Stock Background Characters 101: Macho Asshole
In this feature, we examine the lesser beings of the slasher movie realm, which, if you’re making your own slasher film, could provide a good cast roster for you.
No killer or final girl profiles here, this is a celebration of those underlings who made the most of their fleeting flirtation with stardom. And usually died.
THE MACHO ASSHOLE
Overview: The Macho Asshole is the SBC who we want to see die the most – with extreme humiliating prejudice. Usually appearing as a young, muscular dickhead who has no respect for anyone, and thinks he can beat the killer with his fists. When the shit hits, he’s for himself and nobody else.
Linguistic Snapshot: “No faggot killer’s gonna get me! I’m invincible, pussies! Now suck my dick, bitch!”
Styling: Vests and sports gear – MA is the best at all sports. Now swoon over those guns, ladies!
Hallmarks: Short-fused, homophobic, sexist and selfish but normally good looking and athletic – all the things we want to see destroyed in a frenzy of grue.
Downfall: MA has been able to get away with what he wants for now but with uncontrollable temper comes uncontrollable situe and he will discover that being a buff testosterone hive will not help in the face of an axe-toting maniac, who will inevitably be stronger, even if physically smaller.
Genesis: The earliest MA’s were found in the post-Halloween cycle, such as high school bad boy Lou in Prom Night, who makes the fatal error of substituting the nominal Prom King with himself and then gets decapitated.
Then there’s image-obsessed Greg Hellman in Happy Birthday to Me who, it turns out, just doesn’t have the balls to survive a female killer (loser!); dopey jock Wildman in Final Exam has less attitude but also thinks he can out-swing the psycho and is ironically wasted with a piece of gym equipment.
But Macho Asshole honors surely belong to Glazer from The Burning. Glazer bullies the smaller kids and parades around in short shorts trying to impress his object of lust, Sally, eventually getting her into the sack only to disappoint her with a dud shag and deservedly meets the sharp end of the killer’s pruning shears.
Legacy: In the cynical days of, well, now, Macho Asshole has become an almost permanent slasher movie fixture. From uber-dick Barry in I Know What You Did Last Summer (and his pale imitations of both sequels) to Carter in Final Destination, who is so arrogant that he has the sheer audacity to state “I’m never gonna die,” for the audience to chant “oh yeah?”
Other films have traded purely upon hateful figureheads populating the doomed cast: See No Evil pit a group of utterly detestable young offenders against a hulking wacko and Wilderness placed some Borstal-boys on an island with a psychotic ex-SAS maniac.
Most recently, we had Trent in the Friday the 13th remake acting like a jackass until he eventually met the angry side of Jason and Tormented featured a particularly horrible bunch of English schoolkids having the tables turned on them by their undead bullying victim.
Exceptions: Some jocks in the realm might be dumb horndogs but occasionally they turn out to be harmless hulks, such as Arch in April Fool’s Day (played by Tom Wilson, prolific MA Biff Tannen from Back to the Future), the randy jock in Hack! or gym-fit, gay hero David in The Beaten Track - that’s the book I wrote, y’know?
Future: Macho Asshole has become increasingly prevalent and he’s always a welcome resting place for some kind of implement or another, much like his underlings, the nerd, the joker and the slutty girl. He’s more common than ever so best get used to his politically incorrect ways.