Movies & TV / Columns

From Under a Rock: Ultimate Character Battle (Round One)

December 26, 2015 | Posted by Michael Ornelas


We’ve taken notice of other columns on this site (A Bloody Good Time, we’re looking at you!) who have run hypothetical battles between fictional characters in a certain genre, and upon realizing we are 21 movies/TV shows into our run, we wanted to use characters from our past picks and put them through the same sort of bracket because why not? Life is fun!

We took 16 antagonists and 16 protagonists from our past picks (listed and linked to at the bottom of the page!) and seeded them (don’t look too deeply into it), and put together a bracket for…

From Under A Rock: The Ultimate Battle!!
Well here’s what we came up with:
(right click and select “View image” to enlarge)

#1 Protagonist Seed: Ellen Ripley from Alien
#16 Antagonist Seed: Aliens from They Live

Michael Ornelas: First up we have the protagonist from my favorite movie Alien, Ellen Ripley. She’s a survivor through and through, doesn’t back down when faced with insurmountable odds, and she has a flamethrower to go with that iron will. She’s the number seed for that very reason: she can’t be brought down.

Aaron Hubbard: I don’t think the aliens from They Live were particularly threatening; they got mowed down by guns after all. But their strength is in their numbers, and the fact that you can’t tell them apart from regular humans unless you have special sunglasses. They don’t fight you physically; they take over the world with subliminal advertising. A great weapon in the long run… if they live long enough to use it.

Michael: I don’t think their “long game” will be a match for Ellen Ripley. Considering this is set in the From Under A Rock Battle Arena of Death, there’s no one for the aliens to blend in amongst. She’s just here to kick ass and save cats, and Jonesy’s nowhere to be found.

Aaron: Well, I hope the aliens know how to use horde mentality or they may very well want to think about dragging one of their teleporting devices and getting the hell out of there in a hurry.

#9 Protagonist Seed: Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs
#8 Antagonist Seed: Patrick Bateman from American Psycho

Aaron: After he’s late for the match due to a meticulous morning routine, Patrick Bateman is certainly going to be a major player in this tourney. The man spends his whole day planning the murder of people, usually women, so he’s sure to have a game plan in place for this fight. And it probably involves a Genesis song.

Michael: That may well be, but Clarice has proven that she knows how to work with and against serial killers. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in moxie. As for her taste in music, I’m unsure.

Aaron: The biggest problem with Bateman in this match is that he works best with the element of surprise; tackling unsuspecting victims who think he’s harmless. I’m not saying that he’s not a hell of a threat (axes and chainsaws are nothing to ignore), but a big element of his game will be neutralized against someone experienced with this type of monster.

Michael: I see pros and cons to both sides. Clarice is working with a firearm, which gives her an advantage if she can keep the distance, but Bateman is nuts. He’s an aggressive type of killer that she’s never encountered before and he’s in incredible shape. If she doesn’t get the shot off in time, allowing Bateman to get close in range, I fear for her.

#13 Protagonist Seed: Marge Gunderson from Fargo
#4 Antagonist Seed: Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs

Michael : Marge Gunderson is the moral compass of Fargo, and one of the more “pure” characters I’ve ever seen, honestly. And despite having a belly the size of a watermelon due to being in her third trimester of pregnancy, she’s unafraid and won’t back down from a fight.

Aaron: Hannibal Lecter is loose and that is bad news for everyone who gets in his way. A ruthless killer and master manipulator, Hannibal knows how to get in your head and then take your head off. He may be getting older, but that isn’t slowing him down.

Michael: I’m going to be honest with you: things don’t look good for Marge here. It’s not impossible (I’d argue she was outmatched by Gaear Grimsrud at the end of Fargo, but he chose to run, which sealed his fate)…but Lecter isn’t purely a mental threat either — as evidenced by his escape from his imprisonment, he is a sick and brutal man physically. What Marge has in morals, Lecter has in depravity.

Aaron: If Marge is going to win this fight, she’s going to have to throw her morals out the window. Shoot first and ask questions later. The last thing she needs to do is try to talk Hannibal down, which I think is her first instinct. Marge has to compromise who she is in order to win here; and do we really want that?

#5 Protagonist Seed: The Iron Giant from The Iron Giant
#12 Antagonist Seed: The Infected from 28 Days Later

Aaron: Aww, the gentle, family-friendly metal robot won’t be a threat, right? He’s harmless! Yeah, until you try to attack the thing. This guy is a walking arsenal of heavy duty weaponry. He won’t start a fight but he’s more than capable of ending any fight he’ll come across in this tournament.

Michael: The Infected are fast, and don’t have functioning brains to even think. The will tear your guts out and eat you in the most brutal fashion imaginable. And the scariest thing about them is that once they attack you, you become one of them, strengthening their numbers.

Aaron: Can a robot become a zombie? I mean, I’m not horribly opposed to the idea, because it sounds kind of awesome terrifying. But I don’t usually see giant killer robots in zombie movies. Probably because they’d mow through them.

Michael: Unfortunately for them, I don’t think The Infected have teeth strong enough to pierce the metal exterior of The Iron Giant, and their numbers probably won’t be able to combat his nuclear weaponry.

#15 Protagonist Seed: Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
#2 Antagonist Seed: General Grievous from Star Wars: Clone Wars

Michael: General Grievous is a vicious cyborg who has commanded a Droid Army, and murders Jedi on the regular. He can even wield up to four lightsabers at a time. In Star Wars: Clone Wars, his introduction is met with abject terror, and that’s by a group of Jedi.

Aaron: Ferris Bueller is the best friend we all wanted when we were in high school; super popular, full of fun ideas, and a serious ability to avoid negative karma. Jeez, he’s kind of a punk when you think about it. Except that he’s a nice guy. Who… can command a parade to do the Twist?

Michael: “Save Ferris” has never been more applicable. I don’t think Bueller’s charm can combat four lightsabers of a pre-asthmatic Grievous (because that doesn’t happen until later). Maybe if Ferris had back up, like say he could let Cameron go. But he’s in Egyptland, so that’s unlikely. Ferris could also use his ability to steal identities (as he did with Abe Froman: The Sausage King of Chicago, or Sloan’s father) and take on the form of a Jedi. He may just have a fighting chance…

Aaron: There’s a fan theory that Ferris Bueller is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination. That might be his only legitimate shot at withstanding the lightsaber onslaught of a cyborg Jedi Hunter. If he’s imaginary, he can do anything. Right?

#7 Protagonist Seed: Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible
#10 Antagonist Seed: Michael Corleone from The Godfather: Part II

Aaron: Ethan Hunt is one of the greatest spies in movie history. He’s up there with James Bond, and in terms of being a pure spy, probably is better than 007. The guy’s crazy athletic and while not fearless, is willing to go out on a wire in the most impossible of circumstances to get the job done. But he’s not an especially effective fighter, especially in Mission: Impossible. He gets more badass in the sequels, but we aren’t looking at those yet.

Michael: Michael Corleone is one of the most despicable men in cinematic history, but he truly has the best of intentions and gets caught up in a life where evil is the norm. That kind of conviction to his beliefs and principles is his most dangerous weapon, because people will do anything to defend their beliefs.

Aaron: I like the idea of this fight because infiltrating a crime family in order to get to the crime boss is right up Ethan Hunt’s alley. I would watch that movie and I would love it. I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for Michael to hold his own against Ethan; Hunt is a spy, not an assassin with a license to kill. Although, he does have explosive chewing gum.

Michael: I think Corleone’s weakness is that he rarely gets his hands dirty, as he rose to power fairly quickly and didn’t have to fight many of his own battles. And in The Godfather: Part II (the one we’re looking at here), he doesn’t even shoot anyone in the head. He’s just the puppetmaster. Hunt is more hands-on, and so I like his chances here, but only slightly.

#3 Protagonist Seed: Mace Windu from Star Wars: Clone Wars
#14 Antagonist Seed: Dark Helmet from Spaceballs

Michael: Mace Windu is one of the most masterful swordsman in Jedi lore, and he’s very zen. He keeps a cool head about himself and doesn’t back down from a fight. He has total control over the force, and does everything he does with a purple lightsaber. My hero…

Aaron: Dark Helmet is the bumbling would-be evil enforcer of the Spaceballs, who are here to steal your air. He commands the awesome power of the “Schwartz”, usually to squeeze the balls of his unfortunate victims. But he can also use a lightsaber of sorts, and has some remarkable durability considered he survived a sudden stop out of ludicrous speed. Just because he’s from a comedy doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some impressive abilities.

Michael: I think this is a pretty foregone conclusion. Windu is a great Jedi against non-bumbling evildoers, so I think his abilities against the goofy Dark Helmet will be on point. I mean…this is the Jedi who gave General Grievous his aforementioned asthma!

Aaron: If Mace Windu was capable of understanding humor, I think Dark Helmet could probably make him die from laughing. Since Mace lives in a world where humor does not exist, I don’t expect Dark Helmet to win; Mace is more powerful and isn’t likely to fall for the oldest tricks in the book.

#11 Protagonist Seed: Jim from 28 Days Later
#6 Antagonist Seed: Kingpin from Daredevil

Aaron: Well, if we’re basing this on where we left off (we only reviewed the first three episodes of the series), Wilson Fisk is really good at looking at white paintings. Of course, I’ve watched all of Daredevil and Fisk has more than enough brawn to match his brains. He’s manipulative and patient, but also prone to bouts of rage that make him a dominating physical presence. And he has a unique armor built into his clothes to protect from cuts and bruises, so he’s a tough adversary in hand to hand combat.

Michael: Jim, on the surface, seems pretty unremarkable, but if he’s one thing, it’s adaptable. He goes from knowing nothing about the impending apocalypse that has ravaged his city to heading a ragtag group of misfits who wouldn’t be found together in any other context, and then he evaluates the situation he’s in at the military compound, and figures out how to get the best of an entire squadron while resorting to surprisingly violent means. He can also play dead to avoid getting shot. Is there anything this man can’t do?

Aaron: I love Wilson Fisk as a character, and if this were a wrestling match, he’d demolish Jim in a minute. But in the confines of a death battle, where anything goes and Jim can find foreign objects, I think the odds are a bit more even. Jim’s a survivor.

Michael: Plus, if anyone can deal with rage, it’s Jim, who survived an entire virus of the stuff! Despite the seeding saying otherwise, I actually think this will be a closer battle than we’d suspect. Fisk has the size advantage, but I think Jim can match his aggression. And if Jim digs his thumbs into Kingpin’s eye sockets, we’ll have two blind men running around the Daredevil universe. That thought alone amuses me.

#16 Protagonist Seed: The Muppets from The Muppet Christmas Carol
#1 Antagonist Seed: The Xenomorph from Alien

Michael: Well, as further explored later in the franchise, the titular alien (referred to as a xenomorph) is actually a walking, breathing weapon bred from hatred…and that’s terrifying. I don’t care who you put the xenomorph against, the odds are going to favor the alien if you ask me. It slowly infests your body as an innocent looking facehugger, than emerges from your body through your chest…and that’s all before it gets truly scary. Full-grown, this thing can go hand-to-hand with anyone and anything.

Aaron: What are Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the Great Gonzo doing in a death battle tournament? Proving that the two of us are sick men who want to see people’s childhood ripped apart in a mess of stuffing and eye decos. To be fair though, Miss Piggy’s more than held her own in life or death situations. And if we extend it to the whole cast of this movie, they do have two giant ghosts.

Michael: The chestburster in particular amuses me when I think about it coming out of a Muppet. I mean…stuffing and maybe a puppeteer’s hand flying through a gaping hole in Fozzy’s chest? What a way to go. Personally, I just don’t think the Muppets have any offense that would even dent the game plan of the xenomorph.

Aaron: I wonder if xenomorphs like frog legs and bacon? I kind of want the Muppets to eke this out just because it would be hilarious to imagine them pulling this off.

#8 Protagonist Seed: Connor & Murphy MacManus from The Boondock Saints
#9 Antagonist Seed: Carl Showalter & Gaear Grimsrud from Fargo

Aaron: Beantown’s citizens may think of the MacManus brothers as Angels, but these two brothers are anything but pushovers. After deciding to become vigilantes these two become an unstoppable machine of death to all the criminals that cross their paths. Even if you take away their guns, they’ll use a kitchen sink (or a toilet) to even the odds. These two also have a fraternal bond and that can never be underestimated.

Michael: Carl & Gaear leave a trail of blood through Brainerd in the movie Fargo and are two ruthless men capable of doing anything to anyone. Where they fall short though is that they can’t exactly get along (**SPOILER** I mean, Gaear even kills Carl in the movie **END SPOILER**). If they can stay on the same page though, I feel they have the odds on their side here.

Aaron: I know you aren’t a big fan of this movie, but I think you’d have to agree that the MacManus brothers are total badasses who will do anything to keep each other alive. Gaear and Carl are individually dangerous, but Connor and Murphy are a well oiled machine.

Michael: My lack of enjoyment of The Boondock Saints had nothing to do with the main characters (so yes, I agree they’re badasses) and that’s all we’re evaluating here. I feel this is one of the more even (and exciting) fights on the docket, and at the end of the day, I hope both members of the winning team can survive.

#4 Protagonist Seed: Rocky Balboa from Rocky
#13 Antagonist Seed: Principal Ed Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Michael: Ed Rooney is a lousy scumbag out to destroy the life of a teenaged boy. If there’s anyone more deserving of a punch to the face, I haven’t met him. That said, he’s willing to go further than most to try to get the job done, and for that, I think he’ll make a more formidable foe than expected.

Aaron: Yo, Adrien! Rocky’s got another shot at greatness; the ultimate underdog is one of the most iconic fighters in cinematic history. He’s a skilled boxer but he’s also incredibly tough and never gives up. One things for sure; the more ridiculous his opponents get, the more insane the training montages will be.

Michael: Rocky vs. Rooney is going to put butts in seats because every great protagonist needs a hateable antagonist to fight. I hate Rooney’s guts. I think the early part of this fight will go to Rooney, but as soon as he takes a hit (like when Jeannie Bueller kicked him in the face), he’ll go down like a sack of potatoes. But I could be wrong — it’s in the voters’ hands.

Aaron: Rocky’s probably going to be my personal hero at the end of this match. Although I do think Rooney has a height and reach advantage. But that’s about it. Rocky’s no underdog this time.

#12 Protagonist Seed: Lone Starr from Spaceballs
#5 Antagonist Seed: Asajj Ventress from Star Wars: Clone Wars

Aaron: If you put Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in a blender, then add Mel Brooks, you get Lone Starr, hero for hire. While he certainly doesn’t mow through anyone, he’s resourceful and quick to learn new skills. He learns how to use the Schwartz in a short amount of time and has the Vulcan Nerve Pinch down after a bit of coaching from his victim. But he’s probably going to want to bring his space-traveling Winnebago (complete with raspberry jam) to this fight.

Michael: Asajj Ventress is so good of a villain that I wish she had shown up in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. She’s excellent with not just one, but two lightsabers, and is fueled by the awesome power of the Dark Side of the Force.

Aaron: I love both of these two for different reasons. Lone Starr is a great everyman who survives with wits and luck, and Ventress is an awesome villain. I think this is closer than it might seem, but I’d give the edge to Ventress. She’s a cold-blooded killer.

Michael: In my estimation, Ventress will prove to be too much for Lone Starr to handle. She’s deadly with a lightsaber and extremely vicious. Lone Starr isn’t a pushover though, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he takes her down, but it’s definitely going to be a grueling battle for him.

#2 Protagonist Seed: Chev Chelios from Crank
#15 Antagonist Seed: Juror Three from 12 Angry Men

Michael: Chev Chelios is a badass. Chev Chelios is a seemingly unkillable, unstoppable badass. Jason Statham is a badass. If you think you can beat him, you’re wrong, because you forgot the fact that he’s a badass. Crank is a movie about a man (Chelios) who’s administered poison that will stop his heart of his slows down too much, so we know cardio won’t be an issue.

Aaron: Most of the fighting in 12 Angry Men is verbal, but Juror Number Three is pretty intimidating. If there weren’t ten men to separate the two, I’m sure he’d have laid one hell of a beatdown on Juror Eight. Stubborn and irritable, Juror Three is an antagonist that’s easy to root against, but even he makes the right decision in the end.

Michael: The only thing that may prevent Chelios from winning this fight is the fact that he isn’t fueled by revenge here. But as soon as someone proves that they want to kill him, he rises to the occasion, and in a fight to the death, I’m pretty sure Juror Three will let it slip that he wants Chev dead (especially with that temper of his). This was a guilty pleasure fight much like Rooney vs. Rocky where I really just want to see the bad guy get what’s coming to them.

Aaron: I think Juror Three would prefer that this fight was in court. Chev endures some truly crazy stuff throughout the runtime of Crank, and this is pretty much a no contest from my point of view.

#10 Protagonist Seed: John Nada from They Live
#7 Antagonist Seed: Frankenstein’s Monster from Frankenstein

Aaron: Was he created a monster, or did he only become one through circumstance? It doesn’t really matter; brought to life through lightning and crazy science, Frankenstein’s monster is a massive brute with a ton of physical strength and an animalistic will to survive. He’s not an especially clever being, but he doesn’t need to be. In a straight up brawl, he has to be considered one of the favorites.

Michael: Nada is an everyman who uses actions instead of his words. He doesn’t have a ton of dialogue in They Live but he still manages to make a huge impression. This is largely due to his interminable spirit, and the fact that he’s one step ahead of his antagonists. In an even fight, I still think he can hold his own (much like the famed alley fight in the movie). We’ll see what happens here.

Aaron: I feel like this is a fight that would sell a ton of PPVs. John Nada has one of the greatest fight scenes of all time, but he hardly dominated that fight. I don’t see him suplexing Frankenstein anytime soon. But I do think he’s smart enough to know when he’s outmatched and to change plans accordingly; the monster isn’t going to be coming up with any brilliant strategies.

Michael: I worry that Frankenstein’s monster’s size and aggression will be too much for Nada to overcome. Nada spent most of They Live being a step ahead of his villain, forcing them to have to think. But here, both men know the stakes, and the monster doesn’t have to think anything through (which is good, because he can’t really). This match will come down to whether or not Nada can find a good source of fire to scare off the monster.

#14 Protagonist Seed: Lester Burnham from American Beauty
#3 Antagonist Seed: Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects

Michael: Keyser Söze is the stuff nightmares are made of. He’s a ruthless criminal who, legend has it, would rather kill his own family than live another day not on top. He’s a real-life boogeyman, capable of unspeakable acts of violence that don’t even register as a blip on his moral radar.

Aaron: Lester Burnham does one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a movie; tender his resignation. It’s a glorious middle finger to the company that views him as expendable, but it certainly isn’t much use in a real fight. While Lester is motivated to get in decent shape throughout the course of the movie, he’s just not a violent man at heart. But he is one of our favorite characters, so we were happy to include him.

Michael: This is almost as one-sided a fight as the xenomorph vs. The Muppets, and that’s because Keyser Söze is morally bankrupt. There’s nothing he won’t do while Burnham is actually a pretty decent guy. Sure, he starts acting selfishly to become the man he wants to be in American Beauty, but he never does anything that harms another human being. That determination will likely guide this battle.

Aaron: Well, this one will certainly turn some heads when they show up. Including Lester’s; if he doesn’t get shot on sight he’ll probably have his neck snapped or something else horribly violent. But at least we’ll get to hear his thoughts about his life and his marriage afterward. And that’s a good story.

#6 Protagonist Seed: Matt Murdock from Daredevil
#11 Antagonist Seed: Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs

Aaron: In Hell’s Kitchen, justice is blind. And it wears a mask. Matt Murdock may not be able to see with his eyes, but his keen senses, never say die attitude, and some intense physical training make him one of the more dangerous fighters in this tournament. While he takes his fair share of lumps, Matt always gets back up to fight another day and has won battles where the odds seemed way out of his favor.

Michael: Buffalo Bill is aggressive when backed into a corner, but he also likes to play with his proverbial food before he devours it, and that might be his downfall in this fight. Plus, Murdock is a rather fit male, so he has no place in Bill’s skin suit. Bill is certainly an intimidating individual though, and he has a deep pit that he traps his victims in that give him almost every advantage imaginable.

Aaron: Daredevil is easy to underestimate, because on the surface he’s just a man. But you can’t measure the size of his heart, and Murdock has plenty of inherent toughness and the skill to go up against anyone. That said, he loses fights too; part of what makes him dangerous is that he learns from mistakes and does better with his second opportunities. He won’t get those chances. But I think he’ll be more than Buffalo Bill can handle.

Michael: Buffalo Bill used darkness to try and best Clarice Starling, but how does he gain the advantage on a man who already lacks sight? Personally, I don’t think he does. There are too many variables that Bill needs to have his way on to really be a force to be reckoned with, and in the FUAR Ultimate Battle arena, I don’t think he’ll have a pit or the element of surprise. I’m leaning towards Daredevil here.

And that’s it for the first round match-ups! Be sure to check out our past reviews if you haven’t already!
Mission: Impossible
They Live
Marvel’s Daredevil
The Silence of the Lambs
12 Angry Men
The Usual Suspects
The Boondock Saints
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Iron Giant
American Psycho
28 Days Later
The Godfather: Part II
American Beauty
Star Wars: Clone Wars
The Muppets Christmas Carol

Be sure to vote this week. Only votes in the polls will count for the total, but we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below regardless!