Nothing changes the game more, or ends a fight quicker, than chopping off an opponent’s limb. There’s a sense of dread and finality that comes with looking down and seeing a bunch of nothing where part of your body should be. When was the last time you saw someone lose an arm and bounce back to win a fight? Probably never.
So, just like a bad car crash that you can’t look away from, we’re breaking down ten epic dismembered body parts in movies for no other reason than, well, we can’t really stop ourselves. Take a look! You know you want to.
Honorable Mention: Star Wars: Jedi Business
The Star Wars saga has an unprecedented number of awesome limb losses, but in order to make room for the very best of them, many didn’t make the top ten. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth mentioning. Pando’s lost arm in the Mos Eisley Cantina, Count Dooku’s severed head and hands, and that time that Luke goes on a mega-trip and chops of Vader’s head but it’s actually his own — these are all awesome. And if these are just the honorable mentions, you can bet the top ten has even more in store.
10. 21 Jump Street: Mr. Walters’ Willy
I applaud any movie that has the balls to show a man getting shot in the junk. The trio of Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Rob Riggle are hilarious in this scene, and nothing makes you cringe like watching Riggle try to pick up his dismembered member with his teeth.
9. World War Z: Give Her a Hand
Once human stupidity and zombie ingenuity prevail in Jerusalem, the city is overrun with the undead, and despite her best efforts, Segen is bit on the wrist during close-quarters attack. Using a sharp knife and sharp intellect, Brad Pitt’s character quickly chops off the affected area. Just be glad that isn’t the prescribed treatment for all infections.
8. The Fellowship of the Ring: Uruk-hai? More Like Uruk-die
This one’s a two-for! And it’s a good thing, because mercy isn’t required when avenging the epic death of Borimir. And Aragorn doesn’t show any when attacking Lurtz, the nasty Uruk-hai that got just a little bit too bow-happy when taking down the son of Denethor. Not only does Aragorn lop off Lurtz’s arm with one clean strike, he also subsequently takes his head clean off and watches it bounce down to the ground. Long live the King.
7. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Pop Goes the Weasel
When the slimey Belloq and his crew of misguided scumbags attempt to unleash the ultimate power of the Ark of the Covenant, they certainly didn’t expect a face-melter more epic than a Van Halen solo. But rather than melting Belloq’s face, the power of the Ark simply blew his mind.
6. Toy Story: I am Mrs. Nesbitt!
This is a truly gruesome scene. After losing his arm in a failed flight test, Buzz Lightyear is then subjected to the ultimate torture: A child’s tea party. As the armless Buzz sits at a table surrounded by headless mutants, he finally snaps and escapes into some kind of alternate reality where his life as Mrs. Nesbitt is entirely more bearable than the life of a space explorer.
5. The Fellowship of the Ring: The Dead Ringer Finger
Never has a missing finger played such an important role in the fate of the world than Frodo’s lost index finger. Without his unintentional sacrifice, Frodo likely would have kept the ring, walked right past Sam, and delivered it to Sauron. Bad news. Luckily, Gollum and his lust for the ring come to the rescue! And to be honest, a single decimated digit is a small price to pay for defeating the Dark Lord.
4. Star Wars Episodes II and III: Just All of Anakin
Anakin really just gets wrecked throughout Episodes II and III. Although he repays Dooku for chopping off his forearm, nothing can be done to prevent the carnage that Obi-Wan would inflict on his young Padawan. Unless maybe Anakin got it all wrong and he overestimates his power? Maybe he should have just walked away? Because, he could have, until he lost his legs.
3. Star Wars Episode V: Like Father, Like Son
Not only is the loss of Luke’s hand sudden and shocking, it’s also part of one of the greatest movie scenes of all time. If I could erase my memory and watch Star Wars all over again, I would. Because can you even imagine being part of an audience discovering that Vader is Luke’s father without hearing it a thousand times beforehand? Amazing.
2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: We’ll Call it a Draw
Anakin’s got nothing on this guy. Not only does he lose all four extremities in a matter of seconds, the guy doesn’t even care. The Black Knight keeps fighting until the end, and even at the end he doesn’t settle for a loss. After all, losing your arms and legs is just a flesh wound.
1. 127 Hours: 127 Ouchers
A whole freaking movie dedicated to a guy chopping off his own arm with a pocket knife?! 127 Hours goes straight to the top! Watching James Franco dig into his arm with that tiny blade is horrifying, disgusting, and absolutely worthy of being the number one most epic lost limb of all time.
Which lost limb do you think is the most epic? Did we miss any that you think should be on the list? Make sure to let us know in the comments.