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DID YOU READ

10 One-Eyed Movie Characters You Don’t Want to Mess With

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By Bruce Cherry 

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” The theologian (and literal Renaissance man) Erasmus of Rotterdam said that. What he couldn’t have known is that one-eyed men (along with the occasional one-eyed woman, monster, minion, and sea plankton) would one day rule the world of cinema. With the Minions taking over movie screens and Facebook feeds everywhere, we thought it would be a good time to salute filmdom’s greatest one-eyed characters.

1. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) from Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.

With his Dirty Harry delivery and pirate eyepatch, Snake Plissken is the king of One-Eyed Attitude. He doesn’t stand on ceremony (“Call me Snake”) and between the two movies he’s bicoastal too! Sadly a planned sequel, Escape from the Flyover States, never materialized.


2. Big Dan Teague (John Goodman) from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother is based on Homer’s Odyssey (very loosely, Homer doesn’t mention Dapper Dan pomade) which means that Big Dan is based on the Cyclops in the original story. That makes him a one-eyed character created by a blind poet, a case of pupil envy if there ever was one.


3. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) from the Marvel Universe franchise

He’s a superhero AND an effective upper level executive. As the list of Marvel films and TV shows he’s appeared in makes clear, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is absolutely indispensable because he handles the bureaucratic behind-the-scenes chores that make modern super-heroism possible… as well as taking part in the occasional car chase or perfectly timed intervention. Still, as upper management, he tends to take a lot of lunch meetings.


4. Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleeson) from the Harry Potter franchise

When Scottish wizard and Auror, Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody, lost an eye during the Wizarding Wars, he replaced it with a Magic Eye that rotates in a complete circle and can see through almost anything, including the back of his head. (Best. Replacement Eye. Ever.) The eye was so effective that it lived on after Moody’s death—so instead of a character missing an eye, we had an eye that was missing a character.


5. Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) from Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

Elle Driver, AKA “California Mountain Snake” is one of the rare female one-eyed characters in the movies. Why there are so few is a mystery, since the eye-patch is a great look for this assassin. That fact is completely lost upon her now, though, since she loses her other eye in a fight. Still, she may be one of the only Viper Assassination Squad members to survive both Kill Bill movies. If there’s a Kill Bill: Vol. 3, Elle could be the even rarer female character who is completely eyeless.


6. Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges, John Wayne) from True Grit (2010) and True Grit (1969)

We’ve seen one-eyed characters who are threatening, sexy, funny, and even cute. But nothing goes with the one-eyed look better than plain old grizzled, and both Jeff Bridges and John Wayne have faces that are as leathery as their eyepatch. And that’s the kind of face that a one-eyed fat man needs if they want to deliver bold talk. Old Rooster Cogburn has seen it all… though not with any depth perception.


7. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) from Thor and Thor: The Dark World

Portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, and sporting a solid gold eyepatch, Odin has to be the classiest one-eye in cinema. In Viking mythology, Odin sacrificed his eye to attain wisdom. I’d be afraid that the first thing I would find out is not to sacrifice your eye for wisdom.


8. Sheldon J. Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Why does Sheldon rule? He’s one-eyed, borderline microscopic, and he occupies the very bottom of the food chain. Yet he wants to take over the world, by making his Chum Bucket restaurant successful, no less. Plankton is the very epitome of dreaming big. He won’t give up, no matter how many times he gets stepped on, which is pretty much every scene he appears in.


9. The Deacon (Dennis Hopper), Waterworld

Having only one eye is perfect here—Dennis Hopper’s over-the-top performance as the Deacon is the only thing that made this soggy mess half-way watchable.


10. Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) from Thunderball

In the case of this classic James Bond villain, the eyepatch is just there to look cool. Really, the Largo character in Ian Fleming’s original novel doesn’t have an eyepatch. The reason for it is never mentioned in the movie. But Largo’s mono-ocular menace as SPECTRE’s “Number 2” is the granddaddy of modern one-eyed villainy. It inspired memorable parodies by Robert Wagner and Rob Lowe as “Number 2” in the Austin Powers movies, where Dr. Evil forever branded the one-eyed bad guy character as “my cycloptic colleague.”

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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