As a female I know how important the father-daughter relationship can be in the development of life. If daddy bails on his little princess, said princess usually turns out to be a promiscuous individual with tons of issues that she will repeatedly relive through the countless men who remind her of the first man who broke her heart. However, if daddy actually sticks around–like mine did–his little princess most likely will become the daddy’s girl she was born to be.
The father-daughter and/or father-child relationship is just as important in horror as is the relationship with mother. In honor of the upcoming Father’s Day, I decided to compile a list of some of the greatest dads in horror–good and bad. Enjoy and don’t forget to read it over with your pops!
10.)Captain Spaulding–House of 1000 Corpses/The Devil’s Rejects
Not only does Captain Spaulding dress up as a clown–which is creepy enough–the sadistic bastard actually teaches his kids to be murderous maniacs. In House of 1000 Corpses he wasn’t revealed to be the father of the Firefly family, he was just shown as a major contributor to their sick lives. Spaulding would lure unsuspecting tourists in the direction of his family and well, you know the rest. In The Devil’s Rejects, Spaulding goes on the run with his two favorite kids and kills as many people as necessary. While other dads were teaching their kids to play baseball, Spaulding was teaching his how to shoot a gun and avoid the police.
9.)Lt. Donald Thompson–A Nightmare on Elm Street
John Saxon. Enough said.
8.)Mr. Collingwood–The Last House on the Left
As I mentioned before, a father-daughter relationship is extremely important. The bond between a father and daughter is unbreakable and if someone tries to mess with that, they are most definitely going to get their ass beat. In the case of the Collingwood’s, when someone murders their daughter they decide to give the murderers a taste of their own medicine. Mrs. Collingwood exacted some of the best revenge but that doesn’t meant Mr. Collingwood’s wasn’t just as good. Armed with a shotgun, the father kills two of the assailants and later kills the mastermind with a chainsaw. A chainsaw! It just goes to show that just because a guy is a doctor and looks like he couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know how to operate heavy machinery that could slice you into pieces. Mr. Collingwood for the win!
When you’re young, your father is your ultimate hero. He’s the man you look up to and want to be like when you’re older and that’s exactly how Fenton and Adam felt about their dad. Things start to change when Dad Meiks brings home a person, claiming that they are a demon, and kills them–because God told him to. Fenton, the oldest of the sons, immediately questions his father’s sanity and fears that his father is murdering innocent people. However, Dad Meiks continues to preach his ways and his son Adam grows up to take over the business. As it turns out, Dad Meiks really was receiving messages from God and he really was cleaning up demons from the Earth. So, he really was a hero after all!
6.)Loy Colton–Near Dark
Parents are supposed to stick by their children through thick and thin, even if their child gets turned into a blood-sucking vampire. Loy Colton never turned his child away, even after he was a monster. This dad definitely deserves the father-of-the-century award for fighting for his kid, no matter how dangerous his opponents were. Not only did Colton stand up for his son, he friggin cured him! Colton’s determination and drive (and intelligence) allowed him to create an anecdote that would change his son back into a human and save his life, all while simultaneously defeating the pesky family of vamps, of course. You go, dad!
5.)Robert Thorn–The Omen
Robert Thorn meant well when he decided to take an abandoned baby and switch it with the stillborn child his wife delivered–without telling her. This is the perfect example of things that husband’s should discuss with their wives before doing…because the decisions that men make are usually stupid ones. And stupid is as stupid does (I just really wanted to say that). After taking the child into their home and loving it with all their hearts, little Damien starts exhibiting some questionable behavior–because he is the son of the devil! Robert’s good intentions get him and his wife into a whole lot of trouble, causing death and pain to everyone involved. Yeah, he made a bad decision but Robert was a good father. Especially when he tried to kill his son to save the world. At least you tried, buddy!
4.)George Lutz–The Amityville Horror
George Lutz is the all-American dad who is just trying to do right by his family. The dedicated father and husband wants what’s best for his family when he purchases a house that just so happens to be haunted. Over several weeks the house takes it’s toll on George and turns him into a nutcase. However, the love of his wife and children prevail and George is able to escape the grips of the demon house without ever harming anyone. In George’s case, love really does conquer all. Yawn.
3.) Jerry Blake–The Stepfather
Ugh…any guy who thinks he can come into an already established family and weasel his way into the hearts of a woman’s children is just a complete dick. Children will always have a loyalty to their father and there will never be anything that some cheeseball new guy can do or say about it. Unless he’s Jerry Blake–that mofo is crazy. Especially when you realize that he doesn’t really love your mother to begin with. Any guy who has a psychotic meltdown in your basement and then proceeds to change his personality like a switch is one to fear. No, Jerry definitely isn’t the best father in the world but he definitely makes your cherish yours a whole lot more.
2.) Ed Harley–Pumpkinhead
What father wouldn’t kill for their child? Ed Harley wanted to do just that when a bunch of teens killed his son but he decided he would seek his revenge in a more viscous way–through a demon. The distraught father seeks the help of a witch and begs her to bring his son back. However, when the witch tells him she cannot do so, he asks her to create a creature that will kill for him. Like all witchcraft and magic, Harley’s vengeance comes with a price and he soon realizes that after witnessing the destruction he’s caused and understands that he and the monster start to become one. Harley, initially hell bent on revenge and murder, sees that the pain he is causing is just as bad as the pain the teens caused on him and he puts an end to it by taking his own life. What a stand up guy…even though he was the reason that Pumpkinhead existed in the first place. He learned his lesson though!
1.) Jack Torrance–The Shining
C’mon, you had to know he was going to be my number one. Jack Nicholson’s performance as the unstable husband and father was brilliant and entertaining. The actor brought Stephen King’s character to life and created a person that audience’s could actually like, feel for, and fear. Torrance wasn’t evil at first; sure, he had his demons, but he did love his family. To take care of his wife and child, he took a job as an innkeeper at the haunted Overlook hotel during the winter. The hotel and it’s actual demons and ghosts preyed on the mentally unstable father and worked on him until he gave in to their temptations. The end result was awesome to watch–and totally frightening–but it was heartbreaking to see Torrance lose himself completely. He may not be your number one choice for the fact that he tried to kill his family but he’s my number one because he really did try to take care of them at one point. His wife’s constant nagging and doubt only made him lose his mind. Per usual, it was the woman’s fault!
There you have it; my list of the best dad’s in horror. Although not all were the cuddly and warm-hearted fellows you’d actually like to spend the holiday with, they were memorable and made horror a hell of a lot more entertaining. Who’s on your list?