Trifecta #14: The Eyepatch



by: Nathan Swank

You can’t go out and party every weekend, so on those nights you want to take it easy, has put together a bi-weekly column to help you with your movie selection. The Trifecta is a recommendation of three movies that set a mood, that showcase an actor or director, that acquaint the viewer with a geographic location, or maybe even have some obscure link like a Best Boy or Key Grip.

If you come across someone wearing an eye patch, you do not want to mess with them.  The eye patch gives off a mystic coolness that strikes fear into others.  I personally have always related to Mikey checking behind the patch of One Eyed Willie’s skeleton in THE GOONIES.   There is definitely a strange fascination with the patch.  It brings up so many questions: What kind of crazy scenario happened for them to lose the eye?  What’s behind the patch?  How do they deal so well with the lack of depth perception?  Apparently in order to wear an eye patch you must be able to kill a man, have a tough as nails attitude and be the proprietor of a wicked awesome name, which thankfully means I will never lose an eye…or maybe I will.  Or perhaps all those talents come after adorning the magic eye wear.  Here are three films featuring the best one eyed, patch wearing characters.

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK- Snake Plissken is for me the quintessential eye patch wearing bad mamma jamma.  I had a friend dress as Snake for Halloween and I must say he was infinitely cooler that night than he has ever been.  Kurt Russell deserves his own section on our site for how cool he is.  The eye patch was apparently even Russel’s idea.  This is not his only eye patch character either.  Captain Ron anyone?  In the future, crime has gotten so bad that New York City has become a maximum-security prison.  The President of the United States is being held captive there.  In a trade for freedom, Snake, an ex soldier and convicted criminal himself must free the President in 22 hours or a bomb attached to him will detonate.  Nothing like a bad guy hired by good guys to take down more bad guys.

TRUE GRIT- “Rooster” Cogburn might be the classic staple for a patch wearing commanding brute.  John Wayne earned his only Academy Award for portraying this drunkard tough U.S. Marshall.  The film is about a teenage girl who is out to avenge her father’s death.  She hires “Rooster” for help because he has true “grit” and always takes care of business.  Look for Dennis Hopper and Robert Duvall as part of the bandit outlaws Rooster must face.  I’ll be honest, I threw this 1969 flick in to appeal to a broader audience.  I’m not sure my dad is our demographic but these old films should never be overlooked.

KILL BILL: VOL. 2- Elle Driver is not the lead in the Kill Bill movies but in Vol. 2 she totally shines as an evil baddie.  She is good with a sword, has a tongue just as sharp and can whistle with perfect pitch.  I dated a girl that dressed as Elle for Halloween, she was infinitely sexier.  Elle (Daryl Hannah) is one of five eccentrically different villains that the Bride (Uma Thurman) must seek revenge on for one of the worst wedding crashes ever.  They killed everyone in attendance and left the Bride for dead.  Elle is the last obstacle in the Bride’s way before facing her boss (David Carradine).  Elle went through some of the same training as the Bride, however, Elle did not always obey, so her master yanked her eyeball out, thus the patch.  She then has arguably the best battle scene against the Bride using samurai swords inside a cramped trailer with a loose deadly black mamba snake.  The Kill Bill films are rich with great characters, action and dialogue.  I’m sure they will be mentioned again in future trifecta lists.

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