As we approach the 20th anniversary of My Chemical Romance’s I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, we recalled a little something in the CD’s liner notes. Among vocalist Gerard Way’s dedications was an eyebrow-raising apology: “I’m sorry I wrote all this stuff about killing you.”
Bullets began the story of the Demolition Lovers, a concept that carried on through Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. Fans will surely be familiar with the sophomore album’s tagline: "The story of a man, a woman and the corpses of a thousand evil men."
A thousand? Not in the entirety of the Halloween franchise have we seen a kill count that high, and we’re only two albums in! So, what exactly is the bodycount in MCR’s catalog?
We went album-by-album to count concrete fatalities (depictions in music videos, direct lyrics) and estimated those implied using researched averages (average number of people in a wedding party, average number of friends, house show capacities, etc…) to find out just how deadly the MCR collection is.
Note: For the purpose of this article, we will be discussing conceptual “death” only, in the spirit of horror movie kill count videos. The members of My Chemical Romance are very outspoken against actual violence.
Album: 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love'
“We can wash down this engagement ring/With poison and kerosene/And we’ll laugh/As we die/And we’ll celebrate the end of things with cheap champagne” —"Drowning Lessons"
Dear diary, basically every track on this album has a bodycount—usually at least two per song. However, most songs seem to refer to the repeated demise(s) of the Demolition Lovers, so we’ll try to avoid double-counting. The track “Drowning Lessons” is the first to mention “a thousand bodies piled up” with no intention of stopping.
Additionally, the album explores killing a zombie lover, getting gunned down in the desert and staking vampires — making it, hands-down the album with the highest mortality rate.
Fatalities: Staked vampire, Man in “Honey” video, woman in the “Vampires” video, zombie lover, “1,000 bodies piled up,” “think happy thoughts,” Demolition Lovers
Album: 'Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge'
“Well, never again/And never again/They gave us two shots to the back of the head/And we’re all, dead now.” —“I Never Told You What I Do For A Living”
Let’s elaborate on that “corpses of a thousand evil men” concept. Basically, one of the demolition lovers makes a deal with the devil to bring him the corpses of a thousand evil men in order to be reunited with his dead lover.
Spoiler alert: After doing all that evil shit, he ends up being number 1,000 and reuniting with her in death. Some murder methods used in this album include death by cyanide, stabbing, and — of course — the heartbreaking moment in “The Ghost Of You” video when Mikey gets gunned down during World War II.
Fatalities: A wedding party, “she,” dying wish, Hotel Bella Muerte, coffin door, bathroom floor, us
Total Kills: ~14
Album: 'The Black Parade'
“Have you heard the news that you’re dead?” —“DEAD!”
The Black Parade follows the story of The Patient as he enters the afterlife following his death by cancer. Presumably, many of the characters he meets on his journey are either also dead or memories. Counting the Patient’s death only once, we have whole groups of folks going to hell and others making people “pay for the things that they did.”
Fatalities: Patient, she, you, shit that I’ve done, we (troop), “make them pay”
Total Kills: ~38
Album: 'The Black Parade Is Dead!'
“So we'll have you guys know that tonight the reason that we're filming this, is because this is the last performance of The Black Parade... FOREVER! And we wanted to come down here, to Mexico, to properly kill them off!” —Gerard Way, introducing “Disenchanted”
Just as the title implies, in this 2007 live performance DVD the fictional band The Black Parade “died” in Mexico.
Fatalities: The Black Parade (band)
Total Kills: 5
“Sparks against the railing/Distant phantoms wailing/Through the windshield sailing/With these airbags failing now” —“Surrender The Night”
Conventional Weapons makes counting death tolls considerably harder because of one specific song. “Make Room!!!” alludes to dystopian overpopulation in 1966 sci-fi novel Make Room! Make Room! By Harry Harrison. In said novel, New York’s population reaches 35 million. Resources are limited and a lot of bodies are piling up. According to Cinemorgue, there are 6 verifiable kills in the movie Soylent Green based on said novel, so we’ll just go with that.
Fatalities: “Gun.” (innumerable, war), friends/tragic ends, I, “kill the girls,” stacked coffins, car crash
Total Kills: ~19
'Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys'
“I hate you/Kill everybody!” —“Zero Percent”
My Chemical Romance broke fans hearts in 2010 when they killed off all four of their Killjoys alter-egos in the “SING” music video. However, they gave as good as they got, ray-gunning down at least 16 members of Better Living Industries in the process. Additionally, it’s implied (albeit in Japanese) that the Killjoys bomb an entire party, that there’s nuclear warfare, self-sacrifice, and in B-Side “Zero Percent” talk about killing literally everyone.
Fatalities: Jet Star, Kobra Kid, Party Poison, Fun Ghoul, music video Draculoids (34+), “kill everybody” (innumerable), kill the party
Total Kills: ~58
Album: 'The Mad Gear And Missile Kid' EP
“Yeah, I drink juice when I’m killing/’Cause it’s fucking delicious” —“Black Dragon Fighting Society”
There are no verifiable published lyrics for this three-song EP, so we had to take some guesses here. The line above is taken directly from a panel in the True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys comic delivered by Val Velocity after he has dusted at least two Draculoids. There are also potential references to drowning, and a lovely allusion to mafia-related violence in “Mastas Of Ravenkroft.”
Fatalities: “The Cosa Nostra Steakhouse,” Draculoids
Total Kills: ~10
Combined Kill Count From Every Release
So, that brings us to a kill count grand total of at least 1,151-ish throughout My Chemical Romance’s oeuvre.
Eat your absolute heart out, Michael Myers.