Posts tagged “movie reviews

You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Nuclear fire rains down and blackens the land plunging us into eternal darkness. A mysterious contagion spreads throughout the land eradicating 99% of the planet’s population while hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes tear the world asunder. Let’s not forget about the doomsday rock barreling it’s way to Earth that’s set to impact right about the same time cosmic radiation from a super solar flare is about to wash over our soon-to-be gone atmosphere. Yes ladies and gentlemen it’s the apocalypse.

Blockbuster disaster movies like 2012, Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow have always had good turnouts at the box office due to people’s insatiable appetite for destruction. We’re awed by CGI overkill and ADD-like editing as we gobble down heaping handfuls of popcorn never caring much about plot holes and campy one-liners until after the adrenaline rush is over. There’s no doubt that there’s big money in disaster movies however, what happens after the world has been devastated? Welcome to the proving grounds otherwise known as post-apocalyptia. Disaster movies are fun but post-apocalyptic movies challenge you to do a bit more thinking during and after the movie (in most cases). In honor of my new Fallout-like layout (and having paid a visit to Educlaytion’s Gen X Movie page) I’ve been inspired to do top 10 list of my favorite post-apocalyptic movies of all time. Bear in mind these are just personal favorites and in no particular order as to not show preference over one another. Many of the listed titles originate from fantastic novels. Some miss the mark of the original written work while others stay true to the word. Just to avoid getting into a screenplay translation war I’ll just let the movies stand on their own free from comparison to their respective origins. If you have seen a movie that hasn’t been mentioned here and you feel I should know about it, by all means chime in. I love seeing something new and jump at the chance to expand my Urkel-like movie knowledge.

Bear in mind, being a movie geek of epic proportions, my criteria for classification into the post-apocalyptic genre is quite strict. Some movies I feel don’t quite fit into that category despite being widely regarded as such or having elements in it. For example, let’s look at  The Terminator. While it does revolve around a post-apocalyptic future the majority of the movie takes place primarily in (then) present day with time travel being the driving force. This would fall into my upcoming Top 10 Time Travel Movies post more than this one. Another contested title is The Quiet Earth. That was a particularly twisted movie revolving around the last man on earth scenario. However that centered on alternate realities more than the aftermath of an catastrophic event therefore doesn’t quite make the list. It does rank pretty high on the mindf*ck meter so I’m sure it’ll make a future Top List down the road.

Now onto the business at hand:

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Plot: This film tells the story of an American astronaut crew that crash lands on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes are dominant species and humans have been subjugated into slavery.

Why I like it: Who can forget the classic line of  “Get your hands of me you damn dirty apes!”? Between Heston’s rockin’ old man bod and over-acting and eye candy pin up girl Linda Harrison’s perpetual shock and awe expression in every single scene you have the makings for a classic B movie. For some reason though this film manages to crawl out from bad movie hell and ascend to the top of cult flick charts. I love it. Sure Heston is at his overly-dramatic prime in this but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The majority of the movie is cleverly disguised as an alternate reality story until the end. In one of the most memorable twists in cinematic history it’s revealed that Taylor, the last surviving astronaut, is in fact on a post-apocalyptic Earth and not a foreign world like he presumed. Although the argument can be made that this could quite easily be classified as a time travel movie, the duration takes place in the post-apocalyptic world and deals with the trials and tribulations of said world therefore qualifying it in my book.

The Omega Man (1971)

Plot: When the world’s population is killed by a man-made plague an experimental vaccination makes Dr. Robert Neville the last man on Earth… at least that’s what he believes.  He struggles to find a cure while trying to avoid the trappings of  the plague’s survivors – nocturnal homicidal mutants known as The Family that terrorize him daily in an effort to destroy what they perceive him to be as the last remnant of the technological society that caused all of this.

Why I like it: I should really be shot for claiming to be all about everything post-apocalyptic yet not having read  Richard Matheson’s novel I am Legend by now. I always hear how this movie differs so greatly from the book but it really doesn’t matter to me. I dug this when I first saw it and still do to this day. It’s yet another Charlton Heston survival classic. Although severely dated the premise of the movie is still strong. Will Smith’s 2007 I am Legend almost tied in this spot due to his amazing performance in pulling off that isolated-slipping-into-dementia feeling but once again, CGI killed it for me. I’d rather lean more towards the Count Chocula cape having, pasty white, wig wearing 70’s freaks from the Omega man than some fake green screened creatures any day.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Plot: It’s the tale of a community of settlers struggling to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders with a aide of a reluctant drifter known as Mad Max.

Why I like it: Classic. Classic. Classic. Seriously. How iconic is that picture of Mel with his leather outfit and gun? This movie has long been the measuring stick that all other post-apocalyptic flicks compared against. From Fallout to South Park, everyone has referenced it to some extent. It’s the future that everyone dreads, bondage freaks gone wild. Gimp outfits and stylized shoulder pads aside, what makes this movie work so well (more so than even Mad Max) is the whole archetypal Wild West frontier motif that’s achieved with Mad Max’s role as a cynical, hardened drifter who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the proverbial town under siege. It’s good old fashioned cowboy movie topped with a nice buttery coating of S&M and depravity.

The Road (2009)

Plot: The story follows a man and his son as they journey through the wastelands of a devastated Earth trying to survive by any means necessary.

Why I like it: Again, another book I should really read (Cormac McCarthy’s The Road) because the movie was so deep. I can’t figure out why it didn’t get more recognition than it did because both Viggo Mortensen (Hollywood’s most underrated actor) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (starring in October’s Let Me In) dominate this film with their strong performances. This is as bleak as it gets with regards to cinematography. The desaturated destroyed landscapes paint a portrait in itself of how desperate the world they live in is. The cause for the catastrophic events that lead to their predicament are tastefully never explained leaving you to formulate your own conclusions. Though the movie takes place in a wasteland populated by raiders, cannibals and miscreants the story is more about a father’s love for his son and what they have to go through just to get by day to day. It’s extremely depressing and not recommended for those looking for some kind of knock ’em down drag ’em out action flick. However if you think you’re having a bad day, watch this movie and you’ll absolutely know you don’t have it that bad.

The Matrix (1999)

Plot: This film depicts a future in which the reality that is perceived by most humans is actually a complex simulation created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies are cultivated and  used as an energy source for them. A young computer hacker is drawn into a rebellion involving others who have been freed from the “dream world” and their quest to rescue mankind from imprisonment.

Why I like it: It only happens once in a blue moon but every so often a movie comes along and shakes Hollywood up and spawns countless knock-off and wannabe imitations. This was one of those instances. When this movie burst onto the scene it rocked the world because of its perfect timing with events in pop culture. The Internet and computer revolution were just starting to gain speed and The Matrix took full advantage of that momentum introducing us to a world within a world. Great story, stunning effects (at the time) and Ted Theodore Logan. What more could you ask for? I’m sure some can contest that it isn’t quite a post-apocalyptic theme considering the majority of the story takes place in the simulated world. Despite that they are actually in the scorched Earth environment while all of this is taking place so I suppose it can go either way. It’s my list so I say it stays so there. ;p

Children of Men (2006)

Plot: The story takes place in the United Kingdom in 2027 and explores a grim world in which two decades of global human infertility have left humanity with less than a century to survive. In the midst of societal collapse, terrorism, and environmental destruction, a former activist must find safe transit for a pregnant African woman who is in danger of being persecuted by the government’s fierce anti-refugee policies.

Why I like it: This one was a shocker for me because I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard about it. True this is a dystopian theme and not quite post-apocalyptic but considering the circumstances at hand with the world being in a destabilized state I let it slide. To me the whole key to a good post-apocalyptic tale is the removal of the conventional institutions we have in society today such as government and religion and the injection of a loss of morality and anarchy. This film has all of that. Gritty and forceful it serves as a exaggerated commentary on how governments currently manage their immigration policies.

Logan’s Run (1976)

Plot: Set in a Utopian yet ageist future society in which both population and the consumption of resources are maintained by requiring the death of everyone reaching a particular age, the story follows the actions of Logan, an officer charged with enforcing the rule, as he tracks down and kills citizens who “run” from society’s inevitability — only to end up “running” himself.

Why I like it: The concept of ritualistic extermination of people 30 and over is just mind boggling. I’d be screwed if that were the case. The movie puts the theory of utopia on its head by challenging us to come to grips with our own mortality and humanity. Add to the mix a very scantily clad and provocative Jenny Agutter and a dynamic Michael York and it’s great romp with through the future that mysteriously looks very much like the 70’s.

The Book of Eli (2010)

Plot: The story revolves around Eli, a nomad in a post-apocalyptic world, who is charged by an inner calling to deliver his copy of a book, the last remaining King James Bible, to a safe location on the West Coast of the United States.

Why I like it: I was a bit leery about seeing this movie at first because of the strong religious overtones in the commercials but it had Denzel in it (which is always a plus) and looked pretty darn post-apocalyptic so I caught it in the theaters. Wonderful movie. Everyone kind of knew the general premise so I was expecting it to be a bible-thumping preachy film about how we need God and what not. Instead I found it to be pretty spiritual without forcing any belief structure on the viewers. Eli is a man who believes in what he believes in and that’s all that is conveyed. Religion’s role in this is from a observational stand point showcasing how it can be used for good or evil. Regardless of all that the almost monochrome tone to the film and desolate lifeless landscapes pretty much pull you right into that world. Not to mention the fact that it’s just awesome to watch Denzel whup some ass, it just makes for a enjoyable thought provoking experience. One of the better films of this genre in recent years.

Escape From New York (1981)

Plot: In 1997, World War III is nearing an end. Both the United States and Soviet Union have suffered greatly in the conflict and are looking for a peaceful resolution. Ex-soldier and legendary fugitive “Snake” Plissken is given 24 hours to find the President of the United States, who has been captured by inmates after Air Force One crashed in Manhattan – now a converted maximum security prison island.

Why I like it: Come on. This movie wreaks of cheesy goodness. Everything about it from Russell’s awful one liners to his trademark patch just screams anti-hero. Like Children of Men this leans heavily on the dystiopian theme rather than post-apocalyptic but a lot of details are purposefully left out allowing audience to fill in the blanks. I tend to believe that if there was a World War III  in it’s conclusion there wouldn’t be much stability anywhere. Considering the script was written during the mid 70’s when the nuclear arms race was starting to boil over it’s reasonable to assume bombs got dropped at some point or at the very least there were global skirmishes.  Either way it makes my list albeit tentatively.

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Plot: In 2024 a young man and his telepathic dog scour the wastelands in search of food and women.

Why I like it: That is the premise of the movie. I do not lie. When I heard about it a while back I thought to myself “I have to see this”. With the King of the 80’s Don Johnson in the title role of Vic I figured it should be worth a laugh or two. This is highly criticized for it being misogynistic and often cruel towards women. It’s hard to argue with that point since Blood, the rather snarky canine companion, has the ability to sense and track women so that Vic can “fulfill his manly urges”. When you strip away the comical facade the movie tackles a lot of controversial subjects like cannibalism, beastiality, murder and even rape. Nothing is ever graphically shown but they’re certainly explicitly implied . It’s an interesting film to say the least and had a profound influence on the Fallout game series. My wife enjoyed it so I guess it can’t be all that bad.

Worth Noting: The Last Man on Earth, The Postman, Akira, 12 Monkeys, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Idiocracy, Equilibrium, I am Legend, Mad Max, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Matrix Revolutions, Matrix Reloaded, Escape from LA, The Blood of Heroes, Reign of Fire,

Geek Fact: I’ve said post-apocalyptic 15 times in this post. Geez I need to use a thesaurus more often. ;p

Disclaimer: As always if you are the rightful owner of any image used in this post and want it removed just contact me and it’ll be resolved asap. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the free publicity.

review review

Are you saying it’s from the future?

I’ve been a fan of the Terminator franchise since the first one. Heck I remember seeing it in the theater with my parents. Couldn’t have been more than 9 or 10 at the time. My parents rock.

I even liked Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Even though it wasn’t recognized by any of the creative forces behind the movie franchise and really stretched the boundaries of the storyline, it still held a soft spot in my heart. Course Lena Headey and Summer Glau had a lot to do with that. Nothing like some eye candy to peak one’s interests.

Anyway, one thing that’s always puzzled me about the Terminator franchise is their whole concept of time travel. People have been getting turned off to the movies because the time paradoxes are too complicated. In an attempt to make sense of it all I hereby present a Guide to Understanding Terminator 1 – 4.

Let’s take this one step at a time…

Terminator – The original 1984 movie tells the story of a post apocalyptic world where sentient machines had caused the near extinction of mankind. A resistance force, lead by a man named John Conner helps overthrow their oppressors in the year 2029. In an attempt to prevent their ultimate destruction the machines send a cybernetic assassin back in time to kill John Conner’s mother therefore preventing him from being born and in essence, averting their own destruction at his hands.

1984 —– John is born ——— Judgment Day ———— John smashes the machines

That’s the way the time line played out prior to the machines sending a terminator back in time. When they altered the past by doing so they caused a tangent thread to the existing timeline…

1984 —– John is born ——— Judgment Day ———— John smashes the machines
——-\(t1 events) — John is born —– Judgment Day ——- John smashes the machines

Terminator 2:  Judgment Day – A now teenage John Conner must contend with a new advanced terminator that’s been sent back to kill him. This time a terminator defender is sent back instead of a human to help protect him. John, Sarah and the terminator protector not only try to stay alive but try to prevent judgment day form happening by destroying all traces of the original terminator that was sent back.

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines

Once again intervention from a future timeline causes yet another tangent thread to the tangent thread…

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
——————————————–\(t2 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines

Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines – John Conner, now a young adult,  must deal with yet another even more advanced terminator that’s been sent back to kill him. Yes.. another terminator defender is sent back instead of a human to help protect him. John, his future wife and the terminator protector try to stay alive again and try to prevent judgment day from happening by destroying Skynet before it goes online and takes out humanity. I know… sounds like the same thing as T2 but hey… I didn’t make the movies.

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
——————————————–\(t2 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines

…and yes… because of future interference we have yet another tangent reality…..

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
——————————————–\(t2 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
————————————————————–\(t3 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes machines

Terminator Salvation – Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor is charged with leading the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus is truly a friend or foe when the revelation is made that he is part machine. Together the embark on a quest to not only take down Skynet but rescue Kyle Reese, John’s one-day father.

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
——————————————–\(t2 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
————————————————————–\(t3 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes machines

This latest movie adds yet another tangent onto the string of threads already spawned…

1984 ——————————- John is born ——————————- John smashes the machines
——\(t1 events) — John is born — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
——————————————–\(t2 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes the machines
————————————————————–\(t3 events) — Judgment Day — John smashes machines
—————————————————————————————————–\(salvation events) — John smashes machines (?)

So what the hell does all of this mean?

Firstly, the subject of time travel shouldn’t be taken lightly when writing. Because there are uber-nerds out there (like me) they’ll pick apart and question every little aspect of what was presented in order to make sense of it.  I’ve never come across a “perfect” time travel story yet. There have been some good ones (like Primer) but the subject is so ambiguous, there ends up being many theoretic holes that can and often will be exploited.

A common hiccup that comes up is chicken-and-egg theory. Kyle Reese is John Conner’s father. Kyle Reese is from the future. Sarah Conner gives birth to John Conner before the war (and before Kyle Reese is born). How is that possible? It gave me headaches when I first saw the movies. After watching many movies about time travel the tangent reality theory suited this movie series best. Terminator’s time travel concepts differs from Back to the Future’s which differs from Donnie Darko’s. To understand (and/or appreciate) Terminator you need to understand its vision of time travel which is what I believe is tangent realities.

In the original Terminator movie John Conner’s upbringing is very cloudy. The only things the viewers are told for certain are that Sarah Conner taught her son to survive and that John Conner never talked much about his father. That leave a lot up to interpretation. During the course of the movie we learn that Sarah is a shy, demure and introverted woman who is often stepped on (figuratively) in life. It’s also determined that she didn’t have much luck with relationships either so it can also be speculated that she probably got involved with someone (whom she later parted ways with) and gave birth to John. In the original timeline (in which no future interference occurred) it can be reasonable speculated that at some point in her life she got fed up with her station in life (of being a doormat) and toughened up a bit. Those sort of letdowns, disappointments and harsh treatment could have contributed to her becoming a harder woman by the time judgment day came around.

There are certain constants in the Terminator franchise that you kinda have to accept in order to understand and cope with the confusion:

  1. Doomsday occurs no matter what. It’s a paradox in its own because one of the tag lines in Terminator 2 happens to be “There’s no fate but what we make”. The irony is that no matter how much the protagonists try to prevent the apocalypse it still happens regardless therefore proving that fate (as they define it) isn’t something you can change after all.
  2. John Conner is born and leads a human resistance against the machines in the post apocalyptic world. Again, another ironic twist to the concept of being able to change your fate. This is explained in more detail further down in the movie/timeline breakdown.
  3. This is science fiction – not science fact. Who knows if displacing matter from one point in time to another point will have cataclysmic consequences? Who knows for sure if you go back in time and accidentally prevent your parents from meeting you’ll cease to exist? Until someone actually time travels and proves one way or another we’re left to just speculate. Science fiction was invented to creatively explain things we don’t have concrete answers for.

Have I given this far too much thought? Of course! I’m a movie geek so it’s my calling to overly analyze movies that I find interesting. I love stories. I love science fiction. Anything that gets me thinking about anything other than pixels and web coding is a welcome escape for me. Now mind you, the guide here is just something I came up with to help me understand the movies. Many won’t agree with it. Some will. Either way I’d love to hear about other people’s ideas about the subject of time travel. It’s such a vast and open concept that it makes for good thinking.

Disclaimer: As always if you are the rightful owner of any image used in this post and want it removed just contact me and it’ll be resolved asap. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the free publicity.

You probably don’t think I’m a very nice guy… do ya?

Movie bad asses.

That’s been on my mind for some time now. Every once in a while I watch a movie that has a character in it that leaves a helluva impression on me. It’s not so much that I admire them or want to emulate them (course going postal on my upstairs neighbors could be very therapeutic) but more rather I appreciate the character’s cinematic completeness.

What the hell does that mean?

Villains have been a staple in movies since the images first started flickering on the big screen however not every villain can be considered an certified badass. No offense to old flicks and actors, but let’s be real… while they paved the way for the development of big screen acting, they were still pretty horrible when you compare them to actors of later generations. They were overly dramatic (and understandably so considering most came from theater backgrounds and you had to act that way on stage) and too unbelievable for my taste. Perhaps if I grew up watching them then I’d possibly consider some of the old school characters, but I’m not a dinosaur so to hell with anything prior to the 70s.

Anyway… back to “cinematic completeness” mumbo jumbo. In my book, a character needs to fall into the following criteria:

  1. The character needs to be well developed within the confines of the movie –  I don’t wanna hear about books, screenplays or tangent publications that further the detail of the said character. It’s a director’s job to pull that off in the movie. A good villain shouldn’t have his entire story explain in a few sentences. He/she should be complicated enough to leave room for speculation yet leave no doubt as to how bad ass they actually are.
  2. The character has to have superior dialogue – What’s the point of being a memorable movie villain if he/she doesn’t have some memorable lines. I’m not talking cheesy lines either.
  3. The actor must own the role – Nothing’s finer than seeing an actor (or actress) almost convince you that they are that character. Not everyone can pull that off but those that do are forever immortalized. If you can see someone else in the role of the character in question then that character wasn’t owned.
  4. The character has to be bad… I mean really bad – I’m so sick of the villain-with-the-heart-of-gold theme. A badass should be a badass all the way to the end. You have to be able to look at that character and say…”Damn… that’s a bad muthaf*cka”.

It’s rare to find a character that hits on all four points but here are a handful of characters that deserve some recognition for being – in my own estimation – real deal movie bad asses. They’re in no particular order so don’t think of this as a Most Baddest poll or anything like that)…

Otis Driftwood

...I am the devil... and I'm here to do the devil's work...

Otis DriftwoodThe Devils Rejects
Actor: Bill Moseley

Some could argue about this choice or the fact that I say it hits on all four points but there’s no denying how ruthless he is.  Those familiar with Rob Zombie’s characters will remember him from House of 1000 Corpses. In that Otis was branded more as  a militant mass murderer than a serial killer. Rob had many developmental issues with the studio during the course of filming and  I’m sure he sacrificed a lot of creativity just so he could get it on screen.

That all changed when he got his dirty little hands on The Devils Rejects. That was pretty much his baby and he had free reign to take the characters wherever he wanted – and did. The beauty of the character (I know… just doesn’t sound right saying beauty in conjunction with serial killers but oh well…) is that a lot is left to speculation about his past. All we find out about Otis, according to the movie,  is that he kills on a whim, likes tighty whities,  and revels in mindfucking people. Rape, pedophilia, necrophilia, murder… nothing is really out of Otis’ comfort zone. That in itself is a good basis for a badass villain but it’s Bill Moseley’s performance that makes Otis that much more creepier.  Some of you may remember him from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 where he played “Chop Top” Sawyer.  It was a god-awful movie but any true horror fan has to appreciate him in that and may recognize traces of Otis in that performance. Bill took the character of Otis to an all new level of crazy. He wrapped himself up in that role so much that at times it makes you wonder if he’s really acting or just being himself (Sorry Bill. That’s my way of saying you put your heart into that).

If you haven’t seen the movie or don’t like any of Rob Zombie’s work, who cares. See it anyway. If you’re a real movie fanatic you treat them like a Chinese buffet and take what you want from it.

The Joker

Wanna know how I got these scars?

The JokerThe Dark Knight
Actor: Heath Ledger

No I’m not a bandwagon jumper.  I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I thank Chris and Heath for purging the memory of Jack Nicholson’s Joker from my mind. I’ll say it… I was never a fan of Mr. Ledger.  It wasn’t so much that I hated him or his acting – he just never stood out to me. Even playing the gay cowboy didn’t really knock my socks off… not that there’s anything wrong with that. Australia is known for putting out good actors (don’t count Mel… he’s crazy and was born in NY so he’s not a real Aussie) so I knew the potential was there. He just needed a good character and director. Unfortunately this role would be his last but boy was it a memorable one. I can’t say I was an avid Batman comics reader but I knew enough about it to know The Joker was a villain that villains were supposed to fear. Chris Nolan and Heath brought that to fruition when the Dark Knight was came to the big screen. I was real hesitant about all the hype surrounding Heath’s performance and went into that theater looking to continue on with my unimpressed streak regarding him.

I’m glad I went in looking to pick that role apart because it made me appreciate what he did that much more. Here you have the Joker – a criminal with no conscious that has an affinity for dressing a bit eccentrically. Simple enough premise but it’s the writing, dialogue and of course the acting that sends that character to a whole new level. In a make-believe world where dressing up in costumes and what not is the norm, the Joker seemed to bridge that gap between comic book campiness and real life macabre. He’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see on the 11 o’clock news and that’s what made him stand out from all the rest.

Russell Edgington

You are not our equals. We will eat you after we eat your children. Now time for the weather. Tiffany?

Russell EdgingtonTrue Blood
Actor: Denis O’Hare

You either love True Blood or you hate it and if you love it you have to love Russell Edgington. Yeah, I know. Not a movie villain but that’s what makes him so great. Now here’s a character that’s a bit less grounded in reality than some other villains but leave it to the fantastic acting of Denis O’Hare and creative (and often humorous) writing in bringing this seemingly impossible character to life. Many of the deviants in True Blood tend to be a bit over-the-top (which I enjoy) but Russell takes the cake.  A 3000 year old vampire with severe emotional issues, a serious lack of conscience, a big fat zero on the morals index and temper that can’t be matched. Oh I forgot to mention that he’s also a megalomaniac, suffers from delusions of grandeur and – on top of it all – is a bonafide sociopath. It’s awesome television for those who delight in depravity.

The Eclectic Russel Edgington was introuduced in Season 3 and boy did he make an impact. At first glance he didn’t appear to be more than yet another egotistical socialite vampire but as you got to know more and more about him, only then could you appreciate the sheer twistedness of this individual. He’s about as complex as a giant ball of knots and crazier than Joan Rivers. To describe his demeanor wouldn’t do it any justice whatsoever. If you really want to experience it, watch the series. If you already know about him, soak it up. The end of the season is fast approaching. You won’t get another dose of Edgington for almost a year.

Clarence Boddiker

Bitches. Leave.

Clarence J. BoddikerRobocop
Actor: Kurtwood Smith

Where the hell did I dig him up from, eh? True, Robocop was as campy as hell (and we’re talking about a late 80’s movie here so that’s like campy squared) but I hold a soft spot in my heart for this guy. Even surrounded by poor acting and even worse writing, somehow the character of Clarence Boddiker worked. There was nothing flashy or outrageous about him in the movie but I tend to appreciate the little nuances. Kurtwood (probably best known as Red on That 70’s Show) has made a career on being the scruff, no nonsense guy with the awesome  super-nugget head. However getting to be the nemesis in this set him loose as far as being a bastard is concerned. There was nothing you could like about Clarence.  He was a murdering, lying, scumbag from beginning to end and you gotta appreciate that. Kurtwood took  pride in belting out some of the priceless lines he has throughout the flick and at points, you really loved to hate the guy.

Crappy movie aside, next time you find yourself up at like 2 in the morning and Robocop is on… kick back and soak in his performance. You’ll be surprised at how sinister he actually is in it. Perhaps he should be just an honorable mention in the list but who cares… bad is bad.

Col. Hans Landa

May I smoke my pipe as well?

Col. Hans LandaInglorious Basterds
Actor: Christoph Waltz

Congratulations to the Academy for finally getting it right for a change and giving a stellar performance its rightful dues. We all know Tarentino. His movies always produce characters you’re bound to remember. Jaw-dropping dialogue and outrageous storylines are his trademark but with  but this time he took it to a whole new level. I can’t say I put this movie in the same echelon as Pulp Fiction but it has its moments. What stands out most for me is the incredibly disturbing performance by Mr. Waltz.

Nazis are always a great foundation for movie villains. Col. Landa was particularly ominous because he rarely had to physically demonstrate how intimidating or nefarious he was.  Highly intelligent and uncomfortably calm, he’s the kind of person that would flash a warm and welcoming smile right before he runs you through with a saber or shoots you between the eyes. Christoph somehow manages to convey that feeling of untrusting intimidation to perfection. Again, to try and use simple words to describe the vibe he gives just doesn’t work. If you don’t care to watch the whole movie, just see the opening sequence.  It sets the tone for the whole movie.

Patrick Bateman

You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.

Patrick BatemanAmerican Psycho
Actor: Christian Bale

I had to watch this movie a few times before I could really appreciate it. I’ve yet to read the actual book (from what I hear is totally deranged) but I have to say the movie itself was entertaining primarily due to then relatively unknown Christian Bale’s performance.

Patrick Bateman is crazy.

No seriously. He’s get-naked-smear-yourself-gore-while-rocking-out-to-Huey-Lewis crazy. He’s also delusional,  a perfectionist, a possible paranoid schizophrenic and a narcissist to boot. Mix all that together and you have the making for a wild ride in Insanityville. The selling point of the whole journey is following along side him as he descends slowing into depravity. Bale broods. That’s what he does but he goes into a whole new realm of menacing with his cold lifeless stare-downs and wildly erratic screaming fits. It’s one of those roles that he, as a method actor, must have really switched the sanity button off for a while in order to pull off some of the scenes. Not the greatest movie in the world but definitely worth watching if just to sit in awe of his utter madness during the course of the move.

John Doe

I visited your home this morning after you'd left. I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man. It didn't work out, so I took a souvenir... her pretty head.

John DoeSe7en
Actor: Kevin Spacey

Ooooooooh man. What can I say about this that hasn’t already been said? When I first saw Se7en I thought it was an awesome movie all the way through. Great story, gritty cinematography and a pretty damn good pairing of Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Serial Killer movies have always sent chills down my spine because that shit is real. There really are people out there that are that twisted and malicious and can very well live right next door to you. You always hear it on the news… “Oh he was a nice guy”.

Uh huh.

Little did you know he was pickling people in his basement while dressing up like Bea Arthur and singing show tunes to his cocker-poodle.

Anyway, the serial killer premise set the tone for the entire movie. Slowly and painfully you get to learn more and more about this mysterious individual commiting all these hainus crimes. By the end of the movie you’re kinda expecting to see some wild haired jungle freak that’s foaming at the mouth but instead you’re presented with perhaps the most frightening alternative – Kevin Spacey. Let’s be real here. Kevin Spacey is probably one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He kills it (no pun intended) in pretty much every roles he takes on… but the man is terrifying. He’s terrifying because he’s unassuming. Maybe it’s his voice or his diminutive stature, receeding hairline or piercing glances that do it. Heck it’s probably all of that. All I know is that he gives my wife nightmares and would probably make me feel uneasy if I ever met him in public. That’s not a shot at him as a person or anything, just a tribute to his phenomenal acting ability. If you’re able to convey that level of fear without so much as raising your voice, that’s talent.

John Doe (as he’s referred to in the movie) has no past. Has no identity. Has no real motive for his actions other than being inspired by words and passages from the bible. His soft spoken demeanor and utter disregard for any consequences for his actions make him probably one of the scariest movie villains of all time. What seals the deal for me is the fact that he doesn’t even really make a solid appearance until the last 20 – 30 minutes of the movie. If you can make that kind of mark in that little time that’s a fantastic, well written, well acted villain.

Darth Vader

You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!

*Darth VaderStar Wars
Actor(s): David Prowse / James Earl Jones

Notice the asterisk I have next to this one? His nomination comes with a catch. I only recognize Lord Vader as being a unquestioned movie badass only in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Mind you I’m talking about original release New Hope and ESB (not the crap they’re trying to perpetrate as the only Star Wars nowadays).  He started turning into a wussy little douche in Return of the Jedi so I tend to ignore him in that movie. I don’t even acknowledge the prequels so let’s not even go there. Hearing “PADME….. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” just makes me feel like I was punched in the gut by a large angry man.

I, along with many others in my age bracket, had the privilege of seeing A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back when they first came out in the pure untouched forms. There was no denying Vadermania swept over the world. Everyone loved Vader. Why? Because he was a badass.

What made Darth Vader a badass?

For starters he was huge. He looked like a damn pro wrestler the way he loomed over people. Secondly he had the most tremendous voice in cinema. Everyone knows James Earl Jones’ iconic voice and it was the perfect fit for such an intimidating character. Match that with him saying some of the most memorable (albeit cheesy) lines in movie history and he dominated the screen whenever he was on. Not to mention the fact that he was black.

C’mon now. Vader was black. You all know it. He wore black. He sounded black. You were all disappointed in RTOJ when he had his mask removed only to reveal some frail old white dude. Don’t deny it. ;p

Most of all Vader didn’t take any shit from anyone. He’d kill you in a heartbeat and wouldn’t even have to raise a hand to do it. There was enough mystery around Darth Vader to keep people speculating about his past for decades. That’s what made him cool. Vader became what you as an individual wanted him to be. It’s all about letting your imagination go wild.

That all came to a crashing end when Mr. Lucas decided to tell you exactly what happened to him. In my opinion that singlehandedly killed the Vader legacy and dispelled the mystique around him. He was no long this ominous villain that inspired and compelled millions.

He became Hayden Christensen.

Nuff said…

[Disclaimer] Any and all images in this post were plucked from various sites using Google’s image finder. If you are the rightful owner of any of the said images and would like them removed please let me know and I’ll do so immediately, otherwise take a chill pill and enjoy the free publicity. No harm, no foul.