Wow. We started this list almost two and half months ago. I apologize on behalf of the rest of the staff for being such Procrastinating Petes. Life’s a hectic bitch sometimes, and unfortunately, it’s the bastards that are left by the wayside. Jerks. They deserve it! You guys don’t, though. So hopefully we’ll implement a better system the next time a CHUD List roles around… which should be sooner than later. Rejoice! Or cringe!
But nevertheless, here at last is the final shebang for CHUD’s Best Bastards. We really hope you’ve all been digging.
Note: Some entries may contain spoilers. You’ve been warned.
#25 – Khigh Dhiegh
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)
The balding head. The sheepish grin. The bushy moustache. A PH.D (via the Pavlov Institute) in all things Communism. Brainwashing expert Dr. Yen Lo is many things to several people, but only a bastard to the men of Frank Sinatra’s platoon. Cool, calm and collected, his techniques are stashed away in a Mrs. Henry Whittaker’s Garden Club, the tools of murder and mayhem hidden among one of the kindest, bravest, warmest most wonderful human beings you’ve ever met in your life. If his calculations are correct, he’s out to smash all of those uniquely American symptoms to bits: fear and guilt, all so Raymond Shaw can pass the time playing a little solitaire and plotting the downfall of an American President. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, because after all, it must be dry-cleaned. I forgot what I was typing about.
Perfect Bastard Moment Who can honestly forget when Dr. Lo, under the guise of a room of impatient Communist Allies, makes our Raymond Shaw shoot Private Bobby Lembeck, the team’s mascot, straight through the forehead? - Newell Todd
#24 – John Phillip Law
Deep Down, you know we’d all like to be like Diabolik. While he’s climbing up Castles, pilfering from just about everybody and bitch-slapping a confession out of a notorious Gangster at 30,000 feet (sheer joy, if you ask me!), he does it with a bastard style and a smile on his chiseled visage. It doesn’t help too that he sleeps with one of the most gorgeous women on the face of the scorched Earth in a literal bed of money and showers like a golden God. Everything about his life is tailored to suit his needs, from his form-fitting dastardly outfit to his insistence upon crashing a press conference to waft Exhilaration Gas all over Bureaucracy’s sorry assess. In short, Diabolik is one likeable bastard, if only because he can get away with the things we dream of, especially if they’re coupled with a rollicking Ennio Morricone score.
Perfect Bastard Moment One upping the feds on his quest to steal a boatload of money, via a carefully placed crane, Diabolik even has time to stop and savor the little things, like a hearty bastard laugh. - Newell Todd
#23 - Fred Weller
THE SHAPE OF THINGS
When you’re an egotistical bastard, things usually always look good. You’ve got your chic glasses, your blonde cropped hair and your stellar fianc’ (where is Gretchen Mol now?), so its only natural for you to be skeptical when your less than popular former roommate is getting himself involved with one of the most intriguing girls on campus. He just needs to get rid of the damned jacket! He cost you a lot of dates wearing that fucking thing. So it’s when Paul Rudd finally sheds the corduroy farm coat destroyer for a more Hilfiger-esque Sailor item, you’re going to have to call bullshit. Let’s not pretend that it and the Jon Bon Jovi hair aren’t huge items, because before, he was like Mr. Rogers! But it doesn’t stop there, as you’ve got to basically call him out at every turn and get to the bottom of this. Only problem being is that the bottom isn’t looking so great, it’s fraught with some harsh realizations of who people truly are.
Perfect Bastard Moment “What take back the night rally did you find her at?” - Newell Todd
#22 - Rutger Hauer
C. Thomas Howell just wanted to drive across the
Perfect Bastard Moment Pretty much everything after he first appears on screen, whether he’s whipping up a batch of finger fries, slaying a family truckster full of travelers, or making Jennifer Jason Leigh avoid tank-tops forever. – Dave Davis
#21 - Denis Leary
Leary’s cantankerous cat burglar brings holiday cheer to bickering couple Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey. He does it by tying them up and holding them hostage in their own home, but hey, whatever works. The constant Davis/Spacey squabbles, Leary’s verbal assaults, a Jesus cookie and the most curiously satisfying happy ending since the Heat and Snow Miser made peace help make this a modern Christmas classic.
Perfect Bastard Moment After posing as the rare marriage counselor who does house calls, Leary finally snaps and lays into the relatives: “I thought moms we’re supposed to be nice, and sweet, and patient. I know loan-sharks that are more forgiving than you.” – Dave Davis
#20 - ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano
High school kids seem to get more disrespectful every day. How’s a teacher supposed to deal with these insolent little pukes? If you’re “Beat” Takeshi, you take charge of the Battle Royale program, bring the whole class to an island, and force them to kill each other in a variety of grisly ways. Takeshi has been a right bastard in his many yakuza films, but in this justly notorious Japanese import, he coldly instructs his class of cretins on the rules of the “game”: slay or die. And while he former students slaughter one another, he lazes about on a couch munching cookies, while announcing their deaths over the loudspeaker as impassively as taking roll call. Oh, and did I mention he has a creepy obsession with one of his pretty female students?
Perfect Bastard Moment After getting the kids’ attention by hurling a knife into the forehead of a blathering girl, Takeshi demonstrates the explosive necklaces by blasting open a mouthy boy’s carotid artery. Good luck! – Dave Davis
#19 - Ray Liotta
While he probably doesn’t have quite the temper of psychotic buddy Tommy (Joe Pesci), Liotta’s gangster Henry Hill can be a bit of a hothead, such as when he’s pistol-whipping his girlfriend’s lascivious neighbor (and then asking her to hide the gun). Mistresses, drugs, and all the money you can collect from various “enterprises” “yeah, being a mobster sure has its perks”
Perfect Bastard Moment …Until you get caught. So, to save his own ass from sitting in a room in the clink forever, Hank narcs on everyone he’d ever associated with in exchange for a house in the suburbs, a prison all its own. – Dave Davis
#18 - Mel Gibson
THE ROAD WARRIOR
When we first met him, Max Rockatansky was just a small-town cop seeking revenge against the biker gang who killed his wife and child. After that, however, this reticent nomad is no longer interested in either law enforcement or retribution, instead just tooling around the badlands where his sole concern is finding enough juice to keep his V8 Interceptor running.
Perfect Bastard Moment The Humungus (he rules the wasteland, see) and his marauding mutants spend half a day chasing Max’s fuel tanker down the nuclear highway, only to discover it’s basically a big Pixie Stick on wheels. – Dave Davis
#17 - Kurt Russell
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
In John Carpenter’s postapocalyptic classic, Russell is a former special forces soldier turned bank robber who’s only concerned with the welfare of one guy, and you can call him Snake. Our monocular antihero’s sense of self-preservation is tested when he’s “recruited” to rescue the President from the enclosed prison-city of New York, but even the threat of detonating neck isn’t enough to keep him from going off-mission and doing it his own damn way, which involves coercing a former colleague and shooting lots of people.
Perfect Bastard Moment The “andstand Boogie” probably isn’t peppy enough to impress the Peace Summit. – Dave Davis
#16 - Michael Caine
Jack Carter may be a brutal hitman for the
Perfect Bastard Moment Carter tells a local goon who witnessed his brother’s murder “I know you didn’t kill him”. And then he slides a knife into the guy’s intestines. In the bad way. – Dave Davis
#15 - Gary Oldman
LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL
Yes, this list wouldn’t be complete without the complete and utter lunacy of Stansfield, the corrupt NYC police officer who appears to have his fingers in a multitude of crooked pies. From his days-old bearded growth to his penchant for popping pills in just the right combination of snap, crackle and pop, followed by a series of climatic tremors, Stansfield certainly understands what its like to be an asshole. Even the Beethoven in his ears could tell him that. What he’s capable of is simply stunning, from the moment he bursts through Mathilde’s front door and cocks his shotgun. As he clicks the trigger and demolishes life after life, there’s no feeling, no remorse, only the empty soul of someone so entirely wrapped up in themselves, they forgot to understand what it’s like to be a normal person. But let’s cut this short, because in reality, he hasn’t got time for this fucking Mickey Mouse bullshit.
Perfect Bastard Moment: You might as well bring him – “EVERYONE!” – Newell Todd
#14 - Richard Tyson
When you’ve caused your former wife and your small tyke to run away into the arms of Arnold Schwarzenegger, chances are you’re never going to see them again. Even worse, Mr. Cullen Crisp, Sr. has his share of detractors, ones that even his wily mother can’t wipe off the face of Oregon. She just has to stop cramming that medication crap down his throat first. It doesn’t matter really, because it’s only a matter of time before he’s going to be reunited with his loving son, even if he’s got to bust a few heads (and school fire alarms) in the process. Save for some tiny mix ups here and there, it looks like, well, it looks like Mr. “You kids are soft. You lack discipline” is going to have to stop him. I think he’s going to have to shoot and then wonder if you’re stupid or not.
Perfect Bastard Moment: Oh, I don’t know… could putting a gun to your own child’s head be one of them? – Newell Todd
#13 - Samuel L. Jackson
As far as this gunrunner goes, his intentions might be as shifty as it gets, but he’s still what some folks might call a bastard, too. Though as it stands, Ordell Robbie’s just trying to get a few extra bucks, exploiting all those he knows into his scheming ways of plane fights, dirty money changing hands and working the bail bondsman’s room (where can he put his ash?). And even though Jackie Brown gets more than wise into his fledgling ideas, he just can’t seem to help himself from his beachfront HQ, a land where even the bikiniest of bums smokes, screws (goateed DeNiros) and uses their feet as a means of a director’s odd fetish. So, while it’s all going down in a ring of red-hot intensity, this bastard’s finger’s on the trigger, even if he’s got to wonder what happened to your beautiful ass.
Perfect Bastard Moment “Now that my friend is clear cut case of him or me. And you best believe it ain’t gonna be me.” – Newell Todd
#12 - Jack Nicholson
FIVE EASY PIECES
Nicholson made most of his whole career out of playing a plethora of mighty bastards, but the prime on that sticks out in my mind is his portrayal of Robert Dupea (on top of his slithering role model skills inCarnal Knowledge). Whether it’s treating his pregnant girlfriend with enough contempt to destroy worlds, clearing any table with an explosion of recklessly frustrated abandon and second-guessing even his own family members, it’s clear to why Nicholson was the premiere embodiment of a profound struggle. Even though he does have a Ryu-style roundabout more than a few times, Nicholson’s Duprea is essentially still a wandering bastard at heart. And while his portrayal could be construed as the argument against the confines of American society, just make sure you don’t point at him, you pompous celibate!
Perfect Bastard Moment Ordering a chicken salad sandwich in a restaurant never became such a complicated affair. Just make sure to hold the chicken (between your knees) and bring him the toast. – Newell Todd
#11 - Dan O’Herlihy
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH
O’Herlihy made his bastard mark stretching across some of the cinematic greats (the best of which is a little Verhoeven art house curio), but it was in one of most maligned Halloween movies (is there even an argument here?) that his demented Conal Cochran was destined for assholic greatness. His evil plans to return the festival of the Druids was/is legendary (among other things), but not as much as his strutting around well after his town’s 6 pm curfew. Not that he needs a reason, though, because this self-styling toymaker/magician understands the good necessity of a jingle that sticks in your head, even if it does come with the warning that it’s going to kill you. Having Android Robots helping you out doesn’t hurt either, but that’s a trifle when there are bigger things at stake, like jettisoning the original purveyor of evil for the big hurt, on the audience that is.
Perfect Bastard Moment Inviting a continent of young’uns over to sample his Silver Shamrock masks on All Hallows Eve with his eyes on a very particular signal. One might say he does it for the children. Oh, and – Happy Halloween. – Newell Todd
#10 - Joe Pesci
Throughout his career, Pesci’s been best known for his often grating yet extremely volatile and explosive characterizations particularly that of the gangster and especially when paired with the best caterpillar eyebrows in the biz, Marty Scorsese. What’s he do here? Oh, I don’t know… let’s just look at the short list: A.) He stabs the living piss out of a posing tough’s neck with a pen – B.) He uses and abuses his wife’s beehive hairdo in order to smuggle in some of dat bling – C.) He sticks ice picks in a man’s nutsack and then proceeds to pop his goddamn eyeball out of its socket! Passive-aggressive? Uh, probably not. #8- Christian Bale Ah, Clarence Beeks (not to be confused with interweb celeb and CHUD fave Clarence Beaks). A role that could only be encapsulated with such bastardly glee (or lack thereof! the guy is a bit of a scrooge) by the always great Paul Gleason. Yeah, the man’s an asshole through and through. And though he might not be R. Lee Ermey, when he says Get lost, you maggot!, you FEEL the anger” the danger, really. Oh I’d get the hell out of his way.
Perfect Bastard Moment For me, the true moment of Pesci’s bastarrific persona comes when he’s “consoling” Ace’s wife, Ginger. Last I checked, “consoling”, “being the shoulder to cry on”, etc. didn’t involve hot and passionate fellatio and back door entry sex while hiding out in a hotel. And if it does, shit, I’m “consoling” the wrong people. Pesci, you home wrecking bastard! – George Merchan
#9- Wallace Shawn
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
You know what’s completely and utterly unfathomable? The fact that the diminutive and follicly challenged Wallace Shawn is able to steal each and every one of his very few scenes with such awesome and hilarious gusto. The bastard. A manipulative one too! He coerces the deadly but lovable Andre the Giant and curly haired sword master Mandy Patinkin into doing his evil bidding. The man also clearly suffers from a Napoleon complex, thinking he’s all supreme and intelligent, when in fact he’s nothing more than a conniving and sniveling little ass. And you can’t spell B-A-S-T-A-R-D without A-S-S. (Ignore the obvious fact you’d actually be misspelling the word basstard if you did that, k?)
Perfect Bastard Moment: Oh, you’re a mind of brilliance are you? You’re a man of reason and logic? A man who considers the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates morons? A’ what? Where?! I don’t see anything. Wait’ did you just switch my goblet with the poisoned one? INCONCEIVABLE! – George Merchan
Role model? Eh! yes and no. I mean, let’s be serious. The man’s a health conscious metrosexual, watches porn while making reservations at chic New York restaurants, and does stomach crunches while The Texas Chainsaw Massacre blares in the background. He’s rich too. That’s cool, right? Sounds like a typical Friday night for me. He also digs Huey Lewis and News. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Right?! Well, maybe there IS a problem when you’re discussing its artistic merits and intricacies before promptly introducing Jared Leto’s face to a shiny new Craftsman brand axe. But really, what is Patrick Bateman if not just a pathetic and insecure sociopath? He’s just looking for his own identity. He just wants to fit into a world that just so happens to be faceless, indifferent, and devoid of substance and personality. A world of assholes. Sounds like high school sorta, doesn’t it?
Perfect Bastard Moment: Running around naked and then dropping a chainsaw onto a hooker’s back from the top of a flight of stairs is pretty bad, I guess. I mean, she IS a hooker. Maybe she nabbed the man’s Gucci wallet. BUT! stabbing a defenseless bum to death and then stomping on his poor little canine like an Asian kid does DDR Max” yeah, that” ll grant you bastard status in a snap. – George Merchan
It’s funny. Bill Murray could’ve easily filled the slot for this film. A few of his really good bastard moments even come courtesy of scenes with William Atherton (“Yes it’s true! this man has no dick!). But Murray you root for. Atherton you loathe. And he accomplishes this with very minimal screen time. That’s good acting coupled with good writing. He’s essentially the suit. The Man. And more than that, he’s trying to make a name for himself by exposing the supposed fakery that is the Ghostbusters! operations. That shit ain’t cool. I hope he gets creamed with liquid marshmallow! that’d show him!
Perfect Bastard Moment: :Forget it, Venkman. You had your chance to cooperate but you thought it’d be more fun to insult me. Well now it is my turn, wise ass.” And then he unleashes the whole damn New York poltergeist populace onto the city. Slick, bastardo. Muy slick. – George Merchan
#6 - Paul Gleason
Perfect Bastard Moment
#8- Christian Bale
Ah, Clarence Beeks (not to be confused with interweb celeb and CHUD fave Clarence Beaks). A role that could only be encapsulated with such bastardly glee (or lack thereof! the guy is a bit of a scrooge) by the always great Paul Gleason. Yeah, the man’s an asshole through and through. And though he might not be R. Lee Ermey, when he says Get lost, you maggot!, you FEEL the anger” the danger, really. Oh I’d get the hell out of his way.
#5 - Demian Slade
BETTER OFF DEAD
The news are hard-hitting at times, but not as tough as the newspaper boy out to ruin the life of Lane Meyer, John Cusack’s lovable hero. Owed two bucks for some time, Slade appears at all the worst times to get his fee at all costs and the resulting bastard is part Boba Fett, part Charon, and all paperboy.
Perfect Bastard Moment “I want my two dollars!” – Nick Nunziata
#4 - Brian Glover
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
He has maybe two minutes of screentime, yet Brian Glover’s chess playing British bastard has one of the more iconic roles in horror lore (I was torn between him and The Shining‘s Grady character played by Philip Stone as I like balding men) because of his amazing poker face and truly menacing persona in what could have just been a clunky exposition scene. He warns our American protagonists to stay off the moors, but it’s HOW he does it and what he doesn’t do for them that makes him a bastard. Of course, he has no problem shooting the werewolf AFTER it’s had its way with the Westerners.
Perfect Bastard Moment: It’s the Chess Player’s fault that the two young boys aren’t warned of the true danger they’re facing when he stops another patron from telling them what to look out for. Had he been a little more caring, Jack and David would still be alive and we’d be spared one of the best films of the 80’s. – Nick Nunziata
#3 – Roger Guenvuer Smith
Best known for being one of Spike Lee’s favorite weapons, Smith’s turn as Eddie is a role of extremely wonderful bastardic ramifications. As Jeff Goldblum’s psuedo sidekick, he oozes and swoons his way through scenes with a weird animal androgony that is impossible to forget. Sadly, Eddie is a turncoat who betrays his friend, that darkest bastard of all. Eddie eventually gets skewered by his boss Felix but not before parading around the film and stealing every scene he’s in.
Perfect Bastard Moment “Fuck you faggot, ain’t had pussy since pussy had you.” – Nick Nunziata
#2 - Christopher Villiers
First of all, anyone who would take advantage of the buxom Lucy Gutteridge is a bastard, even if he is able to fashion a cottage out of dry seaweed and snot. Nigel “The Torch” is a prick bastard, but he does it so well with such abundantly bouncy blonde locks it’s hard to not want to be him. I mean, he leads a resistance but is a villanous traitor! He defies Nick Rivers! This is hardcore bastard territory.
Perfect Bastard Moment Undercover as a cow (I’m so tired of THAT cliche), Nigel starts getting ‘suckled’ by a calf and pauses his mission in order to fully enjoy the milking experience. – Nick Nunziata
#1 - Al Pacino
Bloodthirsty and money-hungry Cuban refugee Tony Montana brings his blurry morals to Miami with designs on living the American dream: ruling his own cocaine empire. Along the road to success, he drops more F-bombs than the entire population of his home country, supplants Robert Loggia (no easy task), sexes up Michelle Pfeiffer (much easier), puts holes in his foes, sniffs hills of dust, and provides inspiration to an entire generation of videogame designers and gangsta rappers. All done with reckless abandon, and while surrounded by bad synth and worse suits.
Perfect Bastard Moment: Tony executes his lifelong friend Manolo when he discovers he’s been sleeping with Tony’s kid sister. Or maybe Manolo made fun of Pfeiffer’s dancing. Or maybe it’s just because he’s Steven Bauer. – Dave Davis