6 Horror Movie Bad Guys (Who Have Really Obvious Weaknesses)
Like the Taco Bell menu, horror movies are meant to capture the darkest reaches of mankind's psyche. We love them because they give us a safe surge of sweet adrenaline, and so the best movie monsters typically symbolize our most primal of fears, like the inevitability of death, or man's lack of purpose in the Universe, or clowns.
Or the fear of, despite your best efforts, becoming an absentee parent.
But triggers of irrational dread are just that: totally goddamn irrational, and usually extremely dumb-looking when seen under good lighting conditions. This is why some of the most famous and scary cinematic villains can be immediately dismantled if you consider the nuts and bolts. So to anyone plagued with nightmares over our pop culture boogeymen, you can now rest assured knowing that ...
Freddy Krueger Can Be Taken Out With Some Primo Weed
No doubt we're all up to speed with Frederick Charles Krueger, the scarred-up, beclawed maniac who attacks children in their nightmares. Freddy's terrifying power includes the ability to control the endless surreality of dreams while always having a fun quip right up the sleeve of his red-and-black knitwear. He's like Inception's Cobb meets Deadpool, but somehow uglier and even better at killing people. And since everyone has to sleep sometime, he's seemingly impossible to escape.
Not sure if this from Nightmare On Elm Street or the equally terrifying Mannequin 2: On The Move.
But off the bat, there's the one obvious vulnerability in Freddy's power: Aside from the occasional possession and mind control, the Springwood Slasher can't really get you until you're in a deep sleep. In the later films, the characters realize this and resort to an experimental, hard-to-fget drug called Hypnocil, which prevents sleepers from reaching their REM cycles. After all, how else could a bunch of suburban teenagers possibly drug themselves into a temporary void? By smoking a shit-ton of weed?
Well ... yeah.
"These nugs might not be dank enough, but it's a risk we have to take."
According to several studies and doctors, weed totally annihilates your REM sleep. This means that all a tormented teen needs to do to avoid the janitor claw is save up for some killer golden leaf. I'm talking Purple Kush shit, or failing that, some ditch Indica. Really, anything will do it -- Durban Poison, Gorilla Glue #4, Alaskan Thunder Fuck -- if you smoke enough, the legal and health risk of being blazed every evening is hardly comparable to getting turned into a screaming marionette or being eaten by your toaster or some bullshit. Had someone thought to toke up, this entire franchise would be Freddy practicing cackles in the echo-y loneliness of his netherworld boiler room.
But I guess even a universe of hellspawn and dream-grapples remains in the talons of a pill-pushing Big Pharma. Then again, there are times when pills are your friends ...
Pennywise The Clown Is No Match For Xanax
Stephen King's original novel It included a bunch of information we needed to know, and a bit we really didn't. One example of the former is the reason Pennywise the Clown takes the form of your greatest fears. As the evil entity itself narrates, the chemicals of fear "salted the meat" of his victims, making them way more delicious. This makes children a clear target for It, on account of their fears being way more basic.
Crippling student debt doesn't have the same terror pizzazz.
We also know from the novel and film that after each Eat Prey Love binge, the Dancing Clown is forced to hibernate for 30 years in his underground Maine cocoon. This is why our child protagonists are only able to go back and kill the creature once they're middle-aged adults -- and even then, they manage to almost get bested by their own worst fears. It's a constant struggle throughout the story, as each character musters bravery from deep within in order to stave off certain digestion ... which is weird, because this story takes place in the goddamn pinnacle years of Prozac, Valium, and Xanax. You know, all drugs that are well-known for reducing fear.
Seriously, why aren't these characters doped to the eyeballs? Sure, popping pills might make them a bit slower, but when you're dealing with a creature that can apparently be bested with a goddamn slingshot, it's not like you need every wit about you.
Shooting a slingshot with your eyes closed and shooting a slingshot with your eyes closed while hopped on pills aren't that different. Trust us.
Pennywise is beaten by what are basically the loose contents of a child's backpack -- an asthma puffer and the aforementioned slingshot. The reason these items work is that the protagonists believe they will -- the inhaler's albuterol is falsely asserted to be "battery acid, you slime," and Pennywise reacts as if it were that. You know what else people believe will hurt other things? A fucking gun. Use a gun, you idiots. Get doped up and shoot the pale weirdo right in his ding-a-ling clown head. It's not hard.
The Monster In It Follows Sure Has A Lot Of Trouble With Doors
Most of us were only halfway through It Follows before internally obsessing over how we'd personally fuck our way out of getting mangled by an invisible wander demon.
The rules are simple: The nameless murder entity can only be staved off by passing it to someone else via sex. If that special someone ends up dead, though, the original curse rolls back onto you. Luckily, the creature in question can only advance at a walking pace -- unluckily, it does this while cosplaying as a personified staph infection.
This movie is clearly a metaphor for being followed by a porn bot on Twitter.
It's a terrifying movie that I can't praise enough while simultaneously picking apart like a crow's dinner. Because in both of the cases pictured above, the creature has to physically break into homes to attack. And later in the movie, we witness it smashing a window with a rock like a desperate junkie ...
... before changing form and knocking on a locked door.
"Uh ... candygram?"
Yes, the scary invisible fuckubus abides to the physical properties of the world. We see this consistently in the film, as characters barricade doors and booby-trap houses with sound warnings. So if it has trouble with wooden doors and noisy wind chimes ... imagine what a walk-in freezer would do to it. Or a jail cell. Or a pantry. Or hey, remember that big pool they lure the monster to? Why not drain the water and pull the ladder up when it jumps in? Can it get out of a drainage ditch? What's its approach to hedge mazes? It seems to have trouble with bed sheets and bullets, so how does it deal with 20 cubic yards of wet cement?
Can it morph into a ladder and climb itself out?
And if things get dodgy while exploring these options, you can always bide time with an extended car trip to hooker town -- or better yet, a round trip to Sydney, Australia for a quickie. Considering that the average walking speed is a little over 3 mph, that would give you over four months to plan your next move while Walkie McHumpmurder creepily treads across the bottom of the Pacific.
Got A Mummy After You? Become A Cat Person
The (non-Tom-Cruise) Mummy was about a high priest boning the pharaoh's wife, the punishment apparently being "awesome tornado powers" and the ability to stretch his mouth out real freaky-like. Once resurrected, this Imhotep must acquire the delicious life juices of those who unearthed him. Only after he's completed this task can he get back to throwing one up in the pharaoh's wife, whom he plans to resurrect using one of our main characters as a backup body.
Good thing they actually had breath mints in ancient Egypt.
Unfortunately for his old mummy dick, our hero has figured out an easy way to ward him off: cats.
That little asshole poofball clogging your laptop fan with fur? According to the Medjai warriors' expertise in Egyptian worship, it's one of many guardians of the underworld that Imhotep fears like a scarab hurricane. Dude can't go near cats -- not until he consumes enough bodies to increase his strength and decrease his wimpiness.
Pretty big flaw, right? Too bad this brief moment is never explored in these films again. And considering how often these adventurers stumble into crusty corpse folk, one would assume that felines would be at that ready more often than Brendan Fraser's do-nothing pistol.
To make the 1920s setting more authentic, the special effects suck ass.
How many of these undead creatures could have been frightened away with an adorable meow? Our heroes never find out, because they immediately abandon the best weapon they have.
And hell, why not avoid battling skeletons altogether and stick those magic urns they have to protect in a room filled with cats? Imhotep can't be powerful enough to withstand cats without sucking the life force of a few key people, so why aren't those key people double-fisting cats everywhere they go? It's baffling to think that the next scene immediately after discovering this wasn't a cat-buying montage where they all hole up in some festering pussy den.
And speaking of kittens ...
Dracula Is A Fucking Wuss
As of next year, Bram Stoker's bloodlusting count will be 120 years old. And while it's not quite the first depiction of modern vampires in fiction, it's the benchmark in which we based all future stories after. Count Dracula is the Christopher Columbus of vampirism -- we credit him for pioneering something that was already discovered, and is a shit-vortex of credibility when actually studied.
And he looked like your uncle who's probably voting for Trump.
However, if you met him in person, you wouldn't even have time to reflect on Dracula's crime-face while busy murdering him with minimal, near-accidental effort. If you've read the original book, you might already know that the dude was easier to kill than a regular person. For starters, he can't cross deep water.
For the sake of his castle's hygiene, we hope he doesn't need to poop anymore.
That's right, the legendary immortal being who has resonated within our horror culture for a century can be thwarted with a fucking moat. If Dracula needed to murder someone on Martha's Vineyard, he'd have to pay for the ferry like everyone else. There's a very real chance that a garden hose would send him running -- as a handful of vampiric variations involve a weakness to all running water.
Blade could have used this the whole movie.
And that's not the only stupid problem for this loser -- according to the original lore, Dracula can be trapped in his own coffin if a wild rose branch is placed on top of it. It's unclear if there's a mystical element involved, or if he's just laughably weak.
Turns out the Mr. Burns version of the character is the most accurate so far.
So if you ever need to kill a vampire, check the ground for some loose shrubbery and you're golden to teabag his coffin while he weeps inside.
The Shark In Jaws Is ... Well ... A Shark
It's borderline sacrilege to throw shade at what might be the best movie ever made. But here we are, squatting directly above this cinematic masterpiece like some kind of feral pedant. See, along with the titular set of jaws which keep pounding down on various characters, there is a second villain lurking in nearly every scene of this film:
Didja catch it? Here's a hint: it comes in a little bottle and roughly makes up 80 percent of Chief Brody's internal fluids. It's in his blood when he finds Ben Gardner's boat. It's in his blood when he cuts open the first shark. And boy is it in his blood when he faces off against our finned behemoth at the end. In fact, the final climax of this movie is immediately preceded by a sequence where all three main characters get song-singing shitty for breakfast.
It was definitely in the actors' blood while shooting this scene.
Yes, booze (and the fact that it makes everyone dumb) is the real antagonist of this movie. As we've previously mentioned, Quint's boat wasn't exactly the best option for catching and/or killing a great white shark. It's old and splintery and contains three sudsy maniacs hucking barrels into the sea like a blitzed Donkey Kong.
They are bad shark hunters. Especially since in real life, killing a shark isn't that hard. You rope it, pull it out of the water, and let it suffocate or strangle itself. Heck -- sharks die from accidentally tangling in nets so often that it's a serious risk to the species. Why do you think they are endangered? It's not because they're hard to kill. In fact, a few years ago, a Great White died from being beaten to death by a fisherman. Just for the heck of it.
That's terrible, as is the fact that we'd watch a movie about Quint punching a shark for 90 minutes.
Go back and watch all those movies again. In every case, the shark meets its demise through a combination of last-minute MacGyvering and cartoonishly blind luck at the hands of ill-equipped people who have no business hunting it. That's why it's a challenge -- not because the villain is super-powered or evil, but because the heroes are drunk and/or incompetent. Sorry everyone, but sharks are weak babies and Brody sucks at fishing. Now excuse me while I take a shame shower for ever saying that.
David mostly comes out at night. Mostly. Follow him on Twitter.
You know all those facts you've learned about psychology from movies and that one guy at the party who says, "Actually ..." a lot? Please forget them. Chances are none of them are true. Take the Stanford Prison Experiment, the one famous psychology study people can name. It was complete bullshit. Funny story actually, it turns out that when you post flyers that say, "Hey, do you wanna be a prison guard for the weekend? Free food and nightsticks," you might not get the most stable group of young men. So join Jack O'Brien, Cracked staff members Dan O'Brien and Michael Swaim, and Psychology Professor Martie G. Haselton of UCLA as they debunk Rorschach tests, the Mozart effec,t and middle child syndrome, so soon you can be that person at the party who says, "Actually ..." Get your tickets here!
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