Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Fistful of Mad Scientists! (Brad's Picks)

After last night's screening of Fritz Lang's epic Metropolis at the AFI Silver with the Alloy Orchestra, Matt & I have been obsessing over mad doctors and we couldn't bother wasting your time with Fistfuls devoted to this week's repetitive Wanderlust or the military porno of Act of Valor.  Having only just seen Metropolis for the first time I don't feel like I can pop the diabolical Rotwang to the top of my list, but it's definitely tempting.

5.  Dr. Anton Phibes (The Abominable Dr. Phibes):  As the hideously disfigured Phibes, not only does Vincent Price hold a mastery over the sciences, but also the organ and when he's not plotting his revenge over the men he blames for the death of his wife he's rocking it out on the keys.  All Price Fiends get to Phibes eventually, it's a psychedelic treat for our favorite mustachio.

4.  Dr. Herbert West (Re-Animator):  The charm of Jeffrey Combs' Dr. West is his outstanding ability as an A-Hole.  He's confident, brash, and he thinks you're stupid.  But when he kills & resurrects your cat using his green mojo juice he's also kind enough not to just leave you a note but to reveal the situation to you personally.  And then he'll convince you to join in his Lazarus endeavor.  Oh, that scamp.

3.  Dr. Emilio Lizardo (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension):  To be fair, the villainous actions committed by Lizardo are actually the result of the vile Lord John Whorfin inhabiting his body after the excitable scientist accidentally breached the prison of the 8th Dimension.  This alien presence gives John Lithgow plenty of room to ACT to the Heavens; screaming, hollering, and hitting a new level of insane that my child brain at the time just couldn't quite understand.  Now, I just laugh my ass off as he butts heads with Peter Weller's King of Cool, Buckaroo Banzai.

2.  Dr. Moreau (Island of Lost Souls):  Definitely the most disgusting Mad Scientist on this list, Charles Laughton's snivelly, plump suited doc is more beastly than all his Beast Men combined.  Every time he slides onto screen I want to punch him in the face.  And shave off that damn facial hair.

1.  Dr. Frankenstein (Young Frankenstein):  Come on, the Father of All Mad Scientist is Frankenstein.  We all know that.  But as much as I love Colin Clive's "It's Alive!" scream of the '31 original or Peter Cushing's prim & proper Doctor, I gotta go with the insane joy of Gene Wilder's Young Frankenstein--or FrankenSHTEEEN.  I enjoy Mel Brooks films okay, but I just adore Young Frankenstein and Gene Wilder in general.  The man is a goof, but a very smart goof.  And not a line or action is slipped without a serious amount of thought.


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