Chick-a chick-a Slim Shady. Remember the song that announced Eminem to the world? I remember thinking Slim Shady was a funny name at the time, but then he’s a rapper. Same applies to actors’ character names, particularly action stars. They’re exempt from reason. I’m not sure who’s responsible for naming them… The writer? The actor? The studio? And I cannot decide if I love or hate their ridiculous character names – either way, they’re a guilty pleasure I’ve resigned myself to embrace.
Or maybe it’s more the case that; the more ridiculous the concept of the film or plot, so it is reflected in the names of those taking part. As if the filmmakers are saying, you wouldn’t buy into this film if we took it too seriously, so here are some silly names to get you on board. And in the world of silly names – much like Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks – there are some standout contenders. Here are some of my favourites.
To get us started I thought I’d look at a crop of exotic and seductive ladies we love to hear utter the words ‘Oh James!’ at any and every opportunity. What’s that Bond? You’ve met an attractive woman with a ridiculous name? Steer well clear I’d say – she’s bound to be trouble.
- Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress, Dr. No)
- Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman, Goldfinger)
- Kissy Suzuki (Mie Hama, You Only Live Twice)
- Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood, Diamonds Are Forever)
- Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland, The Man With The Golden Gun)
- Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen, GoldenEye)
- Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards, The World Is Not Enough)
You’d expect the Austrian oak to have more embarrassing names under his belt, but most are fairly passable. Some though… There’s no version of reality where someone looking like Arnie could ever be thought of as a Gordy or a Kimble.
- John Matrix (Commando)
- John Kimble (Kindergarten Cop)
- Jericho Caine (End of Days)
- Gordy Brewer (Collateral Damage)
I almost feel Seagal is such as easy target in terms of being a joke as an actor. Is he aware of his reputation? He seems so serious all the time. I mean, with a name like Gino Felino can you really take yourself that seriously?
- Mason Storm (Hard To Kill)
- Gino Felino (Out For Justice)
- Casey Ryback (Under Seige)
- Forrest Taft (On Deadly Ground)
- Jonathan Cold (The Foreigner)
Jean-Claude Van Damme
The muscles from Brussels does OK in the name game, more trashy quality than quantity. From time to time though, he does pick some peaches. If you had the opportunity to play a man called Chance Boudreaux you’d take it right?
- Gibson Rickenbacker (Cyborg)
- Chance Boudreaux (Hard Target)
- Vincent Brazil (Assassination Games)
- Samson Gaul (6 Bullets)
The Stathe – as he’s known to his legion of fans – is still learning his craft when it comes to shocking names. He’s doing well though, aged 46 he’s already got some crackers under his belt and shows no sign of letting up.
- Quentin Connors (Chaos)
- Chev Chelios (Crank)
- Terry Leather (The Bank Job)
- Lee Christmas (The Expendables)
- Phil Broker (Homefront)
In contrast to Arnie, the wild and unhinged Cage has a treasure trove of terrible names scattered across his filmography – most of his roles in fact. And there’s a correlation too, the worse the name the better his performance.
- Stanley Goodspeed (The Rock)
- Cameron Poe (Con Air)
- Castor Troy (Face/Off)
- Memphis Raines (Gone in Sixty Seconds)
- Joe Ransom (Joe)
Introducing to you the Godfather of tragic and terrible trashy names, the man they call Sylvester ‘Sly’ Stallone. I suppose if you’re called Sylvester you’re already on the back foot – so you may as well embrace the madness.
- Cosmo Carboni (Paradise Alley)
- Deke DaSilva (Nighthawks)
- Lincoln Hawk (Over the Top)
- Raymond Tango (Tango & Cash)
- John Spartan (Demolition Man)
- Ray Quick (The Specialist)
- Barney Ross (The Expendables)
BEST OF THE REST
Not to be outdone, there’s other actors out there dabbling in the name game that should get a mention. Guys you feel should take the red pill and find out how far the rabbit hole goes.
- Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves, Point Break)
- Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba, Pacific Rim)
- Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise, Days of Thunder)
- Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers)
- Mutt Williams (Shia Lebeouf, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
So there’s my list. Are you feeling deliciously sordid yet? Do you need the literature equivalent of a warm bath? Go soothe yourselves in Shakespeare if you must. Just know this: you’ll return to these characters. Their names and what they represent will always be a guilty pleasure and something you cannot resist. Just try it. Go on. Go ahead punk, make my day.