When It's A Wonderful Life came out the MPAA was in an uproar that Mr. Potter appeared to get away with his crime and was not punished at the end of the movie. It looks like Hollywood made a course correction because now most bad guys end up getting what they deserve and then some unless there is a sequel in the works. I have noticed a recent trend in movies that when the villain dies he can't just die from colon cancer. He has to experience an extreme death for us to get our money's worth.
I remember when I saw The Wizard of Oz as a little kid and was shocked to see the witch melt. When I saw Ben Hur I witnessed Messala stampeded multiple times until he was just a bloody pulp. I thought that was intense at the time, but melting and stampeding are old school. Today if you want to kill a villain you've got to do better than that. Raiders of the Lost Ark took killing villains to the next level. Their heads actually melted and exploded! This was a memorable moment in movie history, but these days it would no longer turn any heads.
In Speed, MI3, Attack of the Clones, and Lord of the Rings bad guys are decapitated. Several James Bond movies feature blowing up the villain. Some of these can be seen in Never Say Never Again and Live and Let Die, and Golden Eye. Lord of the Rings made a fine showing. The King of the Ring Wraiths implodes which is different twist. Lava was also used to melt Gollum and Sauron explodes ala nuclear explosion. We are making progress.
After careful analysis the most extreme way to kill a bad guy is to blow him up, but not with regular explosives. It is much cooler if super powers are used. In The Matrix, Agent Smith has surging energy bubbles running under his skin before he ends up exploding. The other day I rented The Mummy 3. In the final scene the villain died by having sand and oil come out of all of his facial orifices and then he started to vomit lava before he exploded. Now that's how a bad guy should die!
After talking about all these extreme and exaggerated ways to kill a villain I need a break from the violence. I think I'll go watch some cartoons. Maybe Itchy and Scratchy.