Monday, May 26, 2014

5 Reasons Why the Coachmen from "Pinocchio" is the Most TERRIFYING Disney Villain Ever!

5 Reasons why The Coachman from “Pinocchio” is the Most TERRIFYING Disney Villain Ever

By: Brian Cotnoir

     Hello friends and loyal readers, Das Film Junkie here, and I just wanted to say that thank you for making My “Disney Princess Top 5’s” my most popular articles written to date.  I found it rather astounding that so many people were intrigued as to what a man in his mid-twenties thinks about the Disney Princesses.  Well I’ve said all that I can about the Disney Princesses so it’s time for me to venture to the next area of interest; Disney Villains.  So stay tuned to see what Disney Villains I pay homage to and once again thank you so much for the likes and comments on my articles J                                
      Even though Disney has prided itself on being “Quality Family Entertainment” its animation studios have managed to create some pretty frightening villains.  From the powerful and imposing Chernabog from “Fantasia” to the Mistress of All Evil, Maleficent, from “Sleeping Beauty”, Disney has a wide range of frightening and memorable villains. However there is one obscure Disney Villain who often get’s overlooked.  He’s actually one of the first Disney Villains and by your God, he scared me as a child and he still continues to scare the piss out of me as an adult.  So here are 5 Reasons why The Coachman from “Pinocchio” is the Most Terrifying Disney Villain Ever.

5.)  He corrupts Minors

     The Coachman lures young boys away from their homes and takes them to a place called “Pleasure Island” where they are free to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, break things, and gamble.  What kind of terrible adult would let such young children do such things?  He’s irresponsible and reckless if you ask me.

That's about as Pedo of a facial expression as you can have
4.)  He’s a Kidnapper and Human (...well technically donkey) trafficker

All that from selling little boys
So the Coachman brings all these boys to Pleasure Island, and I’m sure he didn’t have to forcefully take these kids away from their homes, I’m sure they all went with him on their own free will, but don’t you think the parents would be a little concerned if they knew where he was taking their sons and what he was doing to them?  And don’t you think there would be a lot of families wondering what the hell happened to their sons?  Also, let’s not forget he’s selling these boys after they transform into donkeys to the circus and the salt mines.  It doesn’t matter that those boys are now donkeys; I still think it counts as human trafficking.  Also, what the hell does he do with the talking ones?  Some of the boys don’t transform entirely and still have the ability to speak to humans...he’d be stupid if he sold them, so what is he going to do with them?  Oh God, why did my mind just race to “Tijuana Donkey Show”?           
    Now true there have been other Disney Villains who have kidnapped other characters, but usually they were just holding a person hostage, and their lives weren’t in actual danger.  The Coachman is actually selling the boys he’s kidnapped, and it’s not like he’s sending letters to their parents saying “Pay me this amount of money if you ever want to see your son again, or he’ll be a donkey forever and be sold for hard labor”.  He just straight up transforms the boys into donkeys and then sells them.

Could you repeat that? It was hard to hear over
the sound of me soiling myself!!!!!!

3.)  He abuses Animals and Children

No Coachman don't do it, he's just a donkey...I mean boy!
The Coachman straight up abuses animals.  Animal abuse is not cool, on any level, and no I’m not just saying this as some stupid PETA P.S.A. What makes his crimes worst is that the animals he is abusing are not actual animals, but rather young boys trapped in animal bodies.  I mean we see him whipping the donkeys and verbally abusing them, and he selling them to be used for hard manual labor that most humans would not do.  And just let me re-touch on a few things I said earlier: if he’s allowing boys to smoke, drink, gamble, and do other things, then I’m pretty certain that he must be molesting some of the boys.  I know, it’s Disney and they would never do such a thing in one of their films and nothing like that is even mentioned in the Original Italian story, but I do have some reasons for I believe this is implied: the place he takes the boys to is called “PLEASURE ISLAND”, and what do most people associate pleasure with?  Also why does he only want to collect “stupid little boys” and not stupid little girls?  Yeah, unsettling isn’t it?  I’m not trying to make a perverted joke with this one.  All I’m saying is that if I saw this guy wandering around my neighborhood, I’d be expecting him to come to my door to read me a Court Ordered notice.

2.)  He has a God Complex and (possibly) uses Black Magick

The Power of Christ Compels you!
So the film (and the original Italian story) don’t mention if Pleasure Island is a “Magical Island”; there is a very brief moment in the film when the Coachman is meeting with Honest John and Gideon where Honest John says that “the law forbids” travel to Pleasure Island—but it’s never explained why—he just tells Honest John that “they never come boys!”.  This leads me to believe that the Coachmen possibly use’s Black Magick on the island to transform the boys into donkeys.  Not only that, but I think it would explain the faceless black minions that work for him.  They don’t have any distinctive features other than a large black frame and yellow eyes, so maybe they are demons that he conjured up?  I think his use of Black Magick leads to his development of a “God Complex”.  The few boys who haven’t entirely transformed into donkeys and can still talk, beg and plead with the coachman to turn them back and let them go.  He ignores their pleas for mercy; he just cracks his whip and exclaims “Quiet! You boys have had your fun now pay for it”.  It’s like he’s telling these boys, “I-am-the-Lord-Your-God-and-now-I’m-going-to-make-you-pay-for-your-sins”.  In some ways he reminds me of a more brutish and bombastic version of Kevin Spacey’s character from “Se7en”; they both take those with poor morals and do horrible things to them, and they believe that their actions are completely justifiable.

1.)  His Crimes go Unpunished.

Can't touch me, sucka's!
Let’s take a look at some other top villains from Disney, shall we?  Did Maleficent get away with her crimes?  No, she got impaled with sword.  Did Scar get away with murdering his brother?  No, his nephew came back to avenge his father’s death and he was torn to shreds by hyenas. Did Chernabog succeed in his dark dastardly deeds?  No, he was stopped by the sunrise and a church choir.  Did the, often underappreciated, Horned King from “The Black Cauldron” use the Black Cauldron to rule the kingdom?  No, he got sucked into the cauldron and was never seen or heard from again!  The Coachman gets away with everything; the kidnapping, the human trafficking, the animal abuse, and not to mention the possibility other horrible crimes.  Even when Pinocchio get’s turned into a real boy does he tell Gepetto about all the horrible things that go down on Pleasure Island? No!!!  What the hell is wrong with Pinocchio? Did he forget that Lampwick—the closest thing he had to a real friend—was transformed into a donkey and probably sold off as cheap labor?  Don’t you think his mother is worried to death about him and just wants him to come home?  Seriously, Jiminy Cricket couldn’t remind him of that horrible ordeal?  Some conscience is of you ask me.  Glad to know he taught Pinocchio nothing about empathy.

     So there are my 5 Reasons why The Coachman from “Pinocchio” is the Most Terrifying Disney Villain ever.  I hope you enjoyed this list and stay tuned for more Disney Villain Countdowns coming up here on “Asylum for Nerds”.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Character Analysis: Satan

Character Analysis: Satan

By: Brian Cotnoir

     Hey everybody, today we’re going to talk about Satan!  Well...A Satan.   You see throughout the earliest days of filmmaking there have been multiple depictions of Satan in films.  And seeing as I do NOT want to spend all that time researching them all and compiling comparisons I’m only going to pick one depiction of Satan in films to write a Character Analysis on.  With that being said, here is my “Character Analysis” on Satan from the 1985 Stop Motion Film “The Adventures of Mark Twain”.

CHARACTER: Satan from “The Adventures of Mark Twain” (1985)

Satan meets his new "friends"
The film “The Adventures of Mark Twain” was a stop motion film created and released in 1985.  In a nutshell it’s Mark Twain riding a homemade zeppelin in hopes of meeting Haley's Comet.  He is accompanied on his journey but three of his literary creations, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Becky Thatcher.  While journeying to the comet Mark Twain tells the children multiple stories (inspired by his own literary works).  Tom, Huck, and Becky enter the room of the “Mysterious Stranger” where they encounter a tall shape-shifting figure who introduces himself as an “Angel” named Satan.                 
What's with the mask, Satan?
     Satan has a number of different physical characteristics.  For one thing, he has no face, but rather he carries around a masquerade mask on a stick to talk and show facial expressions.  He has a number of different powers such as shape-shifting, the ability to disappear and reappear out of thin air and the ability create and destroy anything he wants.  At one point Huck Finn asks Satan, “Where’d you learn to do that trick?” Satan replies with “I didn’t learn it at comes naturally to me, like other things”.  He then proceeds to show off his powers to the three characters.  He hands them some clay and instructs them to make some clay people for a sand castle he just created.  Tom, Huck, and Becky happily oblige and Satan brings the clay figures to life.  However, Satan becomes irritated when the clay figures begin to argue and sends down a lightning storm to destroy them all.  The kids are horrified and call Satan a murderer.  Satan claims “I cannot do wrong, because I don’t know what wrong is”.  Some of his more identifiable characteristics are a short temper, a God Complex (he believes can do no wrong), and the ability to create matter with no effort.

Satan's Appearance in the Film


     Satan is unique because he is voiced by not one, but two voice actors.  Satan is voiced by Wilbur Vincent and Michele Mariana (who also voices Becky Thatcher).  What I really like about the decision to have two voice actors voice the same character is that it gives Satan a distinctive voice.  He doesn’t sound masculine or feminine.  Both actors are reading his lines and it had to be such a pain to get their voices to sync up perfectly. In other films we’ve seen depictions of Satan where he has a deep, intimidating voice or a voice that makes him sound more creature-like than man-like.  Satan in “The Adventures of Mark Twain” sounds more human by having a man and woman voice him, but at the same time adds a great deal of mystery and fear to his character.


Satan is the antagonist from the Mark Twain story The Mysterious Stranger, which is set in the Austrian countryside in the 16 century.  It was the last story that Mark Twain ever wrote, and it is a fantastic read if you ever get a chance to read it.  The Satan in the story is said to be a handsome Teenage Boy and the nephew of the fallen angel Satan.  As opposed to the Satan in the film version which is shown as being more androgynous without any real distinguishable gender characteristics. Satan in both the story and film seduce the people they meet with their magic and then use it torment them and instill fear into their souls.  I like how Satan is modeled differently than other film versions of other Satan’s, he’s not red, he does not have horns sticking out his heads, he does not have black eyes, he’s just unlike any other version and I think that’s what makes him the most unique depiction of Satan in any film.


     After Satan scares off Tom, Huck, and Becky is left alone once again, to lament all that has happened and all that he is done and he finishes off his brief appearance in the film with a dramatic soliloquy from the short story.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Character Analysis: Drew

Character Analysis: Drew

By: Brian Cotnoir

There aren’t very many films out there quite like “Office Space”.  Since its release in 1999 it has gone on to achieve the high honor of being considered a “Cult Film”.  I think most people have seen it at least once, whether it be on a DVD being watched in a college dorm room, or one of the many re-showings on syndicated television.  I really like the characters in the film from the ridiculous and curious Milton Waddams, to the monotone and irritating Vice President of Initech Bill Lumbergh, to the hot, yet repressed waitress Joanna.  There are just so many memorable and enjoyable characters in this film that it’s darn near impossible to pick just one to write a Character Analysis on. The obvious choice would be to do one on the films Protagonist, Peter Gibbons.  After all he is the main focus of the film and he has left a huge impact on me and my work ethic.  I’ve always strived to be laid back and blunt just like him and on more than one occasion I’ve used his “’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care” line at work, but no I’ve decided to pass on Peter and write one on another character; one who is barely even in the film, but left quite the impression on me.  So without further adieu here is my Character Analysis on Drew from “Office Space”.

CHARACTER: Drew from “Office Space” (1999)

The "O" Face!
Drew is an employee of Initech, a fictional computer software company in California.  He has blonde gelled up hair and is quite the gossip.  Drew comes across at that guy in the office who is always trying to make himself seem cool and important.  Usually, when we see him in the film he is butting in on something that Peter and his friends/co-workers Michael and Samir doing.  His lines typically start off with “Hey have you guys heard...”.  The things he usually talks about are very mundane.  In one scene he is telling Peter, Michael, and Samir about how one of their former co-workers Tom, just got a ton of money from a law suit from injuries he suffered after being struck by a drunk driver, and that he’s throwing a party and that he’s invited everyone from Initech.  Drew brags about how he wants to take the “new girl from logistics” to Tom’s party and says “If things go well I might be showing her my ‘O’ face” and then he proceeds to make sexual gestures and sounds that neither Peter, Michael or Samir find amusing.  It’s lines like this that suggest that Drew may be trying to overcompensate for some sort of lack of masculinity.                              
    The next time we see Drew he is trying to have a conversation with Peter at Tom’s party.  When he finds out that Peter is dating Joanna, he informs Peter that she has quite the promiscuous reputation.  He then proceeds to list of guys that he’s heard she has slept with.  He mentions Lumbergh, and Peter believes Drew is talking about their boss Bill Lumbergh—who he hates with a passion—but Drew is actually referring to another man named Rod Lumbergh, who most people tell Peter is nice and very well liked guy.  Upon hearing this news from Drew, Peter finally snaps out of his trance...I bet you totally forgot about that, huh?  Remember that “trance” that Peter was put in at the beginning of the film by the Hypno-Therapist that made him calm, relaxed, and left him without any stress or anxiety?  The one that he would only come out of after the Hypno-therapist snapped his fingers, but he suffered a fatal heart attack before he could snap his fingers?  Well Drew is the person who—somehow— drags Peter out of that trance and perpetual state of calm and relaxation and reintroduce fear, stress, anger, and anxiety to him.  That’s quite a big deed for such a minor secondary character.


     The actor who plays Drew in “Office Space” is Greg Pitts.  This was Pitts first film role ever, and for a man who only spends a few minutes on screen he leaves quite the impression.  Most guys who’ve seen this film can probably recite his “O-Face” line.  I was surprised to see that Pitts hasn’t had many other big roles in films. He has gone on to play small parts in big name prime time television programs like “Greys Anatomy”, “Sons and Daughters”, Weeds”, and “Bones”.  It’s quite sad because I would’ve imagined he would’ve gone on to do more comedic roles in films in television because he really was quite funny in “Office Space


Michael Scott from TV's "The Office"
The character of Drew is a pretty generic. He’s the run of the mill office worker who tries to convince people that he’s cool and important, so it’s rather impressive that Pitts brings so much life and personality into him.  I don’t watch the Television series “The Office”, but I asked one of my friends who is a fan of the show if they had to compare Drew to any character on the show that it would be Michael Scott, and their reasoning was that “[Michael] tries way too hard and makes things unnecessarily awkward the more he tries to make things relaxed and seem cool”.  If I had to stretch it I’d say he’s similar to Matthew McConaughey’s character David Wooderson from “Dazed and Confused” (1994).  They’re both secondary characters and they both have some pretty sleazy lines, it’s a stretch, but I do believe they are somewhat similar.


     Like everyone at IniTech, Drew found himself suddenly unemployed when the whole office was burnt down by disgruntled employee Milton Waddams.  After that we don’t ever find out what become of Drew.