It’s easy to scare a child. Looking back on the bullies of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, perhaps it was too easy. Here are 6 bad guys from the end of the previous century who’d better not try that sh*t again.
6. Bennett from 1985 film “Commando” (Vernon Wells)
Arnold faced some cupcake villains in the 80s, but this one was the doughiest. Less than 5 years removed from his final Mr. Olympia crown, Schwarzenneger had no equals to his physique, so when casting his evil counterpart Bennett in “Commando”, the filmmakers didn’t seem to bother looking for one. The synopsis of the final scene reads as follows: “(Schwarzenneger) must taunt Bennett into freeing Jenny by appealing to his steroid-induced egomania and rage”. Steroid-induced rage? Bennett must have been enraged that he didn’t get any of these steroids that people keep talking about.
Armed with a cut-off T-shirt, fingerless gloves, a Freddie Mercury mustache, AND a faux-chain-mail vest, Bennett appeared to have some of the tangibles needed to defeat the most physically accomplished action movie hero of all time. But Bennett was missing one thing: Triceps.
Steroid-induced egomaniac? We’re not fooled. Bennett needs to hit the gym and start eating Green Berets for breakfast. Then or now, you can take him!
5. Buzz McCallister in “Home Alone” (Devin Ratray)
Like Michael Jackson, Buzz had no problems pounding 8-year old Macauley Caulkin. But we seriously question how far Buzz’s prowess extended beyond the McCallister household.
There’s a reason big ol’ Buzz overcompensates with firecrackers, air rifles, and a giant tarantula. He can’t do a single push-up without the moon’s gravity to help. It’s likely that Buzz’s girlfriend eventually upgraded to a more athletic middle school beau, since he clearly out-kicked his coverage. If you’re packing hotdogs, she’s yours for the taking.
4. Bowzer from Sha Na Na (Joe Bauman)
As the bass vocalist of the band Sha Na Na, America’s favorite doo-wop interpreter of classic Rock N Roll (by default?), Bowzer missed no opportunity to flex his un-imposing muscles and snarl like the Alpha dog. Standing 6’3″ with a black cut-off t-shirt, greaser pompadour hair, and swagger for days, Bowzer had one glaring issue: he weighed 170 pounds soaking wet (with grease).
Bowzer flexing his biceps at the crowd is like Kim Kardashian flexing her world history knowledge on a college professor. Watching the doo-wop band’s enforcer patrol the stage is remarkable in hind-sight. It’s like a Hans Christian Anderson spinoff: The Emperor’s New Guns.
3. Sensei Martin Kove in “Karate Kid” (John Kreese)
Okay, we’re not saying John Kreese wasn’t a scary looking dude with his searing glances and sturdy cleft chin. But the Cobra Kai’s volatile sensei’s hiss was worse than his bite. The “arms folded beneath each other” trick boosts the perception of sweet guns, but it’s a merely an illusion (later perfected by Simon Cowell).
Sure, Kreese is super tough when choking out his teenage dojo members in the tournament parking lot, but he couldn’t handle a 5’4″, recovering alcoholic, 60-something Mr. Miyagi. (Queue the pan flute). You’ve got this.
2. John Bender in “The Breakfast Club” (Judd Nelson)
Move out of the way, the trash-talking brooding badass is coming through. He’s late for a meeting and he’s got a smoothie. Black leather fingerless gloves, flannel/denim combo, rebel rock star long hair, and the gatekeeper to high school’s gateway drugs. Don’t mess with this tough hombre, right?
Judd Nelson layered clothing like a Nor’easter was about to hit for a reason: homey can barely bench press the bar. We finally got a look at “noodle-arms” Nelson in 1997’s MTV Rock ‘N Jock basketball game. I don’t see any jocks or rocks, do you?
1. Arthur Fonzarelli in “Happy Days” – (Henry Winkler)
Whenever Richie Cummingham or Ralph Malph’s nerdly rights were violated by jocks, they called in the muscle: The Fonzie muscle. Their defected gang member/grease monkey mechanic savant/mysterious martial arts expert/leather jacket-wearing Paisan could snap his fingers and calm any riot at Jefferson High School.
No woman resisted The Fonz’s confident, yet respectful advances. The men’s bathroom wall at Arnold’s couldn’t even hold his full encyclopedia of female suitor’s phone numbers.
The Fonz was… One. Tough. Badass. Study the tape on this tough guy, and look for anything you can’t handle:
The 70’s imaginary version of the 50’s were a much different time. Now in 2016, 6’2″ and 240 pounds is the new 5’6″ 135 pound Henry Winkler. So whether you’re getting in a time machine to go serve up some trouble in the past, or headed to an autograph signing with a several-decades-old beef, we’ve got our money on your knuckle sandwich.