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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Sympathetic Monsters/Villains « previous next »
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Author Topic: Sympathetic Monsters/Villains  (Read 3842 times)
Derf
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« on: July 29, 2009, 08:07:37 PM »

Most horror movies get us to hate/love the villain by making him or her evil. The classic mad scientist out to rule the world/destroy mankind/conduct immoral experiments, the monster who destroys for the sake of destruction, the killer who indiscriminately kills sex-crazed teens--these are all examples of the "common" type of villain.

But then there are the bad guys who aren't really trying to be bad; they are presented to us in a sympathetic light. Who are your favorites?

I'll start the list off with a few of the well-known ones:

The Wolfman: alongside the bloodthirsty Count Dracula and the mad Baron von Frankenstein's monster (another candidate), we have Mr. Talbot, the cursed man seeking redemption. If it weren't for his Manwich lunches (made with 100% real man), he'd be a downright likable fellow.

Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still): In the midst of the string of evil alien movies, we get one peaceful guy coming down to try to bring us to our senses. Instead, humans kill him in a fit of paranoia. Not sure he's really a villain, per se, but the people in the movie treat him as one.

The Ymir (20,000,000 Miles to Earth): This monster goes on a rampage, but only because he is on a strange planet being poked with sticks and shot at.

Godzilla might also qualify for this category, at least in the later movies where he becomes a defender of Japan and of Earth.

And one more from a movie I recently watched: Mr. Franz in Attack of the Puppet People. He is crazy, but he gets a very sympathetic portrayal by John Hoyt. ****SPOILERS**** He is a dollmaker and puppeteer by trade. His wife left him years before the time of the movie. Heartbroken, he quit show business and began making dolls (he talks to the dolls as well, claiming they are his friends). People start disappearing from his doll factory, and we learn that he has been kidnapping people and shrinking them to doll size; then he places them in suspended animation in doll tubes and displays them as his "art." He awakens them from time to time for parties, but mostly they sleep. He is beaten in the end by John Agar and his bride-to-be, June Kennedy, and he is left waiting for the police, crying that he doesn't want to be alone. ****END SPOILERS**** I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, and, if you haven't already seen it, it's worth a watch.

Who are your favorite sympathetic villains/monsters?
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Newt
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 09:04:59 PM »

I have always found Jack Palance's Dracula (1973) to be a tremendously sympathetic portrayal.  I don't know if it was Richard Matheson's script, or Palance's spin on the part, but I felt sorry for the Count.  He was truly damned.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 09:44:58 PM »

Peter Lorre does his damnedest to make the child-murdering Hans Beckert sympathetic in Fritz Lang's amazing M. It's really quite a harrowing performance.

Of course, sympathy and understanding only take you so far. Hans Beckert is a horrible human being.
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venomx
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 12:11:42 AM »

I.M.O. Godzilla is made out to be "bad" as well as "good" ... The 1st b.w. Godzilla film w/ Raymond Burr Godzilla really wasn't really trying to be bad, like you said. Godzilla is just presented as "bad" because of his destruction.

Later - The Showa-era Godzilla was presented as "good" ... I think, but wait ... was he not he presented as "bad" in King Kong vs Godzilla? Ahh! Im not even sure lol ... I like Godzilla movies, bad or good.


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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 12:18:27 AM »

I just watched DEATH FACTORY: BLOODLETTING, and I must say the killer mutant claw-handed chick is a really pathetic figure.  She never asked to become a living nightmare, and you get the sense that there is just enough humanity left in her to hate the existence she is forced to lead.
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 01:46:49 AM »


Surprisingly, I can only think of monsters/villains from old movies, e.g.:

- the creature from the black lagoon, that I was feeling sorry for even as a kid.

- Romero's living dead. They definitely didn't ask for their fate and the end of part 1 and throughout part 3 they get away not too bad compared to humankind.

- I believe there are quite a few westerns with gunsmen hired by the main villain that are not that bad, bur I can't think of one specifically.


The most "modern" character I can think of is from the comic "Preacher". Cassidy is definitely a complete a**hole, although some of his actions become quite understandable and he is somehow somewhat likeable sometimes. He reminds me actually of someone I knew at university (although that one was not a vampire).


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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2009, 04:21:02 AM »

It's gotta be King Kong !
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009, 06:10:35 AM »

Oh, another one.

Seth Brundle.

Poor guy... Bluesad
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 06:45:51 AM »

Pretty much all the "evil" characters on Dark Shadows.  Very few of them were ever presented in an "evil for the sake of being evil" manner.  They all had fully developed backstories and you could clearly see their motivations and a lot of times they came off as more sympathetic than the regular characters.  My favorite was Angelique - she was pretty immoral, certainly, but she always made you wonder:  If you had supernatural powers, and you were hopelessly in love with someone who didn't love you, would you use those powers to try to get what you wanted?  And when things spiralled out of control, what would you do?  Barnabas Collins was another.  He was originally presented as an evil vampire, but then they did a bunch of episodes set 200 years in the past, where you found out he was a normal guy who had a vampire curse put on him, and of course he had to kill people to exist.  But considering that, he did all he could to end the curse, and certainly spent plenty of time thinking about how everyone would be better off without him.  That was one of the greatest things about the show, no one was simply "good" or "evil", everyone had their motivations and their circumstances, and did what they could to get what they wanted.
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 09:00:02 AM »

Second the vote for the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Trog, from the 1970 movie by the same name.

Jan in the Pan from THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 09:43:32 AM »


Jan in the Pan from THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. 

Oh, c'mon.
She was annoying without a body, imagine how irritating she would be if she could move.   TeddyR

The pan is the best place for her !  Cheers
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El Misfit
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 09:55:37 AM »

I agree with the ymir. he just needs to be alone. LEAVE HIM ALONE!
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 11:51:54 AM »

Gollum

Is it just me or does Gollum look like lance henriksen?   Question
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2009, 03:47:55 PM »

Right now I can only thing of the mummy (Christopher Lee) in the first Hammer movie. He's the monster, agreed, but his actions are caused by third parties who took him to England or manipulated him for their own purposes. And by the end nobody seems to find out all these.
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2009, 03:56:16 PM »

Frankie from Monster Squad



Dracula wants him to kill the kids in the film, but he ends up befriending them and helping them to defeat probably the lamest vampire ever.  Thumbup
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