Death and sleaze guidelines

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Herein, we describe our particular approach to indexing the ephemera of deaths and sleaze.

Recent film indexes

Older indexes

Earlier forms of the index didn't retain research notes or reference images. These films need to be updated.

A.D. Police Files 1-3 • Absurd • All Souls DayAmerican Ninja 4: The AnnihilationBad InfluenceChina Strike Force • Fear No EvilThe Final •  Malibu HighA Night to Dismember •  Pact with the Devil •  Prototype X29A •  SnapdragonSuspiriaUnderworld: Evolution


Every time a movie character dies or does something sleazy (explicitly or otherwise), we categorize it into a “death by” or “sleaze by”. As part of this compulsion, we’ve developed some guidelines which help drive the categorization:

  • "Just bodies" are not deaths. Imagine a morgue with 30 bodies on slabs. We know they're dead but we have no indication of how they died or who these people really are - they're more set dressing than actual characters. We don't count these as deaths, nor any other scene where it's "just bodies" (random crime scene footage, scary skeletons or corpses in a cave, etc.).
  • Deaths are final, sleaze is not. Once someone is dead, that’s it... we shouldn’t see ‘em moving around again. If they’re resurrected, become undead, or turn into an evil beastie and wander around a bit more, the death wasn’t “final” and isn’t counted or categorized (unless, of course, they die again in their new form). Contrarily, sleaze can happen as often as necessary: if someone takes five different showers, that’s five specific sleazes.
  • Be specific but not too specific. Very narrow categories like “Death by 5-inch knife”, “Death by hunting knife” or “Death by toothed knife” aren’t entirely useful – those should all be classified as simply “Death by knife”. Exceptions include differently named items (”Death by switchblade” and “Death by machete”), or of unique interest (”Death by butter knife” might be OK, but it’ll probably only ever be used once). “Death by werewolf” is also OK (as are “vampire”, “midget”, “chupacabra”, “scarecrow”, etc.) but “Death by bear” should be accompanied by the more generic “Death by animal”.

Keyword modifiers

Modifiers can tweak any death or sleaze to indicate specific conditions and are always placed in parenthesis, such as "Death by axe (insurance)". To ease categorization, only one modifier is allowed per usage - instead of "Death by axe (insurance, offscreen)", we use "Death by axe (insurance)" and "Death by axe (offscreen)". Only use the modifiers defined below, and only when necessary.

  • Death by _____ (insurance): This didn't cause the death, but happened afterwards as a bit of insurance that the character would stay dead. Decapitating someone with an axe, then throwing their head in a fire, would be "Death by axe", "Death by decapitation" and "Death by fire (insurance)". Insurance should only be used when there is no doubt the character is already dead or soon will be.
  • Death by _____ (offscreen): The death occurred entirely offscreen. We may see a shot of the character screaming about his impending doom, but if the scene changes and we never see that character again, the implication is they died offscreen. No part of the act of death has been filmed.
  • Sleaze by _____ (unfulfilled): Nudity or sleaze was implied, but never actually occurred. If the intent of a shower scene is to see someone nude (as opposed to, say, getting clean), then not seeing nudity would mean "Sleaze by shower (unfulfilled)". On the other hand, "Sleaze by mini-skirt" is generally meant to tease with the possibility of a panty shot, but rarely "pays off". In situations like that, you would not use unfulfilled.