The holidays really do bring out the best in people, don't they? Sure they do! Everybody is feeling all jolly 'n glad to be around friends and family... it's just a dandy ol' time of the year for everyone. Well... almost everyone. There are a few miscreants out there who seem to want nothing more than to suck all the joy out of the season. In real life, these are usually the kind of people you'd want to stay the hell away from, but in the movies? Quite often these are the characters who help make the stories so great, so today I'd like to share with you this special Christmas edition of "My Favorite Movie Assholes". In case you missed the first installment, be sure to check it out here. Otherwise, let's proceed with the holiday humbug hilarity, shall we?
Willie T. Soke in "Bad Santa"
When it comes to assholes dressed in a Santa suit, it's hard to top Billy Bob Thornton's role as Willie T. Soke in Bad Santa. Here's a guy who displays nothing but disdain for everyone and everything around him as he smokes, drinks and "fornicates" his way through each day. Now if he did these things in the privacy of his own home, it wouldn't be such a big deal, but he constantly shows up plastered at the mall where he's employed as their seasonal Santa Claus much to the horror of the onlooking children. Willie just strikes me as the kind of guy who just doesn't give a crap anymore, which is why he clearly has no problem unleashing a wall of profanity onto any kids who bother him, destroying the Christmas reindeer display in one of his many drunken rages, robbing the mall, making a variety of racist/prejudicial remarks and even shamelessly dry-humping a high school girl as he pretends to show her how to use a pinball machine. Even his own partner in crime, Marcus, can't stand him and constantly berates Willie for his actions, "You're an emotional fucking cripple. Your soul is dog shit. Every single fucking thing about you is ugly." Their back and forth insults are a hell of a treat to watch, but if there's any quote in the movie that sums up Willie's character perfectly, it has to be this moment in which he proudly reveals his big accomplishment to Marcus:
"I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something."
How anybody could not love this movie will forever be a mystery to me.
Ted Maltin in "Jingle All The Way"
If you need a perfect example of a smug asshole, look no further than the legendary Phil Hartman's portrayal of Ted Maltin in Jingle All The Way. Here's a guy who does everything right but for all the wrong reasons. You see, behind his perfect Christmas light displays, a great father-son relationship, buying the hottest Christmas toy (Turbo Man) months in advance to make sure his kid would have it on the 25th, helping his neighbor's wife bake cookies and even keeping a real reindeer in his yard for all the kids in the neighborhood to enjoy, lies a man with an ulterior motive. Ted puts on a great show, sure, but he likes going after married women and his latest target is the wife of Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger). The real reason Ted annoys Howard so much throughout the movie though is that his ability to seemingly handle everything without a problem is a constant reminder to Howard about just how bad of a father and husband he's become. "Howard, I'm of the mind set you can never do too much to make a child's Christmas magical." You can't tell me you wouldn't want to punch somebody square in the throat if they said that to you. Goddamn do I miss Phil Hartman.
Note: Did you know that there was a Jingle All The Way 2? It's true... but for some bizarre reason, it was only released here on I-Mockery. Click here to view it.
Rose Chasseur in "The Ref"
Denis Leary may pride himself in being an asshole, but even his attitude can't compare to that of grandma Rose Chasseur in The Ref. Here's a nasty old woman who hangs her wealth over the heads of her children and their families and uses it as an excuse to constantly insult them and get her way. Leary's character, Gus, has taken the Chasseur family hostage in their own home and gets to witness first-hand just how mean Rose really is. She lent her son Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) some money to open a restaurant which failed but is actually charging him interest on the payments. She's constantly insulting his wife and is overjoyed when they announce plans to separate. Despite all the money she has, she gives ultra-cheapo gifts such as slipper socks and insulting gifts such as "husky" sized clothes to one of the kids, whom she warns about him having a weight problem. When Rose learns that Gus isn't a therapist but instead a thief, she unleashes more of derision which leads to one of my favorite exchanges of the entire movie:
Rose: "I knew you weren't a doctor. I knew it. You'll never get away, you know. You'll either be captured or killed. One less worthless man around. One less burden to society. I've survived worse than you. World wars, old age, marriage and weak men like you. Men who don't have the guts to survive in the real world. Men who are just scared little boys intimidating everyone with their aggressiveness... because they're afraid the world will find out how small their penises are!"
Gus: "You know, lady, I'd like to tie you to the back of a fuckin' truck."
Rose: "You don't have the balls!"
(Lloyd restrains Gus from attacking her and instructs his daughter to gag her instead.)
Gus: "What is the matter with you!? I thought Mothers were sweet and nice a-a-and Patient. I know loan sharks who are more forgiving than you. Your husband ain't dead, lady. He's hiding."
For all the awful treatment she dishes out, I gotta say it's a bit unsatisfying to see her being gagged as her only real punishment in the film. After all, Gus did have a gun he could have (and should have) used on her. Then again, just as with real life, some assholes live their entire lives completely unpunished, so I guess they were going for the reality angle here.
Frank Cross in "Scrooged"
Naturally, a list like this needs an Ebenezer Scrooge, and with there being many movie variations of the classic Charles Dickens character, I've gotta go with my favorite modernized portrayal - Frank Cross (Bill Murray) from Scrooged. Cross is a completely coldhearted television executive who could care less about the spirit of Christmas, his employees and even his family. All he wants to do is get the best ratings on television and will stop at nothing from doing it. When he learns that one of his sinister TV show trailers caused an old woman to have a heart attack, he rejoices about how "you can't buy publicity like that!" From trying to show nipples on a prime time family show to asking a prop employee to staple antlers to the head of a mouse, Frank will do whatever it takes to make this Christmas TV special win the ratings war. "You've got a program featuring America's favorite old fart. Reading a book in front of a fireplace. Now, I have to kill all of you!" He also has no problem overworking his employees to death, nor does he think twice about firing them right before the holidays. Naturally, this being an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, he is visited by three ghosts who help show him the error of his ways. Still, it's a blast watching what a cold bastard he can be throughout the entire film, and Frank is just one of the many reasons you should check it out.
Ruby Deagle in "Gremlins"
Ruby Deagle. Deagle... Deagle... Deeeeeeeegulllll. Her name alone is the kind of name that could only belong to a bitter old woman who's only pleasure in life is derived from the collective misery of others, and Polly Holliday does a fantastic job of making her character exactly like that in Gremlins. One of her primary targets in the movie is Billy Peltzer's dog, Barney. "I want your dog. Give him to me. I'll take him to the kennel, they'll put him to sleep. It will be quick and painless compared to what I would do to him. I'll catch the beast myself. He'll get what he deserves, a slow painful death. Maybe I'll put him in my spin-drier on high heat." Such disdain for man's best friend! Well, since she clearly has no intentions of showing mercy to even a helpless animal, it's only fitting that some animals cause her glorious death. Even though she's perfectly capable of walking, the wealthy old crone has a chair lift installed in her home which slowly carries her up to the second floor of her lavish home. However, when the Gremlins mess with the wiring, the chair goes into hype-mode and she is jettisoned right out of her home like a friggin' rocket. Adios Deeeeeeeegulllll!
Grandpa Chapman in "Silent Night, Deadly Night"
Ok look, I know there are all sorts of horrible things that take place in Silent Night, Deadly Night. You've got a guy in a Santa suit raping and killing a little boy's parents, traumatizing him for life... you've got a nun who loves to punish the naughty children... and of course, you've got Billy Chapman, killing everybody who makes his naughty list. While many of these people could be described as assholes in their own special way, my favorite asshole in this film is Grandpa Chapman (Will Hare). His role may be short, but goddamn is it ever memorable. You see, he's in a mental ward, but he's not crazy at all... he's just pretending to be. He relishes the moment to scare the crap out of his grandson Billy. When Grandpa has a few moments alone with young Billy, this is what he tells him:
Gramps: "You're scared ain't ya? You should be! Christmas Eve is the scariest damned night of the year! I'd be scared too if I was you. You know what happens on Christmas Eve, don't ya? You know about Santa Claus?"
Billy: "He brings presents to all good boys and girls!"
Gramps: "Heheh! You're daddy told ya that, didn't he? Well I'll tell ya somethin! Santa Claus only bring presents to them that's been good all year! To the ones that ain't done nothin' naughty! All the other ones, all the naughty ones... he PUNISHES! What about you, boy? You been good all year?"
Billy: (shakes his head "no")
Gramps: "You see Santa Claus tonight, you been run, boy! You better run for your liiiiife! Heeheheeheeheheheh!"
There are few minor characters that I would love to see an entire spin-off movie created for, but Grandpa Chapman is such a perfect child-terrorizing asshole that I could easily watch a full 90 minutes of his antics. By the way, if for some insane reason you've never seen Silent Night, Deadly Night before, check out my big feature article on the film because it's a required viewing come December each year. PUNISH!
The Grinch in "How The The Grinch Stole Christmas"
Come now, is this fella any surprise at all? The Grinch from the classic Dr. Seuss story, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, is 100% pure Christmas asshole. Here's a guy who hates Christmas so much that he wants to make sure that all the other inhabitants of Whoville have a miserable one too. And just how does he plan on accomplishing this? It's simple really; he plans to dress up as Santa to gain access to their homes and then steals all of their gifts. He then listens for all the Whos to cry over the tremendous loss of all their Christmas gifts, "They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming. They're just waking up, I know just what they'll do. Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry, 'Boo Hoo.'" Of course, this being a children's story and not something based on real life, all the Whos of Whoville just sing happy Christmas carols instead of sobbing over the loss of their gifts. If this was based on real life, we'd probably have a riot situation on our hands in the town of Whoville. You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch... and you've forever earned your place of honor in the halls of assholishness.
Harry Ellis in "Die Hard"
Ahh... good ol' Harry Ellis from Die Hard. He's the quintessential hotshot executive asshole who people can only stare at in complete bewilderment as they wonder, "How the HELL did that hack get such a cushy job!?" Harry (Hart Bochner) is a smarmy kissass who clearly thinks he's got everything under control, including the nice little cocaine habit which his big salary affords him. He also has one of the most insincere laughs you'll ever hear, which further drives home the point of how much of a weasely little suck-up this asshole really is. When the Nakatomi Plaza building he works on is seized by Hans Gruber and his gang of terrorists, Harry eventually gets the bright idea that he can help put an end to the hostage situation. "Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash." It's an indisputable fact that any guy who says "babe" with the same frequency as Harry is a total douchebag. Fortunately, Hans doesn't have the same patience that Harry's old boss had for his crap, and proceeds to shoot him in the face. A fitting end for quite an asshole. Ho, ho, ho.
B.Z. in "Santa Claus: The Movie"
Now here's a flick that most people seem to forget during the holiday season and I've never understood why since it's a fun movie with some great characters. Out of all the characters in Santa Claus: The Movie, though, none are more memorable than B.Z., played by John Lithgow. We never do learn what those initials stand for, but I like to think his name is something along the lines of Bastard Zillionaire. Now B.Z. is the head of the BZ Toy Company which has been under investigation by the United States Senate because they've been manufacturing dangerous toys including highly flammable dolls and plush panda bears stuffed with sand, nails and shards of glass. How's THAT for cutting corners to save a buck? He eventually convinces one of Santa's ex-elves, Patch (Dudley Moore), to start working with him to create a magical new product that will put his company back on top: lollipops with a secret ingredient that make people float. The lollipops are a hit, but B.Z. isn't satisfied yet. He gets Patch to make new candy canes with a higher dosage of the stuff. And here's the kicker, he doesn't even want to wait until next December, he's so greedy that he decides to create "Christmas II" during the middle of the year. When he learns that the new magical candy canes are actually quite volatile when put near heat, does he take them off the market immediately? No, he tries to cover it up and keep the sales going while he makes plans to move to Brazil where he'd be safe from extradition. What an asshole. Well, the cops eventually catch up with him, but rather than be taken alive, he eats a ton of the magical candy canes and ends up floating up into space where, for some cartoony reason, he's both able to breathe and not freeze to death. Again, somebody please explain to me why this movie isn't as popular as other Christmas movies which are constantly aired on TV come December each year. I've never understood it.
Scut Farkus in "A Christmas Story"
Scut Farkus. You're damned right. If there's ever been a more iconic Christmas movie asshole than him, I'd love to hear about it. Just look at his face... look at it! The narrator of A Christmas Story recollects him as only a terrified child would, "Scut Farkus! What a rotten name! There he stood, between us and the alley. Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!" He's the ultimate bully and therefore the perfect opposition for our hero, young Ralphie, to exact all his pent-up frustration upon. Throughout the movie, Scut (Zack Ward) attacks kids from school who are smaller than him by twisting their behind their backs while making them scream out "uncle!" in agony. Eventually, he catches up with Ralphie and starts harassing the hell out of him too. Ralphie's already had a bad holiday season, what with his dreams of owning a Red Rider gun constantly being shut down with the old "You'll shoot your eye out!" defense, and this just happened to be the final straw left in his haystack of mental stability. We get to see the anger brewing in Ralphie as Scut continues to taunt him, and then when he simply can't take it anymore, he pounces the much larger Scut and proceeds to beat his face into a bloody pulp while grunting a plethora of priceless profanities. Watching Ralphie pound Scut into the ground as he cries his ass off his the kind of rare movie moment that actually makes people want to stand up and cheer, and I'd bet good money that many have done just that upon viewing it. The Scut Farkus affair will forever be one of my favorite Christmas movie memories.
And that about wraps it up for my favorite Christmas movie assholes. Just as with the last installment, if I didn't get to cover your favorite movie asshole yet, feel free to post any of your suggestions in the comments area below. If you don't, I'll make sure Santa pays a visit to your house with an uzi instead of presents this Christmas.
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Awesome list! Especially Scut Farkus. The beating of a child never generated such glee in the annals of movie history. But how could you possibly leave out Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life?
|The two burglars are just trying to make a living, he ruins their lives over objects when he comes from a wealthy family that could easily replace them.|
|"What about Culkin from the same film? The two burglars are just trying to make a living, he ruins their lives over objects when he comes from a wealthy family that could easily replace them."|
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