Ben Pearson: A Nazi Gets Blown Up By Good Old Fashioned American Engineering in The Rocketeer

Neville Sinclair, the suave, debonair actor played by Timothy Dalton in Disney’s 1991 pulp adventure film The Rocketeer, is one of my favorite cinematic Nazis. (It seems weird to have a favorite cinematic Nazi, but you begin to categorize things like that when you write about film and TV for a living.) Sinclair is charming and duplicitous in equal measure, every inch the toothy-grinned movie star but also a scheming scumbag intent on getting a jet pack prototype back to Germany so they can outfit the Nazi army with them and invade the United States. This leads to a terrific confrontation at the Griffith Observatory with some local gangsters; when Sinclair asks gangster Eddie Valentine if it matters who he works for, Valentine responds: “It matters to me. I may not make an honest buck, but I’m 100% American and I don’t work for no two-bit Nazi.”

Sinclair escapes with a hostage onto a massive airship, and The Rocketeer launches a daring rescue attempt. As the climactic final act plays out, it appears that the ship is about to go down, so Sinclair slips on the jet pack and tries to make his cowardly escape. But unbeknownst to him, there’s a hole in the jet pack’s fuselage that leaks gasoline, and he explodes into a satisfying, cathartic ball of flame. Bonus: when he crashes to the ground, he destroys the “LAND” portion of the “HOLLYWOODLAND” sign, providing a fictional explanation for the real-life alteration of the sign that happened in the 1940s.

Matt Donato: A Bunch of Nazi Zombies Get Obliterated in Dead Snow

Nazis are bad. Nazi zombies are worse. Undead corpses who eat your brains all in the name of stolen gold and Hitler’s glory. Evils compounded upon horrific genre motivations, all representative of the frosty antagonists in Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow franchise. They kill, disembowel and march under the command of Standartenführer Herzog, but their comeuppance is also 10x more gruesome than any historical drama or Tarantino’s Inglorious massacre. Wirkola gets nasty and creative, permitting these Nazi meatsacks the (second) deaths they deserve.

Take your pick of bodily evisceration throughout Dead Snow or Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead. They’re hacked apart, blown up by tanks, decapitated – Wirkola’s eliminations can be called anything but generic. Picking just one winning scene where a Nazi gets what’s coming is too difficult, so I’m doing one from each Dead Snow movie. Fair compromise?

First up is Dead Snow, when a mountainside defensive stand leads to snowmobile heroics, chainsaws and amputations. Some vacationing Norwegian students lose their lives, but even more Nazi corpses are left spraying blood like sprinklers. It’s open season on Wirkola’s German walkers, mangled by a whole arsenal of toolshed weaponry. Even though it ends with grim consequence, there’s too much Nazi zombie punishment to ignore.

How could Wirkola possibly top himself? How about when Russian POW zombies join the ranks to fight against Herzog’s detail in Red Vs. Dead. Cue a Gangs Of New York style brawl featuring Martin Starr as an American “zombie hunter” among many other very silly happenings. Dead Nazi zombies as far as the eye can see. Wirkola get salaciously nutty and over-the-top gross, reaching cartoonish levels like a Nazi Zombie field doctor replacing soldier inerts with filler hay so they can keep fighting. Plus, again – there’s a freakin’ Tiger tank being driven by both humans and zombies at different points. You better believe Herzog’s final moments are an epic showing of battlefield victory (for which side I won’t spoil).

Tommy Wirkola, you mad genius. I’m 100% here for zombie Hitler in Dead Snow 3. Happy to update my entry with whatever threequel mayhem awaits Der Undead Führer.

Ethan Anderton: A Nazi Mechanic Gets Shredded by His Own Plane in Raiders of the Lost Ark

There are a couple things that I love about this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. First of all, I love that Indiana Jones is exasperated about having to deal with this meathead of a Nazi. He’s just about to hijack that flying wing, but this skinhead comes along and wants to fight. There’s certainly a metaphor here for how we all feel about having to deal with Neo-Nazis in contemporary society while we’re trying to get shit done. It’s a burden and exhausting that we even have to take the time to deal with them.

Secondly, it’s so rewarding that the ultimate demise of this musclehead asshole is because of his own cockiness and a lack of self-awareness. After landing a big punch against Indy, he stands there waving his fists, about ready to keep the fight going, unaware the the flying wing’s propeller is coming around to give him what he deserves. Much like today’s Neo-Nazis, they’re too stupid to realize that all the things they’re doing will ultimately be their undoing. Their beef-headed behavior and ignorance of the world around them will be what destroys them.

Plus, let’s not forget that Marion Ravenwood guns down a whole bunch of Nazis with the machine guns on this plane. It’s a buffet of killing some of the most despicable people to ever walk the planet.

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