrowing sequence, one Zombie wisely refrains from showing too much of, and is the most impactful death he managed in both his original "Halloween" and its sequel. IGN, not fans of Zombie's follow-up, even singled out Danielle Harris' Annie as one of the sequel's only worthwhile characters. It's true. She will be missed.

3. Squashed heads — Halloween

Dr. Sartain's character in David Gordon Green's "Halloween" is tough to explain. Even when his motivations are made plain, it's never clear what his role is. Is he the new Loomis? An antagonist? A plot device? He's something of all three and then, paradoxically, none of them at all. His curious role in the movie, though, doesn't detract from just how awesome his death scene is.

One thing David Gordon Green did exceptionally well was make "Halloween" visually his own. With the use of blues, reds, and greens, certain scenes have an almost giallo-like quality to them, and Dr. Sartain's death is no different. Pulled from the front seat of a cop car by Michael and thrown on the side of the road, the red and blues of the siren lights obfuscate his face. Michael then, without hesitation, stomps Sartain's head into the ground, squishing it like a Halloween gourd. It's a quick, brutal, gooey kill, rendered practically in-camera. David Gordon Green was maybe just a little too keen to keep his kills off-camera, so I'm glad this one made the cut in all its gory glory.

2. The kill that started it all — Halloween

This is where it all began. Were it not for Judith Myers' death, the franchise we know and love, as well as Michael Myers himself, wouldn't exist. Technically speaking, the kill itself is not all that special. Little Michael Myers, dressed as a clown, puts his mask on and walks through the Myers house, the camera showing his point-of-view. He wanders upstairs after his sister and her boyfriend have the fastest sex ever (it's 20 seconds between when the couple head upstairs and when the boyfriend dresses himself and leaves).

Judith is brushing her hair when Michael, with the knife he grabbed from the kitchen, slashes at her. She screams his name and begs him to stop as he plunges the knife into her chest over and over again. It's a quick kill, and there's little blood, but it's the first and one of the best. Child murderers are always frightening, and Judith's death is rendered even more so on account of the man Michael would ultimately become.

1. Ghost Michael — Halloween

Lynda's death in John Carpenter's "Halloween" is a great kill independent of Ghost Michael. As Lynda places a call to Laurie, unsure of where Annie is, Michael approaches from behind. The audience hears the phone ring across the street and waits with bated breath for Laurie to answer. She's too slow, though. Michael wraps the telephone cord around Lynda's neck and chokes her out. She moans and gasps for breath, noises Laurie first interprets as an obscene phone call. She grows concerned, though, as Michael kills Lynda and lets her body slowly slump to the floor before disconnecting the call.

As a scene, this kill is tense, well-choreographed, and gorgeously composed. But it also has Ghost Michael. Carpenter was never afraid to show Michael getting a little playful, and dressing himself in a sheet as a ghost (and making Lynda think it's Bob) is a great, darkly comic touch. It's a visual that captures the essence of the series as a whole. Ghost Michael rules, forever and always.