While you’re busy counting the hours until your family leaves, be thankful that they’re not really that bad in actuality. Sure they take up a lot of space, bring ungodly smells into your house and embarrass you at every possible turn. Things could be worse. The history of cinema is full of some of the most horrid, base, and downright nasty families ever dreamed up. These families will shoot you in the back as soon as serve you a piece of pecan pie. Hit the jump and consider yourself lucky that you’re not a member of Collider’s Top 5 Worst Movie Families. If you missed any of our previous “Thankgiving Top 5” articles, click here.
*This article and video clips contain spoilers.*
Our first pick might surprise you, because it’s one of the most famous movie families around. But think about it for a second, is this really the family you want to be born into? You might be able to walk away from the dinner table, but you can’t walk away from the Corleones. (If you do drop by for dessert, leave the gun, take the cannoli.) While you have to worry about getting whacked from rival bosses on the outside, inside the family you have to deal with unreasonable expectations from your father and the potential for a back-stabbing brother (“I know it was you.”). And watching The Godfather trilogy after a few rounds of limoncello is sure to stir up some bad memories. As Al Pacino famously put it, “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!”
A slightly more whimsical crime family, the Fratellis (Ma, Jake, Francis and Sloth) added a dose of danger to the treasure-seeking quest of The Goonies. While three of the Fratellis are hardened fugitives, one is the victim of his family’s abuse and neglect. The gigantic fan-favorite, Sloth, is “special” because of Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) dropping him once (or maybe twice) when he was a baby. This group doesn’t think twice about storing corpses in a freezer, torturing kids by shoving their hands in a blender or chaining up their deformed sibling. Check out Sloth getting even below:
No, not those Hansons. Although if the three long-haired singing brothers had made a movie, perhaps they’d have found their way onto this list. No, the Hansons in this case are Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hank (Ethan Hawke) from Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Desperate for money, the brothers decide to do what any rational men would: rob their parents’ jewelry store and fence the jewels while their parents collect the insurance payout. Simple, right? Factor in the twists and turns of a botched robbery, the death of the Hanson’s mother, an affair between Andy’s wife and his brother Hank (while their father investigates the whole thing with disastrous results) and you’ve got one of the most dysfunctional families ever to grace the screen. Check out the trailer below:
The Cross-Mulwray Family
Now we’re crossing into the realm of, “I wish this only happened in fiction.” While the main plot of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown follows private eye J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) in his murder investigation, it blooms into a diabolical plan to control the water rights of southern California. In the film’s biggest twist, Gittes stumbles onto something else: the fact that businessman Noah Cross (John Huston) is the father of both Evelyn Cross-Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and her daughter/sister, Katherine Cross (Belinda Palmer). I’ll let you figure that out by watching the following clip:
There’s no doubt in my mind that any Hollywood family has been as sick or as twisted as the Sawyers. You might know them better from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise which features them. The original 1974 film by Tobe Hooper started it all, probably after a particularly bad Thanksgiving exchange with his own family. From that, we got Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), Chop Top (Bill Moseley), Drayton “The Cook” (Jim Siedow) and Grandpa (John Dugan) among others. This is one family dinner you definitely don’t want to bring a guest to…unless they’re the main course.