Today is Bill Paxton’s birthday! I don’t always celebrate an actor/director on their birthday for Monster Sketch Monday, but it helps when the actor is as beloved as Bill Paxton or when the monster is as memorable as Severen.
Bill Paxton has appeared in several iconic films, from Terminator to Aliens to Titanic. I think I actually first saw him as Chet in Weird Science (and I ALMOST did a sketch of that monster instead – but Severen wins on cool factor alone). He’s done a few horror movies as well, including Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, where this character is from, and the fantastic (and underrated) Frailty.
I think Near Dark is underrated as well, and ripe for a remake or at least a re-assessment. While the proto-Twilight vampire love story is perhaps a little too-cute (especially that ending) the characters are what make the film memorable, including Lance Henricksen as the leader of the vampire clan, Jesse Hooker and Jenette Goldstein as Diamondback. It gives us a family of vampires (though that word is never used) and somehow makes you identify with them, alternately rooting for and against the monsters.
Bill Paxton as Severen is really the one that stands out for me, though, despite being the character that’s probably got the least human qualities (the good ones, anyway). Especialy during that scene in the bar, which starts out tense and ends up going balls-to-the-wall crazy. It’s a bloody version of the classic Western bar sequence, and just a fantastic scene in every way.
This is my second attempt to draw Severen and I ran outta time after spending too much time trying to get the eyes – sorry, EYE – right. I think it works okay, but I gotta start doing these more than a couple of hours ahead of when they’re due!
So what’s your favorite Bill Paxton performance? Much as I love Severen, I gotta admit it’s always gonna be Hudson from Aliens for me. “Game over, man! Game over!”