Have you ever had one of those days where you got an eyelash stuck up under your eyelid and no matter how much you rub it or splash water on it you can’t get at it? That was the majority of my morning, and it got to a point where I seriously considered gouging out my eye to stop the sharp poking irritation! Obsessing over that for an entire morning got me thinking about what my life would be like with just the one good eye, and I couldn’t help drawing some comparisons to my favorite one-eyed movie characters. Thus this list seemed like a no-brainer. Here are my top ten favorite One-Eyed Bastards of cinema…
#10 – Kano – Mortal Kombat (1995)
Though, I’m not sure Kano technically counts as a one-eyed bastard, well at least the one eye part, I couldn’t imagine this list without him regardless of his cybernetic enhancement. There’s something strangely endearing about a shirtless douche bag who gets so pathetically scared right before he has his neck broken between the vice-like grip of a kung fu fighting Bridget Wilson that he starts to let loose with the nervous spittle. Okay, maybe that’s just me…
#9 – Benedict – Last Action Hero (1993)
Next up we have Benedict from Last Action Hero. Honestly, I don’t remember this movie all that much, well except for Benedict and his bitchin’ glass eye that he was always changing out with different designs. You have to love a villain with this level of style…
#8 – Chang – Star Trek VI (1991)
How can you not love a bastard so into his eye-patch that he had it bolted onto his skull?
#7 – Elle Driver – Kill Bill (2003)
One of the things I love the most about Kill Bill is it’s sense of style and Tarantino’s excellent casting choices. Daryl Hannah as a bad ass Pai Mei-killing assassin took some serious balls on Tarantino’s part. It certainly didn’t hurt that she rocked that eye patch for all it was worth…
#6 – Sir Didymus – Labyrinth (1986)
This list wouldn’t be complete without a couple of my favorite one-eyed muppets from two of my favorite Jim Henson movies of all time. These two characters are sort of even in my book, but for the sake of the list I have them split up at #6 and #5, Sir Didymus from Labyrinth and Aughra from the Dark Crystal. I had the opportunity to get an up close and person look at Sir Didymus in the Jim Henson Museum here in Atlanta and I was really awestruck at the level of detail in the muppet. Really beautiful work.
#5 – Aughra – The Dark Crystal (1982)
#4 – One Eye – Valhalla Rising (2009)
More and more Nicholas Winding Refn is becoming one of my favorite directors and his gritty and existential viking picture Valhalla Rising was a real revelation. I really dug Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale, but his portrayal of One Eye really won me over to his acting ability and I can’t wait to see him take on the Hannibal Lecter role in the New TV series debuting this year.
#3 – Frigga – They Call Her One Eye (1973)
They Call Her One Eye is one of those flicks that sort of gets lost in flood of 70s era grindhouse pictures, but is a film that has had a major influence on the 40 years of genre pictures that came after. Would we have the iconic look of Snake Plisken without Frigga wearing almost the same get up almost a decade before? Would we have the slow motion leather gun battles complete with crazy flips and weird camera angles in the Matrix without the same sort of scenes in TCHOE? I don’t think so. We certainly wouldn’t have Elle Driver from Kill Bill as she is a direct reference to Frigga. Also, Christina Lindberg is hot, and the eye patch is bad ass..
#2 – Snake Plisken – Escape From New York (1981)
Well, even though Frigga did the Snake Plisken thing before Kurt Russel, his is still one of my favorite One-Eyed bad asses. In fact, he pretty much qualifies for my number one “living” cyclopian bastard who is only out done by the legacy of the one and only…
#1 – One-Eyed Willie – The Goonies (1985)
How could this list not end with the king of One-Eyed bastards, the booby trap setting genius and treasure hording original Goonie himself, One-Eyed Willie! Though we never got to see him in action, from the carnage that’s left in his wake we have to assume he was one bad mo-fo.