Being a dad is tough, which is why, in honor of Father's Day, we're honoring the dads whose families have literally driven them to the brink of insanity (or further). Relax. It's only movie dads we're talking about here -- your dad probably won't go crazy and kill you this Sunday. Then again, as my own sage father always says when I'm obsessing about something beyond my control: there are no guarantees in life. Now, here's our list of the best killer dads known to Hollywood.
See also: - Think Mommy Dearest was tough? Consider these divas of the animal world - Menswear: Pedicab driver Ox Lox on his sloppy, elegant style - Grease revs up Monday Movie Madness tonight at Infinity ParkScream for Help
What is it about the '80s and awesomely trashy B-list horror cult classics? When it comes to shedding blood and guts of the familial kind, Paul Fox, the seemingly normal stepfather played by David Allen Brooks inScream for Help
(1984), isn't effing around. Well, no, technically heis
effing around. Good old Paul's cheating on his new wife; when his curious teenage stepdaughter stumbles upon the indiscretion, things get messy as Paul attempts to slay his new family. But let's be real: the highs and lows of stepfather-hood were probably what drove this devilish daddy to cheat (and ultimately kill) in the first place.The Stepfather
Some dads just can't handle the everyday disappointments associated with father- and husband-hood, which are what's to blame for Terry O'Quinn's behavior in 1987'sThe Stepfather
(that and the fact that the man's also a raging sociopath). When things aren't going his way, O'Quinn habitually murders his families and then starts over. Don't even think about screaming "you're not my real dad" next time your own stepfather tells you to finish your leftover vegan meatloaf.Amityville Horror
You know what they say: never trust a dad who makes poor real estate investments. (Ok, this isn't actually a saying, but it should be.) Poppa Lutz, played by James Brolin in the originalAmityville Horror
(1979), isn't just bad at picking out real estate. He's also prone to being possessed when faced with your typical, run-of-the-millthis-house-was-built-on-an-ancient-tribal-burial-ground-and-a-known-devil-worshipper-once-lived-here
type of situation. If your own dad's checking the boathouse at 3:15 a.m. every morning and compulsively chopping wood for the fireplace, let that be your exit cue.Falling Down
All William Foster, played by Michael Douglas inFalling Down
(1993), freaking wants is to make it to his kid's birthday party before all the cake's gone. But that isn't easy given that his obnoxious ex-wife's filed a restraining order against him and the AC in his car is on the fritz and he keeps running into douche bags who won't lend him change to make a phone call and folks at fast food restaurants who won't serve him breakfast because he's two minutes too late for that menu. If this somewhat mundane series of events isn't enough to drive your own dad over the edge, causing him to go on a violent killing rampage, then consider yourself blessed.The Shining
The obvious winner when it comes to most horrifying maniacal movie dad is Jack Nicholson, who played Jack Torrance inThe Shining
(1980) and first scared the crap out of me in a dimly lit resort movie theater in the Ozarks when I was twelve. (Insert obligatory Red Rum joke here.) I think there was something in the film that explained how the fictitious isolated Stanley Hotel (located in our very own Estes Park) was to blame for Jack's gradual decline in mental health and ultimate attempt at murdering his wife and son. Yeah -- "the hotel made me do it" -- wink, wink. Just try to tell me you wouldn't go insane if you were hold-up in a deserted, desolate building with Shelley Duvall and a grade-school aged kid. All parenting and no play is what really makes Jack a dull boy.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.