This post was a little tough to title due to the differences in types of characters listed, but I think you’ll get the point.
Sometimes potentially threatening characters or monsters in films end up being helpful if not good guys entirely. Not all monsters are bad. Not all of the undead are out to get you. Sometimes they’re there to help. Sometimes they’re just trying to figure out the world themselves. Sometimes there are worse monsters than the monsters you’re scared of to begin with.
I thought it would be fun to look at a few instances of when characters could have been evil bastards, but ended up helping out the protagonists in one way or another.
1. Victor Pascow (Pet Sematary)
The first scary encounter in Pet Sematary is with Victor Pascow, a college kid who got hit by a car and died on Dr. Louis Creed’s table. He would go on to terrorize Louis at night and lead him out into the dark realm of the “sematary”. Pascow had a mission though. He wanted to help the Creeds. He wanted to warn Louis not to do anything stupid. He was ultimately unsuccessful, but Pascow tried his damnedest.
2. Roach (The People Under The Stairs)
I remember being a kid when The People Under the Stairs came out. There was just something creepy about the title, and going into it, I really didn’t know that the titular people were really just the victims, and that the villains were the crazies that kept them there. With the mindset that you’re going to be watching a movie in which people from under the stairs are going to be terrorizing you, it stands to reason that this would include the guy in the walls too. It turns out, however, Roach was one of the good ones.
3. Jack Goodman (An American Werewolf In London)
You would think a werewolf victim that is torn apart, but appears in increasingly rotten form as you’re already struggling with your own werewolf problems might be a threat, but Jack is just being a good friend. Well, he also wanted his own soul to be able to rest, and tried to convince his best friend to commit suicide, but still, he stood by David’s side until the bitter end.
4. Bub (Day of the Dead)
Who doesn’t love Bub? There have been few zombies as sympathetic or sweet as Day of the Dead’s leading man. He was also pretty helpful when the shit hit the fan, and it was time for the military assholes to get what was coming to them.
5. Hannibal Lecter (The Silence Of The Lambs)
I think it goes without saying that few cannibals have been as helpful for crime-solving purposes as Hannibal. He was certainly more helpful than that guy down the hall talking about smelling cunt.
6. T-800 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
The Terminator in the original film was obviously a terrifying bastard with only one goal – to terminate. Part 2’s T-800 was quite helpful, however. Had John Connor not sent him back to deal with the T-1000, the future would have looked a lot worse.
7. T-Rex (Jurassic Park)
The T-Rex was pretty damn scary in Jurassic Park. How everyone in those Ford Explorers didn’t urinate like Ginny in Friday the 13th Part 2, I have no idea. The T-Rex was most definitely not to be fucked with. That said, when it comes to providing some much needed assistance in dealing with Velociraptors, the T-Rex came through in a big way.
8. Jason Voorhees (Freddy vs. Jason)
Jason isn’t typically known for being a particularly friendly or helpful guy, but he came in pretty damn handy when it came to dealing with Freddy Krueger in Freddy vs. Jason. The kids in that film sure had some balls in drugging Jason and taking him to the lake to do battle with a certain burned child “killer,” but it definitely paid off in one epic battle. It didn’t appear that Lori had any kind of Dream Master shit in mind or any 3D glasses to deal with Freddy, so it’s a good thing Jason was up to the challenge.
9. Old Man Marley (Home Alone)
When you’re Kevin McCallister, few things are more terrifying than an old man with snow shovel and a sinister glare (except for maybe a basement furnace). Of course the Wet Bandits ended up being a much greater threat, and Old Man Marley turned out to be a pretty great guy.
10. Godzilla (Various Godzilla movies)
Godzilla is often called upon to fight other monsters (sometimes showing up without being called upon). In this year’s film, Godzilla was crucial in putting an end to some M.U.T.O.-based destruction.
I’m sure there are plenty more examples we could list. Feel free to leave other examples in the comments.