Friday, October 19, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 19th

The Overlook Hotel
Originally, I was going to talk about only one of the characters that show themselves in The Shining. I couldn't decide between Jack, the writer who goes crazy, Grady, the butler who convinces him to slaughter his family, Lloyd, the suspicious looking bartender, the rotting old woman, or the twin sisters that keep showing up. So I just though I would include all of them, or rather, the one controlling them. And that really is the Overlook Hotel itself. You never really figure out why the place is haunted or what its history is, but you do know that when people have a past connected to the Hotel, they never really leave it behind. After they have died, they return as a ghost of whatever they were when they were in the hotel. The place is filled with people that have either worked there or even just been guests there. At first, people like Lloyd and Grady act as though they aren't aware that they are dead, but slowly, they begin to give hints that they really know what's going on. Lloyd even has that "I know something you don't know" grin on his face. And the fact that they just don't come out and say what's on their mind just makes it all the more eery. Of course the biggest WTF moment in the movie comes at the end when we see Jack after he has died showing up in a picture from a New Year's Eve party from the late 30's. That moment alone has sparked debate amongst fans as to what it's true meaning is.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 18th

"I pardon you"
Amon Goeth
Where do I start with this one? For starters, he's a Nazi, which already makes him worthy of being on this list, seeing as how Nazi's do tend to make the best bad guys. But the one thing that sets him apart from even his Nazi film counterparts is that Schindler's List was Stephen Spielberg's telling of the Holocaust the way it happened. There wasn't any room for exaggerations or fiction. Even when it came to the character of Amon Goeth. Which means that all of the things that you see Goeth do in the movie. Well, that actually happened. Goeth really did execute people at random and use workers as target practice from his balcony. And those are just a few examples. There isn't a hamminess to Fiennes' performance, which would take us out of the drama of the story, he often just has this look of nonchalantness, like he's done this before. To be honest, this character stands out the most to me in this movie because again, being that this was the "No BS" history movie, it just feels sickening that a person like this can exist. At least in the cases of other people on this list, they have been either fictional or exaggerations of real people, this is the first truly wicked person that we've talked about that actually existed.

Villain of the day- Oct 17th

"I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?"
Patrick Bateman
Before Christian Bale made a name for himself loosing his voice as Batman and yelling at keygrips, he actually gained a cult following by playing one of the biggest assholes in movie history. Patrick Bateman is one of the most arrogant, conceited, self-centered egotistical jerks you will ever see in film. He obsesses constantly over how he looks, thinks only of how he can make others think highly of him, and schemes to bring down those who stand in his way. He even kills a man who is able to get reservations at a restaurant on the same night he tries. There is really nothing in this guy's soul except for jealousy and contempt. And honestly, even though this guy is a total asshole, I do actually recommend this movie. It's a cult classic that is insanely fun to quote when the opportunity arises. It's also one that Baleheads hold in high regard and no matter how many times we see Bale growl as the caped crusader, we will always see him as the 80's wall street yuppie that is Patrick Bateman

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 16th

"A boy's best friend is his mother"
Norman Bates
Even if you don't know the twist at the end of the movie Psycho, you can still tell that there are a number of things wrong with this guy, and you would really want to keep your distance if you were in the same room as him. He has all the signs of somebody who is about to snap. His timid manner, the fact that he fidgits uncontrollably, that he has an infatuation with his mother. You just get this feeling that he is not in public who he is behind closed doors, and when somebody tries to pull of such a nice guy persona when you know the he is sheltering some kind of dark demented secret, it makes him not only scary as a character, but as a person. When the awful truth about him is revealed, it becomes one of those movies where you watch it again and say "Wow! It all makes sense now!" And what is a villain without a creepy smile? And Norman has one of the most iconic creepy smiles to date.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 15-3

"And I'm the devil! Now kindly undo these straps!"
In case you haven't noticed, the theme for October 15th was "Women you don't want to cross on their periods". If that's the case, I should include my sister on here... Hey-oh!
She doesn't read this, she's not gonna care!

I guess it isn't really Regan that we are talking about as much as it is the demon inside of Regan, which is never really named, it's just "the Demon". And honestly, what other name do you need? The idea of a person being possessed by a demon is bad enough, but a little girl? It goes back to my point about the woman in black in that they don't give a rat's ass that they are dealing with children, they are just possessing her because they want to. Yikes. If they did that much to a child, imagine what they would do to a grown adult. Now, I'm not going to get into what made the possessed Regan so terrifying because that always gives me the creeps, but there is something else I noticed after watching the movie only recently. If you watch the director's cut, there are a few cutaway scenes in which you see the face of... Well, I'm not sure what it's the face of. I suppose it's the face of the demon possessing her because we catch it in a few scenes in Regan's house and in Father Carrass's dreams, but it's never really named. It's just this face with ghastly white skin, red eyes and a look of insatiable hunger. And when that face is looking directly at the person watching the movie (aka YOU), that part alone could give you nightmares.
Here is said face. You shitting yourself yet?

Even to this day, people will watch this movie and want to run out screaming, I believe it's still shown in some cinemas on Halloween night. If you haven't seen this yet, it is worth the watch, if you can stomach it. Once the demon starts to take more and more control over the girl, it does get more and more terrifying and harder to watch, but if you can stomach it, you might not regret it.

Villain of the Day- Oct 15th

"I'll get you my pretty! And your little dog too!"
The Wicked Witch of the West
Before I get started, yes, I have seen the play Wicked, and while I will say that I enjoyed the music, acting, staging etc. immensely, I am not accounting that story arc in this review because I am only looking at the character in the film The Wizard of Oz. Having said that, WWOW, is probably one of the first villains that some of us saw when we were children, and what a great one to introduce us to villains. And what a great one to include in a countdown to halloween. When people first hear the word "witch" she is usually the first person that comes to mind. And why shouldn't she be? She has the grotesque skin, the flying broom, the ear shattering pitch in her voice, she's become the staple of hollywood evil. Her motivations are pretty clear, just get the ruby shoes, which I never really understood why they wouldn't just give them to her. What would they loose by giving her the slippers? It's not like she needed them because the rubies powered some sort of doomsday device. I guess they just wanted to say "Fuck you and your dead sister". Although I guess they did need them to send Dorothy back... I don't know, I really feel like the witch got the short straw on this whole deal. Fun fact: I heard a rumor that the actress who played the witch was a kindergarten teacher before accepting the part, and I thought my intro to lit professor was evil.

Villain of the Day- Oct 15-2

The Woman in Black
Earlier this year, this movie was released and while others said it was okay, I praised it as being a new horror classic, and most of it had to do with how this specter was shown. Her backstory is that she had a child out of wed lock and her sister adopted the boy immediately after the boy was born to avoid any potential scandals. However she was prevented from seeing her son and vowed revenge on her sister after the boy was killed in an accident in which he drowned in the marsh surrounding the house. The mother died soon after, only to come back as a vengeful ghost that haunted her sister to her dying day and continues to terrorize the townspeople by taking their children in the most dreadful ways. In the novel, they would die through some insane accident. In the movie, which I said this was an improvement in that it was much more chilling, she puts the children in a trance and forces them to commit suicide in a manner that looks like an accident, such as wading into waters with a strong tide, or dropping a gas lamp at their own feet, even swallowing lye. The other creepy part is when we see her standing with the souls of the children that she has claimed standing around her, implying that once she has driven them to the grave, she isn't finished with them, she holds onto them. Normally, in stories like this, we find out that she cares for the children like they were her own, being that she took them to fill the whole in her heart left there by her son. Not in this case. Being that this is a dark spirit, and a pissed off, vengeful one at that, I don't think she is making the afterlife a picnic for those poor children. And finally, I have to talk about the ending. Sorry if I am spoiling this for anyone, but I do feel that this is an important part of my analysis. In the end, the young attorney that pieces together her story comes to the conclusion that if he were to lay the body of her son in her grave next to her, maybe she would be at piece and would feel less inclined to take the life of his own son. Well, after all that, she still decides to try and claim his son as her own, trancing him to walk in front of a train. Some people have seen that as her saying "You reunited me with my son, so I'm going to reunite you and your son with your wife who died in childbirth". Others have seen it as the ghost is still pissed and still vengeful and sees his efforts as him giving her the finger and is going to take his son for meddling in her affairs. I'm more willing to side with this conclusion because it goes along better with the ending in the book. People have said that she is just being a bitch because he still tried and even if his efforts didn't work, she is still out of line to say the least. But the thing you have to remember is, she isn't human anymore, and on top of that, she came back out of hatred and anger. If that is all that governed her when she was alive, there isn't much chance she'll be motivated by much else after death. In her years as a ghost, she's probably forgotten what compassion and forgiveness feel like. Keep in mind, there isn't anything compassionate about killing children and sheoparding their souls in the hereafter.

Villain of the Day- Oct 14th

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver, with some fava beans, and a nice chianti"
Hannibal Lecter
It may be a tad cliche to add this one, but there is a reason why he has become one of the most well known villains in film history. Where to beginn? Well for starters, in his first film appearance in The Silence of the Lambs, he has a lot of build up, and you hear people talk about all of the horrible things that he has done to people and how he fed his victims to dinner guests in the form of dishes. And yet, when you see him, he is perfectly polite and while he does ask some rather prying questions, he is, on all accounts, a gentleman. He even has the nickname of "The Gentleman Killer" because his victims are those who are especially cruel or rude. Sounds almost like Dexter, except criminals and people that mess up playing the violin in an orchestra are all on his hit list. And before any of you think that I was getting anywhere near saying that we should root or get behind him, he did rip a guys face off while escaping from prison. Not exactly something I would see and yell "Yeah! Go team!" for. The other aspect about this character that makes it so memorable is his relationship to the film's protagonist, Clarice Starling. At the beginning, he is intrigued by her, and by the end, it is hinted that he is not only fond of her, but fancies her. And we all know how it feels to have someone who isn't right in the head having the hots for you, am I right? The idea of having a bloodthirsty murderer falling in love with you, while it doesn't mean your life is in danger, it still puts an uneasy feeling in the pit of one's stomach. And while this relationship does get kinda cheesy in the sequel Hannibal, it still adds another level of creepiness to both the book and the movie Silence of the Lambs.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Villain of the day- Oct 13

Fuckin Dragons
Well, yeah. Kind of obvious don't you think? I mean, what's more badass than a giant, indestructible lizard that flys and breathes fucking fire? Well, maybe one that has the voice of Sean Connery, but he wasn't a villain, so I guess we can disregard Sir Connery for now. Add the fact that they feast on the flesh of men and you have one of the most terrifying creatures in both film and literature. Okay, so they aren't always indestructible, in cases like The Hobbit, they are killed by getting hit with a special arrow in a very special spot. And in cases like Skyrim, they aren't invincible, but they are extremely freaking hard to kill. Which only makes it that much more satisfying when you finally slay that prehistoric fucker and eat its soul in order to make you more powerful. Not really a whole lot else I can say about Dragons because, well, they're freaking dragons... There isn't much that I can say that you don't already know. Sometimes they talk, which can subtract from the terror level a bit, but you can forgive it when you see them tear-assing around a village or fortress eating up villagers and warriors alike as if they were twinkies.