BAMBI: Everett Collection
October 22, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

What is the most disturbing death scene in a movie?

What is the most disturbing death scene in a movie? — Carol Lykevyn
What a deeply twisted question. Okay, I’m game, but I can’t limit my selection to one title — and I can’t begin to list the ways in which the current extreme-Asian-cinema movement has gone gaga for gore. For off-camera death, it’s hard to beat the childhood-scarring trauma of one hand-drawn deer’s demise in Bambi, with innocence shattered by the sound of a hunter’s bullet. For shock value, I’m partial to the first shark feeding in Jaws. But for Oscar-winning death porn, I think Braveheart reaps the grim prize: As the Scottish rebel leader William Wallace, tortured with exquisite slowness before a final beheading, Gibson indulges in such an extended dramatic exercise in sadomasochism (”I’m not dead yet!”) that the pummeled viewer prays for deliverance.

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