Archive for Crucified

What are the Top 10 Movie Executions?

Posted in Burned at the stake, Crucified, Death penalty, Electric chair, Guillotine, Hanged, Hanged, drawn & quartered, Lethal injection with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14 by Old Sparky

Evil sinners and Oscar winners…but who does it best?

** Warning: here be spoilers **

Obviously, with the terminal nature of all successful executions, some of what follows could give away the endings (and, in some cases, middles and beginnings) of films you still haven’t seen.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to warn you which ones we’re talking about without actually giving the game away. So, if you’re at all concerned, please click the other stories on the site, where you can be sure someone will be dead at the end of each one you read.

The rules

If, however, you care to join in the discussion, here are some things to bear in mind:

  • we’re only interested in scenes played out by actors, where no-one has actually died in real life. Shaky footage taken on a camcorder or camera phone, which has been punted round the web doesn’t count
  • the film needs to actually include scenes of the execution. So, although it’s a good movie, ‘Monster’ starring Charlize Theron, isn’t admissable, as they gloss over the lethal injection with some text at the end
  • although I don’t specialise solely in films featuring death and execution (I’m more of a James Bond kinda guy) I do know my onions. So think long and hard before you try suggesting the hangings at the start of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 3 : At World’s End or the end of ‘Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves, because they just won’t wash.

The top 10

So, here are the ‘Execution of the Day’ top 10 celluoid executions. If you think you can do better…bring the noise.

10. ‘Schindler’s List – there are plenty of summary executions along the way and there’s no denying Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece has so many memorable scenes, but it’s the short-drop hanging of Ralph Fiennes’ Amon Goeth that sticks in the mind. Evil on a rope.

9. ‘Dead Man Walking – Sean Penn’s character was largely based on the story of one Elmo Sonnier, but while Sonnier met his demise in the electric chair, Sean’s Matthew Poncelet was strapped to a gurney and lethally injected…while Tim Robbins and his missus just looked on smiling and nodding. Those two!!

8. ‘Cromwell – a long time ago in a London square far, far away, Obi Wan gets in some practice at dying. Whether Charles I became more powerful than Oliver Cromwell could ever imagine is debatable, but Sir Alec Guinness does his usual trick of sticking his hands above his head before the fateful blow is struck, just in case.

7. ‘The Name Of The Rose – Connery does Cadfael, in a monk murdering monastry mudbath. But when Sean’s super sleuth bangs heads with the Grand Inquisitor ‘Bernado Gui’, it’s professional uglyman, Ron Perlman’s turn as the hunchback ‘Salvatore’ that gets a roasting, as he’s burned at the stake for heresy.

6. ‘Braveheart – Our first taste of Gibson gore as Mel mashes up the story of William Wallace to produce a decent film…even if it does take a few liberties with the facts. I’m not sure if being tied to a post and having your throat cut is strictly an execution, but it was the only example of hanged, drawn and quartered that I could think of.

5. ‘Sophie Scholl – it’s a pretty gripping film throughout, but when you consider the guillotine used in the final scenes as Julia Jentsch’s Sophie is put to death was the same one that executed the real Sophie back in 1943, it makes it all the more poignant.

4. ‘The Passion of the Christ – if you make it through the torturous 20-minute beating scene during the second act of Mel Gibson’s biblical epic, your stomach is probably strong enough to take the eventual nailing of Jim Caviezel’s Jesus to the cross. As he was rumoured to have coughed up $40 million of his own money, Gibbo decided to save a bit of cash by using his own hands for the close-up of the nails being hammered home.

3. ‘Pierrepoint – so many to choose from here (Ruth Ellis and the luckless Timothy Evans among them), but it has to be the quickfire dispatch of 13 Nazi war criminals – including Irma Grese and the Beast of Belsen, Josef Kramer – that define the film and the efficiency of the man himself.

2. ‘Let Him Have It – the final scenes where Christopher Ecclestone’s Derek Bentley comes face to face with hangman Albert Pierrepoint (via ‘Boon’ star Michael Elphick) are seriously shocking. It’s difficult to comprehend how quick it all happens – it’s enough to shake your shoes off.

And the winner is…

The Green Mile DVD1. ‘The Green Mile – although it’s all pure fiction, the ‘Shawshank Redemption’s’ darker cousin has three electric chair executions to pick from, but the clincher has to be Eduard ‘Del’ Delacroix’s roasting at the hands of the evil Percy. Grim reaping indeed.

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3 April 33 – Jesus of Nazareth

Posted in Crucified, Death penalty with tags , , , on April 3 by Old Sparky

JesusIt was always going to controversial to pin Jesus’s death down to a day and year, but hey, it’s worth a go.

Conflicting reports put his death somewhere between 32 and 36 AD and as for the day, well that’s based on the educated guesses out there. It is said that he was killed on the 15th day of Nisan, which is in the spring.

Jesus was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane for proposing that he was the son of God. One of his loyal disciples is said to have tipped off the authorities by identifying Jesus by kissing him, so that they knew which person to arrest. The illicit activity was carried out under cover of darkness so as not to incense the people or cause a riot, for he had many loyal followers by that point.

To ear is human

Nonetheless his disciples are said to have put up a great fight – one even cut off one of the soldier’s ears with a sword. However, Jesus reprimanded him, saying ‘all those that take the sword shall perish by the sword’ and immediately set about healing the soldier.

Once in custody, his adversaries – high priests and elders – came out in full force and managed to whip would-be followers up into a merciless frenzy against Jesus, maybe because they were worried that he was swiping their power from right under them.

Easily led

But it seems that people who had cheered Jesus on were easily swayed to turn against him. Those who had once supported their saviour now shunned him and called for him to be crucified.

And so it came down to Pontius Pilot to make the decision. He is said to have asked for Jesus to be tortured to placate the angry mob, in the hope that that would suffice. And he was whipped with vicious instruments to within a sliver of his bloodied life. Sadly that was not enough for the hungry hordes. They wanted him dead.

But Pilot could find nothing to sentence him on so he packed him off to Herod for sentencing. Neither was he able to find a strong enough case so Herod sent him back. At a loss, Pilot then brought in another criminal in the shape of Barabbas – his crime has never really pinned down, it could have been that he was involved in rioting, where he may even have killed a man, others say he was a bandit. But whatever his crime, Barabbas was up for crucifixion too. So Pilot took advantage of the Passover tradition that one guilty man is freed back to the community – as a result Jesus and Barabbas were brought before the people and the crowd was asked to toss up between the two.


The baying crowd chose Barabbas, thus condemning Jesus to death, to which Pilot is said to have ritualistically washed his hands as a sign that he was absolved of the guilt of sentencing an innocent man.

And so Jesus was left to drag his own method of execution up to the hill to Calvary.

You know the rest – Jesus was nailed to the cross and died a slow, painful death amid darkened, stormy skies and maybe even an earthquake according to the Book of Matthew. He was then cut down and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are said to have buried him. Of course Jesus was resurrected, so the news wasn’t all bad.

Also on this day

3 April 1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann
3 April 2001 – Jason Massey

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5 February 1597 – Gonsalo Garcia

Posted in Crucified with tags , , , on February 5 by Old Sparky

Gonsalo GarciaFearful that missionaries would lead a revolt to overthrow him, Japanese Emperor Taiko-Sama had Saint Gonsalo Garcia crucified.

Half Portuguese, half Indian, Gonsalo Garcia was one of 26 Roman Catholic missionaries to be executed. Having spread the word of God for four years, he travelled to Japan to preach further.

Sadly the deeply suspicious Taiko-Sama, who was Emperor of Japan, believed they were there to dethrone him. So he had them put under house arrest at the convent where they were staying in Miaco (Kyoto) on 8 December 1596.

Ear today

A few days later Garcia was slung in jail, along with 25 others. Shortly after, on 3 January 1597, they had their left ears cut off. Garcia was finally put out of his misery just over a month later, when the 41-year-old was crucified on Nagasaki Hills with his fellow missionaries.

Cross words

He sang God’s praises as he was being hammered on to his cross, which is how he earned his martyrdom. He was then fatally skewered with two lances that were driven through his heart. His road to canonisation started 30 years later and he was finally declared a saint in 1862.

Also on this day

5 February 1597 – The Martyrs of Japan

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5 February 1597 – The Martyrs of Japan

Posted in Crucified with tags , , , on February 5 by Old Sparky

The Martyrs of JapanSaint Garcia wasn’t the only person executed on this day in 1597. There were 25 others to boot, and the posse became known as the 26 Martyrs of Japan.

The Christian collective was rounded up and crucified in 1597 at Nagasaki, because the Japanese emperor was convinced they were going to try and overthrow him.

The group consisted of six Franciscan missionaries from Europe (of whom Garcia was one), three Jesuits and 17 laymen from Japan. Three of them even turned out to be young boys. They were executed en masse, all hoisted up on crosses then speared through their hearts.

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