The 10 Greatest Death Scenes In The Predator Franchise

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for every "Predator" movie — including "Prey."

When you're in a "Predator" movie, things can get a little messy. For over 35 years, the intergalactic hunters have endured as one of the great movie monsters, hunting humans, animals, and even other iconic monsters with swift brutality. The species known as Yautja have appeared across five films and two spin-offs in all forms, upgrades, and mutations, with each dispensing their own violent pageantry of cannon firing, one on one combat, and spine ripping.

With the massive success of "Prey," let's take a look at some of the most memorable death scenes throughout the entire "Predator" franchise. There was a lot of death to sift through — whether it's a beloved character who couldn't keep up or an antagonistic force facing the music. The only stipulation for this list is that, since the "Alien Vs. Predator" movies are included here, the death must either be carried out by a Predator or at least influenced by one. Any kill caused solely by a Xenomorph won't be counted.

In the event this is your first exposure to the "Predator" series, here's a forewarning up top. This piece will be talking about the details of these death scenes, and will likely have gory photos that some may find graphic. With that said, let's take a look at some of the prized possessions from within the Yautja trophy room.

The Predator disarms Dillon (Predator)

"Predator" racks up quite the body count before the titular monster makes itself known, but once it does, the band of hyper-masculine military rescue commandos start dropping one by one. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch is the only one left in the end, having to watch his entire team get taken out by the space hunter. Some certainly go easier than others. The patient anticipation of the Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) bursting Mac's head open with its Plasmacaster nearly took this spot, but the defining kill of "Predator" has to go to Carl Weathers' Dillon.

After having a few run-ins, the CIA operative catches a glimpse of the Predator's cloaking camouflage hiding up in the trees. But before Dillon can get a good shot in, the Predator literally disarms him, and the flailing limb falls to the ground. The cherry on top of the whole thing is the reveal of Dillon's disembodied arm still firing the submachine gun, coupled with the extreme close up of him yelling at the top of his lungs. The Predator adds injury to injury by dispensing its wrist blades to finish Dillon off by lifting him in the air while he screams, which sends a pretty clear message to Dutch that no one on his team is safe.

What really works about Dillon's demise is that it acts as karma for deceiving Dutch and his crew about the job at hand. Weathers is such a fun presence that it's a bummer to see him go. But what a way to go.

Agent Keyes joins the slaughterhouse (Predator 2)

"Predator 2" may lack the mystery and simmering tension building of John McTiernan's original film, but makes up for it with a slew of inventive deaths that are shockingly even more violent than its predecessor. Taking the action from the jungles of Central America to the exaggerated concrete jungles of an alternate universe Los Angeles, a new Predator (still played by Hall) dispenses its wave of carnage across the city, where the extraterrestrial visitor is gifted with a buffet of bodies to choose from.

When it comes to who got the greatest send-off, the honor would have to be none other than the man, the legend, the pet judge himself: Gary Busey. The "Point Break" actor plays Peter Keyes, an assertive CIA agent who eventually reveals to Danny Glover's Lt. Mike Harrigan that he and his team have been tasked with tracking down the Predator. He lays a trap for the Predator at the city slaughterhouse, but the hunter is far from stupid, and Keyes' team is wiped out in a matter of minutes.

Keyes is seemingly taken out by a Plasmacaster blast to the face, only to show up to Harrigan's rescue. He dispenses more liquid nitrogen at the creature, but the Predator ultimately turns Keyes into a fitting addition to the slaughterhouse by using its Smart Disc, one of the coolest weapons in the Yautja's arsenal, to slice him in half right at the torso after shredding through all of the hocks of meat like butter. Busey goes out like a champ.

Scar pulls a Facehugger/Xenomorph double whammy (Alien Vs. Predator)

Paul W.S. Anderson ("Resident Evil") had an impossible task of trying to adhere to the idiosyncrasies of the "Alien" and "Predator" movies, but "Alien Vs. Predator" just doesn't work. Not only does the cast, barring Lance Henriksen, struggle to give this some kind of spark, but the limitations of the PG-13 rating effectively neuter the appeal of seeing these screen titans fighting the explorers and, by definition, each other. It also doesn't help that the mythos behind this expedition makes you wish you were watching that movie instead.

With that said, "AVP" starts to come alive once the Yautja start sparring with the screeching space bugs. Who can resist the sight of a Predator performing a hammer throw with a Xenomorph? The human deaths unfortunately leave a lot to be desired, so the kill that ultimately represents "AVP" at its best is a twofer from a Predator named Scar (Ian Whyte).

While going to retrieve his Shuriken disc, a slow motion Facehugger tries to launch a sneak attack by lunging at Scar, only for the Predator to split it right down the middle. The sly Xenomorph just patiently waiting for its opportunity to launch a sneak attack is very amusing. It never gets the chance, though, as Scar swiftly exterminates the lone wolf with the Shuriken without even looking. The Xenomorph's slow decapitation is always good for a laugh due to the dumbfounded "I really wasn't expecting that" expression forever plastered on its face.

Dale gets a face full of Xenomorph juice (Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem)

"Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem" is not a better movie than the first "AVP." It's just not. They can both live in infamy as two golden opportunities to make an awesome new franchise, but fumbled the ball in their own unique ways. However, while "Requiem" struggles due its own batch of dull characters and dim lighting, it at least revels in the callous carnage of these monsters. It's all about picking your poison.

A lot of kills are unfortunately difficult to properly see, but one that sticks out is the death of Dale (David Paetkau). He's the archetypal jealous ex-boyfriend who always seems to get in the way. Dale ends up finding himself trapped between a Xenomorph and a Predator named Wolf (Ian Whyte), which is probably not the best place to be. Wolf blasts the Xenomorph, which causes the space bug's acidic blood to spew all over Dale's face and down his throat.

Even for a character who is truly detestable in every way, this is still such a brutal way to go, exemplifying the horror of being collateral damage to the main brawl at hand. The main lesson we can take from this is that toxic masculinity doesn't pay. It just caves your face in with Xenomorph juice.

Jesse gets a little carried away (Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem)

Listen, for everything that "Requiem" gets wrong, it at least stays true to the "whoever wins, we lose" mantra of "AVP." The humans are truly ancillary in the grand scheme of things within this fight, and Jesse's sudden death really drives that home. Because of that, it felt wrong to not include the additional kill on here.

Trying to sneak through the town hospital to "get to the choppa," a woman named Jesse (Kristen Hager) ends up running a little too ahead of the group. As a result, she is brutally flung and pinned against the wall by Wolf's Shuriken disc. The fact that it happens so suddenly, to a character who seemed to have had a good chance of making it out alive, infuses a greater sense of shock.

Hanzo Vs. the Falconer Predator (Predators)

It's pretty astounding how much Nimród Antal's "Predators" stood out among the bunch. The Robert Rodriguez-produced franchise reset takes everything you love about the original and infuses it with a clever bent. Now the prey on the run from the Predators are trapped on a gaming reserve planet with few means of escape. The motley crew of mercenaries, cartel folk, and harbingers of violence makes for a more unpredictable film where the game is just as dangerous, if not more so, than their pursuers.

The showdown between Yakuza assassin Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and the Falconer Predator (Brian Steele) is one of the many highlights of "Predators," playing as an extension of the death of Billy (Sonny Landham) from McTiernan's film. Where "Predator" cut away from the sacrificial confrontation, "Predators" gives Hanzo and the Falconer Predator an actual one-on-one battle, with the mobster facing his opponent with a katana.

John Debney's adaptation of Alan Silvestri's iconic score gives the near wordless confrontation an incredible sense of atmosphere. Each one gets a blow in, which ultimately takes each other out in the process. This series excels when it is able to bring the Predator down to the level of its prey, and this sequence is a perfect example of why "Predators" is an underrated franchise highlight.

Berserker Super Predator gets a-head of itself (Predators)

Room was made on this list for the death of at least one Predator. The death comes right after Royce (Adrien Brody), a U.S. Special Ops soldier dropped onto the game reserve, finally gets the best of the Berserker Super Predator (Brian Steele) by tricking it to turn over Edwin (Topher Grace) — a surprise twist serial killer, who is strapped with grenades.

With the Berserker wounded, Royce engages in a one-on-one that's slightly distracting, seeing as it tries a little too hard to harken back to Schwarzenegger's lines. Isabelle (Alice Braga), an Israeli sniper, provides Royce with some assistance by getting a shot off at the Berserker. With the Super Predator now distracted, Royce takes the opportunity and beats it to death with his own axe.

The final blow comes from a clean decapitation that allows the Predator's glow-in-the-dark green blood to shine bright in the dark of night. The best Predator deaths are usually the ones that happen before they can set off their cowardly self-destruct sequence, and this is no exception.

Upgrade Predator gives Traegar's soldier a heads up (The Predator)

Shane Black's sorely disappointing return to the world of "Predator" shares the same dilemma with "Requiem" in that its roster of dispensable human characters are vastly uninteresting, but at least it doesn't hold back on the "Predator" carnage. It's not much, but it's something. A traditional Predator is given a fun sequence in which it nearly takes out a whole building of scientists, but the execution that steals "The Predator" belongs to the larger than life Upgrade Predator (Brian A. Prince).

Sterling K. Brown's Traeger dispatches his army to try and take the space beast out, but it becomes very clear very quickly that they're in no shape to do such a thing. The moment that gets me is when the Upgrade Predator impales one soldier with a modified harpoon gun from across the way. Not only does this function as a pretty brutal kill, but it gets even better when the hunter decides it wants to play a game of high-speed limbo with a group of Jeep-bound soldiers driving right into the rope attached to said harpoon. Traeger's crew is decapitated before they can even register what's about to happen to them.

Naru outwits the feral Predator (Prey)

Sometimes the best way to move forward is going back to basics, and that's exactly what "Prey" accomplishes so well. "10 Cloverfield Lane" director Dan Trachtenberg works his magic once again with a tense game of cat and mouse that transports the extraterrestrial hunter all the way back to the early 18th century. "Legion" star Amber Midthunder, plays Naru, a Comanche warrior who sets out to prove she's as capable a hunter as anybody else in her tribe, and she's a force of nature. Midthunder quickly joins the ranks of the Predator's greatest opponents. Even franchise alums Bill Duke and Jesse Ventura sang their own praise, welcoming Midthunder to the "Predator" family.

Throughout "Prey," Naru faces peril in the form of cougars, bears, and cruel fur trappers, but nothing matches the brutality of a Feral Predator (Dane DiLiegro) that slices and dices its way across the Northern Great Plains. Determined to end its reign of terror against her people, Naru engages in an exciting climactic attack on the space beast, in which each gets to show off their strongest skills as hunters.

"Prey" comes to a halt with Naru waiting patiently as the Feral Predator inches closer to her after having fallen into a mud-filled bog with the thick consistency of quicksand. This is the do-or-die moment. When the Feral Predator attempts to get one more shot in, it realizes too late that Naru has rigged its own targeting mask against it, effectively landing a glorious gooey green headshot. The moment that brings this all together, however, is Midthunder unleashing a cathartic yell after everything her character has been through.

The French fur trapper massacre (Prey)

You know what they say about saving the best for last. "Prey" is home to a number of great kills, but the French fur trapper massacre is a "Predator" series highlight in terms of unabashed carnage. Naru and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) are strung out as bait, but the Feral Predator has no interest in hunting immobilized, unarmed prey. Before the fur trappers realize the extent of their mistake, the bloodthirsty Yautja waltzes in and does what it does best.

The desolate, ash-covered gray wasteland provides the perfect arena for the Feral Predator to make its mark. Upon reaching this merciless sequence, you quickly realize that choosing one kill of the bunch just won't stand. There's so much good stuff for horror folks here that leaving any death behind is not an option. Having escaped the trap laid for it, the Feral Predator unleashes a wave of unrelenting carnage, ranging from a spike through the head to a three-man shish kabob.

You finally see the full effect of the Netgun, which was first introduced in "Predator 2," as it dissolves one fur trapper into a pile of unidentifiable meat and bark. Another is beheaded with a shield. But the greatest "Predator" kill from this entire franchise is awarded to the bear trap that the Feral Predator throws directly at one of their faces.

Early on in "Prey," Naru encounters a field of slain bison you're meant to believe has been skinned by the Feral Predator, but once it becomes clear that the party of fur trappers are responsible, it provides their comeuppance with an extra dose of fun.

"Prey" is currently streaming on Hulu.