Posting this blog a day late and a dollar short, just like dear ‘ole dad. If you were one of the millions who spent Father’s Day pining over your lost, non-existent volatile relationship with daddy dearest, cheer up, and be glad you weren’t the offspring of any of these bad dads of horror.
10. Satan – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
It doesn’t really get much worse than having Satan for a dad. Sure, there are probably perks to being the Antichrist, but the trade-off is lifetime of micromanagement from mid-level staffers on daddy’s payroll. Satan’s coven rape, conspire, commit murder and drive the chosen mother-to-be to the brink of insanity, all to ensure Satan’s son is born on the exact date that will make him 33 years on the millennial, the same age as Jesus when he came into his own. Who would’ve guessed the devil would be so petty?
9. Louis Creed – Pet Sematary (1989)
No one is disputing Louis Creed didn’t love his children, but the dude bought a house next to a rural highway with plenty of trucks and no fenced yard. Apparently, being a doctor doesn’t make you smart. To make matters worse, he ignores local myths and legends, gives into his grief, and buries his dead kid in a haunted evil place, only for the boy to return with a hitchhiking demon, who’s determined on torturing the rest of the family and neighbors. And, then, just when you thought it was safe to put out some pet kibble, the man goes and does it all again. Talk about self-sabotage!
8. George Lutz – Amityville Horror (1979)
When voices from beyond tell you to get out, you get the hell out! Whether you believe this movie is based on actual true events or not, is irrelevant. As far as this story of Lutz family is concerned, something somewhere on this property was driving fathers insane enough to murder their own families, and I, for one, blame pushy real estate people for not doing their due diligence! Clearly, the man was never given the property report showing rumored genocide and mass murder was committed on the grounds. You do not sell a house like that. No! You raze that sucker to the ground, bring in every priest, rabbi, paranormal expert, ghost hunter, witch practitioner, and voodoo doctor you can find, cleanse the hell outta the dirt, and turn it into a nice park for squirrels. End of story.
7. Grady Edwards – The Stepfather (1987)
Years before he was “Lost,” veteran TV actor Terry O’Quinn shot to the top of the nightmare list by capitalizing on the fears of stepchildren everywhere. Having a bad dad is one thing. Having a bad ‘not-your-dad’ is something else entirely. There really isn’t anything scarier to a kid than finding out your mom married a psycho who killed his last family and your family is next on the chopping block. Pretty sure homicide is good grounds for an annulment.
6. Dad Meiks – Frailty (2002)
Sometimes it’s not evil that compels humans to murder, but vengeful angels, as anyone paying attention to any of the 14 seasons of Supernatural knows, angels have no love for humans. After receiving visions that he should kill demons disguised as humans, daddy Meiks begins a killing spree with an ax and the help of his two boys Adam and Fenton, one of whom has lost his faith. Despite whether Meiks is crazy, it is clear his boys live in a hopeless cycle of fear, violence and despair, which continues well into their maladjusted adulthood. Maybe doing God’s work is a good thing, but making your innocent children accessories to homicide is not how you win Father of the Year.
5. Le Von Geisler – Frontier(s) (2008)
Sadistic former SS officer/ war criminal lives vicariously through his repulsive murdering psycho children as they continue his legacy of inflicting pain and torture on travelers who pass through their rundown French hotel. After learning their newest victim Yasmine is pregnant, the family black sheep befriends the scared young woman and reveals her own experiences with motherhood, in feeding the scores of incestuous cannibal children locked in the mines under the family farm. After nazi daddy reveals his demented plan to create a master race using Yasmine’s own baby, she tries to escape. Chaos ensues, forcing young mother-to-be to wage a super bloody, gloriously gory war against the neo-nazi scumbags to secure her own freedom and future.
4. Eldon Robeson – The People Under the Stairs (1991)
No one knows what weird twisted childhood the Robesons experienced to make them grow up and become such evil human beings, who evict terminally ill tenants, torture, kill and cannibalize their victims, and dress up like the leather-clad gimp from a downtown porn shop, but that’s how daddy Eldon lives his life. After capturing a group of thieves who broke into his house of terrors, in an effort to steal back their overpaid rent, Eldon and his equally nutty sister/wife, kill and feed the gang to kidnapped cannibal children, whom they keep locked up in the basement for “misbehaving.” Luckily, one of young thieves escapes with the help of the current daughter, who’s hip to the fact her “parents” are total psychos, and together, they set out to end the Robeson family legacy.
3. Don – 28 Weeks Later (2007)
In the pantheon of bad dads, it takes a special kind of cowardly jerk to run out on your wife and kids during the zombie apocalypse. The family fight off hordes of raging flesh-eaters long enough to be rescued by the same military force that picked up daddy days earlier, but reconciliation is cut short, when daddy catches the nasty virus from kissing mommy, in what appears to be her last act of revenge before being killed by her husband. Daddy’s rage then turns to the children and he hunts them down in London’s abandoned subway system. Luckily, the kids take after the mother and manage to survive Don’s wrath, but not before he screws his children over one last time. Telling ya, with a dad like this, it’s probably better to be an orphan.
2. Papa Jupiter – Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Years after a tragic accident leaves a mountain-dwelling family with horrible ugly mutations and unable to rejoin society, Papa Jupiter turns into a murderous cannibal and leads his merry band of family mutants in a lawless spree of excessive violence, rape and torture of unsuspecting desert travelers. One can feel a little sorry for the eldest Pluto, whose dimwittedness causes him not to know any better, but Papa, he knows full well the malicious extent of his actions, and he revels in raging against the world in bloody carnal delight. When his latest victims fight back, we learn savagery is two-way street, but no need to feel sorry for this bad man, Jupiter’s got it coming.
1. Jack Torrance – The Shining (1979)
One could argue that Jack Torrance isn’t the worst dad on this list, but he’s definitely the scariest! There’s a lot to unpack here. Clearly Mr. Torrance has some emotional baggage that he’s been carrying around, quite possibly since the late 1920s. A former alcoholic with history of child and spousal abuse, Mr. Torrance wasn’t known for being much of family man before dragging his poor family to remote resort hotel in the middle of the wilderness for the winter. But, sometimes the right man for the job is an out-of-work writer with a picnic basket already half-full of nuts. So, after a few months spent in isolation with nothing but his wicked thoughts, the hotel ghosts, and a storeroom full of dried fruit, it’s no wonder the man went full bat-shit crazy and decided to “correct” his family, in the same gruesome manner the prior caretaker had done, with an ax. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.