Friday, June 04, 2010

Teenagers love bad guys

Yesterday in class I taught about villains. I gave AFI's definition of a villain and their top 20 villains of all time. At first I was just going to go over the ones they knew - the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz, the Evil Queen from Snow White, Jaws, maybe Hannibal Lecter, Darth Vader, the Alien (my personal favorite). I was going to talk about why they're such an effective villain and how they play the part.

But when I skipped over Norman Bates they all cried foul. Who is Norman Bates? They all wanted to know.

So I slowed down and went through the list one by one and they were enraptured. I've never seen this class so interested in story elements as I did when I told them about the bad guys.

I ended up doing my one minute version of 2001, making them all giggle with my impression of Hal. A student who saw Fatal Attraction gave us all his summary of the plot which included the line "The bitch messed with his car. You believe that? Bitch just won't leave that nigga alone!" I felt like it was the best plot summary I'd ever heard.

I listened to them argue about whether or not the shark from Jaws was awesome or lame. It got pretty heated.

And when I got to Annie Wilkes from Misery, I had them. As soon as I described the way she took a sledge hammer to his knees, they all asked me to point out which movie on the list that was again so they could all go out and get it.

I had only made one class set of the sheet so I could take it up and use it with my other class, but I had to go make new copies because so many of my students wanted to keep it to know what movies those were that I talked about.

So it turned out to be a pretty cool day.


  1. He used the hammer on his feet, not his knees.

  2. Heh. That's what I thought, but then one of the kids told me she hit the knees and I hadn't seen it in so long I figured the kid knew better than I did.

  3. Oh yeah. Scott was nice enough to put up that scene up last week.. and it recalled every bball ankle injury i've ever gotten.. cringe worthy stuff.

  4. I always wondered about how they cut away from the second blow, like it indicated Rob Reiner's reticence in shooting this kind of scene. Imagine, if that shot had been kept in we could have had people screaming and covering their eyes from the first blow, then when the second happens they'd just be opening their eyes again and thn that scream would be that much louder.

    Maybe I'm overthinking this.

  5. Totally off topic, but did you hear about the passing of MM on Film?

    We all owe him a great deal.

  6. I did not hear about that. Holy shit.


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.