Monday, June 25, 2012

Monster Monday: Dads of Horrorland

As a final wrap up of our June, Monster Dads feature, we turn to the big screen for the top depictions of monstrous fathers in horror films. There are some wicked contenders, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top FIVE:

Jack Torrence – The Shining (1979)

All work and no play certainly was a prescription for madness for Jack Torrence, played by the dreadfully cool, Jack Nicholson. Jack’s insecurities make him the perfect target for the ghosts living in the Overlook Hotel. A hotel he is charged with caring for during the long, isolating winter. Too bad Jack brought his young family along for the brutal ride to insanityville.

     George Lutz – The Amityville Horror (1979, 2005)

Nothing strikes the heart of an evil, possessed house like a frugal daddy. When George Lutz (James Brolin) scoops up the real estate find of the century, a Dutch Colonial home to DIE for, dismissing its bloody past, he and his family are embraced, body and soul. Only this welcome wagon comes in the form of possession and blood.

     Sir John Talbot – Wolfman (1941, 2010)

Sir John has the daddy of all secrets – every full moon he turns into a man-eating werewolf, so bloodthirsty he even kills the woman he loves. The mother of his sons. All is soon revealed however, when son is pitted against father, werewolf mano et mano / claw and claw / furry chest and....well, you get the idea.

     Dad Meiks – Frailty (2002)

Bill Paxton is chilling in his portrayal of a father who believes he can see demons and the sins of others, and who is doing God’s work by killing said folks – while his two young sons watch. He’s training them, you see, to join him in his gruesome duty. To the very end of this film you’ll be wondering – is Daddy Meiks a serial killer or the hand of God?

     Satan – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

While there is a very human male “daddy” in this film, John Cassavetes, he just might be for show. His young, pregnant wife fears he’s made a pact with a bunch of Satan worshipers in exchange for increased success. She’s probably right. And the real father of her child? None other than the fiery redsuit himself, Satan.

Survival Tip: May and June we celebrated the horror of dysfunctional parents, but all monster jokes aside, if you’re a teen and feel unsafe in your own home or just need someone to talk to, please consider the aide of such organizations as Kids Help Phone . If you’re an adult in a soul-sucking relationship, get out while you still can – ask friends or someone you trust for help.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monster Monday - Monstrous Daddies: Father Time

Old Father Time may be a far less monstrous version of the terrifying Grim Reaper, but make no mistake, the clock eventually stops here.

Generally depicted as an elderly bearded man dressed in a robe, carrying a scythe and an hour glass, Father Time symbolizes the flow of time and its effects. His old body is a reminder that time is the devourer of all things and his life will run out – hopefully in peace.

But we wouldn’t count on it.

Also known as Chronus, the Greek god Lord of time, Father Time has had more than his 15 minutes of fame, gracing the film, literature and mythological stages in various forms such as a serpentine with three heads – a man, a bull, and a lion. 

Survival Tip: Unfortunately, we’ve yet to discover the elusive Fountain of Youth so there’s no real escape from the grand daddy of the inevitable. We’d advise a lifestyle of healthy food, regular exercise…you get the idea.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monster Monday: Monstrous Daddies - Darth Vader


If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. 
Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your 

He told me enough! He told me *you* killed him! 

No. *I* am your father. 

Ah, the classic reveal from Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. When racking our brains for monster dads to feature this month, Darth Vader quickly whooopaaa'd his way to the surface. Synonymous with  betrayal, cybernetics, and asthmatic breathing Vader is THE iconicly evil father figure of pop culture. 

One who encourages his only son to join him in serving the dark side. You know, to destroy their remaining Jedi brethren, serve the Emperor, and rule the universe as big bads. Talk about high and twisted hopes for your child.

Not only is Vader known for one of the most misquoted dialogue lines (Luke, I am your father.), he's the ultimate supervilian and mix of man and machine. His cautionary tale ends in sacrifice and redemption. But the image of Vader as a one hell of a nasty dad will live forever in our collective, film-junkie minds.

SURVIVAL TIP: The force is strong in Vader, try to avoid his Jedi mind tricks.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monster Monday - Typhon

If our May-long tribute to monstrous moms had you gasping in parental denial, we shudder to think how you’ll react to these Father’s Day-worthy beasties.

We’ve scoured mythology, pop culture and good old Google and narrowed it down to four terrifying papas who will make anyone think twice about becoming  a “daddy’s girl.”

First up, the mighty Typhon.

There are Gods and there are monsters, but in Greek mythology there is no god/monster as powerful, dangerous and downright deadly as the mighty Typhon.

Described as a giant so tall his head touched the stars, Typhon had the body of a human with coiled legs that writhed and hissed as he moved. His main snake head hosted 100 other snake heads that continuously screamed sounds of various animals. But it was his blood red eyes that had the power to stop a man’s heart with fear, and a massive jaw that had the ability to breathe fire.

According to legend, Typhon was slayed by Zeus during an epic battle for Mount Olympus. Zeus conquered this mighty deadbeat dad by throwing Mount Etna on him, forever trapping Typhon under its weight. But being the fire-breathing monster/god he is, some say Typhon continues to struggle for freedom, causing volcanic eruptions each time he moves.

Maybe you’ve never heard of this terrifying Dad, but we guarantee you know about at least one of his children. Married to Echnida – half woman, half serpent – the monstrous couple created some of the most horrifying creatures of all mythological history, including:

Gorgon – snake-haired, snake-bodied humanoid whose stare could turn a person to stone;
Cerberus – three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades;
Chimera – part-lion, part-goat, part-snake – all monster;
Sphinx – half human, half lion who forces you to answer a riddle – or die;
Hydra  - a nine-headed sepent who grew two new heads for every one that was cut off;
Nemean Lion – a giant lion with an impenetrable hide who later becomes the constellation lion;
Orthros – two-headed dog that lived with giants; and,
Ladon – snake that guarded the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides.

Wow, and we thought our family Sunday dinners were tense…