10 Movies Where People’s Heads Explode!


You know something you don’t see every day?  Someone’s head exploding.  Fortunately, we can bear witness to such an incredible event in the world of cinema, where an increasingly-expanding cranium that becomes an explosion of brains and skull fragments isn’t such a rare occurrence.  To be honest, I’m not really sure what inspired me to write this article, but I do appreciate an exploding head as much as the next guy, so why the hell not?  For the most part, when someone’s head explodes, people take notice.

Below, check out 10 movies where someone’s head explodes.  Some clips are NSFW.



Obviously, Cronenberg’s Scanners was the first movie that came to mind.  It is THE head-exploding movie, a label of which Cronenberg should be proud.

Big Trouble in Little China


Well, if Scanners somehow isn’t the head-exploding movie, it’s gotta be the incredibly fun Big Trouble in Little China.  It looks like the dude’s entire body explodes, actually, but no doubt his head is included.

Pulp Fiction


I realized a few years ago that, despite how brilliant it really is, Pulp Fiction is pretty much a black comedy.  This scene is a perfect illustration as why.

Total Recall


Not nearly as messy as the others, and maybe it’s not a “real” head, but you can’t be too picky when it comes to exploding heads.  I remember seeing this in the theater and thinking this movie had the greatest special effects I had ever seen.



Pretty easily the best scene of the movie.  The poor schlub’s head busts like a melon all over Boddicker’s windshield.

Mars Attacks!


Even Martian heads are prone to explosions if the music is right.

The Frighteners


I’d say it’s amazing that this was directed by Peter Jackson, but The Lovely Bones means he’s not immune to making more clunkers.

Chopping Mall


Good thing there were people around to witness this.

Deadly Friend


OK, sure.  I’ll allow it.

From Dusk Till Dawn


Vampire Chet Pussy doesn’t react so well to crosses shoved down his throat.  You can see his head explode right around the 4:20 mark.

Any other movies where people’s heads explode?  There’s gotta be at least one in the Saw movies, right?  Let me know in the comments.

  • TairyHestickles

    Raiders of the lost ark

  • Madison

    Did heads explode? I only remember faces melting.

  • metalmmaniac

    The Propostion has a pretty good head explosion about halfway through the movie.

  • Ted

    What about Dogma? I’m pretty sure that Alanis Morissette blows up Damon and Affleck’s heads.

  • Kevin

    The Frighteners rules.

  • Jimmy

    The Running Man.

  • Bert

    The most recent Rambo is absolutely littered with exploding heads. One of Rambo’s buddies carries a .50-cal sniper rifle with him, and every time he hits someone – BAM! Exploding head!

    In fact, it may include more exploding heads than all of these films combined. Though I’ll certainly forgive you for not having seen it – the plot can be summed up in six words – Rambo is old. Burma is bad.

  • Madison

    @ Ted

    Does she? It’s been awhile…I think you’re right, though. Nice call.

    @ Bert

    Yeah, but it wasn’t just heads; bodies and limbs and everything was rendered nothing but chunks of meat. Still, heads were exploded, so it counts.

  • Brittany

    Law Biding Citizen. The judge picks up her cell phone.

  • Jason

    Species 2 has a good head pop.

  • hun23

    Part way through Burn After Reading….

  • MacGyver1138

    Yeah, in one of the saw movies, Donnie Wahlberg’s head explodes when two blocks of ice smash it from either side. Kind of what the Ewoks did to an AT-ST, but with a person. I’m pretty sure there’s a shotgun collar somewhere in that series, too.

    Also, Weird Al’s head in the intro to Spy Hard.

  • Guy Incognito

    Was anyone else struck by how much the guy in The Frighteners looks like Michael J. Fox. Except, you know, 4 feet taller.

  • Laura

    Was that Kim Catrall in the Big Trouble in Little China clip? Did I just reference Kim Catrall? Oh god…

  • Dave

    District 9 has a face explosion. Shot with wires in the face then charged…..BOOM!

  • BrockSamson

    License to Kill has that scene where the dude gets trapped in the compression chamber. At least, I think it was that one. Not caused by a projectile, either. Might be a better choice than some here. I used to like that movie, but that scene always managed to creep me out.

  • Uncle Tim

    The shotgun blast to the head from the tenement raid in the original Dawn of the Dead is required exploding-head viewing. The remake has a decent one as well.

    There are also several great slug-related head eruptions in Night of the Creeps and there’s the coup de grâce in the fight with Evil Henrietta in Evil Dead 2.

  • sj

    Mac Eliot in Predator anyone?

    His shit got blown up good.

  • Eddie Adams

    No Zapruder film?

  • gunnar

    has anybody heard of tokyo gore police? It’s a japanese movie with subtitles. The movie makes Saw look like sesame street. I can’t even recall the amount of face explosions in the movie. In fact, I think the movie starts with a random one within the first 2:00 minutes of the film. THIS LIST MUST HAVE THIS FILM ON IT!!!

  • zomgmouse

    Any film using dum-dums.

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  • MacGyver1138

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier, but Riki-Oh: The story of Ricky absolutely should be on the list. That’s the movie that the Daily Show used footage from for a long time of the guy popping a dude’s head with his hands. That movie is so over-the-top gory that it’s hilarious.

  • Barry

    Outland with Sean Connery – there’s a great outer space decompression scene where the victim was photographed from a about 2 feet from the camera. He’s in a spacesuit and gets a leak. – BOOM!

  • bob ross

    men in black?

  • xXburekXx

    no raiders of the lost arc?

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  • Zen

    Dawn of the Dead, sort of.

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  • mijail

    I think that in Blade there’s a scene pretty similar to the one in Big trouble in Little China

  • tique

    Escape 2000, also known as Turkey Shoot.

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  • Tom

    Tenacious D and the POD?!?!? (Pick of Destiny)

  • Nicholas

    Truth or Dare the 80s horror movie had 2 head explosion scenes that were awesome. It also had a chainsaw drive-by on a pre Backstreet Boys even pre Mickey Mouse Club AJ McLean. That scene was awesome because it lasts forever.

  • brent

    It’s inexcusable that nobody remembered the Rutger Hauer b-movie classic Deadlock. It’s got a double head explosion!

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  • The Fury

  • Maniac

  • Lord Colostumus Bagginton III

    you forgot the very first exploding head that I can think of, and still one of the best. Dawn of the Dead (1978) during the apartment complex raid scene in the first 15 minutes. one of the cops goes nuts and shotgun some dude in the face and his head explodes.