Believe it or not I don’t watch horror movies exclusively. That being said, I’m always seeing the horror in other genres (Disney movies and pornography are no exception). Here are 10 characters in non-horror movies that I think could hold their own as the antagonist in a genre film.
Edward R. Rooney, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Played by Jeffrey Jones who is no stranger to the genre (Ravenous, Beetlejuice, Tales From the Crypt), principal Rooney is a man who will stop at absolutely nothing – NOTHING – to destroy an 18-year-old kid. Anyone that will break into a house just to catch said kid in a lie is a monster. And let’s not forget how terrifying Jones can really be…
Scut Farkus, A Christmas Story
We’ve all known this kid. Maybe some of you were this kid. If so, I hope you had your own Ralphie that bloodied your nose at some point. Scut Farkus is absolutely horror movie material. And Bob Clark knew a thing or two about horror movies (Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Black Christmas). I have to leave it to man himself, Jean Shepherd, to describe this villain perfectly: “Scut Farkus! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There he stood, between us and the alley. Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So help me, God! Yellow eyes!” A bully is the ultimate evil.
Any other white suburban kids from the Midwest try to DO this movie (minus the drive-bys and drugs, of course)? Anyone? No? Yeah, me neither. Tiny Lister plays Deebo in everything. He was born with that face and frame and now he’s the big scary dude. He also has 204 acting credits to his name because he’s a hell of an actor. A big, hulking, monster of man is intimidating (see Jason, Michael Myers, Victor Crowley, etc.), and Deebo ain’t scared of shit. Deebo does the scaring. And it works.
Nicky Santoro, Casino
Speaking of “ain’t scared of shit.” My entire childhood perception of Joe Pesci was someone along the lines of Nicky Santoro. I assumed Pesci was like a rabid Tasmanian Devil on PCP in real life. I’m sure he’s a lovely man, but he plays that type of character so goddam well (obviously). I could’ve gone with Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas, but it’s that scene with the pen in Casino that proves how evil Nicky Santoro really is.
D-Fens, Falling Down
Michael Douglas as a villain is perfect casting in my mind. His intensity is overwhelming (in the best way possible). Give him some blonde hair done up in a crew cut, some horn-rimmed glasses, and set it in hot, sweaty, mid-90’s L.A. and you have yourself one of the ultimate villains. Douglas is so scary in this role. Maybe because shit like this does/can happen at anytime.
Pizza the Hut, Spaceballs
It was just the other that I was telling my four-year-old son about Pizza the Hut – one of the most terrifying characters in a movie from my childhood. “Dom DeLuise was in All Dogs Go To Heaven. How could he… No!” Now, of course, it’s hysterical, but back then Pizza the Hut was one of the scariest things I’d ever seen. Still gross, though.
Robert Boyd, Very Bad Things
One of my favorite theater-going experiences ever was at this movie. There are four of us, we’re excited, we’re laughing, we’re enjoying ourselves, and then everything starts to happen. The laughter stops except for maybe some nervous laughter here and there. Credits roll. Lights up. We all look at each other, shocked, speechless. We walk out of the theater without saying a word to each other. Great movie. Christian Slater is like Michael Douglas in that he was created to play really good villains. Let’s be honest, it’s the vertical eyebrows. A man who will stop at nothing (not unlike Ed Rooney), including murdering his best friends and their families, to keep a secret is pure evil. This was the movie Slater tapped Jack Nicholson on the shoulder and asked, “Tell me about your process in discovering the character of Jack Torrance.”
Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Tyler Durden is almost our anti-hero in Fight Club. Of course, we don’t find out he’s actually the villain till the end of the movie, but that’s the genius of it. A man so powerful he can rally up an entire army spread across the nation (world, even) to destroy anything he wants… Oh wait, was this foretelling of what we’re living in right now? I need to go back and watch this movie immediately.
God, It’s A Wonderful Life
The Almighty. The All-Powerful. And in this perennial household favorite, He proves it. “Oh, what’s that George? You don’t want to live anymore? No problem.” God can make your worst nightmare a reality, and George Bailey got a taste of it. How about a Pinhead/God mashup movie? The Ultimate Battle of Devine Proportions.
Sid, Toy Story
Ah yes, a character from a children’s animated movie. I bet you thought I’d go with Scar, or Ursula, or any witch ever. Nope. I’m going with the psychopathic child that created a Pinhead-Spider thing out of a doll head and an Erector Set. Sid is truly horrifying in that he’s taking living toys (granted, WE are the only ones that know they’re living), mutilating, dissecting, and torturing them, and using them for his own pleasure. If that doesn’t scream horror movie ICON, then I don’t know what does.