You might think dads in movies would be a lot scarier than moms but it would only be because dads tend to be more forward and a lot more openly aggressive at times, whereas movie moms seem to be a little sneakier and a lot more subtle in their methods. Movie dads in the 80s were more about getting it through the head of those they were speaking to that something was going to happen and that it was not going to be pleasant if they didn’t get their way. But then again there were dads that were kind of quiet until the stuff hit the fan and their sensibilities went with it. Some movie dads didn’t really just explode, they performed a slow burn that kept building and building towards a crescendo until finally they snapped and anyone that was near them at the time kind of got caught in the blast.
Ah yes, movie dads in the 80s and every decade definitely have those BOOM moments.
5. National Lampoon’s Vacation – Clark Griswold
Clark Griswold is the slow-burning type of scary that was just mentioned since he’s normally a very happy and even-tempered guy, but once he’s pushed too far he gets a little scary. He can explode just like everyone else and when he does it’s omni-directional, he lets it fly on anyone and everyone he can simply because he has no control any longer. His anger is the kind of thing that goes BOOM and then explodes everywhere, with the fallout being so minimal that he’s forgiven the moment or day after he does it. So in terms of being scary he’s the type that’s kind of frightening one he’s been pushed too far.
4. The Shining – Jack Torrance
Jack Nicholson could frown at a person and be scary. But it makes one wonder that since there’s a sequel coming out to this movie, called Dr. Sleep, if he’s going to make a cameo of some sort or if they’re going to leave that part out. In this movie however he kind of gives writers a bad name while at the same time highlighting the dangers that can come from a mind that bounces back and forth between madness and reason so often just to make the words make sense on the page. Of course it doesn’t help that the hotel is playing tricks on him in order to hold him under its sway. He’s just a scary creepy guy in this film.
3. Pet Semetary – Louis Creed
Louis is scary because he knows better and doesn’t care. He’s so adamant about bringing his kid and then his wife back to life that he doesn’t heed the warning of his neighbor and doesn’t seem ready to cope with things in a much healthier and more rational way. Yeah, watching your kid die in such a violent manner would be horrible and it would scar someone for life, especially when they should have been watching him. But the method he uses to bring Gage back, and then his wife after Gage kills her, is anything but rational and not at all what a thinking person should ever consider.
2. Pumpkinhead – Ed Harley
Ed Harley is a man out for justice in any way he can get it. And if he has to go to an old witch that summons up a demon from hell to take that justice then so be it. He suffers buyer’s remorse eventually of course since Ed’s not a bad man, but the price to pay is already done and done once he sets the wheels in motion. The only way to stop it is to pay yet another price, and one that will damn Ed to the bowels of hell forever apparently no matter if he makes the sacrifice on his own or not. Sometimes you really need to think things through rather than act on raw emotion like a lot of movie dads do.
1. The Untouchables – Al Capone
The scary thing about Al Capone is that he was real and he was reportedly just as vicious as some movies and stories depict him as being. While the scene with the bat was based off a real situation, it was two men that Capone beat down, not just one, and he shot them in the back of the head after he was done just to be certain they were dead. Capone was as much of a neighborhood hero to some as he was a vicious criminal to others, which only makes him that much scarier since it stand to reason that people didn’t know who they were going to be dealing with at any given time.
Movie dads in the 80s were crazy, violent, and in some cases out to just hurt people when the moment presented itself. But they did make for great movie villains.