The 10 greatest post-kill puns


4th September 2009

The post-kill pun is the ultimate kiss-off in any cheesy action flick. It defined the entire career of a certain Governator of California and became a cliché so quickly that it has now long been seen as a source of ridicule and parody.

This is probably best demonstrated by Arnie himself in Last Action Hero when, after an ice cream truck explodes causing a cornetto to shoot out and stab a guy in the back of the head, his character Jack Slater says: "I iced that guy... to cone a phrase."

The post-kill pun is a convention that has always been simultaneously awesome AND lame - after all, its only real purpose is to wink to the audience and say, "We hope you enjoy watching..."

10. Dutch - Predator (1987)

The Set-up: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads a team of crack commandos into the jungle to rescue a CIA hostage from a guerrilla gang. During the siege on the gang's base, the elite squad tear through the area, killing everything in sight. In one particular highlight of the rampage, Dutch throws a knife the size of a small child at one of the guerillas, instantly killing him and pinning him against the wall.

The Line: "Stick around!"

Verdict: It's the half-cocked smile on Dutch's face that tells the whole picture here. He says the words more to himself, out of anybody else's earshot, because, in a situation where you lead an assault in the jungle, killing every bad guy in sight, you have to enjoy yourself doing it.
9. Roger Murtaugh - Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

The Set-up: When an investigation into drug smuggling leads Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) to a house by South-African diplomat Arjen Rudd, they are prevented from making any arrests by his diplomatic immunity. In retaliation for the intrusion, however, Rudd later orders his men to kill the police officers involved. During a skirmish in his own home, Murtaugh manages to dispense with one of the men by shooting a nail gun at his head. Moments later, a second man enters his home and Murtaugh pulls the same trick.

The Line: "Nailed you both!"

Verdict: We all know that Riggs is the real fight-and-chase guy in the Lethal Weapon series, and Danny Glover's Murtaugh is there to provide the family values, but in this particularly brutal scene, he not only proves his action status with a great one-liner, but also shows clairvoyance enough to wait until after killing the second guy before saying anything.
8. Luc Deveraux - Universal Soldier (1992)

The Set-up: In this final showdown, back-from-the-dead soldier Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) lays the smackdown on his equally re-animated rival soldier, Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) After a couple of minutes of rather tedious punch-kick-punch-kick from Van Damme, Scott is impaled on the spikes of a hay harvester which eventually chews him up and spits him out the other side in pieces. As Deveraux reaches the side of his female companion, she asks "Where is he?"

The Line: "Around!"

Verdict: Not exactly an immediate post-kill pun, given that we have to wait over a full minute after Lundgren's death to hear it, but when it comes, it's a doozy. With the spray of innards currently fertilizing a quiet part of the farm, the pun works to great effect... except, if Scott really was around, as Van Damme says, shouldn't her reaction be one of shock and panic, not "Oh, that's okay then"?
7. Jack Traven - Speed (1994)

The Set-up: After spending most of the movie on The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down, Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) finally catches up with his bomb-planting nemesis Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) and the two fight on top of a travelling subway train. After much wrestling, Payne attempts to strangle Traven and declares "I'm smarter than you!", but then Traven notices a fast-approaching signal light and pushes Payne up to meet it, decapitating him in the process.

The Line: "Yeah? Well I'm taller!"

Verdict: Not the most dramatic line you'll hear in an action movie, and it's a bit of a moot point seeing as Reeves was always taller than Hopper throughout the film, but kudos goes to whoever dreamed up that punchline - as if the main difference between yourself and a decapitated man is height.
6. Douglas Quaid - Total Recall (1990)

The Set-up: Torn between a fake memory of his marriage to Lori (Sharon Stone) and the recently-realised reality of his part in a Martian rebellion, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) finds himself at the mercy of the Agency who are mysteriously trying to have him killed. In this scene, Lori is about to finish off Melina, the woman of Arnie's dreams, after a glorious catfight when Quaid points his gun at her. "Sweetheart, be reasonable! After all, we're married!" she says before pulling a gun, but it's too late as Quaid shoots her square between the eyes.

The Line: "Consider that a divorce!"

Verdict: So thick is Arnie's accent here that the line actually sounds like "Considuh-duh-duh-divorce", but we get the idea and it's still said with the right degree of smugness to show that he's happy to get rid of the ol' ball and chain and start living the single life again... on Mars.

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