Not everyone has nerves of steel. Faced with situations that are mind-blowingly awesome or nerve-shreddingly terrifying, some sci fi characters start to fray around the edges in a way that, frankly, gives serious cause for concern. Ranging from the slightly odd to the downright dangerous, none of these are people you’d want leading you in a crisis. So which five characters need to man up here and get a grip?
All arrogance and swagger as the mission begins, Hudson comes apart at the seams fast once the xenomorphs start kickin’ ass. His smart-mouth one-liners get replaced by outright panic – “game over, man. Game over!” – once he realises that this is a bug hunt like no other. Not a man to have your back.
Like a dream half remembered, Roy Neary becomes tormented by the mental siren call sent out by the aliens. Trying to give concrete form to the shape tweaking his consciousness, he helps himself to an entire bowl of mash potato and starts to sculpt it. A real tumbleweed moment at the family dinner table, if there ever was one. He follows this up by trying to sculpt the form on a bigger scale. This time with plants and soil. In his house. In the lounge. Understandably, the family leave.
Before he gets killed by the Predator, Blain tells Mac, “You lose it here, you’re in a world of hurt”. But lose it is exactly what Mac does after Blain’s death, going crazy with ‘Ol’ Painless’, stabbing a pig to death thinking it was Blain’s attacker and finally, scraping the rivers of sweat running down his face with a Bic as he waits for the Predator to show.
At first, Harlan appears to be the right stuff as he gives shelter to Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his daughter from the advancing Martians. But Ray’s initial gratitude gives way to unease, then outright terror as he realises that Harlan is several sandwiches short of a picnic and that he’s trapped in a cellar with a madman who’s going to get them all killed. After creepily telling Ray’s daughter that “if anything happens to your Daddy; I’ll take care of you”, Ray does what any concerned parent would and kills him.
And finally, Child Care of the Year Award goes to Donald Gennaro, who, the only adult in the car with the two kids when the T. Rex goes on the rampage, does a runner and and abandons the kids to save his own skin. Too bad T. Rex sees him and finishes him off like he’s part of a finger buffet. Serves him right.