Speaking of Bond flicks, let’s talk about Casino Royale and its villain Le Chiffre. Now, I realize that the world has bizarrely decided that Mads Mikkelsen is sexy now, and we all had to have that talk with our partners about wearing a latex Mikkelsen mask during sex, but Le Chiffre came before that. He was supposed to be the opposite of the tough, macho Bond: a small, unsexy, delicate intellectual. And I know this for certain because at the end of the movie, he hits Bond in the canoodle noodle during the famous rope torture scene.
See, because Le Chiffre didn’t have the balls to do some real damage to Bond’s tallywhacker and instead just slapped the man’s skin flute with a rope, the whole scene became a very unflattering commentary on the man’s masculinity. It shows that Le Chiffre isn’t like Bond. It shows that he is not manly. Because a real man would give his adversary penile lead poisoning, apparently.
Still, though, it’s actually almost always bad guys who get kicked or punched in the flesh joystick, and that might be why …
Bad Guys Tend To Suffer From Erectile Dysfunction
When I finished rewatching Justified for the 10th time last week, I got a sudden urge to go out and drink bourbon like the show’s antagonist Boyd Crowder, despite the fact that I hate bourbon. I mean come on, people, it’s just wood-flavored corn vodka. My point is that I and many people like me are easily influenced by movies and TV shows, and that is why Hollywood often tries to give their bad guys some irredeemable flaw that will make you less likely to identity with and emulate them. One of those flaws is making villain hotdogs not work all that well.
So in Kick-Ass 2 you have Chris D’Amico, who finds his mother’s S & M gear and becomes a supervillain named The Motherfucker, all while Freud’s body spins at the speed of the light in his grave. All in all, Chris is a wimpy, pitiful bundle of emotional issues and lameness, and YET the studio was still afraid that we’d somehow identify with this character. So they gave him ED … when he was trying to rape someone. It’s played for laughs, but it’s about as hilarious as catching your dad fucking a couch.
This type of “de-cooling” of villains through their malfunctioning mushroom heads happens disturbingly often. In The Departed, Matt Damon’s Colin Sullivan is a police officer secretly working for the mob, and to make sure gullible kids don’t start infiltrating law enforcement agencies for crime families, the movie makes Sullivan impotent. And although the character might possibly be double-secretly gay, the message is still the same: Crime ruins your sex life. Speaking of “double-secretly,” you all do remember that the president of the stuck-up Omega House from Animal House also had trouble getting it up? So does one of the criminal bodybuilders from Pain And Gain. It didn’t help that he was on a lot of steroids, but that’s not the point. The point is is that if you want vicious, rock-hard erections, be nice to others. Open doors for people, and the boners will follow.
In all fairness, you can sort of kind of understand the reasoning behind disabling baddy pocket rockets, but some movies take it to ridiculous lengths. In Dr. Strangelove, it’s kind of implied that General Ripper went crazy and triggered a nuclear Holocaust because his one-man unit stopped standing to attention.
Hollywood will even sometimes tack impotency onto real people if they don’t find them villainous enough, like they did to the bank-robbing outlaw Clyde Barrow in Bonnie And Clyde. The original plan was to make him bisexual in the movie, which he may or may not have been in real life. We don’t know. But the 1967 studio “knew” that that would make him too evil and unlikable for a movie protagonist, so instead the film just gave him erectile dysfunction. That way, we would never find him “cool” because anyone without a working underwear ferret is a pathetic excuse of a man, according to Hollywood.
And you have to remember that different people have different definitions of “evil,” which is why in the remake of Alfie, Jude Law’s ol’ one-eye stops working as a punishment for him SLEEPING AROUND. But when you get down to it, this really all goes back to my original point: Movies feel that men should crank out all of their self-esteem from their veiny bananas. And, look, obviously it’s OK to be proud of your pecker-related achievements, but only as long as they are actual achievements, like, say, siring a Nobel Peace Prize winner … Or using 50 synonyms for the D-train in one Cracked article, which I just did. I won’t call myself a hero for that, but I also won’t stop you if you want to do it.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
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