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.


Let Things Die, Hollywood!

There is a long history in Hollywood of beating that dead horse. Whether it is on television or in movies it’s always the same – milk it till it’s dry. Some things we loved very much have been tarnished by the studio’s refusal to let go.

When I was in high school I was immediately drawn to a new series on Fox. It looked to be dark and moody. It had people investigating monster, aliens and the paranormal. It was right up my alley. Nine years later I was angry with the series and Fox for keeping it going. That show was The X-Files, obviously. The show couldn’t survive without Mulder and Fox shouldn’t have tried.

In television and movies it is usually the genre work that gets beat into the ground. There are movie series like Halloween, Friday The 13th, Children Of The Corn, Hellraiser, The Prophecy, Highlander, and A Nightmare On Elm Street. But sometimes comedies and action movies overstay their welcome. Look at Police Academy. It had seven movies, a cartoon and a failed live action series. Die Hard is about to make its way back to the big screen with a fifth entry. Even throughout the 70’s and 80’s we had a number of movies in the Death Wish series and Dirty Harry.

There are too many times that studios and networks refuse to close the book on something when they should. Thankfully some people understand this. Christopher Nolan closed his Batman series with three. Kevin Smith decided to retire Jay & Silent Bob a little late but understood those characters were wearing out their welcome and moved on.

Going back to the well on a repeated basis is an easy thing to do, even for a filmmaker. Don Coscorelli has had a very hard time finding money to make anything other than Phantasm movies in his career. Rather than hand the franchise over to someone else he made four of them to keep from letting someone else ruin his creation. But he wants to make other things.

Don’t get me wrong, I always wish for more just like most people when they like something. The key is to know when to exit. Even know, as my writing partner and I are writing our slasher movie, we have more story than can fit into one film. Before we finish we will have enough material left to write a sequel. But if that is all there is as far as story goes for us we walk away. We certainly don’t want to have the movies become like Saw 3D or Freddy’s Dead. There needs to be an exit point. Hopefully Hollywood understands that at some point.