We Need A New Iconic Horror Villain!

ImageGrowing up in the 1980’s was awesome. We had great movies genre movies coming out constantly like The Thing and Aliens. But one thing that really made genre movies so special in the 80’s was the glut of iconic horror villains we had to fear. From the 1970’s on through the hayday of the 80’s we had the likes of Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Michael, Chucky, Pinhead and so many more. To a lesser extent you can include the Predator and the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. These were characters we rooted for, feared and hated all at once. They were wiping out the sinners. They were sparing the pure while making them strong. This was something I still feel that churches should get behind. 


In most horror films from the 80’s you had a bunch of immoral types likes druggies, drinkers, fornicators and just all around undesirables, Then you had the heroine of the film – a girl filled with chastity and virtue. Who lived and who died? It’s pretty simple, really. The chaste girl always won out in the end. Why? Because she was pure of heart, mind and soul. This should be something the church recognizes and backs. They should want these films made and should show them in Sunday school. After all, most churches try to instill fear into their children to keep them on the straight and narrow. Catholics, I’m talking to you!


But I got away from my original point. We don’t have iconic villains being created anymore. At best we get inferior remakes of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween. But where are the new guys? Ghostface Killer from Scream? He doesn’t quite fit the bill but he’s close. Jigsaw from Saw? He’s been dead since the third movie. But he’s also a little closer in theme. He did go after sinners, people not living life to their full potential and attempted to purify them. What about the invisible demon from Paranormal Activity? Nope. Although there is the family connection there as there was with so many horror films in the 80’s. Death in Final Destination? Again we never see him. And I always felt they should refer to him as Rube for the elaborate Rube Goldberg style traps we see in each kill. 


The closest thing we have to 70’s and 80’s style icon is Victor Crawley from Hatchet. He’s one bad mammajamma. But, sadly, the Hatchet films barely get a theatrical release. It’s as if Hollywood doesn’t think we want a new crop of evil baddies…unless they’re remake versions of the originals.



But here’s my question – is it Hollywood or is it us? What do we want to see? More of the same watered down PG-13 ghost stories, torture porn, or do we want a return to old school horror? I vote for old school. I hope I’m not the only one. I also hope it’s not because I was raised on them.   

That’s all I have to say on the subject until Wednesday when the next edition of The Gorram Nerd Hour hits. You can follow me on Twitter here, here and here. Or find us on Facebook.


I have been watching this show from the beginning. It has always been uneven but the good outweighed the bad. Then season six came along and we started to see the scale tip the other direction. Sure, it was a better season than it was bad but it was closer to that 50/50 mark than the show had ever hit before. Season 6 also marked the beginning of Sera Gamble’s reign as showrunner on the series. I said once before that I like Gamble as a writer but I think she’s a little shaky on how to properly run a show. 

The tone of season 7 I kind of liken to the third season of 24. Jack was a heroin addict, suffering from withdrawls. Then, only a few hours later, he’s fine and the story was dropped. That’s how Supernatural felt to me in this season. It was uneven, all over the place, and poorly executed. 

Let’s start with Castiel. The idea of him pulling all the souls out of Purgatory and claiming to be the new God was a bad idea. Having him break the wall in Sam’s head, making Sam see visions of Lucifer was a bad idea. Killing Castiel, a fan favorite was a bad idea. Finding out he wasn’t really dead struck me as an afterthought because the fans were pissed. Having him thinking he was a human named Emanuel was a bad idea. Locking in him the mental institution was a bad idea. Sending him to Purgatory with Dean was a bad idea. 

Now let’s talk about Bobby. Bobby Singer, another fan favorite of the series. He’s been the surrogate father of Sam and Dean on the show for many years. They already killed Castiel and now they’ve killed Bobby half way through the season. After his death we discover he ditched his reaper and chose to remain on Earth as a ghost. Toward the end of the season he re-appears to “help” the boys. Eventually he starts to become a vengeful spirit and the boys have to destroy the flask that is keeping him tied to the Earth. All of this was poorly done. 

Before I move on from my disappointment here I want to say that both these deaths and resurrections (for lack of a better term) seemed forced, haphazardly done, and the return of the characters felt like cheats. Joss Whedon used to kill and bring back characters all the time. But it never felt like a cheat. It felt like he was in control of the universes he created on Buffy and Angel. Supernatural seems to be suffering since creator Eric Kripke left the show.

Now on to Sam. He has had his fair share of ups and downs, more downs than ups. He watched his mom die, never got to have a normal life, watched his girlfriend die, got locked in a cage with Michael and Lucifer, lost his soul, became a very dark demon killer with super powers, got manipulated by his time travelling grandfather, nearly went crazy with visions of Lucifer in his head. The list goes on. The thing I don’t like about the Sam story in this season is that the idea that the wall Castiel cracked and made Sam go crazy with haunting visions of Lucifer was on touched on when it was convenient. For a good half of the season it seemed that he was just Sam. Sure, sometimes Dean would ask how he was doing but that’s not good enough. they should have built up the story through the season so that Castiel’s sacrifice would have had a stronger impact. 

And now we get to Dean. His story played out the most subtle and boring. There was the issue of his drinking. There was his obsession with the big bad guy, his anger and inability to let go after Bobby’s death. Overall, his story was the least stupid and most easy to relate to but also the most glossed over and boring story. 

The episodes were all over the place. They tried to get back to stand alone episodes more, which I appreciated, but they felt weak. They tried to introduce new characters, like Garth, and failed miserably. The show just seemed to hit a brick wall with the season. I just hope that with Jeremy Carver taking over as showrunner for season 8 that we see an upswing. I don’t think it’s too late to save the show. But if it has another season like it’s seventh it will be. 

R.I.P. Tony Scott

It’s a sad day for movie fans. Tony Scott apparently took his own life today. It isn’t known what caused him to do so but he will be missed.

When a man has a famous family member it can be difficult to etch out a place for yourself without constant comparison. Tony Scott did just that. While Ridley Scott was off making movies that were less commercial Tony jumped into creating such big commercial action films as Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop 2. He continued to move his career forward by creating visually stunning work that redefined what we expected from action cinema.

Scott had a long cinematic relationship with Denzel Washington. They collaborated on several projects that proved to be some of Scott’s best work – Crimson Tide, Man On Fire, Unstoppable being amongst them. My personal favorite is True Romance, written by relative unknown Quentin Tarantino, and starred Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, and a host of others. This movie showed what Scott was capable of in terms of action and story. The scene between Hopper and Walken was one of the best scenes I have ever watched. The action scene at the end was like a pre-America John Woo. He really elevated his game with that one.

He followed True Romance with Crimson Tide, another great piece of cinema. Washington and Gene Hackman were both perfect in this film. This is my favorite submarine movie after Das Boot.

He took a different career path than his brother and showed the world what he could do. I’m both sad and angry that he is gone. I’m angry because I always felt that suicide and drug overdoses by celebrities are not deserving of our sadness. I also understand that he has family and I am sad for them. I know what it is like to lose someone close. I also know what it’s like to witness a person who is suicidal try to end their own life.

My heart goes out to his family. He will be missed.

Goodbye Ernest Borgnine

A man who spent the majority of his life in front of the camera entertaining us was lost today. For nearly 70 years he worked steadily in film and television never caring which medium chose to hire him. He just loved to work.

I remember when I was a child reruns of McHale’s Navy used to run on a local station where I grew up. It was on right after F Troop and before I Dream Of Jeannie. I watched a young Ernest Borgnine on that show for years. The man always seemed to just enjoy the craft of entertaining. In the early 80’s my father rented Escape From New York, one of my all time favorite films, and Borgnine’s portrayal of the cabbie in that film was one of my favorite things.

I can’t say enough good about the man. He was a professional the likes of which Hollywood may never see again. He would show up, play his part, and the rest of the cast and crew loved the time they got to spend with him. When so many actors now have so many demands and behave like spoiled children Ernest Borgnine would show up and remind people how it should be done.

It never seemed like the man treated acting like a job. Instead, he always seemed like it was a gift that was handed to him where he got to play and would take home a paycheck for it. The twinkle never left his eye. Even when he made the movie Red recently that twinkle was there. He struck me as the type who would stop doing his job if it was no longer fun for him. It was as though he needed the money.

In the 1950’s and 60’s when tabloid journalism was just beginning people like Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, and many others seemed to appear in their pages almost constantly. From that time till his death Borgnine was never there. The spotlight was not what he craved. It was the work. Even with bus multiple marriages he never seemed to he the focus of gossip. The closest I see to that now is someone like Harrison Ford, who for many years kept out of the spotlight. And even since his relationship with Calista Flockhart he’s managed to keep a low profile. I fear those days in Hollywood are over.

Goodbye to a professional actor. Goodbye to old Hollywood. Goodbye Ernest Borgnine. You will be missed. I’m gonna go watch Escape From New York now.