Top 10 – Severed Heads
Next on the chopping block, a Top 10 that springs to mind when thinking of Hallowe’en. It was necks to impossible to pick from our examples, but we made some real headway and have ranked some examples that are truly head and shoulders above the rest and it’s heads, it’s severed, decapitated, removed from the body heads. You already knew that from the title, no need for the puns, after all if you read the title…
You’re already ahead of the punchline.
10) Zombies, Creepers and Skeletons – Minecraft
Bottom of the barrel, the monsters of Minecraft can drop their heads for all to see and display. Whether you’re looking a Creeper in the eye, or you catch a skulking Skeleton around the corner of your humble abode, the mobs are known for dropping a variety of items. A while back, they started adding their heads to the item list.
Now, these are entirely decorative, so they serve absolutely no function. Unless you’re really trying to build the ultimate dungeon, but even then, these items just make up part of the decor and little else. They just made the cut, but barely. They are still a common enough drop and hey, somehow you can wear the heads of your enemies too…
Wait, when was Fassbender Macbeth? Missed that one, add that to the list.
Two heads worthy of mention from the Scottish play. First and most important is Macbeth’s own, brought on stage by MacDuff after slaying the man who would be king (spoilers by the way). Second, and more memorable, the apparition of prophesy, the armoured head that rose from the cauldron and spoke, thusly:
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!
Beware the Thane of Fife!
Dismiss me. Enough.
Only for Macbeth to be told by a pair of children that only impossible things can happen for him to die. Lesson learned, take grumpy, armoured heads seriously and ignore children even when covered in blood or wielding shrubs.
8) Fireys – Labyrinth
These little gits appear a few times in the film, but the main times are when Sarah gets lost with Ludo and during the end party in Sarah’s room. These… things… are awkward, a bit unnerving and ultimately a real thorn in Sarah’s side as she progresses through the Labyrinth to find the Goblin King, oh and her baby brother, Toby.
The Fireys appear to be a small tribe of furry bipedal creatures, who are able to remove their own heads. They can survive without their heads, which can keep talking (and biting). They are cannibalistic, which only adds to their dangerous personalities. It’s strange, as these guys, if not for their habit for wanting to kick heads around, might have been an actual threat to Sarah.
7) C-3PO – Star Wars
We all know and love the blundering nincompoop known as C-3PO, but some of you may be surprised to hear that he can survive without his head. Those of you who’ve seen the first trilogy of Star Wars, I.E episodes 4-6, may be aware of this fact. C-3PO has not only lost his head, but he’s become a droid in the process!
Oh sure, you can just say it’s comedic effect, but it doesn’t stop the fact that C-3PO can indeed live on without his head. When a droid’s head was put on his body, he had no choice but to fight alongside them. It’s a strange scenario, which as far as I’m aware was only done once. Still, imagine if they gave the droid’s more autonomy over their willpower – C-3PO’s body might have been a perfect host.
6) Lordgenome – Gurren Lagann
Lordgenome, Spiral Knight, god king of the beastmen, one of the greatest ganmen pilots in the world, is bested by a shrimpy fourteen year old with a keychain. We find out only after his body has been reduced to paste that he was in fact keeping humanity safe by leaving them underground and killing them en masse, because young super-genius Rossiu has the presence of mind to find the head and plug it into a supercomputer.
As a living CPU, Lordgenome provides a lot of important information that would be incredibly hard to accept were it not already a problem; the arrival of the Anti-Spiral and their extermination engines, the untamed power locked in helical DNA and the spirit of a man. It’s ridiculous of course, but it’s still fun! Having his knowledge contained in a glass bubble without the ability to fight back makes him a potent ally, after spending so long as a dread nemesis of humanity.
5) The Headless Horseman
The myth, the legend, it can only be The Headless Horseman in basically all of his glory. Now, it’s a bit of a strange one, as effectively you don’t get to see his severed head at all. I mean certainly, there may be some variations where you see his head in a bag, however he typically collects other severed heads, making him a sort of headhunter. Get it? Heh, I’m funny sometimes.
The Horseman is probably most well known for having a pumpkin for a head in some iterations, which makes jack-o-lanterns all the more frightening! If you thought seeing a headless rider coming towards you was terrifying, imagine someone coming at you wearing a glowing gourd!
4) Alisa – Tekken
Alisa was added in Tekken 6 and is well regarded as a simple, effective poke oriented character. She returned in Tekken 7, retaining her friendship with Lars, Lee and co. She’s a robot, who has chainsaws for arms and has the ability to glide. Not only that, she can fire her fists as rockets and what’s more, she has the ability to separate her head from her body, as an explosive projectile.
Robots are pretty good at living without limbs, or even heads. Once she’s fired her head off, it reforms back on her neck, as if nothing had ever happened. There’s something to be said for anyone who has that kind of ability, to just create a brand new copy of her head, but to be fair, fighting as a limbless robot after a few attacks would be just a bit of a disadvantage.
3) Norris-Thing – The Thing
In one of the most famous scenes in the 1982 film The Thing – if not the most famous scene – a collapsed colleague at the research station has to be defibrillated, leading to the doctor’s arms being devoured, paddles and all, by an open, screaming maw in the torso. Flamethrowers out, and the howling pile of twisting and mutating flesh in the shape of Norris is no more, but The Thing drops a head to the floor to evade incineration.
The head spawns long insectile legs, a pair of eyestalks, and it scuttles away, warbling unpleasantly. Any arachnophobes or generally squeamish people are strongly advised to look away because it may be one of the more grotesque moments in cinema, and lauded as one of the greatest examples of practical effects outdoing CGI. I liked the 2011 prequel, but they should have listened to the director more on the subject of practical effects.
2) Weaponised Head of Medusa – Myth of Perseus
Ahh, the classics. The gorgon Medusa was cursed, along with her two sisters, with faces so hideous that one look was enough to turn a man to stone. The legend can be a little confused, and has only gotten more so as time has elapsed and more obfuscation has been added by pop-culture. What is known is that the snake-garnished head, removed from the body by Perseus, is a potent weapon.
The face still has the power to petrify the living, and not just mortals. Even the titan Atlas fell victim to its power when he tried to attack Perseus. The head became a symbol for the hero, eventually being bound to the legendary shield of Athena, Aegis.
1) The Head of Nixon – Futurama
President Richard M. Nixon already served as president of the United States, and after over a thousand years his disembodied, preserved, and still criminally insane head gets a shot at the presidency of Earth. One day sucking down Torgo’s Executive Powder on a shelf in the Head Museum, the next sitting on the desk in the oval office signing surrender orders from Omicron Persei VIII and waging war against peaceful planets.
Nixon is straight up crazy, he admits it himself. Long centuries have elapsed since he had a body of his own, and now he’s a loose cannon with a lot of loose cannons at his disposal. He’s proven himself to be every bit the crook he was when he was whole and a thousand times worse. But dammit if he’s not a thousand times better than the original.
Good list, another one we’re rather pleased with, and to cap it off we’ve got some excellent entries to our Honourable Mentions section. These are yet more examples that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still deserving of a tip of the hat nonetheless.
Robb Stark – Game of Thrones
The young wolf led a decent campaign against Lannister forces, dozens of minor victories and a legend to his name before he ever engaged in a major combat. He was an excellent strategist, and an inspiring leader to his people. Was…
Following a poorly thought out relationship and a shady deal between the Lannisters and the Frays, Robb and most of the Stark family and their bannermen are butchered in cold blood, and the young wolf was paraded before his enemies, not headless, but with the head of his own dire wolf stitched onto his torso.
Nearly Headless Nick – Harry Potter
Nearly Headless Nick, who has one of the best names imaginable of Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, was a man who simply was just unfortunate. He was so unfortunately, that he couldn’t even die properly. When he was sent to death, the executioners blade came down and couldn’t kill him. Turns out, the axe was blunt, so it took 45 swings of the axe to kill him – and even then, his head didn’t fully come off. Grim.
Because his head isn’t fully severed, he gets relegated to our honourable mentions. Of course, he wanted to join The Headless Hunt, a group of ghosts who are actually headless, but that they certainly couldn’t accept someone who is nearly headless. Tragic that even in death, he was hugely unsuccessful… But hey, he has one pretty major thing going for him…
… He’s portrayed by John Cleese in the films!
So ends our celebration of the cerebelum, a body part worthy of acknowledgement, without which we’d have one very long confusing song about shoulders, knees, and toes, and nothing to sing it with. A lot is on the line when threatened with decapitation folks! While you ponder the importance of keeping your head, cast a vote on our next gruesome Top 10.
Was your head on top? Were our hearts in the right place but our heads just weren’t in the game? Would you have seen Lordgenome ahead of Alisa? Did we rank two heads that should have been neck and neck? Throw your hat in the ring and put us right in the comments down below, or on Facebook and Twitter.