Summer Movie Body Count: 'X-Men: First Class' schools the competition on best deaths


Image Credit: Murray Close

Week 5 of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count continues with X-Men: First Class. For those of you who do not possess memory-related superpowers, here’s a reminder of the rules. SPOILER ALERT: Things are about to get messy!

Note to self: Next year, fight to do Summer Movie Body Count on the next installment of Kung Fu Panda. Because in the first five minutes of X-Men: First Class, we had two men dead after Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) crushed their metal helmets like beer cans at a frat party (while they were wearing them!), one dead mom (you can’t have a superhero movie without a parental tragedy), and a holocaust. The latter doesn’t count toward our overall total, however, because the deaths happened off-screen.

By far the deadliest part of the movie was the rival mutants’ siege on the CIA building where the feds were keeping the mini-X-Men. We had federal agents falling from the sky, people! I counted six for sure, but later, I saw the ground littered with more bodies — about 20 more. Then we had the giant explosion when gun-wielding feds went up in flames after the arrival of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). (I love a guy that knows how to make an entrance.) I gave the death count an extra 35 for this awesome display. In total (including a few up-close deaths), the siege on the CIA added about 66 deaths to the total. Impressive. Darwin (Edi Gathegi) was the only non-federal death.

Along with this massive loss of life, X-Men also contributed what I consider this summer’s best death yet: Shaw, who experienced death by coin. Not only was it poetic, but it was gruesome. The sound effects (you could hear the coin slowly inching through his head!) were the disgusting cherry on top of this sundae of death. Bravo, X-Men. Bravo.

In total, X-men added 77 deaths to our overall count, bringing us to 264 for the summer. We’re doing well so far. The movie would have clocked a much higher number, but there were a number of off-screen deaths and debatable matters that are not reflected in the total, such as feds on jet skis (they were only tossed into the water), soldiers who were guarding the house and got tossed into barbed wire (they were alive with Xavier got to them), and an entire ship crew.

Alrighty team, vote in our poll!

Read more:
‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ throws fists of fury at Body Count tally
Pirates are no match for murderous mermaids
Body Count update: Do vampires have souls?

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
  • Andy

    I must say that while Shaw’s death was some kind of stunning, it was Darwin who should win this prize.

  • jymmymack

    Death by coin= instant classic. The fact that Prof. X had to endure the pain of it was spine-tingling.

    • Jackie

      That’s why I voted for it, because Charles could feel it too, and you know that Erik would not have wanted his friend to endure that pain.

  • crispy

    When that scene started, I chuckled and thought to myself, haha they’ll probably kill the black guy. But I quickly dismissed that thought because Hollywood finally moved past that cliche. But then they actually did kill the black guy!

  • jasmine

    shaw’s death was epic! but i voted for darwin’s death. i thought it was more unexpected sad. for a second i even thought he would make it too

  • Cate

    I’m not easy to offend, but something about this article seems really callous to me. “Darn it all! We could have had waaaay more deaths if only they’d shown us this holocaust thingy!” WTF?

    • Jenn

      I’m gonna wager that you are, in fact, easy to offend.

    • Shannon

      I thought it was way off base too.

  • Monty

    I contend that if this movie ends up getting a sequel that we have not seen the last of Darwin. He had the exact kind of death that happens in comic books. Emotionally effective for now, but we can bring him back if we want to.

  • Chris

    You mean the the rule “Not dead until you’ve seen the body?” That doesn’t apply in this case. Darwin got vaporized, good and proper (that was a Caleb reference from Buffy The Vampire Slayer).

    • Monty

      By fact that his power is that he adapts to survive like Luc says below, they could easily say “Oh look, is Darwin! He changed his body into energy so he could survive!” There have been other energy based characters in comic books over the decades, why would this be so different?

    • MWeyer

      And fact is, in the comic, Darwin has indeed been blown to bits a few times and managed to come back.

      • Mindy

        Really? That is good to know. Wow, that is a cool power, then.

  • luc

    he is not dead he adapts to survive so he adapted into radiation or sometype of things

  • Stephen Strepsi

    I voted for Shaw, but I am holding off on final vote until I’ve seen Green Lantern, Super 8, and The Battle of Hogwarts.

    And Final Destination 5. But I refuse to see fun crapola like Final Destination 5 in the cinema, so I’ll probably be back to vote in 8 months.

  • Mindy

    I saw this movie 3 weeks too late. But, definitely Shaw’s death by coin was awesome. X-Men easily had the best set of on-screen deaths of the summer, so far. What makes Shaw’s so great is not just the whole “death by slow-mo coin” bit, but also that Xavier was experiencing it, too. That made it incredible.

    • tim

      Wait…Shaw could absorb energy, which might as well be ‘mass’, and not get harmed by grenade explosion but he power cannot do anything about a tiny coin at such slow speed?

      Not to mention the force of the coin should push him backward before sinking into his head.

      Awesome movie but the whole movie lost me at that moment.

      • Sean

        ya that whole coin through the head thing was like what happend to his powers?…but who knows he may have had his “glass all full” with trying to absorb the full energy of the nuclear reactor. so in essence his power would be usless until he released some power?…just speculation and i would like the know the reason his power didnt work

  • tresorparis

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

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