13 Evil Politicians
Article By: Sean Abley
Sadly, politics in general has become a blood sport, and our current political climate, viewed from the outside, could (and probably does) inspire screams of terror. And although many horror movies are political to some degree, very few actually involve evil politicians. So as a public service we offer this list of thirteen evil politicians—let their behavior be a warning.
1. Greg Stillson from "The Dead Zone" (1983)
Christopher Walken plays “Johnny Smith,” a man who develops psychic powers after surviving a terrible car crash in one of the better Stephen King film adaptations. After shaking the hand of Senatorial candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), Smith has a vision of President Stillson setting of a chain of events leading to nuclear holocaust. Now, that might not be specifically evil—we’re never shown the context of his actions—but at a rally later in the film his true nature is revealed. Smith is driven to assassinate the budding politician, but after his first shot misses Stillson grabs a baby to use as a shield. Effective? Yes. Evil? Yes.
2. George Washington from “The Washingtonians” ("Masters of Horror") (2007)
Although this episode of the rarely scary, but often fun Masters of Horror anthology series feels like the ultimate late night drunken “What if…?” from a writers room, the story of a cannibal cult descended from the father of our country is actually based on a short story by Bentley Little. Apparently times were tough at Valley Forge, forcing G.W. into cannibalism which, as it turns out, he totally loved! Now the Washingtonians carry on that tradition, meeting in powdered wigs and period costumes to devour tax paying citizens.
3. The politician on TV from "They Live" (1988)
John Carpenter’s paranoid fantasy is a favorite of many a government conspiracy theorist—seriously, Google “John Carpenter’s They Live is a documentary” and enjoy the show. The political elite are directly implicated in the conspiracy, and thanks to a pair of Ray Ban Drifter sunglasses, the mask is pulled off The Man to reveal an alien race deeply embedded in our polite society. Although his appearance is brief, the politician’s real face revealed at the end of this clip (when Roddy Piper first discovers the plot) tells you all you need to know about the film.
4. Ambassador Damien Thorn from "Omen 3: The Final Conflict" (1981)
Although he orchestrated his appointment as Ambassador to Great Britain by using his Satanic powers to force the previous ambassador to kill himself, Damien Thorn isn’t all bad—he’s also oversees the United Nations Youth Associations. That’s not creepy, right? Sadly, he’ll probably lose that position when they find out he’s commanding his followers to murder every baby born in Britain on March 24 just in case one of them is the Second Coming of Christ.
5. Richard Wilkins III aka The Mayor from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
The nicest demon in disguise you’ll ever meet, Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener) was Buffy’s “Big Bad” in Season 3. Apparently immortal, Wilkins actually founded Sunnydale as a buffet for demons visiting via the Hellmouth after selling selling his soul to join the party. After hanging out for a century or so, it was time for Wilkins to ascend to his demon form, which didn’t go over well with Buffy and the Scoobies at all. In this clip we see Mayor Wilkins enjoying one of life’s simpler pleasures.
6. Adolf Hitler clones from "The Boys From Brazil" (1978)
Before Adolf Hitler died, Dr. Joseph Mengele saved some of der Furher’s DNA just in case it might come in handy later. (The image of Hitler donating sperm plagues our brains.) Low and behold, in the 1960s the good doctor worked his Nazi magic and bam! Ninety-four perfect Hitler clones. The plot is discovered when the future Furhers are in their teens (“I Was a Teenage Hitler” anyone?) and, spoiler alert, it’s really hard to get rid of 94 Adolf Hitler clones.
7. Abraham Lincoln from "President’s Day" (2010)
Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, as the evil politician is actually a crazy guy wearing an Abraham Lincoln mask. Still, this looks like a so-bad-it’s-good cheapie.
8. Mayor George W. Buckman from "Two Thousand Maniacs!" (1964), "2001 Maniacs" (2005) and "2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams" (2010)
Mayor Buckman (first played by Jeffrey Allen, then Robert Englund and Bill Moseley in the remake and subsequent sequel) presides over the ironically named Pleasant Valley, GA. Much like Brigadoon, the small village appears only once a year to host its annual “Guts and Glory” celebration. The glory is provided by the town’s fierce Confederate loyalty, and the guts come courtesy of unfortunate tourists who stray from the main road during what will be their last vacations. The other 364 days Pleasant Valley is a cemetery filled with dead, and very angry, Civil War casualties. There are many delightful clips of Mayor Buckman in action from all three films, but we like the original. Here the Mayor and his friends treat a visiting tourist to some true Southern hospitality.
9. Senator Robert Kelly from "X-Men" (2000) and "X2: X-Men United" (2003)
Senator Kelly is anti-mutant, and his mission to force X-people to register their identities with the government goes over with the mutant community as well as you’d expect. Particularly angry is Magneto, who kidnaps the senator and subjects him to forced mutation experiments. Kelly eventually has a change of heart about mutants… moments before his own newly mutated body decides to peace out. (Mystique impersonates him in X2, making him doubly evil.)
10. Governor Hughes from "Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence" (2015)
Okay yes, Governor Hughes (Eric Roberts) is completely grossed out when he first sees the 500-plus human centipede created in a super max prison. But don’t let the brief reaction clip in the trailer fool you—he eventually changes his mind and declares the mass surgery just what the doctor ordered for inmate rehabilitation. For those that haven’t seen this opus, run don’t walk to your nearest VOD outlet to check it out—you’ll come for the human centipede, but stay for the human caterpillar…
11. Mayor Cole from "City Of Ember" (2008)
Driven underground due to unspecified untenable situations, a small group of people create and maintain a city below the surface for centuries. Also created before everyone digs in is a metal box, timed to open 200 years later. Now, 41 years after the box has opened to a resounding “What was this for again?”, Mayor Cole (Bill Murray) rules the City of Ember in just the way you’d expect—terribly. Hoarding food, having people arrested that question his authority, and just acting generally awful, Cole makes everyone miserable until he’s eventually eaten by a giant mole creature.
12. Adolf Hitler in “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein” (Chillerama) (2011)
If you were looking to make a delightful comedy about Anne Frank and Hitler, this would be it. And lest you’re already racing to be offended, just know Hitler is eventually beaten to death with his own arm. But before that, he discovers the Frank family is actually the Frankenstein family, with the “How To” diary to prove it. Soon der Fuhrer has created his own monster (“Meshugannah” played by Kane Hodder), which he hopes to use as an unstoppable killing machine. Alas, the Jewish creature (looking a bit like a golem) turns on its master, ripping his arm from the socket and knocking his head off with the dismembered member.
13. Senator Holt from "The Hidden" (1987)
Now, we do have sympathy for Senator Holt. His bad deeds are a direct result of being the unwilling host to an alien life form with a terrible attitude. But still. After announcing his candidacy for President, then shooting up a press conference, he’s finally taken down with a flamethrower, which will definitely hurt him in the polls.
Sean Abley is a playwright, screenwriter and horror film journalist. His latest book of interviews is Out in the Dark: Interviews with Gay Horror Filmmakers, Actors and Authors.