It's Father's Day, meaning it's time to celebrate the man who gave you everything. Or maybe he didn't! Maybe he took off before you were even born. Maybe he was always away on business. Or maybe he just didn't love you enough. Hopefully none of those were true for you, but if they were: I am so sorry.
Let's be real: Father's Day isn't fun and games for everybody. But even if your dad fell short, look at the bright side: at least he didn't try to kill you (I hope!). To afford some perspective, below I've listed five murderous movie dads who will make you immediately run out and buy a card saying “Thanks for always being there, Dad” or “You're the greatest, Dad” or “Thanks for not trying to cut me up into little pieces with an ax, Dad.” That last one you're probably going to have to make yourself, though.
Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) in “The Stepfather” (1987)
One of the great B-movie thrillers of the 1980s, Joseph Ruben's “The Stepfather” stands out for Terry O'Quinn's chilling performance as “Jerry Blake,” a serial murderer obsessed with constructing the perfect, “Leave It to Beaver” family. His basement freakout in front of stepdaughter Stephanie (Jill “Not Danica McKellar” Schoelen) is unnerving as hell.
Nathan Grantham (Jon Lormer) in “Creepshow” (1983)
In the first of the anthology flick's five horror shorts, an insufferable, deranged old man murdered by his spinster daughter returns from the dead — in the form of a rotting corpse — to wreak revenge on his offspring. “It's Father's Day, and I got my cake,” he laughs in the grisly finale. Indeed.
George Lutz (James Brolin) in “The Amityville Horror” (1979)
Ryan Reynolds was actually pretty good in the same role in the 2005 remake, but I was too distracted by his perfect physique to be truly chilled to the bone. Therefore I'm giving the shoutout here to James Brolin's original portrayal of George Lutz, the patriarch of a family beset by demonic spirits in their seemingly idyllic oceanside home. Run, kids: he's coming apart.
Dad Meiks (Bill Paxton) in “Frailty” (2001)
Bill Paxton wrote, directed and stars in this film about a father (Paxton) who becomes convinced that God has commanded him to kill demons disguised as human beings (a.k.a. human beings) and goes on to enlist his two young sons to take part in his crimes. Those are going to be some heavy-duty therapy bills.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in “The Shining” (1980)
Unlike his counterpart in the novel penned by Stephen King, Nicholson's Jack Torrance is baseline creepy, making his third-act derangement not exactly surprising but still entertaining as hell thanks to Nicholson's legendarily over-the-top performance.