Festival of Fiendishness: THE BORG

Every so often you encounter a character, or in this case, a race of beings, that strike you with their villainy, their wickedness, their abject disdain for life, or their bulldozer approach to meeting their goals. It’s usually a cinematic moment—like when the terminator snatched that dude’s heart out and took his clothes or when the Hulk did this “puny God” routine on Loki in The Avengers or when Freddy Krueger sucked Johnny Depp into the bed and splattered him all over the ceiling. Something that makes you say, “Daaaammmmmmnnn!” You know what I’m talking about, right? Now imagine you’re Jean-Luc Picard, the coldest Star Trek captain ever, you run the Enterprise, it’s the 24th century, and you run into the Borg. And these cats tear down your ship and tell you, “Resistance is futile.”


The Borg is today’s villain of renown and, if you don’t know them, relax, it’s alright, Wikipedia is my sidekick on this post. We first saw the Borg in a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode when a godlike character named Q took Picard and his intrepid group of travelers to the ass-end of space just so they could get the Federation shit slapped out of them by the Borg. And it was just to prove that the Enterprise and her crew weren’t as raw as they thought they were.

But they weren’t done.

The Borg roll back into Federation space in their Rubik’s Cube ship, all “Resistance is futile,” and “You will be assimilated,” and causing all sorts of mayhem. They jump on the Enterprise and jack Picard, snatch his ass off the ship and ASSIMILATE him. He gets a gang name (they call him Locutus) and the Borg steal all his knowledge about the Federation—so now they know what he knows. When 40 ships mass to stop the Borg on their Highway to Hell, one – ONE – ship makes it out alive. One. Folks that’s a 98% kill rate. These cats don’t mess around.

They try to go back in time to wipe out an entire meeting between humans and Vulcans so the Federation no longer exists, they killed the wife of A Man Called Hawk (Avery Brooks), and actually gave Star Trek Voyager a reason to be on TV.

But this is not what makes them awesome.

The Borg are fantastic because of why they do what they do: the pursuit of perfection. They move through the galaxy, assaulting star systems, taking the best traits of those they conquer and assimilating it into their own race. They believe they are making everything better, making everything perfect and resistance to that idea is as futile as resistance to evolution itself. We’ve seen this sort of forced cultural progress before: the Romans did it (well) and it is been happening on our own continent since the days of Cortez and Columbus.

What I like about them is that they don’t speak threats or in throaty boasts; they speak facts: Resistance is futile—FACT. Look at those 39 starships we tore up back there. You will be assimilated—FACT. Think I’m playing? Check out my man Locutus.

And though I’m not necessarily a fan, I have to tip my hat to the Borg: you have to appreciate any villain, any organism, which moves forward with such inevitability in their wake.

Up next, Coooo-BRAAAAAA!! Cobra Commander will be hissing his way into the Festival.

Festival of Fiendishness: CHUCKY

I freaking hate this lil (insert your choice of expletive here), man.

Not because he scares me (Chucky is no Teddy Ruxpin) but because I think the whole concept is stupid. The only reason I’m even considering this lil bad ass is because my son is terrified of him. It’s bad enough that, during Christmastime, I ordered something from Amazon that came in a 12” x 24” box. I told The Boy I ordered a Good Guy doll and he was too scared to even enter the kitchen. Like literally quaking in his slippers. I didn’t tell him the truth for a couple days.

But fine, anything that evokes that kind of response probably deserves a Crooked Letterz-style evaluation so here goes…

Chucky is the by-product of an overly moussed, androgynously clothed 80s Hollywood who an amok with the slasher flick idea, giving us such cinema classics like CHUD, Shocker, and Child’s Play. It tells the story of Charles Lee “Chucky” Ray, a voodoo practicing serial killer who gets shot by police, seeks into a Toys R Us and, as his dying action, uses his voodoo to project his spirit into a Good Guy doll. This is the premise folks: the villain is now a two-foot-tall Little Buddy with an attitude.

Whoever greenlit this should be shot.

Anyway, this foul-mouthed doll makes its way into the hands of a little kid named Andy (which makes me wonder if the guys at Pixar have an exceptionally wicked sense of humor) and hilarity ensues. This MF manages to cut the Achilles tendon off every human being over 5 feet, kicks the babysitter out the window, blows his former partner’s house before somebody figures out how to toss his lil ass in the fireplace and burn him alive. And then they still have to destroy his heart.

Not only the first Chucky make money, they made 3 other sequels AND are rebooting the franchise in 2013. The films’ and the character’s success and cult status sincerely makes me second-guess the future of humanity. Seriously, folks, this is the dumbest shit ever.

Aside from the idiotic premise—you can transfer your soul into any other thing and you pick a fucking doll? If you have to choose a toy, why not a Transformer or Darth Vader or GI Joe with the Kung Fu Grip?—the entire movie has people terrorized by something 18 inches tall. It’s like getting killed by evil ass Smurfs. I have a husky, Rocky the WonderDog, right? I feed Rocky and he comes when I call and I could definitely take this 75 pound dog in a fight (I have opposable thumbs; he has the lame ass dew claw). Rocky is about two feet tall at the shoulder. So is the Expedia Traveling Gnome. So are two year olds.

I can’t say Chucky is an awesome villain: Chucky’s not big enough to be terrifying and there’s not enough of him to be an issue. I’ve seen scarier stuff as a church camp counselor for preschoolers. But he scared my kid and that has to count for something.

Next up: resistance is futile! The Borg are coming to assimilate the Festival.

Festival of Fiendishness: WILE E COYOTE

There’s this motivational Successories saying about lions and gazelles—essentially the lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest gazelle or it’ll starve to death. And there is no greater example of that persistence, that stick-to-it-ness than today’s villain du jour: Wile E Coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons. My man right here is hungry. Like real hungry.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Chris, this isn’t a real villain. He’s no Pennywise or Poltergeist or Gremlin.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But he’s still awesome, right? How many of you were up at some stupid time on Saturday mornings, watching the Coyote fall off a mountain or get run over by a truck, laughing hard enough to make the milk come out your nose? Too specific?

Until America got soft and decided cartoon characters blowing up or getting hit by trains or plunging off cliffs was too damaging to young minds, the chronicles of this inventive canine and his hunt for a 3-piece wing and thigh dinner made for Must-See TV for kids of all ages. And it wasn’t that we ever thought the Coyote would be successful—his track record is worse than the Trix rabbit—it was that he never gave up.

Saturday after Saturday, toon after toon, Wile E Coyote made a new plan, ordered a new kit from ACME, stockpiled more dynamite, and ventured out the kill the Roadrunner. You did get that part, right? He was adamant about catching, killing and eating the Roadrunner. In this case, he’s no better than Dr. Claw or the Predator, for that matter—he’s a hunter by trade. He’s just a poor one.

Could the Coyote have been more effective? Absolutely. He ran up his own national debt, racking up charges with the ACME Corporation to get supplies in his hunt. He could have just broke down and took the same money and went to Safeway, right? Or at least Old Country Buffet. Would have been a smarter play for someone with a business card that says “Super Genius” on it, wouldn’t it? And, for those of you who said, why didn’t he just pick another target? He did. Not only did he fail (as usual) when he pursued Bugs Bunny, but I had to listen to that long-eared jackass talk about how cagey he was for 6 minutes (If you didn’t know, I am NOT a Bugs Bunny fan; for once I wish Elmer Fudd would get the Duck Season/Rabbit Season thing right and blow that damn bunny’s face off!)

But that’s too far down the rabbit hole (oooh, I’m punny!) and this is about the Wile E Coyote, not a smart ass rabbit that KEEPS getting lost at Albuquerque. The Coyote is awesome because he represents an unwillingness to quit. I’ve talked about Voldemort’s focus and Michael Myers’ unstoppable nature, but a four-eyed nerd with a wand put Voldy down and Mike got toasted in the hospital. Wile E Coyote has fallen thousands of feet, been blown up, launched into space, and run over by every vehicle known to man and still gets up every day to chase that scrawny bird.

That’s the deal, folks. Tune in next time for deadliest lil bastard under 2 feet tall: Chucky!

Festival of Fiendishness: THE PREDATOR

Sing along everybody!

If you’re seven feet tall and like killing humans, clap your hands!

Clap, clap.

If you like pulling spines and your face is kinda jacked, clap your hands!

Clap, clap.

If you have a cloaking device that isn’t waterproof and you come to planet that’s 80% water, you wouldn’t be the wisest hunter in the galaxy…but you would be today’s Independence Day villain: the Predator.

Yeah I know the song fell apart but it does help you get the gist of this character. And in the event you were born after 1990, you might not know that the Predators have NOTHING to do with the Aliens—that’s more of a comic book driven marketing ploy than anything else…but we’ll talk about that too.

A long time ago, before Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California, he starred in a series of low-brow action movies with plenty of explosions, bullets and one-liners. In one of these movies, Schwarzeneggar led an elite squad of mercenaries—including Apollo Creed and Jesse “The Body” Ventura (before he was the governor of Minnesota)—in a South American jungle to do some bullshit (I just saw the movie and don’t freaking remember what the hell they were doing). Anyway, they get systematically hunted down and slaughtered by a killer they cannot see. One that sees only their thermal image and likes to snatch people’s spinal columns out and hang them on trees. There’s lots of blood and yelling, yada yada yada and the Governator pulls some MacGyver shit and manages to take out an extraterrestrial hunter—a predator, if you will—packing advanced weaponry using some mud, a spear and two sticks of dynamite. But the Predator’s a little bit of a bitch: when his cloaking device is working and can’t nobody figure out what he is, the Predator is all leaping through the trees, laughing at people, screwing with them. But when the water fucks his stuff up and everybody can see him, when he’s all beat up and Arnold takes off his mask and calls him ugly, the Predator doesn’t take his L like a man: he suicide bombs the entire jungle.


Fast forward a couple years and a new Predator decides he doesn’t like Arnold’s politics and starts chasing Danny Glover in the streets of LA. Here, though, we get the see what the Predator is actually capable of. This cat has more gadgets than Batman: he has a net that tightens once it gets on you so you look like sausage when it’s done; a spear that he can hurl with frightening accuracy; a shoulder cannon that’ll make your head explode if he gets those 3 dots on you; and a Krull-style disc/boomerang thing that will cut through anything or anyone and return to sender. We learn that the Predator is like a big game hunter and is simply looking for the biggest challenge, win or lose. We learn they have a little bit of honor to their hunt, they’ve been hunting us for a long time (they give Danny an old musket from the Revolutionary War), and they’ve been hunting plenty of shit besides us, like T-Rexes and the Aliens (that’s where it started, folks). Watching Gary Busey die is one of the best scenes in the movie.

Any other time we see the Predator after this, they’re hunting Aliens on our world, either as some ridiculous rite of passage, killing Adrien Brody and Topher Grace as a group, or cleaning up the effects of when shit goes wrong. Like, you couldn’t see that coming? Seriously? You earn the gun for killing the Aliens with your bare hands? An animal that has acid for blood? And there’s no containment plan for when they get out? I continually second guess the intelligence of this advanced race.

So even though I’ve tearing them up, I still have some respect for the Predator and still think they have their awesome moment. Because, even though they screw up and get their asses handed to them, we encounter them because they kill us for fun. It is a sport. And our skulls are the trophies. That is what makes them awesome.

Up next, the most persistent and consistently unsuccessful hunter of all time: Wile E. Coyote. Th-th-that’s all folks!

Festival of Fiendishness: BILL LUMBERGH

This dude is a dick.

There, I said it. You know it. Bill Lumbergh from the corporate masterpiece Office Space is today’s villain. I know I write a lot about bad guys from comics and movies, individuals with unfathomable power or evil designs for domination or really cool outfits. Sometimes, though, the bad guy is the dude you see every freaking day, sending that one last email, making you miss your bus. Keeping you stuck in their office for LONGEST, BORING-EST, SOUL SUCKING-EST MEETING EVER!

Sometimes the bad guy is one you can’t escape.

If you haven’t seen Office Space, it’s probably for one of two reasons: you are too young to have owned a VCR or you’re too young to have had a job. I can’t even spoil this movie—it’s that great! It tells the story of a Peter who gets hypnotized to not give a shit (and the hypnotist dies), who begins to notice the soul-crushing monotony that is corporate culture. This movie gave us cult hits like “minimum pieces of flair,” “somebody has a case of the Mondays,” and “you didn’t put a cover sheet on your TPS report. Did you get the memo?” Michael Bolton and the fax machine. The Leap to Conclusions mat. Milton and his red stapler.

But the icing on this cubicle cake was Bill Lumbergh with, “Hey Peter, what’s happening? I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in this weekend. M’Kay? Greeaat.”

If you’ve had a job, you might have been lucky enough to work for a company that had those cubicle farms: those rows of blue or beige fabric thick enough to hold pushpins, fake wooden desks with the grommets for your computer wires, office chairs with the pilling fabric and poor back support. Maybe you’re there now, reading this, knowing damn well that you can’t wait until there’s cake on Thursday for all the July birthdays or to see Sheila’s vacation photos. It becomes a little maze of sorts—a necessary one (hey, we all gotta eat)—but a maze nonetheless and each corporate citizen is a little mouse. And, in every mouse-ridden maze, there must be a guy who keeps moving the cheese. Putting up corporate policies and carpool sign up sheets. Approving vacation and calling the copier guy. Giving you shit assignments and making you work weekends. That guy is Lumbergh.

So what makes him a dick? Truth is, I’m struggling with this. If you watch the movie, there’s no question he’s he guy to hate, right? But he doesn’t actually do much: he has a non-confrontational, profit over people, bullshit style; wears suspenders; sends creepy ass Milton to work in the basement (and steals his stapler—which sets my man OFF); calls Peter 57 times about not coming in over the weekend; and gives Peter shit about his TPS cover sheets. Bill Lumbergh is the 90s version of Michael Scott: out of touch, ineffectual, enforcer of the culture.

The thing that bothers me the most about this post is the Bill Lumbergh person for me is…me. I approve expenses and vacation, sweat people about timecards, hand out shitty assignments. Pull people into meetings. Write sternly worded emails about poorly completed paperwork.


Now, I’m off to steal someone’s stapler. It’ll make me feel better. Next up, we got one ugly muthafucka coming up: The Predator makes his appearance in the Festival!

Festival of Fiendishness: HAL 9000

How many of you have Siri? Show of hands. How about Outlook or Lotus Notes or Tom Tom or Facebook or a DVR or any number of the millions of software systems and devices that manage our lives? Imagine if one day those devices, those programs, those virtual assistants suddenly decided what was best for you? What if Siri said, “Screw you, punk, I’m not telling you a joke or giving you directions and you can read your own damn calendar? A reminder? Get a watch! Punk.” (Yes, in my scenario, Siri got mad attitude.)

Now imagine that happened in outer space. And it’s just you and five other dudes you barely know, trying to investigate some real extraterrestrial shit. That’s stressful enough, right? And everything you need to live is in the hands—or the digits—of an OnStar agent who gets an attitude.

Bad timing, right?

That is HAL 9000.

HAL is the original Clippy the Annoying Ass Paper Clip from Windows (remember that?). Actually, he is the semi-sentient computer operating the spaceship Discovery One in the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C. Clarke masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. While a team of six scientists go to investigate a phenomenon around Jupiter—a phenomenon some 4 million years in the making—HAL runs the homestead (so to speak). You’d expect a computer system to manage the ship, the cryogenic freezers, communications, navigation on an interplanetary mission, right? Makes sense. Much like we have auto-pilots and parking assistants and turn by turn directions and…shit. We’re already here, aren’t we?

Anyway, HAL is all “I’m infallible and never make mistakes” but the humans won’t tell him the nature of the mission. Like Richard Pryor in Bustin’ Loose, they want him to just drive the bus. That doesn’t work for HAL and he keeps inquiring without getting any answers. But here’s the rub, HAL is sentient enough to have issues of trust. He thinks he’s being kept in the dark. HAL 9000—the COMPUTER—develops paranoia. And acts on it.

He (and I say he because HAL becomes more and more sentient as the movie progresses) incorrectly diagnoses the failure of a communications antenna (so much for that “foolproof and incapable of error,” huh?), then, when questioned about the error, blames it on the humans. When two of the scientists go to talk about HAL OUTSIDE THE SHIP, even to suggest deactivating HAL if he continues to malfunction, HAL reads their lips and makes a plan: he severs the connection and life support for one of the scientists, kicks him out into space, and kills the folks sleeping in cryo. When Dr. Bowman (he’s like the cowboy in this here flick) brings the floating astronaut back, HAL tries to keep them out of the ship to die, saying my favorite line ever: “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.”

Here’s the thing: long before the machines built the Matrix, before Skynet sent the Terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor, even before Mother was a bitch to Sigourney Weaver, HAL preyed on our greatest fears of man against machine: being wholly dependent on something of our creation that doesn’t have our best interest at heart. This is what makes HAL 9000 so frightening: in an age replete with Siri and Google cars that drive themselves and Amazon recommendations, we’re already in HAL’s world.

And I’m afraid there’s no going back.

Up next: Hey Peter, what’s happening? Bill Lumbergh joins the Festival. It’s gonna be greeaaattt!

Festival of Fiendishness: PAZUZU

The Swinging Seventies brought us plenty of pop culture goodness: we got “Marsha Marsha Marsha!” from the Brady Bunch; porn movies with intentional bow-chicka-wow-wow music; and the cinematic stylings of Pazuzu. I know what you’re thinking: Pa—who? Pa—what? Let me put it this way: you remember that little girl who got possessed and her head turned all the way around and she was projectile vomiting pea soup while cussing the priest out? The one who really needed her ass beat? Well the demon that possessed that girl was Pazuzu and this SOB is our villain for the day.

The Exorcist debuted on the big screen in 1973 and literally changed the motion picture industry. You remember the old Frankenstein and Dracula movies? The Mummy and Abbott & Costello Meets the Wolfman and shit? Remember how they just dropped away? Blame it on that gross little girl: The Exorcist came out and put two film studios completely out of business. Seriously. It is the first horror movie to win an Oscar. Impressive for one of the grossest and most frightening movies ever made.

On the off chance you haven’t seen this movie…or accidently stumbled on a documentary about it…or wondered why there is a collective cringe when people simply mention the movie, The Exorcist tells the story of a girl named Regan MacNeil, daughter of a famous actress, who experiences some increasingly disturbing psychological issues (from peeing on the floor at her mother’s party to crab walking down the stairs backward) and paranormal phenomena (shit moving by itself and flying around the house) before she finally becomes possessed—and I mean bed jumping up and down, talking backwards, words being pressed into her stomach FROM THE INSIDE—and they have to call in the priests. Now, some of you newbies might be thinking “but that’s Paranormal Activity/Emily Rose/Haunting in Connecticut!” To which I respond: shut up, junior, before I if I slap you through the screen. Grown ups are talking. This is some different shit.

Here’s why.

There are two priests in this movie: Father Merrin and Father Karras. Merrin is an older, grizzled priest who’s on the verge of death Karras is a younger priest who begins to doubt his faith as his mother dies. You put these two clowns in a room with a demon and all kinds of stuff happens. What makes this so incredible is the demon himself: Pazuzu has been possessing people around the world just to personally fuck with Father Merrin. Imagine that. A demon manipulating people, possessing them, ruining their lives, not so he can make their lives miserable, but so he can torment you in front of them. And he chose a priest, a demon warrior. What chance does the average individual have? Second, Pazuzu chooses to possess a little girl. Seriously, what are you gonna do with that? It’s a kid! You can’t beat on her or throw her out the window or hurt her in any way, and the demon lets you know that Regan is actually in there with him. It’s foul. And then he picks on the Doubting Thomas in the room and dogs the shit out of him, telling Your Mama jokes about his dead mom and then cursing him out in her voice.

And when it’s all over, both priests are dead (SPOILER!) and the little girl’s reputation is ruined, and a Pazuzu will go on to screw with another human being and start the process over somewhere else. It’s fucked up and Pazuzu does it because he can.

That one line is why he’s in the pantheon of awesome villains. Because he can. There’s not a whole lot more to be said.

Up next, the coldest computer you’ll ever know: HAL 9000. Say it ain’t so? I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.

Festival of Fiendishness: GOLLUM

This cat really needs to go outside. Seriously.

Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy is today’s beautiful baddie and he’s not just a client, he’s the president of the This Is Why You Need to Put Down the Controller society. I’m talking to you, Xboxers, Playstationers, Wii Wiis. Look at my man: homie ain’t right.

For those of you who decided to leave your Dungeons & Dragons playing back in the 8th grade and, I don’t know, enter puberty and touch a girl with some confidence (until Game of Thrones came out and made fantasy cool AND sexy), Gollum is this freaky little dude horribly obsessed with a ring of invisibility. We first met him in The Hobbit where he was stuck underground by himself, eating raw fish and having a passionate affair with this ring he called “Precious.” No, this is not an episode of My Strange Addiction (but it oughta be). Bilbo Baggins tricks Gollum, snatches the ring and defeats the dragon, winning acclaim and armor and an invitation back to the Elves’ house for drinks. Gollum, on the other hand, is stuck in his little hole, Precious-less, and alone. Until the ring surfaces again.

Turns out this little trinket is the most powerful piece in a World of Warcraft-style battle for domination of Middle Earth (which is just outside Cleveland) sponsored by a really big eye named Sauron (and yes, geek squad, I am thoroughly aware that the Lord of the Rings—or LOTR for the uber-geek—precedes World of Warcraft by decades—this ain’t a history report. Put your wand down and stay focused.) The ring is more than just a ring of invisibility; it is a living thing that has an irrestible power of everything that comes in contact with it. It is the most powerful ring out there (even more powerful than that brilliant cut in the little blue box) and presses everyone around it toward insanity and destruction. It’s no little thing: it starts wars.

And Gollum had it all to himself.

He killed his homeboy over the ring without knowing what it was, just because he wanted it. Beat my man down with a rock to the skull. He loses everything that matters to him—his family, his friend, his hair, his skin tone—simply to be near the ring. His story reads like an episode of Intervention: all he wants in the ring, come hell or highwater. And even though it places him in a constant state of misery—it’s both extending his life and killing him at the same time—he not only can’t look away, he loves it.

When I first started this exploration of villains and what makes them awesome, I was looking at what we can learn from them as readers and writers. For Gollum, what makes him awesome is his commitment. Check it out: when Bilbo takes the ring from him, this cat spends YEARS—like 60 years—bitter and intent on getting his Precious back. 60 YEARS. For a ring. Not something that breathes or can talk back. A ring. But wait—there’s more! He actually spends the entire trilogy walking through a war determined to get his shit back just so he can have it. He’s like a walking J.G. Wentworth commercial: “It’s my ring and I want it now!” This cat chases folks into a dungeon that damn near kills the wizard, into the mountains populated with spiders the size of Volkswagens (and my man is barefoot, FYI), bites Frodo’s finger clean off to get his ring and, when it looks like the ring might be destroyed, Gollum does a Greg Louganis swan dive INTO A VOLCANO to save it. That is commitment.

Tomorrow, “the Power of Christ compels you!” We’re gonna look at the demon who turned Linda Blair into the creepiest girl EVER: Pazuzu.

Festival of Fiendishness Day 6: DOOMSDAY

You probably think I’m a Superman fan, doncha? This is the third Superman villain I’ve looked at; must mean I have some affinity for the Man of Steel, huh? Not necessarily. I mean I don’t have anything against the Bulletproof Boy Scout—he just makes me feel bad. All strong and flying and looking good in that blue suit with that one perfect curl. The guy has no imperfections, right? Somebody has to bring him down to size, right?

Well, that somebody is today’s villain, Doomsday.

In the mid-90s some ballsy comic book writer from my home state of Minnesota came up with the idea that Superman needed to be knocked down a peg. That he needed to be taught a lesson in humility and vulnerability. And mortality. Supe needed to die. And the man to do it was a lil guy named Doomsday. Well, a big guy. With a really bad case of eczema.

Honestly, the whole idea is really screwed up. Seriously. And I like villains. Check this out: the being called Doomsday is a project—a weapon—created by a Kryptonian scientist some 250,000 years before Krypton exploded. This scientist, a dude named Bertron, was trying to create a perfect organism (like the aliens in Alien) so he took a baby, like a regular baby, and dropped him into Krypton’s prehistoric environment. Imagine taking a baby and just dropping it into the Jurassic era. It’s fucked up, right? That’s what this guy did. And, surprise, surprise, the baby becomes a Beggin Strip for whatever dinosaur is lumbering by. This is just the beginning. Bertron scoops up the remains of the baby, clones it and makes it stronger. Now, when the baby comes back, its immune to the thing that killed it. For the next 250,000 years, this little baby was repeatedly killed by a variety of means, coming back stronger and impervious to the thing that killed it.

Did you catch that? Doomsday has died thousands of times, only to be reborn. Stronger.

You can imagine he’s not a happy soul, right?

Doomsday learns how to adapt on his own, kills Bertron, escapes on a ship and kills the whole crew. He goes from planet to planet, wrecking shop, tearing up whatever he can. If he gets beat, no biggie, right? Comes back, $6 Million Dollar Man-style, better, stronger, faster, and beats the living daylights outta whatever took him. He goes to one planet, kills everyone, and the leaders transform themselves into a Voltron-style energy weapon that kills Doomsday. But they don’t trust it so they bind up his body, drop him in a metal tomb, and bury him in stone.

This MF gets out. And makes it to Earth.

How raw is Doomsday? On Earth, he beats the shit out of the entire Justice League (AKA low-budget Avengers. What can I say? I’m a Marvel guy…) and does it WITH ONE HAND TIED BEHIND HIS BACK! Literally. Well, Superman can’t have some no-name dude with crusty skin whopping on his people so he swoops in to help.

This does not end well. Superman is trying to save Metropolis. Doomsday is trying to kill everything that breathes and has a particular disdain for the Man of Steel. These cats literally beat one another to death. In front of the whole world.

Doomsday killed Superman.

I could go on. I could talk about the fact that after killing Superman, Doomsday was strapped to an asteroid and flung deep into space and he woke up anyway! Drifting through space, giggling about the whole thing. I could talk about how Doomsday came back, repeatedly, after being stranded at the End of Time (literally) or being blasted until only his bones remained. Doomsday is raw, unmitigated destruction for the sake of destruction. He’s an incredible villain because everything he does is because he can. And no one can stop him.

But that’s not what makes him awesome. Doomsday is awesome because he gave us this:

Festival of Fiendishness Day 5: MICHAEL MYERS

I’ve never really been a fan of the slasher flick. Aside from never being able to see myself in those situations, the entire thing seemed like too much work—killers would come up with newer and more inventive ways to kill stupid teenagers. They’re stupid, horny teenagers—how much effort do you really need to kill them? Crossbows and bear traps and razor gloves…I mean, come on! But there was one guy who figured it out, who kept it simple, stupid: the most straightforward cinematic serial killer ever—and today’s villain du jour—Michael Myers.

If you haven’t seen Halloween by now, I’m not giving you a spoiler alert, I’m passing out tardy slips. Study up, Poindexter, we’re going to school. Skip the Saw, Hills Have Eyes, Hostel, Human Centipede nonsense (though that last one is REALLY fucked up), Michael Myers is the pinnacle of the faceless slaughterer of frisky teenagers. He isn’t part of the genre; he is the genre. He started it. And he sets the bar pretty freaking high: the movie starts with this kid grabbing a butcher knife out the kitchen, going upstairs to watch his sister screw her boyfriend, then hacking her naked body to pieces while wearing a clown costume. The boy was 6. Six. That’s our introduction to Mike. This cat ain’t right.

The next time we see Mike, he’s busting out of the mental institution, stealing cars from his own therapist (who spends the entire movie ignoring police, trying to get his patient back), jacking truck drivers for jumpsuits. He heads back to Haddonfield, intent on killing Jamie Lee Curtis, and happens to off EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO CROSSES HIS PATH. Mike killed dogs, dug up his mother’s grave, strangled the cop’s daughter in the car. He dressed up like a ghost and pretended to be a girl’s boyfriend just so he could look at her naked before he killed her.

Mike has problems.

Like real problems. But Michael Myers is a G: he got stabbed in the neck with a knitting needle, stabbed in the eye with a coat hanger (Mommie Dearest would be furious! NO WIRE HANGERS!), took six shots to the chest and fell of the balcony. AND GOT UP AND WALKED AWAY. They had to stick him in a hospital room and blow it up and he still stomped his flaming ass down the hallway after Jamie. I’ve written about focus before but you gotta give Mike credit on this one—he was the original Terminator.

But here’s what I really like about Michael Myers: stripped down to his basic elements, he’s just a guy in a jumpsuit with a knife, chasing a girl for no reason at all. He has no face. He doesn’t run. He doesn’t say shit—in fact, he’s been in like 8 or 9 movies and has never said a word. You might get some heavy breathing, but Mike has nothing to say. Skip the Rob Zombie remake, go back to the source material. Michael Myers never says anything. To anybody.

Halloween came out in 1978. Less than 10 years after Manson and the Zodiac Killer. But those horrible things happened far away, right? In California somewhere, not the Midwest. Not Haddonfield, Illinois. Not in our backyards. We didn’t even have kids on milk cartons then. Halloween puts this horror right in our communities, chasing after the people who watch our children, killing the children of police officers. But what truly makes Michael Myers terrifying, what makes him one of the most incredible villains to grace the screen is there is no “why” to him. No rationale. You never know why he does what he does. He simply is. Like a tornado.

Michael Myers made fear a suburban reality and he did it with a William Shatner mask, a jumpsuit and a butcher knife. And that, my friends, is what makes him awesome.

Tomorrow, tomorrow we’ll look at the dude who stomped a mudhole in Superman’s red and blue tights: DOOMSDAY!