Thursday, August 15, 2013

Every Beard in "Ghostbusters"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Matt Hooper: "Jaws"

Actor:           Richard Dreyfuss
Year:            1975
Beard Type:  Scientist Beard

It’s summer time. The air smells like Coors Light and burnt hot dogs. You’ve been pumping iron and supplementing yourself to death after your New Year's resolution to stop looking like a Stay Puft Marshmallow Baby. That means it’s BEACH TIME. That’s all you can think about. You just want to go fist fight some waves, walk around on hot sand, and play volleyball with Val Kilmer to impress all the grandmas. But you forgot about one thing.


You’ll need lots of that. You don’t want the cancers. Plus there is one more thing to worry about.


Jellyfish line the ocean floor, so you will get stung. It’s best to have jars of pee handy to pour on your body when this happens. It can be someone else’s pee. It doesn’t matter. Cat pee works best, but good luck trying to get a cat to pee in a jar.

Once you’ve remembered all those things, remember one last thing.


I bet you forgot that, in all likelihood, you will be eaten by a shark if you go to the beach. It’s just fact. Statistics show that sharks kill over 1.5 million people per day in Maryland alone. Numbers don’t lie. Things are really bad out there, man. Have you seen the economy lately?

So how do you save yourself from inevitably being eaten alive by a shark in front of your children? Do what Richard Dreyfuss did in Jaws and grow a damn Scientist Beard.

In Jaws, ex-New York City cop Chief Brody leads an investigation into a series of shark attacks on the peaceful island of Amity, which is French for "Land of No Sharky Bitey." These attacks are happening right around the lucrative annual Independence Day celebration, so the Mayor will not agree to shut down the beach for the safety of his people. In Amity's darkest hour, humanity calls upon the help of three heroes -- Brody, Hooper, and Quint -- to rid their beach of this aquatic hellbeast. They are like the Avengers of shark hunters except not really at all. Don't call them that.

The Avengers of shark hunters start to come together when Brody calls up Matt Hooper, a marine biologist and shark enthusiast from the Oceanographic Institute. Matt Hooper is, of course, played by Richard Dreyfuss, who had the second beard to ever be featured on this site. Dreyfuss is also the first actor to be featured on this site twice. Equipped with his greying Scientist Beard, Hooper marches right into the local Medical Examiner's office, examines the remains of the first victim, and proceeds to tell the Medical Examiner just how full of shit he is about this "boating accident." Brody had his assumptions, and nobody wanted to believe him, but it took a Scientist Beard to flat-out exclaim "Yeah, dudes. This was a shark." The Scientist Beard provides the wearer with the power of rational thought, and Hooper uses it right out of the gate.

The power of the beard continues into the next scene when a group of vigilante fishermen come back on deck with a tiger shark -- what they believe to be the shark. And while everyone is ready to celebrate and take pictures with the shark, Hooper's beard poops on the party and says, "Well it could be it, but the bite radius isn't the same." Once again, the Scientist Beard does not allow the excitement of the moment to get in the way of rational thought. Hooper even tells Brody, "You're going to be the only rational man left on this island after I leave tomorrow."

Just like R.J. MacReady, Matt Hooper is faced with a dangerous situation that could cost the safety of others. So he does what any other dude with a Scientist Beard would do -- he uses the scientific method to confirm this "you got the wrong shark" theory:

Question: Is this tiger shark responsible for the two shark attacks?
Research: The tiger shark has a slow digestive system. Anything eaten within the last 24 hours will be in the shark's tummy.
Hypothesis: The remains of the young boy will be inside the shark's tummy.
Experiment: Get drunk on red wine with the chief of police and cut open the shark's tummy.
Result: Though there were a few fish, a can, and a Louisiana license plate inside the shark's tummy, there are no human remains.


Face it, if it weren't for Matt Hooper's Scientist Beard, nothing in this movie would have been accomplished. Everybody would have thought that mean old asshole of a shark had been killed, the mayor would have continued the celebration as planned, and everybody on the island of Amity would become shark poop in the Atlantic. To SCIENCE!

To help catch the rogue, territorial shark (whose name is not "Jaws," by the way. It's like calling Forrest Gump "Feet." Stop it.) Brody and Hooper team up with a crazy old coot named Quint. Everyone in town knows that Quint does this kinda shit for a living. The original bounty of $3,000 is chum(p) change to him. He needs ten large. Quint may not have a beard and he calls sharks "birds," but he does know what he's doing and he is one hell of an artist to boot. 

Now I'm about to spoil a 40-year old movie for you, but that's your fault if you don't know this already: Brody, Hooper, and Quint head out to the ocean on their ship, the Orca, to destroy this big, bad shark. Quint gets eaten to bits while Brody and Hooper swim to safety. Brody is our main character, so of course he's going to live. But why does Quint, a supreme shark-hunting survivalist, get eaten alive while Hooper and Brody swim off into the sunset? The short answer would be "Scientist Beard," but here's the long answer:

You see, sharks hate beards. It's tough as shit for sharks to get beard hair out of their teeth, so they don't even bother with them. You'll notice that not a single bearded person was eaten by a shark in this movie. Women and children are fucked from the get-go unless you're one of those weirder 10-year olds that enters 5th grade with a full-on beard. That kid's good to go.

Need proof that sharks don't attack people who have beards? Here, look at this science:

Now I'm sure you are asking: "Hooper was protected by his beard, but Brody didn't have a beard. Why did Quint die but Brody didn't?" Well I'll tell you, dummy. Great white sharks can sense blood from a mile away. However, beards create a force field with a radius of approximately 200 feet that directly interferes with a shark’s ability to sense its prey. I call it the Beard Bubble of Safety. When Hooper was attacked in the shark cage (and presumed dead), he simply stayed submerged under the boat, biding his time until this shitstorm of a day blew over. In doing so, he created a Beard Bubble of Safety that mostly protected the Orca.

Anyone outside of the Beard Bubble of Safety will get busy dying. As long as you are within it, sharks cannot harm you, and you will live to drunkenly tell your scar stories another day. Unfortunately, Quint found himself right on the edge of the Beard Bubble of Safety. He was as good as chum the second he slid out of it.

So how are you going to survive this summer? You're gonna need a bigger beard. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

General Zod: "Superman 2"

Actor:           Terence Stamp
Year:            1980
Beard Type:  Villain Beard

Did you know that Superman is returning this year? You did? That's cool. Well, if you told me that Superman already returned in a movie called Superman Returns a few years back, I'm not going to know what the hell you're talking about because such a movie does not exist. I even asked Brandon Routh about it once. He just frowned real hard and walked away, so I'm assuming he's just sad that the movie was never made. I do recall a bald Kevin Spacey yelling "WRONG" in some memes here and there, but I'm pretty sure that was a screenshot from the new Star Trek Away from Brightness movie where he plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Right? Wait, is my internet fucked up?

Where was I? Oh yes. Beards. General Zod had a really awesome Villain Beard. And I'm not talking about Michael "Cunt Punt" Shannon as the next Nolan-ized Zod. He'll be yelling his way into our hearts soon enough. No, I'm talking about the General Zod from the Richard Donner Universe of Superman films -- or what I call the Donnerverse. 

Our first introduction to Zod in the Donnerverse takes place in the opening scene of Superman, during which Jor-El (a not-yet-obese Marlon Brando) sends Zod flying through space inside a piece of glass as his punishment for attempting to establish a new order amongst the people of Krypton. Now if I were one to make puns, which I AM, then I would say it was because Zod was being a pane in the glass. Luckily for Zod and his two cohorts Ursa and fellow bearded baddie Non, the missile that Superman sent into space from the first film explodes in their vicinity, shattering their glass prison and, thus, allowing them to float through space and have the time of their lives, in the least Green Day way possible.

Villain Beards can take many a shape. Whether it be the well-defined and streamlined Hans Gruber beard or the crazy sprouts hanging from Ming the Merciless's face, a Villain Beard will always possess the powers of absolute deviance. Though we discover that the atmosphere of a single yellow sun changes the molecular density of Zod's beard and gives him unlimited strength, this is not the power from which his beard thrives. The true power of Zod's Villain Beard is its ability to reject rehibilitation from deviant activity and its refusal to allow Zod to become a model Kryptonian citizen. Sure, the Earth's sun gives him super powers, but the power of the Villain Beard got him there in the first place. 

Unlike your usual movie villain, Zod doesn't have a general plan or scheme in place. But once he lands on Earth and realizes he's the greatest thing since Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, he discovers the true capabilities of his Villain Beard. Zod, Non, and Ursa stroll around Earth without a single flying fuck. Snakes? Let them bite you, then light them on fire with laser vision. Cops? Steal their shotgun, then shoot yourself with it. Washington Monument? Get the fuck outta here and fall over already. The President? Kick him out of the oval office and make him go on live TV to whine about it. These guys are the Punks of Krypton -- three banished criminals that have no one to answer to but themselves. And they owe it all to the rebellious qualities of Zod's Villain Beard. As Ursa states, "General Zod does not take orders. He gives them."

Just like Jesus H. Christ, Zod has his loyal disciples. And just like Jesus H. Christ, Zod uses the power of the beard to walk on water.

Actually, he seems to like that pose quite a bit. 

NOTE: This was also the film in which Lois Lane uses her fucking eyeballs for once and realizes that not only does she want to see Superman's penis, but she also wants to see Clark Kent's penis, because it's the same penis. I guess Lois was finally tired of Margot Kidding herself. OHHHH!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day: How Phil Connors Spent a Beardless Eternity

Actor:           Bill Murray
Year:            1993
Beard Type:  Brain Beard

What would you do with eternity?

If given the chance to live a single, pivotal day of your life over and over again within the limited universe of Punxsutawney on February 2, how would you dedicate your time? Surely, you would write bucketfuls of bucket lists and YOLO all over town without consequence, but what would you hope to ultimately achieve? 

Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors was given that chance. What first was an excuse to feed his own ego became a reason for Phil to ultimately become a better human being. Within a loop that possibly lasted almost 34 years, Phil learned blues piano, became a doctor, sculpted ice angels, kidnapped a famous rodent, killed himself many times, saved a kid's life (without ever being thanked), learned French to become an expert in 19th-century French poetry, memorized an episode of Jeopardy, broke many alarm clocks, tricked a complete stranger into falling in love with him, scored tickets for Wrestlemania, played chicken with a train, spent 6 months throwing playing cards into a hat, saw Heidi II a hundred times, gave a dying old man a last meal, gave another dying old man the heimlich, endlessly researched and engineered the near-perfect date, learned everything about everyone in Punxsutawney, and pretty much became a god. Phil Connors could do anything.

Except grow a beard.

Phil truly understood his circumstances once he spent the night in jail and mysteriously woke up in his hotel bed for the third day in a row. At this point, Phil's brain became a sponge as he learned everything he could possibly manage. Memories and motor skills carried on throughout the loop, but his physical presence could never change, no matter how much cake he swallowed or how many times he committed suicide. He neither aged a day nor gained a pound. Even after Rita admits she likes a man with a good body, we never see Phil work out for a single minute because he knew it would be a waste of time. He cannot change himself, physically. And that's why he could never grow a beard. 

Perhaps the most genius aspect of Groundhog Day is that nothing is ever explained. Something real weird happens to an egotistical weatherman, and we just have to suspend that disbelief. Why did this happen? How did this happen? Why Phil? The answer is: who cares? We don't need to know those answers because it has no positive effect on the plot. In today's Hollywood, audiences are spoon-fed their storylines with every dumb question answered. We never needed to know that Darth Vader was once a stupid pod-racing, sand-hating baby, but here we are. Without knowing every unnecessary detail about everything, we are able to theorize about the movie and hopefully respect it even more. We could spin yarns till the cows come home about how this happened to Phil Connors and who was responsible. Like, maybe Phil's beardless eternity was triggered when this bearded man pulled the groundhog out of the hole:

Maybe this bearded dude is a magician? After all, he is wearing a top hat. And maybe once he saw just how much Phil hated Punxsutawney, the bearded magician decided to magically trap Phil within a Punxsutawney purgatory in which growing a beard as good as his was utterly impossible. See how stupid that sounds? Right, so shut up.

Any adult male stuck in this loop would surely include "grow a real bitchin' beard for a real long time" somewhere on that bucket list. But not once do we see Phil shave his face or get a hair cut. His body simply resets every morning at 6AM. Hence, a bulk set of Mach 5 replacement cartridges is no longer a necessity. Phil goes through many highs and many cold, dark lows throughout this loop. In the darkest times, every sign of an impending Depression Beard was on display, from the erratic, suicidal behavior to Jeopardy-induced whiskey binges. However, his face remained as smooth as Dan Akroyd's Crystal Head vodka.

And perhaps Phil was okay with this. Society associates beards with manliness...with godliness. Phil transcended the beard and proved his worth as a human being without the power of the beard. It took him decades to learn just who he really was, and the ultimate punishment was having to find himself without the power of the beard. In return, he escaped this loop with a new lease on life knowing that he would once again be able to grow a beard if he wanted to. So even though Phil didn't have a beard on his face, he certainly had a beard on his brain. 

Knowledge is power.

Beard is power.

Knowledge is beard.

Does that make sense? Of course not.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coffin Joe: "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Actor:          José Mojica Marins
Year:           1964
Beard Type:  Serial Killer Beard, Gravedigger Beard

Rarely is the power of the movie beard revealed so quickly. 

Starting with the very first frame, Coffin Joe uses the power of the Serial Killer beard to demolish the fourth wall and explain to you in horrific simplicity the meaning of life, death, existence, and blood. And it only takes him 35 seconds. Some people spend their entire lives deciphering fairy tale books and worshiping the invisible man of their choice to figure that shit out. Not only does Coffin Joe have a sweet top hat and a killer beard (nyuk nyuk), but he also demonstrates the highest level of serial killer creepy-talk efficiency this side of Pinhead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paul Krempe: "The Curse of Frankenstein"

Actor:            Robert Urquhart
Year:             1957
Beard Type:   Scientist Beard, Montage Beard

One of the most popular beards here on belongs to the face of the Italian Stallion in Rocky IV. To train extra hard, Rocky Balboa grew the oh-so-rare Montage Beard; what was likely grown to represent one's badassery gained from dragging trucks through the snow (or to simply act against the bitter Russian winds) also served as a reference of time over two snow-covered training montages.

Finding a Montage Beard is rare indeed. It's like getting hit in the face by Halley's Comet twice in a lifetime. Lucky for you, I would never let that happen to you because you are my friend.

Also, I found another Montage Beard.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Roger Murtagh: "Lethal Weapon"

Actor:           Danny Glover
Year:            1987
Beard Type:  Cop Beard

Danny Glover has had to put up with a lot of shit in his movies. In 1992, a Predator landed smack-dab in the middle of Los Angeles. Who has to deal with that shit, as well as all the subsequent paperwork? Danny Glover. In 1994, a dead Christopher Lloyd starts fucking with the California Angels baseball team. Who has to deal with that shit? Danny Glover. In Operation Dumbo Drop, a live elephant needs to be delivered to a village. Who has to deal with that shit while putting up with Ray Liota and Christian Slater? Danny Glover. In 2004, the Jigsaw killer starts plotting his way, alive or dead, through seven damn movies. Who has to deal with that shit?

Danny Fucking Glover.