by David Christopher Bell
As the Oldboy remake approaches, the subject of revenge is no doubt teeming in everyone’s heads – at least in terms of punishing the people who decided to remake Oldboy.
While there are so many lists out there about the most “brutal” or the most “satisfying” revenge films, perhaps it might be fun to explore the strangest, if not most laughable ways people enacted their justice.
10. Heart Explosion And Much, Much More in Kill Bill
The five-point-palm exploding-heart-technique is pretty cool until you remember that guns exist. Still, that must have been a pretty interesting coroner’s report. In fact, when you think about it, Bill’s corpse is exactly like something you’d see on the slab during an X-Files episode – only Mulder would have pointed to telekinesis or some kind of invisible elephant.
It’s tough to point to just one Tarantino film and say, “look at how ridiculous that is!” – but considering how many ridiculous acts of revenge are carried out within these two movies (“Hey, I just pulled out your eyeball.”) I’d call this the clear winner.
9. Electric Whips in Iron Man 2
I know that we’re not supposed to question the logic of the characters in superhero movies for some reason – but when you’re dealing with a man like Tony Stark who appears in public on a regular basis and is openly known to be Iron Man, what’s so wrong about using a simple sniper rifle?
Sure, Vanko claims he is merely trying to prove that Stark is fallible (it sure looked like he was trying to kill him to me, though) but there’s no reason to do that with giant whip arms that are essentially useless the moment he flies away. At what point in a man’s life does he say, “I’m going to build giant electric whips” without realizing that perhaps his life decisions have led him astray?
8. Elaborate Revolution in V For Vendetta
Don’t get me wrong, what V pulls off in this film is nothing short of badass – but there are also so many ways this plan could have fallen flat on its silly-masked face. Also, anytime you appear publicly in a cape you’re taking a gamble.
When you boil it down, V is just a crazy person. Like, a really crazy person. He’s insane. He sword fights alone in his dungeon and builds elaborate dominoes designs for no one but himself. It’s only luck that this mask-wearing master of rhymes existed in an oppressive totalitarian government – otherwise he’d just be in jail.
7. The Worst Dinner Party Ever in Titus
As far as descents into madness go, Titus sure takes the crazy cake both for its protagonist and the audience sitting through it. I’m not sure what’s more bonkers about this film – the fact that it has Nazi cars and big-breasted mermaid floaties, or that those things actually seem to fit perfectly with the original bat-shit crazy Shakespeare story.
And then there’s Anthony Hopkins slowly going eat-your-poop crazy throughout the movie, all leading to a wonderful dinner party filled with child murdering and surprise cannibalism. In other words, Titus is Hopkins’s answer to anyone who thought he couldn’t out-crazy Hannibal Lecter.
6. Tesla Cloning in The Prestige
In reality, magician duels are less about long train rides and rubbing elbows with historic inventors and more commonly something that gets broken up by the magicians’ mothers after school. It’s a romantic idea through – two masters of illusions trying to outwit each to the grave over a lost love, too obsessed to care about the ridiculously attractive women they managed to bag.
That’s kind of where the realism of this movie fails. Cloning machine? Sure. But a magician married to either Rebecca Hall of Scarlett Johansson is going to thank their stars every day for that kind of dumb luck.
5. Riddle Terrorism in Die Hard With A Vengeance
Riddle terrorism is one of the rarest forms of terrorism out there – it’s pretty much John McClane and Batman who have to deal with it. This film could easily top a list of worst movie hangovers, because while loud explosions and running suck when you’re freshly unsloshed, solving math problems is worse than death.
My question is, did the bad guy have to convince all his henchmen that an obstacle course of riddles was the way to go or is this just something he does all the time? Like… do you think he punishes insubordination by making them move around toothpicks to form shapes under penalty of death if it takes more than three moves?
4. Dream Resurrection in A Nightmare On Elm St.
When you burn a man alive, really the last thing you expect is for that man to come back and murder your children in their dreams. Jail, maybe – but dream resurrection and murder? That’s like, at the bottom of the list of things that happen when you burn a man alive.
Also, why does Freddy get this power anyway? Who gave him it? A genie? Why can’t other people just show up in dreams, too? Honestly, every movie about resurrection makes me wonder about this. The Potters can show up to give Harry advice but that two-faced professor at the beginning can’t also heckle him? Who is giving out the resurrection cards?
3. Extraordinary Rampage in Crank
Chev Chelios knows the first rule of the rampage: touch as many lives as you can. No, I’m not saying you should go kill everyone you see – that would be crazy – but you should find a way to mentally change every single person who witnesses the crazy that is your justice. Sex in public, hostage situations, visible erections – these are all things that work toward the greater masterpiece that is your satisfaction upon your inflictors.
And in the end, if you have to break a neck and fall out of a helicopter, don’t worry; they make robot hearts for that.
2. Shark Jousting in Jaws The Revenge
Of this list, Ellen Brody is without a doubt the single most badass individual. Why? Because she’s the only person listed who raged bloody revenge against a giant roaring shark… and won. She stabbed a shark with a boat – that’s a thing her character does. And yes, I realize what movie we’re talking about here – and yes, in the non-original cut (be sure to watch the video above!) the shark explodes. And you know what? That’s even better. Ellen Brody exploded a shark with a boat joust.
The sequels get so much shit, but if you frame the series as one family’s ongoing battle with Poseidon then it totally makes sense. Perhaps Brody broke the law of the ocean by defying the water god’s plan and he took that as an insult and has been firing monster sharks at them ever since.
1. Everything That Happens in The Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies
It’s easy to forget that pretty much everyone is trying to get revenge on everyone else in the first two films. Shredder, of course, seeks revenge after being garbage dumped in the first film – but one could argue that Splinter is also housing a pretty large chip on his shoulder as he raises a group of children exclusively to murder with ninja weapons after his master is killed by a ninja.
And so everyone’s out for each other, only they’re also giant bipedal talking versions of small pets. And when Shredder is determined to get even, sure enough he creates even more giant bipedal talking versions of small pets to combat his foes. You really have to wonder what kind of world generates that many people willing to fight mutants in black ninja outfits for a guy dressed like a Mortal Kombat character.
Related Topics: Iron Man