10 Finest Brad Dourif Horror Performances (That Aren’t Chucky)12 min read

Brad Dourif Horror Movies
By  · Printed on October twenty sixth, 2023

October is outlined in Webster’s Dictionary as “31 days of horror.” Don’t hassle wanting it up; it’s true. Most individuals take that to imply highlighting one horror film a day, however right here at FSR, we’ve taken that up a spooky notch or 9 by celebrating every day with a prime ten listing. This text in regards to the prime ten horror performances by Brad Dourif outdoors of the Baby’s Play franchise is a part of our ongoing sequence 31 Days of Horror Lists.

I’m undecided if you realize this, however the “no small components” adage was invented to accommodate Brad Dourif, an actor seemingly incapable of placing in a boring efficiency. Whereas Dourif can (and has) made his mark on different genres, horror followers know in our hearts that this man is ours. One thing about Dourif’s uncanny sincerity and complete abandon makes him an ideal match for a cinematic area able to accommodating each large swings and quiet tour-de-forces. Horror is a refuge for actors courageous sufficient to get ugly, bizarre, and impressionistic. And Dourif is a dwelling testomony to that truth.

He’s introduced sympathy and coronary heart to scumbags and saints alike. And even when he’s taking part in a categorical freak, he can’t assist however inject pathos into their fury, terror, and insanity. He’s one of many greats whose mere presence is sufficient to auto-bump a B-movie onto your watchlist. Should you see his title within the credit, you realize you’re in for time. Talking of which, under you’ll discover our prime ten favourite Brad Dourif horror film performances, as ranked by Rob Hunter, Chris Coffel, Brad Gullickson, Jacob Trussell, and yours really. We’ve chosen to exclude the Baby’s Play franchise to broaden issues up. However let it’s recognized that we’ve got no intention to fuck with the Chuck. We simply need extra people to observe Spontaneous Combustion, that’s all.

10. Demise Machine (1994)

Brad Dourif Death Machine

Within the distant way forward for 2003, mega-corporation Chaank Industries is the main producer of weapons know-how. The corporate’s pet undertaking is Venture: Laborious Man, an enhanced tremendous soldier. The undertaking goes off the rails when it malfunctions and slaughters harmless civilians at a roadside diner. Chaank’s new chief govt is set to wash up the corporate’s picture and begins by shutting down the undertaking and firing the principle weapon designer, Jack Dante (Dourif). Not solely does Dante refuse to be shut down, he’s additionally engaged on an excellent extra tremendous secret undertaking codenamed Warbeast. As soon as his work is threatened, Dante prompts Warbeast, jeopardizing extra than simply the corporate. Director Stephen Norrington‘s Demise Machine must be nothing wanting a beloved cult basic, carried by a stellar efficiency from Dourif. Large preventing robots, futuristic tech from the early ’90s, and Dourif sporting lovely lengthy locks. Merely good. (Chris Coffel)

9. Physique Components (1991)

Brad Dourif Body Parts

When our hero, Invoice Chrushank (Jeff “not Billy Zane” Fahey), learns that his arm transplant got here from a serial killer on loss of life row, he decides to pay the opposite “recipients” a go to. Amongst them is the carefree painter Remo Lacey (Dourif), who inherited the assassin’s different arm. Not like Invoice, Remo is unbothered by the grisly backstory behind his new appendage. Positive, since his operation, Lacey’s work have gone slightly Francis Bacon-y. However why query factor, you realize?

Lacey’s by no means been so profitable! And in waltzes this sweaty killjoy making an attempt to inform him his arm is possessed with the malicious intent of a mass assassin. The place does he get off, precisely? As ever, Dourif steals each scene he’s in as an optimist, making an attempt to make one of the best of a morbid state of affairs. One man’s horrific physique horror nightmare is one other man’s creative inspiration, I suppose. (Meg Shields)

8. Halloween II (2009)

Halloween Ii Brad Dourif Rob Zombie

I’ve beforehand gone on document as not being the most important fan of Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes. However gripes apart, there’s no denying that Brad Dourif’s Lee Brackett is the beating coronary heart of those two movies. In a world eager to choke out any trace of a cheerful house life, the Sheriff of Haddonfield is a heat, humane, and overwhelmingly variety presence. Even in Halloween II — which sees the kindly sheriff because the parental determine of two deeply traumatized younger girls — he’s doing his best possible to create a protected area. And whereas issues do take a tragic flip, Brackett isn’t accountable: he’s a lady dad doing his finest in a Rob Zombie film for chrissakes.

Positive, withholding the reality from Laurie Strode about her connection to Michael Myers may not have been one of the best transfer. Nevertheless it felt merciful on the time. Whereas Dourif is proficient at taking part in villains, his efficiency as Sheriff Brackett is a pathos-rich reminder of how candy it’s when he will get to play man. The best way you actually know Brackett is Good, by the best way, is that he sucker punches Malcolm McDowell’s Dr. Loomis within the face, a factor all of us want we may do. (Meg Shields)

7. Halloween (2007)

Brad Dourif Halloween Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie’s Halloween has an (admittedly deserved) status for being a dirty, disagreeable, and remarkably brutish viewing expertise. Then once more, it’s a Rob Zombie film. So I don’t know what we have been all anticipating. Even so, the doomers overlook the one kindly presence on this movie: Lee Brackett, portrayed with insufferable sorrow and empathy by Brad Dourif. Enjoying towards sort, Dourif brings palpable decency to the position of Sheriff Brackett, a kindhearted man who finds himself thrust to the frontlines of an unspeakable tragedy.

Not like Carpenter’s authentic movie, Brackett is repositioned because the guardian angel who saved Laurie as a child, defending her from her insidious heritage for so long as potential. The load of his intervention weighs heavy on Brackett’s shoulders, a contrition Dourif effortlessly relays by means of watery downward glances, light whispers, and futile efforts to guard his city (and his ladies) from Michael’s return. His presence is bittersweet and deeply shifting, a small oasis of dignity in an in any other case pitch-black repackaging of one among horror’s biggest (or, on the very least, largest) sons. (Meg Shields)

6. The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Eyes Of Laura Mars Brad Dourif

Whereas chunk of horror followers view Eyes of Laura Mars as “the opposite factor John Carpenter did in 1978,” true aficionados respect Irvin Kershner’s psycho-thriller for what it’s: peak male costume design. There’s Tommy Lee Jones wanting uncannily like Anton Chigurh. There’s Raúl Juliá, embodying slime incarnate. After which there’s Dourif as Tommy Ludlow, human mud bunny, switchblade on the prepared, eyes darting round like a trapped animal. Because the chauffeur of New York’s most provocative photographer (Faye Dunaway), Tommy needs to be ready for something. He hasn’t instructed his employer but, however his road smarts have a sordid origin story; he’s an ex-con, reformed, in fact, and he’s able to do no matter it takes to maintain his boss protected and stay gainfully employed. Sadly, Tommy’s darkish previous and proximity to Laura make him a chief suspect for the horrifying copycat murders emulating Laura’s artwork. It’s to Dourif’s credit score that he’s capable of straddle the road between sympathetic and suspicious. He’s a weirdo making an attempt his finest, like one of the best Dourif characters. Sadly for Tommy, good intentions aren’t bulletproof. (Meg Shields)

5. Alien Resurrection (1997)

Alien Ressurection Brad Dourif

If you realize something about Alien Resurrection, it’s most likely that it’s the sequel the place the US army makes a bunch of horrifying hybrid Xenomorph/Ripley clones. Say what you’ll about this premise, however the casting of Dourif as one of many scientists overseeing this affront to nature is, in a phrase, excellent. The person was born to play area Frankenstein or Igor … take your choose. Dr. Gediman might not be right here for a very long time. However he is right here to hammer house the fuck-around-and-find-out nature of the entire “let’s tame the xenomorphs” enterprise. Regardless of being one of many extra subdued weirdos Dourif has ever performed, Dr. Gediman continues to be an unequivocal spotlight of an in any other case messy film. Should you make kissy faces at an acid-blooded alien by means of a glass statement tank, you’re inviting chaos into your life. It’s good to know that tiny little ponytails nonetheless exist within the yr 2381. (Meg Shields)

4. City Legend (1998)

Urban Legend Brad Dourif

In one among his shortest performances on the listing, what makes Dourif’s position in City Legend so memorable is that it leans full-tilt into his chops as a personality actor. Within the movie’s opening scene, Dourif performs a stuttering fuel station attendant on a lone stretch of street in the midst of a stormy evening. He’s immediately positioned as a risk, his rough-around-the-edges power elevating pink flags for faculty pupil Michelle (Natasha Gregson Wagner). However that is solely used as an ironic twist. For whereas Dourif might seem like a budding killer, he’s nothing greater than a involved citizen making an attempt to warn Michelle a few killer reenacting one of the crucial well-known city legends of all time. As he screams, “Somebody’s within the backseat,” we each cheer at with the ability to say, “I get that reference,” and shiver as we make psychological notes to all the time test the again of the automobile earlier than embarking on our subsequent street journey. (Jacob Trussell)

3. Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

Spontaneous Combustion

For all its grotesque gore and rad flame results, Spontaneous Combustion is a movie about inside torment leading to exterior agony. Dourif excels in promoting the effervescent ache inside as Sam struggles to know his origin and the unusual command he has over fireplace. His screams harm, and his whines ache. And he does a number of each over the course of Tobe Hooper‘s movie. Within the palms of one other performer, the position would most likely come off as annoying. However Dourif is all relatable ache. Spontaneous Combustion drifts into B-movie trash every now and then. And you’ll forgive the lead from rolling down that hill, too. Nonetheless, Dourif treats his time right here as he does on each undertaking: giving what he has for what’s wanted. Don’t overlook this underrated outing from a top-tier character actor and a top-tier style director. (Brad Gullickson)

2. Graveyard Shift (1990)

Graveyard Shift Brad Dourif

I’m a easy girl. If an esteemed character actor performs an unhinged Vietnam vet exterminator, I’ll clap like a cheerful child. Whereas the remainder of the so-called civilized world has but to acknowledge the brilliance of Graveyard Shift, this web site’s fantastic contributors are a small oasis of fine sense. One man’s sub-par Stephen King adaptation is one other (smarter) man’s goopy delight. Graveyard Shift tells of a rotten deathtrap of a cotton mill, which additionally occurs to have a large rat downside (in additional methods than one).

Whereas the dubiously Maine-accented foreman (Stephen Macht) is more than pleased to throw his underpaid staff on the downside, even he’s sensible sufficient to ship for a real skilled. Enter Tucker Cleveland, the Exterminator. Armed with state-of-the-art chemical warfare, his trusty terrier, and a red-hot hatred for the vermin used to torture his fellow GIs by the Vietcong, Tucker is as unhinged as a sliding glass door. Is he shell-shocked? Sure. Does he begin crying on the mere suggestion of rodent-killing? Sure. Does he undergo one of the crucial brutal deaths of any Brad Dourif character? Additionally Sure. Graveyard Shift is maybe the best occasion of anybody giving Dourif a clean test to be as bizarre and weepy as he desires. Extra films ought to do that. (Meg Shields)

1. The Exorcist III (1990)

Brad Dourif Exorcist Iii

It’s wild that all of us agree on one of the best Exorcist movie being William Peter Blatty‘s The Exorcist III (1990). Advantageous fantastic, I do know I’m alone on that one, however extra of you might be most likely on my facet in relation to one of the best Brad Dourif efficiency in a horror movie (outdoors the Chucky franchise) being his temporary flip right here because the Gemini Killer. He’s bodily restrained, seated, and actually in a straitjacket, however his efficiency is full of violent life as he recounts working for “the Grasp” and murdering with creative abandon. There’s no actual hazard right here, nevertheless it’s as menacing, threatening, and ominous a supply as you’ll discover. Anger, ego, and devilish confidence collide as he shifts from regaling us with the main points of a kill to singing a non secular music to sharing a love of performs. It’s managed insanity, and it’s unforgettable. (Rob Hunter)

Don’t cry as a result of it’s over. Cry as a result of it occurred. Oh, and when you’re weeping, head on over to our archive of previous 31 Days of Horror Lists!

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Based mostly within the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys lengthy scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with piece of Nineteen Sixties eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg’s goal is to unfold the nice phrase about one of the best of sleaze, style, and sensible results.

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