Halloween is Once a Year, but Ugly is Forever
October 31, 2004
The day of haunting, horrors and miniature Snickers finally dawned and passed; Old Hallow's Eve came and went in the slash
of a knife. I am forever bound
to silence by Father Damien regarding my participation in the pagan killings behind the high school.
It's time to move on to the post-Halloween season at SweatpantsErection.com.
Transition is important.
It's critical that one not rush too quickly into the slamming of celebrities and
ridicule of Jon Favreau.
Too rapid a change can cause nausea or neck cramps. I'll ease you gently
into the next phase; Halloween merges with Hollywood as we honor some of the
scarier and uglier actors gracing the silver screen.
It's no secret that Hollywood is obsessed with beauty, thinness and glamour. Swarms of chiseled men and waspy
women flock to spas, tanning salons, rehab, plastic surgeons and the Kabbalah Centre to maximize and
enhance their natural (but more frequently unnatural) physical features. If you listen closely, you can hear
whispers of 'Must look younger! Must be thinner!' floating through the smog and into the hills. A symphony of
whirring elliptical machines, suctioning lipo vacuums and the screams of women receiving full body waxes adds to
the pleasant buzz heard throughout the exciting City of Angels.
Despite all these mythical creatures formed and molded by the hands of trainers, South Beach Diet nutritionists,
stylists, doctors and quack spiritualists, the industry can't survive without the people able and willing to play
the ugly best friend, the fat neighbor and/or the pock marked cab driver.
Given the fact that they can't get by on looks alone and must actually be able to act, are ugly actors
intrinsically more talented than their beautiful counterparts? Please keep in mind: when I say "ugly" I'm talking
about the people whose faces will stop a train. No matter how much "work" they could get done, it just ain't going to
get any prettier. As for those who went overboard with
obscene amounts of plastic surgery
(ahem, Michael Jackson, Jocelyn Wildenstein and Cher), well, they just fucked up.
Most of the ugly people who have made it are men. The chance of a dog-faced actor landing a starring role based on
his actual talent is much greater than that of actress who was beaten with the ugly club or dropped on her head as a baby. When a film calls for a
hideous woman, a normally attractive actress undergoes the uglification process to fulfill the role (see Charlize
Theron in Monster (2003), Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich (1999) and Naomi Watts in 21 Grams (2003)). I don't have a problem with
that in and of itself; it's just when the actress is regaled as a "hero" for being so brave as to gain weight
and/or appear onscreen with greasy hair and dirt under her fingernails that it gets a little ridiculous.
People Magazine pushes their annual 50 Most Beautiful People issue while Entertainment Weekly
publishes the "best celebrity photographs" of the year. In keeping with this "best of" tradition, I've put together
a tribute to the rich, famous and heinous. These lucky few won the Hollywood game in spite of their physical "handicaps."
They're cackling all the way to the bank.
I will be the first to say that Steve Buscemi is a great actor who has appeared in a slew of great movies and shows:
Ghost World (2000), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Sopranos, practically every Coen Brothers film...the man gets around.
You just have to overlook the less stellar Armageddon (1998) and Airheads (1994).
Despite his noteworthy performances, there aren't many people willing to step up and attest to his magnificent
beauty. It wasn't until I started writing this that I realized how much he resembles John Waters. Freakishly so.
John Waters should script a movie where he and Steve Buscemi play sex addicted conjoined twins who like nothing
more than to chow down on a steamy pile of dog shit. (Divine R.I.P.)
John C. Reilly
Yeah, you know this guy. He's one of those actors that you sort of forget to notice. Allow me to refresh your memory concerning a few of
John C's pivotal roles. He had his porn star dick sucked alongside Marky Mark in Boogie Nights (1997). Considering what
1970s and 80s porn stars looked like (think hairy and John Holmes), the casting director did a pretty good job.
He was Jennifer Aniston's pot-smoking, infertile husband in The Good Girl (2002). It's never
made clear how she ended up with someone of such inferior physical caliber. Compare her choice of husband to her choice of on-the-side
man flesh (Jake Gyllenhaal's character) and you've got yourself quite a conundrum. Either way, I'd much rather watch Jennifer
and Jake get it on than Jennifer and John.
Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman
Not only is Danny DeVito a repulsive man, he is a repulsive dwarf. He starred opposite Arnold
Schwarzenegger in not one, but TWO awesome movies -- Twins (1988) and Junior (1994). This alone is enough to call for
In forcing myself to say something positive about Danny, I will concede that Dan and I were among the ten people who
liked Death to Smoochy (2002). Mr. DeVito directed and (thankfully) didn't appear in the film about about Smoochy, the
giant purple hippo who hosts a children's television show. Robin Williams repeatedly attempts to off Smoochy before everyone
learns to work together and be friends. What's not to like about that?
Danny DeVito was the voice of the Grundle King in My Little Pony: The Movie (1986). I wonder if he has
one of those miniature ponies that you see at the petting zoo. It's not like he can ride a real horse. That's just
One must give props to Rhea Perlman for tending to and keeping her chimp so clean all these years. I'm surprised PETA
hasn't been more active in preventing this disturbing case of bestiality. Then again, Rhea and Danny should
not be discouraged from mating; this protects the rest of society from their genes. Way to go, Rhea!
Since we already touched upon Mr. Schwarzenegger, I'd like to mention that every time I look at him I don't think of
Mr. Universe, the Terminator or even the ridiculous notion that he is the governor of my fair state; no, I immediately
think of Richard Kiel's character Jaws from the Bond films. I'm not sure which one is more scary.
The Goonies (1985) is the film in which I first saw the work of Ms. Martha Plimpton. She played Stef,
reluctant love interest of Mouth, Corey Feldman's character, and unlikely best friend to Andie the cheerleader (Kerrie Green).
It's unclear if Stef was considered a "Goonie" prior to her adventure in One Eyed Willie's secret cave full of booty traps.
I mean booby traps. Stef is first shown onscreen during the opening sequence
that juxtaposes the Goonies characters with the Fratelli's dramatic escape from the police in their "ORV."
(With bullet holes the size of matzo balls!) Just as the Fratelli Jeep careens past,
Stef pulls a giant crab out of a barrel of water. Given this oddity, I'd definitely say she was an original Goonie. Stef and Andie
later have a close call with a rake, her glasses are broken and she nearly gets rabies from a swarm of bats. That's all forgotten
when she gets up close and personal with Mouth's mouth. Tastes just like a pearl necklace!
Other notable films include The Mosquito Coast (1986) where she first met River Phoenix and Parenthood (1989) where
she worked with Joaquin (then Leaf) Phoenix. Martha co-starred with Lili Taylor (see below) in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and John Waters' Pecker (1998).
Martha appears as Tina, Pecker's older sister, while Lili is Rory, the Big City art buyer who discovers and exploits his photos.
Pecker's photos raise havoc in the lives of his friends and family; Tina is fired from her job at a gay bar
called the Fudge Palace after her brother publishes photos that reveal the gay go-go dancers are "tea bagging" the customers.
Tea bagging at the Fudge Palace is strictly forbidden by the owner. (If you have to ask what tea bagging is, what
the hell are you doing reading this site?)
Lili Taylor is the last on my list. Lili is an excellent actress...perfect to pull off the role of dirty, ugly Valerie Solanas,
the man-hating lesbian who shot Andy Warhol. The real Valerie wrote SCUM Manifesto in 1967. If
you're looking for a good read, I'd suggest you avoid that one. However, if you happen to hate anything with a penis and/or you have the
tendency to experience long periods of insanity and the will to kill those who "ignore" you, then SCUM is perfect for you.
(Oh, if you didn't know, SCUM stands for Society for Cutting Up Men. Bring it to your next book club -- the gals will love it!)
If you go farther back on the Lili Taylor timeline, you'll find that she co-starred as Corey Flood, Lloyd Dobler's (John Cusack) friend, in Say Anything (1989).
She obsessively wrote and performed 63 "Joe songs" dedicated to her ex-boyfriend. An excerpt, if you'll allow me:
He likes girls
With names like Ashley
That'll never be me,
That'll never be me,
That'll never be, never be me, no.
That'll never be me,
That'll never be me,
That'll never be, never be me, no
No. Never. No, never, ever, ever. Don't you ever think it!
Love hurts, Corey.