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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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