Top 10 Movie Characters Who Have Come Back From The Dead
Script written by Genevieve Methot
Top 10 Movie Characters Who Have Come Back From The Dead
The tale of the resurrected hero has been around since the dawn of storytelling, so it’s no surprise we’re still telling it today. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie characters that have come back from the dead.
For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable movie characters that were resurrected. However, we’ve excluded characters that are brought back as vampires or zombies, as well as characters like Jason from the “Friday the 13th” franchise, who just refuse to die. Also, a SPOILER is probably in order.
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009)
They may be millennia more advanced than the human race, but the fact that a group of Transformers called Constructicons can reboot their dead leader at the bottom of the ocean using the very same Allspark that destroyed him is still impressive. Megatron’s return was meant to be a secret until the film’s release, but fans and skeptics easily saw through Michael Bay’s attempts to keep it hush-hush. While Optimus Prime is also destroyed and rebooted by the Matrix, Megatron’s revival was much more satisfying. Say what you will about him, but you can’t deny the devotion of his Decepticons.
#9: Eric Draven
“The Crow” (1994)
In a film that’s uncomfortably dark from the very first scene, Eric Draven is given a chance to avenge his fiancée’s brutal murder, as well as his own, by a mysterious crow that resurrects him from the grave. Sadly, the graphic novel this film is based on was inspired by the sudden death of the author’s fiancée, who was killed by a drunk driver. The story of a crow who can carry a soul back to right the wrongs is a folktale we wish held some truth to it, since lead actor Brandon Lee tragically diedfrom a freak accident during the making of the film.
#8: Frank Bannister
“The Frighteners” (1996)
When it comes to close encounters with death, this guy’s a seasoned pro; he gets resurrected not once, but twice throughout the film. Michael J. Fox plays Frank Bannister, a man whose ability to see ghosts comes with the responsibility of protecting those who can’t see them. Even after getting locked in a freezer and then being strangled to death, Frank somehow always manages to avoid staying dead. Part of what makes Frank’s journey strangely fun to watch is the impressive use of mid-‘90s special effects that were whipped up by the not-yet-famous Peter Jackson and his team.
“The Mummy Returns” (2001)
The story of the High Priest’s re-resurrection is a colorful concoction of magic and history, blended so well together that it is almost convincing. In the film, Imhotep is brought back to life via a cult led by the reincarnation of his former lover using the Book of the Dead. While this ancient funerary text did exist and supposedly contained spells to help the dead along their journey through death, here it’s apparently also kid friendly and works on fresh corpses. While Evelyn’s revival makes the audience sigh with relief, Imhotep’s resurrection reveals an entirely new dimension to his character, since it was love that brought him back.
#6: Bertram Pincus
“Ghost Town” (2008)
While under the knife, patients sometimes flirt with death, to the point that they may even flat line before being successfully resuscitated. In Bertram Pincus’ case, he brings back a little souvenir from the other side. After being declared dead for seven minutes, Pincus can now see ghosts, and much to his dismay, he becomes the only person capable of helping them. The choice to cast a comedian like Ricky Gervais as the lead in a film about death and resurrection proves it’s a subject that not many people can or want to take seriously, but suspending our disbelief may come a bit easier after watching the unlikely coupling of Téa Leoni and Gervais.
#5: Hector Barbossa
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
Like the Disney attraction the franchise is based on, these movies remind us that sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Appearing only in the last thirty seconds of the film to set up the sequel, the fallen captain, who was killed by Jack Sparrow in “The Curse of the Black Pearl,” is resurrected in order to help his former crew save Jack from pirate hell. Talk about ironic. Barbossa’s reappearance was a surprise both on and off screen, as the cast believed that Zoe Saldana’s character would be returning until Geoffrey Rush appeared in the final shot instead. Way to make an entrance, Captain!
“The Matrix” (1999)
Here’s an example of a character who “has” to die. His brief demise tests the audience’s loyalty to the whole “He’s The One” theory. If you thought he was going to miraculously spring back to life, chances are you were a believer. Because this is the moment Neo goes from loner computer hacker to Cyberpunk Jesus, savior of unknowing slaves. Not only does his resurrection confirm Morpheus’ die-hard belief that he’s The One, but by not second-guessing himself, he is finally Zen enough to tap into his full potential and defeat Agent Smith. Plus, it proves Trinity’s logic, which means she can go on falling in love with him because the Oracle said so.
#3: Harry Potter
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)
For the franchise’s grand finale, it was almost expected that the young hero would make the ultimate sacrifice after escaping the wrath of Voldemort—er, we mean He Who Must Not Be Named—for so many years. Without realizing that Harry is one of his Horcruxes, meaning an object that contained part of his soul to keep him from dying, the Dark Lord’s Killing Curse sends him to limbo, but also unwittingly destroys his Horcrux. But Harry’s brief death gives him the greatest freedom of all, by severing his connection from the man who killed his parents, and finally granting him the chance to defeat him once and for all.
“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984)
Throughout “Star Trek” history, the bromance between Spock and Kirk has been a beautiful thing to behold. Most recently in “Into the Darkness,” we saw what the emotional toll Kirk’s death—and resurrection—takes on his best friend. But thirty years before that, Kirk was on a deadly mission to reunite Spock’s body with his soul, which is trapped in the mind of Dr. McCoy. The story of Spock’s ultimate resurrection was apparently conceptualized in part because Leonard Nimoy regretted his decision to be killed off in the film’s predecessor, “The Wrath of Khan.” But we don’t even care why: we’re just glad he’s back!
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Batman Returns” (1992)
– Elliot Hopper
“Ghost Dad” (1990)
– Mr. Jingles
“The Green Mile” (1999)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
Befitting the series min which it takes place, Gandalf’s return from the innermost depths of Khazad-dûm as an even more powerful wizard is nothing short of epic. Kind of like achieving a black belt in martial arts, the wizard version of leveling up requires a test of skill and strength with a not-so-gentle Tolkien touch. The wizard emerges in the second installment of the franchise as Gandalf the White, after having defeated the Balrog who threatened to kill the rest of the fellowship. Of all the characters on this list, Gandalf is the only one who literally had to fight his way through hell to come back just to risk his life all over again in the battle for Middle Earth.
Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite resurrected movie character? For more entertaining top tens published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.