Movies are a great way to see certain characters and feel inspired to be more like them. We watch movies like Apollo 13 and want to have the leadership of Ed Harris’ Gene Kranz. We see Amelie and think that it’d be nice to do good things for other people for no other reason than to see them smile. Hell, when I watch “Hannibal”, I find myself wanting to be more like Dr. Lecter, in that he is well read, educated, urbane, charming, and elegant. Apart from his strange diet, he’s kinda admirable.
But there are also movies where the main character is an anti-hero, someone that we shouldn’t be cheering for because godDAMN are they an asshole! While I love many of these characters and want to cheer their survival, I also recognize that I shouldn’t approve of their behavior. After all, some of these people are flat out dicks.
So let’s look at a few of these characters that go about things in all the wrong ways!
THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD, SO VENTURE FORWARD AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Mary Mason – American Mary
Rape revenge movies aren’t a genre that I particularly enjoy. Honestly, I tend to avoid watching them simply because I find myself getting disgusted and I lose interest in the story. There’s a rape, the rape victim kills the rapist, usually through some horrible method, and that’s that. However, I didn’t know that American Mary was essentially a rape revenge film, so I went into it unaware of what was to come.
While I fully respect where she’s coming from – seriously, fuck that professor – the actions she took went beyond justice and dove right into the deep end of depravity and torture. Mary Mason is not a good person, plain and simple. Her death at the end of the film doesn’t bring satisfaction, it simply helps alleviate the sour taste in my mouth that built throughout the movie.
Snake Plissken – Escape From New York
Okay, hear me out here for a second before crucifying me, alright? Snake is pretty much the perfect example of an anti-hero. He was a decorated military man before turning to a life of crime, using his skills against the government. He’s also a surly prick who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. Sorry, but it’s true and we all know it. People die left and right around Snake and he carries on because he has to save his own neck. Even at the end of Escape From New York, Plissken fucks over a summit that would’ve brought peace between the US, China, and the Soviet Union. It wouldn’t have really affected Snake in any way, shape, or form to allow the summit to carry on. He sabotaged it out of pure spite. What a dick.
Blade – The Blade Films
Blade is an interesting character because his heart is absolutely in the right place (he saves people left and right) but he’s an absolute asshole as a person. So, while he may do the right thing, he does it in a way that makes people go, “…thanks?”
I get it. I really do. He’s pissed at vampires for what they did to him and his family. But you would think that after a certain amount of time that he’d learn how to cut loose and have a good time every once in a while. At least in a way that doesn’t involve slaughtering dozens of vampires at a time. Just give me one scene where Blade is not only genuinely grateful to those around him but also goes into his room and instead of meditating in front of his sword he puts on a record and maybe lights up a joint. Give me that and I’ll suddenly have so much more respect for the guy.
The Gecko Brothers – From Dusk Till Dawn
These guys are bank robbers and Richie is a rapist and murderer. Seth isn’t exactly the nicest of individuals either, happily waving his gun around and threatening the lives of pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. Just because Seth helps protect the Fullers doesn’t mean that he’s a good person. He’s still a scumbag who just happened to fall into a situation where he needs as many around him alive as possible so that they can last until morning. He evens says at the end, “I may be a bastard, but I’m not a fucking bastard“, as though that absolves him of his past.
The only person we should be cheering in this film is Tom Savini’s Sex Machine because he’s got a cock gun. End of story.
Ash Williams – Army of Darkness
I have a feeling this is the one where I get my ass handed to me…
Okay, so Ash in Evil Dead is totally fine. He’s a sweet guy who gets caught up in a horrible situation. Ash in Evil Dead 2 is a bit more of a jerk but he’s just a more revved up version of Evil Dead Ash. Army of Darkness and “Ash vs Evil Dead” Ash? Yeah, he’s a prick. He’s a total asshole and what’s even worse is that he knows it and embraces it! His bravado and machismo is there to protect only one person: himself.
Look, I realize that Ash has these great one-liners and Bruce Campbell plays the characters MAGNIFICENTLY! Hell, I love these movies and will happily watch them pretty much any day of the week. But that doesn’t change the fact that Ash is a total dick. I appreciate that he dispatches Deadites with total ease but does he have to be such a bottom-of-the-barrel kinda guy doing it?