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Peter Jackson, Director of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tops the chart for most murderous director by on screen deaths


You Probably Won't Guess Which Film Directors Have The Highest Body Counts

A redditor reveals which directors have the most career onscreen deaths.

If the death of one man is a tragedy and the death of millions is a statistic, as Joseph Stalin famously suggested, then certain film directors seem more inclined toward statistics than tragedies. A redditor recently ran the numbers to determine which director's body of work contains the most dead bodies and while no one approached Stalin statistics, some surprising data emerged.

The morbid-minded Randal S. Olson gathered data from an online movie body count hub, and used it to determine whose films had the most deaths overall. As it turns out, all those Middle Earth armies really pile on the hobbit-bloodshed, leaving Peter Jackson as the king of the category. (Interestingly, Jackson's body count doesn't even include casualties of the monkey-bite zombie attacks in his early splatterfest, Dead Alive.)

John Woo, director of Face Off comes in a close second

As much as directors like Martin Scorsese, Brian de Palma, and Frances Ford Coppola are forever tied to the violent films in their back catalogues, in terms of kill count, these bros cannot compete. The directors who made the list either consistently have lots of group battles in their films, like John Woo at No. 2, or are directors like Steven Spielberg, whose epic tendencies lead to the highly death-tastic War of the Worlds in 2005. There's no telling how Edgar Wright ended up on the list, though, tied with Roland Emmerich, but there must have been enough bodies in Shaun of the Dead to compete with the latter director's Independence Day somehow.

Let us know of any glaring discrepancies you spot in the comments below.

[Photo by Mark Pokorny, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures]

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  • Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson

    Somehow I seriously doubt Woo's body count totals at 1500, since NINE of his movies have 1111. So unless his other 31 movies are tame as hell, I find this hard to believe.

  • Trevor Pinto

    This is a totally useless statistic. What we need to know is deaths per movie.

  • Emmerich destroyed the entire planet in 2012, how could he not be at the top of the list? George Lucas destroyed Alderaan in Star Wars, another complete planet full of people, not to mention TWO Death Stars, fully staffed with tens of thousands of hapless Imperial staffers and stormtroopers. C'mon! :-)