Happy Father’s Day

The movie geeks also known as the Horror Dads are marking Father’s Day the best way a movie buff can: by talking about fathers in horror movies.  I’m particularly taken with Paul Gaita’s bit on Cook, the put-upon paterfamilias of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, forever trying to keep his psychopathic sons in line (“Look what your brother did to the door!”) while keeping the muss and fuss of cannibalism to an absolute minimum. Just as good is Greg Ferrara’s take on John Baxter, the mourning skeptic whose bravery, combined with his unwillingness to accept a supernatural explanation for anything happening around him, leads to tragedy in Don’t Look Now. Though its stretching the boundaries of what would be considered a horror movie, I would throw in King Casiodorus (Peter Eyre), the not-quite-villain of the underrated 1981 fantasy film Dragonslayer, who institutes a sacrificial lottery to protect his kingdom from a marauding dragon, and then perverts it to protect his daughter. (When the daughter learns of his perfidy, she responds with an act of self-sacrifice that is only one of the ways this neglected film upends the cliches of high fantasy.)

Tagged , , ,

3 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day

  1. Paul Gaita says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Steven. Glad you’re enjoying the column.

  2. Steven, thanks for shouting out the Horror Dads! I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on Paul and Greg’s contributions. If we’re choosing favorites (something NO dad should do!) I like Jeff’s consideration of Robert Thorne in THE OMEN a lot too. And since I’m in a concurring mood, I will second your enthusiasm for DRAGONSLAYER, which I just saw again after a long layoff. It is a great underseen gem of ’80s fantasy filmmaking, much better than most of its better-known brethren.

  3. Steven Hart says:

    The great thing about Jeff’s piece is that it made me aware of how “The Omen,” which I mainly remember for its elaborately choreographed Grand Guignol death scenes (see ya, Mr. Photographer!), could have been a much freakier, far more intense mind game — kind of a successor to “Rosemary’s Baby,” from a paternal point of view. If the film’s Satanists had simply switched babies without telling Robert Thorne. The buildup of his suspicions would have been so much more ambiguous and scary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: