Best Supporting Weirdo (Screenshot: YouTube)

People think they want to be movie stars, the kind whose names appear over the title and whose faces dominate posters and billboards. But aren’t their characters usually a little boring? The star has to keep the plot moving forward while engaging in some kind of perfunctory romance at the same time. Talk about dullsville. Wouldn’t it be more fun to be one of those human grotesques who dwell in the dank, shadowy margins of motion picture history? A creep who serves as an obstacle between the hero and his major goal? Or maybe a wacky, scene-stealing sidekick? After all, these are the memorable characters that viewers will be imitating in the parking lot after the movie is over. Filmmaker Jon Lefkovitz feels a great deal of affection for these misfit characters, as he’s created a rather incredible supercut about them called “Best Supporting Weirdo.” The high-concept premise behind the four-minute film is that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has finally wised up and created a special category specifically for these folks, and these are the nominees. If only the Oscars were that interesting.

Unlike many YouTube supercuts, which focus almost exclusively on the films of the last decade or so, Lefkovitz’s video is wide-ranging, drawing back to the 1930s for such proudly perverse performances as Bela Lugosi in Island Of Lost Souls and Dwight Frye in Frankenstein. In a nice bit of continuity, Bengt Ekerot is nominated for playing Death in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal, while William Sadler receives a nod for playing the Grim Reaper in 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.

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When it comes to creating memorable supporting roles like these, certain directors naturally stand out. The Coens have their share of supporting weirdos in films like Barton Fink and A Serious Man. Mel Brooks, too, tends to populate his universe with odd ducks, as in The Producers and Young Frankenstein. Those who want to see some David Lynch or Tim Burton or Stanley Kubrick weirdness won’t be disappointed either. And no one could keep Crispin Glover out of this thing. But the real delight of a supercut like this is that it calls attention to less obvious performances, like Edmond O’Brien as a plaid-suited gangster in The Girl Can’t Help It.

[via Laughing Squid]

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