ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning: The following contains major SPOILERS relating to the final moments of the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Which you've already seen like five times, right? Just in case, though, proceed with caution and all that.)

Now, in a cinematic galaxy of horribly murder-filled movies, it's perhaps surprising that it's taken 'til now for someone to attempt to work out which movie contains the most on-screen deaths. The day has finally arrived, though, which means that we now (semi-officially) know that Guardians of the Galaxy is (probably) the deadliest movie of all time, with a whopping-great 83,871 deaths taking place on screen in front of our very eyes. And, in keeping with his self-appointed role as the internet's cool cousin who would totally have given us beer when we visited him during his freshman year of college, the film's director James Gunn has now responded to that deadly accolade:

As is his wont, though, Gunn's full response was reserved for Facebook, and featured both an explanation of precisely what the record means to him, and exactly why Guardians one the title over such planet-exploding movies as A New Hope:

Wow. So according to this article, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is the "deadliest film of all time" with over 83k deaths on screen. For the record, the second "deadliest film of all time" is 'Dracula Untold' at 5.6k, 'Return of the King' is number four with 2.7k deaths on screen. That's right — we have 78k more deaths than our closest rival. Um, hooray? The reason for this high count is rather simple — at the end of the film, an enormous swarm of Nova Corp pilots create a Nova net — linking their starblaster ships together to try and block Ronan's Dark Aster from reaching their planet, and destroying it. Although they're able to heroically hold him off for a time, the Dark Aster eventually breaks through, destroying all of their ships — all told, I guess we see 80,000 ships being blown up on screen. This is a massive visual effects sequence that took hundreds of visual effects artists thousands of hours to put together. I can't tell you how many dozens of times I made them redo the sequence for it to look just right, but I know we were still getting revisions hours before I boarded a plan to begin the press tour in Singapore. I hope our heroic CGI Nova Corps members know they didn't die in vain. Not only did they help stop their planet from being destroyed, they garnered a rather sketchy world record in the process. RIP Garthan Saal and company. PS For all of you writing about Alderan, etc, etc — it's individual, ONSCREEN EXPIRATIONS, not implied deaths through seeing planets or cities exploding. You also see a lot of planets explode in the Collector's museum. Stop trying to take this huge honor from me.

[Guardians of the Galaxy/Marvel Studios]
[Guardians of the Galaxy/Marvel Studios]

Of course, as Gunn himself hints, the record itself isn't necessarily all that meaningful, arriving as it does via an insurance company, GoCompare. Also, the company's top ten suggests that Return of the King and The Sum Of All Fears only saw 2,788 and 2,922 on-screen deaths, respectively — which seems about as accurate as a chocolate weather-vane.

Whether the data is accurate or not, though, James Gunn remains super nerdy, which is really all that matters here.

Want more of James Gunn's social media-based awesomeness? Check out his recent brutal quashing of an apparently inaccurate Guardians rumor.

In the meantime, though, what do you think? Is Guardians of the Galaxy really the deadliest movie of all time? Let us know below!

[GoCompare, Facebook]


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