It's that time again. Time to scour through some of the best movies from yesteryear in search of the finest examples of assholishness. We're talking about the kind of assholes who set the bar so extremely high that future generations of assholes will forever look upon them with awe and admiration. Now, if you haven't already read Part 1 and Part 2 of the My Favorite Movie Assholes series, make sure you do so you're caught up on all of the assholeage that I've already covered. And don't forget to check out the special "My Favorite Christmas Movie Assholes" installment as well for whenever you need to have your holiday cheer shot down. Ok, with all that out of the way, let's begin with the third installment in this ongoing series of my favorite movie assholes.
Dr. Frederick Chilton in "The Silence Of The Lambs"
Dr. Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald) is a fine example of an asshole in a position of power who has no qualms about making the lives of his patients as uncomfortable as can be. Now that he has the infamous Hannibal Lecter as one of his patients, he's determined to not only annoy the hell out of him, but get famous in the process. "Oh, he's a monster. A pure psychopath. So rare to capture one alive. From a research point of view, Lecter is our most prized asset."
On top of that, he tries hitting on Clarice Starling, who is simply there trying to do her job by interviewing Lecter about the Buffalo Bill case. Thankfully, she's quick to recognize Chilton as the asshole that he is and turns him down flat. Of course, she also learns that Dr. Chilton enjoys tormenting Hannibal by leaving a TV gospel program turned on all the time with the volume way high whenever she's not around. Does this guy sound like a catch or what, ladies!
He's an asshole with one of those smug looks you'd love to see carved off with a dull instrument, and while we don't get to actually see that happen in Silence of the Lambs, we can all take solace in the fact that Hannibal Lecter planned on having Dr. Chilton for dinner. Literally.
Sidney J. Mussburger in "The Hudsucker Proxy"
When Waring Hudsucker, president of the Hudsucker corporation, ends his own life, Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman) takes it upon himself to hire a numbskull, or as he describes it, "Some jerk we can really push around." His plan is to make the company stock drop way low, so he and the other board members can buy it all up and make a huge profit in the long run. The fact is, Sidney Mussburger is a cold-hearted bastard through 'n through... the perfect embodiment of ruthless corporate greed and evil. And don't even think about getting him to pay attention to anything you have to say, because he's always dismissive of just about anything anybody says to him with his favorite, "Sure, sure..."
It turns out Norville Barnes (the man who he thought was a numbskull) actually had a great idea, sending the company stock to record highs after the board sold it all off, Mussburger decides to ruin his career. "Myrtle J. Mussburger did not raise her boy to go knock-kneed at the first sign of adversity. I say, we made this chump, we can break him! I say, the higher he climbs, the harder he drops! I say, yes... the kid has a future... and in it I see shame, dishonor, ignominy, disgrace." He even goes so far as to have his hired executive physician recommend that Norville be committed and treated with electro-convulsive therapy.
Jeez... whatever happened to simply firing somebody?
Harry Flugleman in "The Three Amigos"
He may have been a studio boss from back in 1916, but Harry Flugleman (Joe Mantegna) was just as ruthless as any modern Hollywood head honcho. Spoiled rotten and surrounding himself with an entourage of ass-kissers ready to do his bidding at a moments notice, Harry is pretty much how we all envision the head of any movie studio. When the Three Amigos (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short) demand raises before committing to film another motion picture for the studio, Flugleman doesn't try to negotiate. No, no, no... negotiating is only for those with rational minds. No, Flugleman unleashes his fury onto the Amigos by not only firing them and ending their film careers, but he also kicks them out of the studio-owned mansion they were living in and literally takes the clothes off their back (also owned by the studio).
As part of his verbal assault, Flugleman asks, "Do you boys know what the word 'nada' means? In all those In all those Mexican movies you made, did you ever hear that word?" Dusty Bottoms, genius that he is, guesses that it's a light chicken gravy, to which Flugleman responds, "It means nothing! Zero! Zip! It's what you're gonna have when I'm through with you! You hit Harry Flugleman on a bad day!" All I can wonder is that given his assholish persona, has anybody ever caught Harry Flugleman on anything other than a bad day?
And yes, I know El Guapo is the main asshole in the film, and I'm sure I'll cover him in a future installment of this series, but Harry Flugleman is really the asshole catalyst that sends the Amigos on their big imbecilic adventure. Also, there's simply no denying that El Guapo is far more likeable than Flugleman. Then again, so is Satan.
Doyle Hargraves in "Sling Blade"
It's guys like Doyle Hargraves that give the South a bad reputation. Having lived in the South for many years, I can tell you some of the nicest people in the world live there. That said, there are assholes like Doyle who are intolerant of everything and everyone living there too. Truthfully the same could be said for just about any place in the world, but Doyle is a "good ol' boy" from the South, through 'n through. Never without a bottle of booze at his side, Doyle isn't just an angry drunk... he's an asshole drunk in the worst way.
You know how you talk to some people and they never have a cheerful or even remotely pleasant thing to say, so you always dread even the briefest encounters with them? Well that's Doyle in a nutshell. But you don't have to take my word for it... just take a look at some of the philosophical bantering that he's always happy to blurt out whether he's inebriated or not:
"Hey is this the kind of retard that drools and rubs shit in his hair and all that, 'cause I'm gonna have a hard time eatin' 'round that kind of thing now. Just like I am with antique furniture and midgets. You know that, I can't so much as drink a damn glass of water around a midget or a piece of antique furniture."
"What am I supposed to do about supper while you're out runnin' around with that fag?"
"Stay out of my goddamn face, you fucking buzzard!"
"I don't like homosexuals and she goes out and buddies up with one so I gotta deal with that. I don't like little wimpy-ass kids or mental retards and she got one of each livin' with her."
"Hey! I said get out of my house! That goes for cocksuckers and retards! Now get up off your asses'n go! Go on!"
"I don't mean to be so damned... well, assholish I guess would be the word."
Asshole. Drunk. Poet. Ladies and gentleman... Doyle Hargraves.
Chet Donnelly in "Weird Science"
Chet Donnelly is about as bad as a big brother can get. He has a buzz cut, wears camouflage, puts you in headlocks, blows smoke from his cigar in your face, belches constantly and absolutely loves guns. He also weaves a wonderful tapestry of insults to belittle you with at the drop of a hat. Yes, my friends, what we have here is an educated asshole with a firm grasp on the Oxford English Dictionary. Why, just look at some of these fine examples of this distinguished gentleman in action:
"You're stewed, buttwad!"
"Boy, I wouldn't give a squirt of piss for your ass right now."
"How 'bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?"
"You two donkey-dicks couldn't get laid in a morgue."
At the very least, Chet doesn't leave us in the dark about why he's an asshole. It's actually addressed in the film:
Lisa: "Why do you have to be such a wanker?"
Chet: "Because I get off on it!"
If there's one thing we learned from Weird Science, it's that you can build the perfect woman by hooking your computer up to a Barbie doll and wearing a bra on your head. Sure, she'll love you, help you throw a killer party and shut up your nagging grandparents forever, but most importantly... she'll turn your asshole big brother into a helpless, flatulent, nauseating pile of slime. And really, isn't that the same fate we want all assholes to suffer?
Bill Lumbergh in "Office Space"
Hmmmm.... yyyeaahhh... that'd be great. Office Space was far from the most brilliantly written comedy, but the reason it's become such a huge success is that it's so easy for many people to relate to. Dealing with faulty fax machines, filling out useless forms, being forced to feign enthusiasm... we've all had to endure that kind of bullshit in the workplace at some point or another, but there's nothing worse than having a true asshole for a boss. An asshole like Bill Lumbergh.
There's nothing about Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole) that any sane person wouldn't absolutely loathe. Always trying to remind his employees that he's the boss by hounding them about filing pointless TPS reports, walking around in those godawful suspenders while sipping his coffee, scouring the office at the end of every Friday to find people he can force to come into work over the weekend, and worst of all, talking to people slowly as if they're invalids who can't keep up with him. The reality is, you always know what he's going to say before he even opens his mouth... for his assholishness has a very set pattern which he lives by.
Bill is the kind of frustrating asshole who you know will always somehow be in a position of power at a company, even though he contributes absolutely nothing of value to it and has no real skills. Unless, of course, you consider sucking the life out of the entire workforce so they have no desire whatsoever to come in and be productive every week to be a skill. If you do, well, then I suppose Lumbergh is the most skilled asshole on this list.
Carter Burke in "Aliens"
There's another category of asshole which is found in many action and sci-fi films: the asshole who endangers the lives of others for personal profit. Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) is a perfect example of one of those assholes. In Aliens, he first tries to act like he's on Ripley's side, but when she suggests nuking the deadly aliens from orbit, thus eliminating their threat to anybody else, Burke puts the kibosh on her idea, because he believes they are a valuable species that should be studied. Oh, but he gets worse.
What Ripley and the child (Newt) didn't predict was that Burke would try to seal them in a room with a facehugger so they would be impregnated with aliens and nobody else would be aware of it. Fortunately, nobody else is on Burke's side, and he eventually locks himself away from Ripley and the other marines. Guess he should've taken a better look at his surroundings, because he locked himself in a room with an alien that was all too happy to kill him. A fitting end for an asshole in space.
Maax in "The Beastmaster"
Maax (Rip Torn) is an evil priest who overthrew a good king, locked him away and blinded him. He also enjoys throwing children into burning fires as a public sacrificial demonstration. What an asshole. And who is responsible for his fiery demise? The Beastmaster? Nope. An uprising of all the angry people in the kingdom? Nope. Heart failure? Nope. Of all the things that should've put an end to this asshole, it was a ferret that finished the job. A FERRET! Yep... a ferret killed this power-hungry, birthright-stealing, child-killing, witch-supporting, mindless-death-guard-employing, skull-wearing asshole.
Hilarious, but still... what an asshole!
Buddy Revell in "Three O'Clock High"
Buddy Revell is a person who I would classify as a psychotic asshole... the kind that all the kids in school spread wild rumors about. I'm not sure what happened to him when he was a kid, but he really hates it when people touch him. When Jerry Mitchell nervously pats Buddy on the shoulder after talking to him about doing an article on him for the school paper, Buddy flips out and smashes him into a mirror. "I want you to understand something Jerry. I don't like people knowing about me, in fact I don't like it when ANYONE knows about me. So you can take that paper of yours and wipe off your dick with it! You made me mad Jerry... now I'm gonna have to do something to work it off. You and me, we're gonna have a fight. Today. After school. Three o'clock. In the parking lot. You try and run, I'm gonna track you down. You go to a teacher, it's only gonna get worse. You sneak home, I'm gonna be under your bed."
It's a good thing Jerry was already in the bathroom at the time, because I'm sure he shit himself upon hearing those terrifying words from Buddy. Jerry tries getting out of the fight by hiring a big jock to threaten Buddy, but the jock makes the mistake of walking up to Buddy in the library and touching him. A split second later, Buddy snaps the jock's finger in half and then smashes his face in, destroying most of the library in the process as the shelves fall like dominoes.
When three o'lock finally rolls around and they do fight, Buddy clearly has a huge size advantage over Jerry already, but that's not enough to satisfy him. He clearly wants to hospitalize Jerry and slips on some brass knuckles. The brass knuckles get knocked off thanks to one of Jerry's friends, so he ends up putting them on and knocking out Buddy with 'em. Buddy does show Jerry some respect later on, but even then, you can't help but think that he wouldn't hesitate to cave somebody's face in again should they mistake of touching him.
Melvin Moody in "My Bodyguard"
It may be one of Matt Dillon's earliest roles, but it's still one of his very best. Melvin Moody! It's rare that a person with a name like "Melvin" is able to elevate himself to the status of school bully, but Melvin Moody pulled it off. He has a mafia-like system worked out where, in exchange for their daily lunch money, he offers them protection... from himself. I'm pretty sure those giant adolescent eyebrows alone pack quite a punch, so it's understandable why most students would give Moody their lunch money. He also doesn't like it when people call him Melvin, he just goes by "Moody" or "Big M" as he informs one teacher.
When a new student with an equally bad name (Clifford Peache) shows up at school and refuses to fork over his lunch money, he becomes the subject of Moody's constant harassment. Tripping him in the cafeteria, filling his gym locker with rotten garbage, trying to make him drink toilet water, stuffing him in a locker, calling him a faggot... it's all in a day's work for Mr. Moody.
Eventually, Clifford befriends a big guy that everybody in school fears, Ricky Linderman, and he scares off Moody for a while. Moody then retaliates by hiring his own big thug to pick on Linderman with. Linderman eventually fights back and beats up that thug, but rather than fight Clifford's battle, he lets him duke it out with Moody instead. "Damn you, Moody!" he shouts as he tries to fight, but Moody is clearly winning the fight for a while. Linderman then gives Clifford some fighting tips and he ends up not only beating Moody, but breaking his nose in the process.
But really... would you expect any other kind of ending for somebody named Melvin who isn't the Toxic Avenger? Me neither.
And there you have some more of my all-time favorite movie assholes. Let me know what you guys think of all the assholes I've covered so far. Again, this is still an ongoing series of articles here on I-Mockery, so if I didn't get to cover some of your favorite movie assholes yet, please feel free to post any of your suggestions in the comments area below. Who knows, I just might include your suggestions in the next article. Then again, maybe I'm an asshole too and won't even bother to read your comments. Roll the dice and take your chances, sucka!
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