Happy Father’s Day!

Posted: June 19, 2011 by Jenny Dreadful in Editorial, Film, Lists

Whether we have really great relationships with our dads, bad relationships with them or whether we’ve just grown apart… I think the following horror movie parents can help most of us appreciate our fathers even more on this special day. We present 5 of the worst horror movie dads to grace the gory screen.

#5 Harry Powell

Seen in: Night of the Hunter (1955)

Jenny Dreadful: Serial killer, preacher, family man, Love and Hate tattooed across his knuckles… This evil Reverend is a classic. Looking for an executed robber’s stash of hidden money,  this charismatic psycho moves in on the man’s widow and her two children. Wooing his way into the family and establishing himself as husband and father, he seems kind and devout at first. Abuse, greed, murder and the merciless hunting of two innocent children soon follow. And that makes this guy one bad step-dad. Check out Night of the Hunter for an excellent villain and fairly shocking subject matter for its time.

StayFrosty – Jenny D said most of what I would say, so I will just add that while this movie does contain a creepy stepdad, this is also one amazing film.  Way ahead of its time, beautifully shot and very well acted (especially by our villain), this is well worth everyone’s time.

Crowbait: Mitchum is amazing in this role. Charismatic and engaging but never without the sinister undercurrent that some would see as zeal and others would see as menace.

#4 Grandpa Sawyer

Seen in: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Jenny Dreadful: Grandpa Sawyer would be higher on this list, but unlike many of these nightmare dads, he truly does care about his family. We don’t know much about his kids, but we do know that he remains the dutiful patriarch for his large group of loving cannibal grandsons; Bubba (you might know him better as Leatherface), Drayton, Nubbin and Chop Top. And he looks so good for his age!

Ok, seriously, this grandpa stuff is freaking disturbing. This horrific practically-mummified old man in a wheelchair strikes screaming teens in the head with a mallet over and over while his adoring family shouts encouragement. Licking blood and deleriously giggling while he does it, Grandpa Sawyer is not the guy I would invite to the family picnic. But we can’t deny it… the saw is family.

#3 “Jerry Blake”

Seen in: The Stepfather (1987) and Stepfather 2 (1989)

StayFrosty:  I haven’t seen this one, but I hear Terry O’Quinn kicks ass as a crazy stepfather determined to have the perfect family, even if he has to slit a few throats to get it.  Skip the remake and stick with the classics, people.

Jenny Dreadful: If it wasn’t for all the stalking and murder, dad of the year!

#2  Satan

Seen in: Countless titles since the dawn of cinema. For the purpose of this post, however, let’s talk about Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Omen (1976).

StayFrosty – Ok, Rosemary’s Baby.  So not only does he impregnate innocent Rosemary, he deals with her husband to get to sleep with her.  So actually, is the husband the jerk in this equation?  Either way, the Satan sex scene to this day is surreal, disturbing and effective.  And you just know he’s going to be one of those parents who’re never around.

Jenny Dreadful: Ok, so… Satan. How could Satan POSSIBLY come second on this list? Well…

#1  Jack Torrance

Seen in: The Shining (1980)

StayFrosty – Torrance is one of the best unhinged characters in the genre.  Is he possessed?  Crazy?  Both?  As he slowly spirals into insanity, he manages to be kind, threatening and outright murderous, sometimes all in one scene.  This Dad is a mess all over the place.  You can be sure Danny Torrance went from The Overlook right into therapy.

Crowbait: This is one of those films that hits all the right notes for me. A truly artisitic vision that took a simple premise to unimaginably horrifying heights. I think the later film version that sticks more closely to the book is inferior because it avoided the opportunities for disturbing imagery that Kubrick saw within the story. Let a novel be a novel and let a film be a film.

Jenny Dreadful: One part Stephen King, one part Stanley Kubrick, one part Jack Nicholson. Soak in bourbon. Blend. Serve over ice.

Happy Father’s Day!

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