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Most Dangerous Jobs In Film Fiction
By: Mickael
Most of us don’t get glory in our work. We just offer ourselves physically and mentally to a demeaning cult of corporate culture as wage slaves. For those that are intelligent and driven, this can actually feel worse as any attempts at fulfilling your potential are repeatedly trampled while you’re asked to conform, comply, and co-exist with your less intelligent colleagues. The blade of grass that stands too tall risks being cut.

You suffer a thousand tiny indignities for decades throughout your career, ultimately culminating in the greatest indignity of all: your retirement. Retirement is a brief period of time at the end of your life when you’re finally given freedom from work; but all your friends are dead, you have to live on a meager budget, and all you can hope for is to die with dignity. I would much rather go out in a blaze of glory. There are many professions or roles in film for which there are no retirement parties and no twilight years, just the sweet embrace of death.

We all know that if you join Starfleet and are handed a red shirt to wear, that you might as well set your phaser to “kill” and take yourself out. Or that if you’re the one black guy going on a road trip with your white friends, when suddenly things get spooky, that you may not be coming home in one piece. Lord knows, if your name is Sean Bean then it doesn’t matter what your job is, your life is in danger. If Sean Bean starts working at Panera Bread, the manager may as well set the workplace safety sign to “0 Days Since Last Incident” because that fucker can’t keep himself out of trouble. Beyond those basic observations on film tropes, however, lies a whole set of professions and life roles that appear to be significantly more dangerous in film than they are in the real world...
5) Villagers / Peasants in Fantasy Film and Historical Epics
The most dangerous jobs in real life, with the highest incident rate per 100,000; are fisherman, lumberjack, and pilot. In films, however, you don’t need to go out to sea, into the forest, or take to the skies to find imminent danger. A few weeks ago, we talked about the trials and tribulations facing peasants in ancient civilizations. Just by being a simple villager, a peasant, living in your basic homes outside the castle’s wall is all the reason some ne’er-do-well needs to end your life. Whether you’re facing robbers, raiders, dragons, or invaders; you are the exposed first line of defense for your kingdom.

The thing is, you didn’t sign up for this life. Knights have an expectation of danger in their profession, so they’re given armor and weapons. All you did was get yourself born. As if it’s not enough that your life of serfdom provides you few rights, suddenly a horde of invaders has turned you, your child, and your aging grandmother into a makeshift militia in defense of your slavers. As archers launch fire arrows across the sky and rampaging horsemen trample your freshly planted parsnips, you’re probably second-guessing this whole “society” thing.

Who would have guessed that out of all the flaming dangers threatening the village people, that arrows would claim more of their lives than HIV? My advice to any peasants attempting to live their lives in peace in their castle-adjacent village: give up on agrarian society. Become nomads. Moving targets are harder to hit, and even if you are attacked, you have no home to defend-- you’re free to flee! If you can’t convince you’re entire village to transition to the nomadic life with you, you’re not out of luck; simply become a hermit. Move deep into the forest, into a shack obscured by vines. Convince people that you’re a sorcerer and that your cabin is enchanted. People in these movies are superstitious and gullible, after all, and as long as you never claim to be in possession of a sacred amulet or some other nonsense, you’ll be safe a hell of a lot longer than your foolish neighbors who stayed in the strategically-valued location right next to a castle that is obviously prime real estate for a battleground.
4) Students - Horror Films
Obviously, making your own way in films can be difficult. You’re almost always placed behind the 8-ball right from the start. Finding success in films, just as in life, can be an opaque process involving a mixture of hard work, strategic planning, and luck. To ensure that you’re using the best practices possible to attain success, there is a place you can go, even in fiction: school! Both High School and College serve as places of learning about math, science, communication, and even yourself. When you’re not developing your mind by mixing chemicals in the chemistry lab, hoping to develop chemistry with your cute lab partner, you may be developing your muscles in the workout room with the wrestling or football team.

It’s an environment of rigid structure, with such a wide variety of required learning that you’re sure to hate at least some of what you’re being taught. Mid-terms, pop quizzes, bullies, and demanding faculty members can easily stress out students as well. An easy fix for this stress is to hook up with your fellow students in an environment without those pressures. Whether it’s a party at your buddy’s house while his parents are away, a camping trip, or a road trip; getting away from school for a weekend feels like just what you need to decompress and develop lifelong bonds. Unfortunately, that trip will kill you.

In horror movies, being a student at the high school or college level seems to make you a murder magnet. Whether it's Halloween, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, Carrie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Waxwork, The Evil Dead, Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream, Night Of The Comet, Night Of The Creeps, The Blob, and hundreds of others; your education manages to tangentially put you in the precarious position of having your head chopped off. Again, I have great advice to keep you safe: drop out of school. If you drop out now, ostracize yourself from your friends, and get a job that doesn’t require a great education, then you just might survive.
3) A Big City Cop('s Partner) in Action Flicks
Staying in your village wasn’t peaceful, and you dropped out of school after all of your classmates were murdered, so now it’s time to move to the big city and get yourself armed. You figure that living in close quarters with millions of other people may limit your exposure to danger. With so many potential targets, what is the chance that you, in particular, will die? You can also be armed on the streets without attracting too much attention, as long as you go to the police academy and get a shiny little broach that apparently lets you carry weapons in public. Interestingly, the Police Academy is the one loophole to the “students often die” rule of films, as in all 7 movies, an animated series, and a live action TV show, no academy cadets ever died.

Once a police officer, things get tricky. You don’t want to be out there on your own, because we’ve already established that you’re a coward who fears death at every turn. Luckily, the police force has an option for little mamby pamby wimps like you: take a partner! The entire Brotherhood Of Blue will always have your back, but having a partner will ensure that backup is only a few feet away. It’s like having a bodyguard that you don’t have to pay for. You’d think that being a cop in movies is dangerous, but it really isn’t. Sure, you purposely seek out danger; but the minute you show up, danger runs away! Sometimes the bullets will fly, but whenever it’s convenient you where a bulletproof vest, and even though the world you call home is frought with peril from epic bad guys with high concept theft strategies, you always seem to have plenty of cops to back you up. There are infinite cops in any city at any time, according to films. In fact, only one type of police officer is in immense danger at any given moment: the main cop’s partner.

The tricky part is, how do you know in any partnership whether you’re the main guy, or the sidekick? When you’re in the moment it’s not like you know whose story we’re following. Well, here’s a hint: if you’re name is Ricky, Jimmy, Mikey, or Bobby and your partner’s name is Dick Steel or Max Falcon, then you may as well be wearing a Robin costume. Being a partner to a hero cop is more dangerous and less rewarding than a part-time job working as a Little Caesar’s sign spinner on the side of the Autobahn during Oktoberfest. Sure, you’ll be avenged by your partner, whether it’s Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Humphrey Bogart, Keanu Reeves, or Tom Hanks; but that is precious little consolation for a dead man. You’re best bet is to hope that you end up in a buddy cop action-comedy scenario, like a Lethal Weapon, Tango & Cash, Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour, or Dragnet. Sure, there will be constant conflict and you’ll inevitably be captured and tortured, but at least you’ll survive. Maybe it’s best to just shun society again, and move to the mountains. I hear The Himalayas are great for clearing your mind...
2) Kung Fu Sensei in Martial Arts Movies
Now that you’ve realized that farming is for peasants, school is for fools, and the police can’t even protect themselves, what career choice is left? Well, you can always become a Kung Fu master. Clearly, learning martial arts with the intent to pick fights will be dangerous. However, just learning a little Aikido or Jiu Jitsu so you can teach others sounds like a good deal. For one, you become a fucking deadly weapon. Secondly, all your friends and students who love and admire you are also killing machines. Thirdly, you’re technically just a small business owner, so you’re biggest issue should be with the tax collector or the Better Business Bureau. You should be among the safest people in the world, right?

Instead, you’re brutally murdered in the night for some reason, even though you really aren’t directly involved in any conflict. At least you can die knowing that your greatest prodigal pupil will return to avenge your death, with fury! Whether that student is Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or Jet Li at least you’ll be avenged. I know, I cheated because those are all different versions of the same story. But what about Executioners From Shaolin, 47 Ronin, or Shaolin vs Wu Tang? It’s true that a more common Martial Arts film trope is for the hero to learn martial arts to avenge his father, but Kung Fu films still have enough dead senseis to fertilize a thousand zen gardens. The plus side is, at least you live to old age; the down side is, you will die violently.

What’s your safest alternative? You should become the lovable fat comedic relief guy that the audience feels empathy for like he was their own pet. Eat a metric fuck-ton of puffy pastries and balloon up to the size of a sumo wrestler, or to convert it to Imperial units: roughly 2/3rds of an American. The goofy, slow-moving fatass’ only real enemies are stairs and diabetes. You may get picked on a little, but ultimately being the fat guy in a Martial Arts movie means that you’re untouchable. Sammo Hung knows what I’m talking about. And when you’re fat and into martial arts, there’s really only one person that comes to mind. Maybe you could become...
1) Steven Seagal's Wife in Film or in Life
Ladies, let me give you a piece of advice: DON’T MARRY STEVEN SEAGAL. Don’t even date him. If you do, you immediately become the primary target for numerous underworld low lifes who can not wait to rape and murder you, and I can’t promise they’ll do it in that order. Steven Seagal’s wife or girlfriend experiences unspeakable horror in every film she’s depicted in, and that’s just the assumption that she’s had to see Steven Seagal shirtless. If you audition to be Steven Seagal’s wife and do well, instead of acting in a movie you'll be Baker Acting in the psych ward. The role of Steven Seagal’s wife may as well be cast from Jeffrey Dahmer’s freezer.

Steven Seagal’s wife, girlfriend, or fiancee was murdered in Hard To Kill, Half Past Dead, Belly Of The Beast, Into The Sun, and Shadow Man. His ex-wife was even killed in The Glimmer Man. In Kill Switch, a woman is mudered simply because she appears to be dating Seagal. In Out Of Reach, a little girl who writes letters to Seagal is sold into the child sex trade. Pistol Whipped might just be the Seagal-iest of all Seagal movies, because his wife is bamboozled into divorcing Seagal and marrying a murderous crooked cop who kidnaps their daughter and murders Steven Seagal’s priest. It’s clearly very dangerous to simply know Steven Seagal. Vladimir Putin better watch his fucking back, at any moment he could be mistaken for Seagal’s gay prison bitch and then raped and murdered by a jealous DMX. In real life, Seagal has had four wives who merely had their careers ended because of him, instead of their lives. Steven Seagal has done more damage to the institution of marriage than gays, Ashley, and Henry the VIII combined.

If you’ve already found yourself married to Steven Seagal, what’s the safest alternative? Get a divorce. Suicide bombers have a lower incident rate than Steven Seagal’s relationships. His wife only survived in Above The Law, and ever since then if his wife is mentioned she will be attacked or murdered. Even though his ex-wives do tend to die, nearly 1/3rd of them have survived. In general, ex-wives of action stars have an extraordinary life arc. First, you get to marry a rich, albeit pompous, and handsome man who is safe and stable in every way. Eventually, he’ll be exposed for being a jerk and you’ll divorce him (or he’ll die), either way you are now also rich and free to re-marry said action hero, AFTER he has eradicated all danger (until the sequel). See: Liam Neeson’s ex from Taken, Bruce Willis’ from Cop Out, The Rock’s from San Andreas, or even Steven Seagal’s in Driven To Kill (though she doesn't make it).

Now that you’ve moved away from your family, dropped out of school, quit your job, become horrifically obese, and divorced your husband you are quite possibly the safest character in film fiction. Remember, safety isn’t something you do when you have the time, it’s something you do all the time... while living in a hovel obscured by trees deep in the rainforest, where there is nothing out here that can hurt you... except nature, I guess.
Which film job is the most deadly?
Villager / Farmer (Fantasy)
Student (Horror)
Cop (Action)
Kung Fu Sensei (Martial Arts)
Steven Seagal's Wife
Poll Maker
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