As I’m writing this, it’s Monday August 17th 2020, and I’ve been in pandemic lockdown for over five months. I’m bored as hell. It’s getting weird around here. And when the going gets weird, the weird get going, if ya know what I mean.
So while we could use this space explore, say, the feminist agenda behind Birds of Prey, or how cinematography influences story in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – that’s not what we’re gonna do here.
Instead, let’s get real uncomfortable together. Let’s talk about our most problematic movie crushes. You know, those characters you’re supposed to hate, and maybe you do, but maybe you also kinda wanna lay your head on their chest and let them lull you to sleep?
Don’t kid yourself, you know you have a few. Murders… monsters… even aliens, perhaps? Maybe some of these are on your list…
1) Red Dragon: Hannibal Lecter / Francis Dolarhyde
Ah yes, a classic pairing: The sophisticated cannibal and his wannabe-antichrist protégé.
Hannibal Lecter is such an iconic villainous sex symbol at this point that I feel compelled to ask each new acquaintance: When did you first realize that you were in love with a suave fictional serial killer? I mean good lord, the man is a world-class chef, his sense of style is impeccable, and his catch-phrase is “Whenever possible, I prefer to eat the rude.” He drips romance. Anthony Hopkins has never been sexier.
And Dolarhyde, well – who doesn’t love a damaged bad boy? Hypothetically speaking, of course. Assuming you’re into biting and butt tattoos, he’s the full package, baby! Plus, he’s canonically super strong, so you could climb him like a tree and he’d handle it like a champ. It doesn’t much matter if he’s played by Ralph Fiennes or Tom Noonan, Dolarhyde is a snack.
Hannibal: 7/10. Pretty problematic, but he’s good boyfriend material despite the murdering and cannibalism.
Dolarhyde: 6/10. Come on, he doesn’t even like killing people, he just wants to transform into the devil so his shitty dead mom will leave him alone.
2) Doctor Sleep: Rose the Hat
It really doesn’t get more problematic than torturing children to death so you can drink their psychic powers, huh? Yeah, Rose is a world-class evil bitch – but damn, does she look good in that top hat. And that Irish brogue? Slay me.
Rose as played by Rebecca Ferguson cuts a striking figure, but it’s not just the looks amiright – it’s the powers! A lady who can run her fingers through your mind like she does your hair? Now that’s sexy.
Problematic Rating: 10/10. Child torture is not cool, man. It’s just not cool.
3) Venom: Venom
Okay, so what I’m hearing is that Venom can a) inhabit your body effectively turning you into a one-person war machine, b) shift into literally any shape at will, and c) it has a tongue as long as its entire torso? Sounds like the perfect romantic partner to me. I get that it was planning on destroying the earth, and it has a thing for biting people’s heads off, and it’s, y’know, an alien – but that deep bass voice! It’s sexy as hell!
Problematic Rating: 8/10. Extra problem points for the fact that it’s an actual parasite.
4) Godzilla King of The Monsters: Godzilla
Godzilla is like that giant dude at the gym who has to walk with his arms stuck out to the side because his lats are too big, and he has no neck because his traps are so thick, and he’s got a buzz cut to hide the fact that he’s balding, and you’ve never actually heard him speak, but once he glared at a guy who was bothering you by the treadmills so now you just imagine him as a knight in shining armor even though he’s probably killed, like, at least six people.
So he’s a gargantuan radioactive kaiju. I don’t care. Godzilla is a hottie.
Problematic Rating: 6/10. It’s not his fault he’s so big! Get out of his damn way! That radioactivity, though… Ick.
5) Star Wars: Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo, aka abusive emo boyfriend #823
God, this fuckin asshole. If he were real, I would kick him in the dick so hard. But he’s not real. So he’s sexy as hell.
First of all, goth guys are hot. Goth guys with scars, even hotter. Secondly, Kylo is basically the emperor of space? That’s mad power. Very attractive. Thirdly, he can touch you from galaxies away using the force? Hello?! And last but certainly not least, Kylo as played by Adam Driver looms like a world champion loom-er and that’s the kind of physicality I can get behind.
Problematic Rating: 9/10. Fascist prick. Classic gaslighting, negging, bullshitting little twerp. He gets a single point back for the belated redemption arc.
6) Jurassic Park: The T-Rex
She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll eat you in one gulp – it’s the T-Rex!
Y’know that moment in the first Jurassic Park movie where the T-Rex tears through that little bathroom hut and snatches the lawyer off the toilet? That’s when I knew that I wanted to be a man-eating dinosaur when I grew up. The power! The agency! The absolute confidence! She’s a feminist icon. What’s not to crush on?!
Problematic Rating: 1/10. She’s perfect. One problem point because, yeah, she’s technically extinct. And a dinosaur.
7) Queen of the Damned: Queen Akasha
Let’s wrap this up with a return to humankind, shall we? Well, human-shaped creatures, anyway. Softcore vampire porn, anyone?
Oh yes, Akasha, queen of the vampires, mother of monsters, biter of Stuart Townsend’s pale, pale chest. I don’t believe there was a single 90s / early 2000s alt kid who didn’t lust after Akasha. Face? Check. Body? Check. The ability to transform you into an eternal creature of the night? Double-freakin-check, babe!
Plus: Akasha was Aaliyah’s final film role before her untimely death, making this character even more hypnotizing to watch.
Problematic Rating: 5/10. I’m torn right down the middle. This is a classic case of, “damn yeah it’s problematic to think of humans as walking meals but oh my god she’s so fine.”