Terror Tuesday: Spoiler – Lance Henriksen’s Character Dies

Lance Henriksen is one of the most often-killed actors in the business, and Brian offers a comprehensive look at his many horror movie demises.

Near Dark

(Jesse Hooker - villain)
In the climax of this classic vampire “western”, Lance falls victim to the sun, exploding along with the other members of his ‘family’ in their car.  And a tradition was born!  (As far as I can tell, he survived all of his previous horror movies.)


(Ed Harley – flawed hero)
Slowly “becomes” Pumpkinhead over the course of the film and is killed by one of the kids he resurrected the demon to kill in the first place.  Bonus: appears as a ghost in some of the DTV sequels!

The Pit and the Pendulum

(Torquemada - villain)
Lance falls into his own pit and gets impaled in this unusually “high class” Full Moon production.  He also bares his chest.  Ladies…

Jennifer 8

(Freddy Ross - hero)
In this somewhat forgotten serial killer thriller, Lance is killed by the murderer (despite not being a blind woman like the other victims). As Andy Garcia’s partner, it’s a rare “buddy” role for the guy, and he even gets to crack a smile or two!

Man’s Best Friend

(Dr. Jarret – flawed hero)
Killed by his own creation (a mutant dog!).  Awesome movie, if I remember correctly, and I had the poster up in my room for years due to it being one of the few to feature Lance.

Scream 3

(John Milton – sub-villain)
Lance is one of the many red herrings to die during the overlong and unsatisfying climax to this weak-ass sequel.  Also saddled with one of the lamest dialogue exchanges in the entire film, shouting “I’ll give you final cut!” (Killer’s response: “Already got it!”).  Ugh.

The Mangler 2

(Headmaster Bradeen – sub-villain)
Being in one of the worst films of his career is bad enough, but Lance’s death is preceded by… rapping.  Yes, our favorite gravelly-voiced badass actually says “Tell me what you want, what you really really want” while being suspended with magic electric wires (the movie is about a computer virus that kills people).  Awful.

Lost Voyage

(David Shaw – flawed hero)
Killed by ghosts at the end of the movie, and it’s just as boring as the 90 minutes that precede it.  At least he rapped in Mangler 2.

Mimic 3 - Sentinel

(Garbageman – sub-villain)
One of the mutant cockroach things kills him in the climax.  Oddly this is one of two “Rear Window Meets ____” horror movies that Lance appears in, the other being Abominable, which we’ll talk about in a bit.

Out for Blood

(Captain Billings - hero)
This is an “assumed” kill.  Lance surprisingly makes it to the end of the film, and then he suspects something is amiss.  He crouches down, pulls out a flashlight, and checks under the bed.  His eyes widen and then they cut to a vampire (who was hiding under the bed just in case someone checked there, I guess) lunging at him before a slam cut to credits.  Given his track record for survival, I’m guessing the vamp wins the fight.


(Dr. Franks – flawed hero)
Lance is slashed up by Blair Witch’s Josh Leonard in this decent little chiller. Also features Jordan Ladd, making it essential viewing.


(Charles Weyland – flawed hero)
I actually can’t remember how he dies, because all I remember about this movie is when he and the various soldiers/scientists are looking at a computer screen showing a pyramid and Lance says “My people tell me it’s a pyramid.”  Hope he paid them well.  (I looked online and I guess a Predator kills him)

Hellraiser - Hellworld

(The Host – flawed villain)
Everyone’s here to see Pinhead, but the real bad guy is Lance’s “Host” character, who drugs our heroes and traps them inside his mansion as they are picked off one by one by Pinhead, who acts as a Jason-esque slasher in this one.  But then you find out that they’re all just hallucinating Pinhead – in reality Lance has buried them all alive as punishment, because he blames them for the death of his son.  So it’s a sympathetic villain!  But then Pinhead and some other cenobites slice him into pieces.

The Garden

(Ben Zachary - villain)
Lance gets one of his more epic and certainly most metaphorical deaths here, as he is scythed by Death itself (and shot with an arrow, slashed with a blade, and finally speared with a sword by a little kid!).  Not a good movie, but the sheer insanity of this and a few other scenes makes it worth a look.


(Ziegler Dane - hero)
This movie is way underrated, in my opinion, and worth a look even without the Lance appeal.  But Lance fans will definitely get a kick out of his big scene – he actually cracks jokes and laughs!  One of his least “hardass” roles ever.  Sadly he doesn’t last long - the Sasquatch grabs him from behind and does terrible things to his head off-screen.

In the Spider’s Web

(Dr. Lecorpus - sub-villain)
One of his clunkiest deaths ever; Lance falls onto a giant spider web, gets besieged by a bunch of horribly animated spiders, falls further into the giant spider-web, screams as a BIGGER horribly animated spider advances on him, then falls through that giant web onto ANOTHER giant web and the whole process repeats!  The big spider never even gets to him, either.  He deserves better than this - he deserves WELL animated spiders!


(Virgil Logan – flawed hero)
Lance plays a tormented sheriff who was involved with a murder a while back.  And the movie sort of follows The Fog’s rules, with seven folks needing to die in order to stop the Seamstress’ rampage.  Lance is lucky number 7, getting shot by the heroine in order to put an end to the madness.

Screamers: The Hunting

(Orsow - crazy hero)
It takes forever for Lance to show up in this one, to the extent where I began to wonder if the guy doing the opening credits just assumed he was in it due to it being a DTV sequel involving space and robots and such.  But then he finally does, delivers some exposition, rants and raves for a bit, and then gets blasted away by a human/screamer hybrid about ten minutes after he first appeared.  It’s the Lance Henriksen equivalent of a photo-bomb.

Now, I’ve only listed his horror movies (and not even all of them – I haven’t seen quite a few on his resume), and I’ve come up with more than anyone on Cinematical’s list.  If I were to add his various action (such as No Escape – stabbed by his own son), western (Quick and The Dead – shot), or historical dramas (he once played Abraham Lincoln – we know how that one ends), the number would probably double.  So let us raise a glass and honor the numerous memories of Lance’s lives that have ended for our entertainment!  And may he continue to get killed by all manner of monsters and ghosts and vampires for many years to come.

Brian Collins watches a horror movie every single day. Read what happens at Horror Movie A Day, the original and still best daily horror movie site.