Top Five… Needless Movie Gang Members

Every gang has ‘em – that hanger-on in the background who doesn’t really add anything to the group dynamic. With the release of The Hangover Part II recently, Ross McD has a look at five of the most useless fillers, starting with…

5. Doug Billings (Justin Bartha), The Hangover

Doug was not required for this photo

Poor old Doug from The Hangover. While his gap-toothed, bearded and smug mates are off enjoying themselves round Vegas being punched by Mike Tyson and tasered in the face, he’s stuck on a hotel roof for much of proceedings. Did anyone watching the movie miss him while he was up there? Uh… no. Little more than a plot device with a face, Doug is The Hangover’s fifth Beatle, except he doesn’t get to join in on any of the fun. A walking, talking, human MacGuffin then, only he barely walks or talks during the entire movie.

4. Fred Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), The Usual Suspects

There is no f***ing way this guy is Kaiser Soze

This superfluous gang member also falls into plot device territory – even the film’s director, Bryan Singer, admitted as much. Good old Freddie’s only job is to become a corpse about two thirds of the way through. It’s a tribute then to Benicio Del Toro that he makes such an obsolete character so memorable. The fact is, it doesn’t matter a toss what comes out of Fenster’s mouth, so why worry about a little thing like pronunciation? Del Toro’s brilliant indecipherable performance can’t disguise the fact that Fenster shouldn’t even be in the film’s famous police line-up. You can imagine a Usual Suspects prequel based around Gabriel Byrne’s mean Dean Keaton, or even Stephen Baldwin’s barmy Michael McManus, but a mumblecore about Fenster? No thanks.

3. Raphael (Josh Pais), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Raphael leads... no? Does he do machines? Really, no?! What is he then, a party dude?! Go on then, tell me. Cool... but crude..? That's it? That's the best you could come up with? F*** sake.

You’ve go the leader, the smart one, the funny one and… the red one. Seriously, what was Raphael? The angry one? Suitably, every one knows Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Donatello Versace, the classic artists after whom the turtles are named, but who the hell was Raphael? He even got stuck with the rubbish weapon – the sais – while his brothers batter the Foot Clan with style using their katanas, bo staff and nunchaku (Michelangelo was even censored from using his nunchuks in some countries because they are so dangerous – unlike samurai swords, apparently). In the film, Raphael gets puts the whole gang in peril because he’s off whingeing about his lost sai. April O’Neill would have been a more useful team member.

2. Jan (Jamie Donnelly), Grease

Jan is so important to Grease that I am more interested in what those two girls behind her are talking about

Would the Pink Ladies survive in a modern school? A gang of girls so self-declared cool that they have their own jackets? Probably not. But when they count butch Rizzo among their numbers, nobody is going to say a word against them. Besides the bodyguard of the group, they have the smoking hot Sandy (although many consider her not to be an official Pink Lady, as she never wore the jacket, plus the Rizzonator said she was ‘too pure to be pink’. Although she conforms at the end by perming her hair and smoking, thus becoming less hot. Although at this stage she had graduated, so did the school gang even technically still exist? I digress). They also have beauty school dropout Frenchie with her pink hair and crooning guardian angel. Then we have Jan; annoying pigtails, annoying sunglasses; annoying song (Mooning – so immature) – she’s just annoying. Marty was pretty useless too, but at least she was hot.

1. Creature from the Black Lagoon (Tom Woodruff Jr), The Monster Squad

'So take a good look at my face... You'll see my smile looks out of place... If you look closer it's easy to trace... the tracks of my tears.'

Let’s get all the classic Universal Monsters together to create the ultimate team of badasses! Dracula! Frankenstein’s monster! The Wolfman! The Mummy! Um… Gill-Man? While virgins, stakes, silver bullets and inter-dimensional vortexes are required to deal with the others, this fish-faced fiend is dispatched with a regular old shotgun blast to the chest from a fat eight-year-old. An embarrassment to the team. When we used to play Monster Squad in the schoolyard, the kid everyone disliked was made to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon.



14 Responses to “Top Five… Needless Movie Gang Members”

  1. You can always trust Flea for an unimportant gang member – The Big L, BTTF II & III [though I concede, MJFox’s non-race in the final scene is meant to show his ‘growth’ thanks to the whole time-travel experience, and so Needles’ needling may be of some consequence…]

  2. Brilliant post. Spot on about Doug in The Hangover, he is majorly redundant. Like the idea of a Fenster mumblecore too

    My favourite useless gang members are all of The Orphans, but particularly the two main guys, in The Warriors.

    “Maybe you ought to talk to your social worker”

    And to be fair Luther is pretty useless too;

  3. Fred Fenster ? Really? He’s literally the only character I remember in the entire movie. I know Kevin Spacey is in here, but I don’t remember much about his character.

  4. great shout on Warriors Ashley. in fairness though you need a few randoms to pad out a big gang of guys running around New York for the night.
    The Warriors… its pretty much Sex And The City with warpaint-wearing baseball players.

  5. I was with you right up until Jan (and that has almost nothing to do with being cast as her in a college version….)

    As for Del Toro. I’m yet to understand a word he says. In anything. Ever.

  6. haha, with James Remar f**king everyone over

  7. Remar… legend.
    Katie.. i take it that having almost nothing to do with being cast as her in a college version means it has EVERYTHING to do with it?

  8. Ahaah glad to see you back in action guys. It seemed like you gave up for a while. There were rumors one of you murdered the other one…

  9. Wouldn’t be the first time he tried and failed, Castor.
    The truth is I was on holiday. He was being lazy.

  10. Lol, had you down for more of a Principal McGee, Katie….

  11. Ross McG international super sleuth. And McD, I think I’m offended by that.

  12. heheh just kidding Katie, you know you’re our very own Sandy 🙂

  13. Hahahahaha, love the bit about Rapahel! I read your caption under the photo and fell out of my chair:) Thanks for that!! I guess the line Mikey gives in the second one (yes, I’m lame for knowing this) about how “all the good ones end in ‘O’ ” says it all…

    Also nice call on Monster Squad, I mean you dynamite The Wolfman and his entrails reassemble themselves, but buckshot send that fish back down the drain:P

  14. I Always really loved Jan (Jamie Donnelly) way more than those other populair girls in that movie.
    And Always will, ’cause thats my kind of girl!
    Way more fun with her!

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