When you think about the most on screen deaths in Hollywood it’s kind of hard to think of Danny Trejo isn’t it? But as Ryan Beltram of We Got This Covered has made clear he’s actually the top man in the business when it comes to this dubious distinction at a whopping 65 deaths, beating out the likes of Christopher Lee, Lance Henriksen, and yes, even Sean Bean if you can believe that. Even more amazing, Sean Bean didn’t even make the top ten, but then we have to think that maybe Bean has had some of the most NOTICED deaths on screen, not necessarily the most over all. After all, getting axed in the first season of a show is bound to be noticed since a lot of people were really starting to like Lord Stark by the time he literally lost his head. Danny Trejo however is a guy that has hundreds of acting credits to his name and among them a good percentage have ended in the death of his character in such a way that it’s been pretty memorable, but not in the same manner as others. This is likely why it comes as such a big surprise since people are used to seeing Trejo as the unstoppable badass in movies, especially in recent years.
Thinking about some of his deaths, it’s hard to think of them all given that he’s had so many, there are a few very memorable ones that stand out since they didn’t have much to do with the movie but were still kind of great all the same. One of the came during the first From Dusk till Dawn movie, the one that kicked it all off and starred Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney, the Gecko brothers. Trejo played a minor character in the movie, but it was still great since the scenes between him and Clooney were so tense that thinking about it now is kind of amusing since he didn’t do much to set up the rest of the movie, but he still played a decent part. If you remember the movie then you recall the bartender, the guy that told Seth and his companions that they couldn’t drink in the bar since they weren’t truckers. Of course it was Harvey Keitel, aka Jacob, that diffused the situation quickly. From that point on Trejo was only seen a few times, such as when he introduced Salma Hayek’s character, when he stabbed Richie Gecko through the hand, and when he took on the character of Sex Machine right before his death. It wasn’t one of the more impressive death scenes on his resume, but thanks to the movie it was definitely one of the more entertaining.
Another came during the slightly amusing movie Desperado starring Antonio Banderas. Trejo plays an assassin whose gimmick is to wear a wide brace full of sharpened throwing knives, many of them with handles shaped like crosses. Eventually he does find his man as he takes after Banderas and starts to pepper him with knives, killing Banderas’ friend, played by Steve Buscemi, in the process. The great part about this is that upon being noticed on the street as he’s attempting to finish off his opponent Trejo’s character is then confronted by a group of hired thugs that are also looking for Banderas. What comes after that is nothing short of ridiculous, but it’s also insanely funny since Trejo begins to show just how deadly his character is by throwing knife after knife at a group of people holding GUNS on him for crying out loud, hitting several of them and even jumping on top of the limo they’re in to start throwing knives through the open sunroof. Seriously, how awesome does that kind of scene sound? Of course he did eventually get drilled by the thugs and that was the end of that. The point though is that when Trejo goes it’s been seen that he can have a memorable on screen death as well. It’s still surprising that he’s number one but it’s kind of impossible to argue with the numbers. It’s the kind of distinction that not every actor is going to feel is that great, but it’s still kind of interesting all the same.
It’s hard to believe that Trejo has been around for so long but it’s easy enough to think that he’s been impressive for much of that time. For a lot of movies he’s been the kind of guy that’s there to act as the thug, the assassin, the killer, or just the tough guy that’s trying to get through life, and it’s suited him quite well. A lot of actors try to become known for something in their careers, and while something like this is a bit dubious it’s still enough to think that he earned it.
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