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Is Warren Mears a scary big bad? Debate

RiverandFaith

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Personally I have always felt that while each big bad had their reasons to be scary/terrifying/whatever-word-you-want, Warren was always the scaries for me because he could be real. You won't see Glory with her minions on your morning commute or Angelus at the store, but Warren could be anywhere. Throughout the series there are demons and supernatural everywhere which makes the show fun to watch or analysis. However when Warren comes in with a gun and shoots Buffy in the backyard, that stuff happens everyday, which takes away the fun boogy whoogitiy of things, and makes you see reality in your hero. I want to know other's feelings on Warren as a villain.
 

Priceless

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For me, Warren Mears was the scariest for the reasons stated. The way he deliberately set out to rape Katrina was chilling and we saw with April how he truly felt about women. He bonded with two men, but only ones who were weaker than him who he believed he could manipulate. He is the guy who keeps girls locked in his basement for years, the guy who loses it and walks into work with an automatic weapon, the guy who beats his wife and children but presents a clean cut face to the world.
 

vampmogs

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Honestly, not at all.

He repulses me but I'd be lying if I pretended to be scared by him or if I considered him the scariest Big Bad. Even at his most threatening (raping Katrina or shooting Tara) I just feel more sickened by him than scared. I find him too pathetic to be scary and he elicits such passionate feelings of disgust and hatred in me that even if he had a gun pointed at me, I think I'd be too angry to be feel fear.

The scariest Big Bad for me was Angelus in Passion. He's scary in that episode for many of the reasons you find Warren to be (the banality of his evil) but I also know he's one of the most infamous serial killers in the world who has the strength and brains to carry out his evil. For instance, the moment when he's waiting for Joyce on the Summer's front lawn is really disconcerting for me because it feels too real. No matter how many times I rewatch that scene, knowing that Joyce makes it inside, I'm still on edge as she fumbles for her keys and he looms over at the door. Then later, when he confronts Jenny at the school, I find it really terrifying when he lashes out and violently hurls the orb at the blackboard just beside her head. BtVS is full of action scenes but something about that moment is so realistically violent and I find it particularly unnerving seeing as how Angelus typically portrayed such a cool exterior. It was a brief window into his inner rage at Jenny for daring to try and re-ensoul him again.

Other than that I don't find any of the Big Bad's particularly "scary."
 

Honoria Dedlock

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You can definitely see Glory around in the real world...the obnoxious blonde fashionista can be spotted hiking in L.A and other bourgeoisie haunts. Those of her kind may not have the super strength of the hell goddess, but I can assure you the obnoxious entitled attitude is common. 😁 ("Hello! This is America! Speak the English!" Bloody racist hell God!)

For me the scariest big bad was Drusilla because of her insanity. I remember in Angel she commented on Lilah's beautiful skin. Lilah replied: "I use moisturizer." Then Drusilla replied "How very thoughtful of you'" and starts shivering. It gave me chills.

Same when she approaches a kid on Buffy and asked him: "What will your mommy sing when they find your body?"

I mean, outright threatening to kill a kid? I don't think even Angelus went that far. Bloody nutjob!

Between Drusilla and Angelus they killed two sort-of Scoobies (Jenny and Kendra) so they're definitely among the two most dangerous. But Warren did kill Tara, which sort of puts those three in a similar league of somewhat successful evil.
 
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Athene
Athene
Dru also said she'd find a nice toddler to eat. Maybe she had a thing for children.
RiverandFaith
RiverandFaith
While I understand that outright threatening with kids being quite a heartless thing, I don't see Angelus having any problems with it. I feel that Dru and Angelus have similar boundaries, but very different approaches.

DeadlyDuo

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Warren is a bit of a fridge horror villain. He's not scary at all, especially when compared to the other big bads (or even minor villains like The Gentlemen, Der Kinderstod or Gnarl), however the fridge horror is that Warren could be real, none of the others are.
 

TriBel

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I mean, outright threatening to kill a kid? I don't think even Angelus went that far. Bloody nutjob!
"Angelus sensed her purity and became obsessed with destroying her, as Drusilla had the potential for sainthood. Angelus first made contact with her by murdering Drusilla's priest, and impersonating him when she went to confession. When she confessed that she believed her abilities were evil, Angelus toyed with her by suggesting she embrace the evil instead of rejecting it. At some later point Angelus tortured and killed Drusilla's entire family, causing her to flee to a convent in Prague. On the day she was to take her holy vows, Angelus made her watch as he killed every person in the convent and engaged in sexual relations with Darla. The trauma of Angelus's atrocities drove Drusilla insane, and Angelus chose to turn her into a vampire, as he considered her a masterpiece, a testament to his talent. Believing death to be a mercy to her at this point, he chose to sire her to make her pain eternal as an immortal." Wiki.

And Drusilla's the nutjob...because she threatened a kid? I'm gobsmacked! o_O Dru's guilty of not behaving like a mother but it's okay for Angelus to emulate a father etc.?

And yes...Warren's the scariest...for the reasons listed above.
 

Honoria Dedlock

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"Angelus sensed her purity and became obsessed with destroying her, as Drusilla had the potential for sainthood. Angelus first made contact with her by murdering Drusilla's priest, and impersonating him when she went to confession. When she confessed that she believed her abilities were evil, Angelus toyed with her by suggesting she embrace the evil instead of rejecting it. At some later point Angelus tortured and killed Drusilla's entire family, causing her to flee to a convent in Prague. On the day she was to take her holy vows, Angelus made her watch as he killed every person in the convent and engaged in sexual relations with Darla. The trauma of Angelus's atrocities drove Drusilla insane, and Angelus chose to turn her into a vampire, as he considered her a masterpiece, a testament to his talent. Believing death to be a mercy to her at this point, he chose to sire her to make her pain eternal as an immortal." Wiki.

And Drusilla's the nutjob...because she threatened a kid? I'm gobsmacked! o_O Dru's guilty of not behaving like a mother but it's okay for Angelus to emulate a father etc.?

And yes...Warren's the scariest...for the reasons listed above.
I didn't make any excuses for Angelus...in fact I mentioned his murder of Jenny as putting him in the same league as Drusilla. I'm not really sure where you're inferring I somehow think he's morally superior to Drusilla?

Drusilla's creepiness has nothing to do with her inverting the 'maternal' role (though it is worth noting it's a precedent set by Bram Stoker: in Dracula, the male vampires are depicted as targeting sexually attractive women, and the prominent female vampire of the novel targets children), although it does contribute...anyone who murders in cold blood is at least somewhat scary.

What sets Drusilla apart is her unpredictability. She will kill a slayer on Monday, have tea with Ms. Edith on Tuesday, do a tarot card reading on Wednesday, use mosisturizer on her skin on Thursday, attempt an apocalypse on Friday...it's very unnerving. Angelus is far more predictable.

Also , Juliet is a superior actress to David Boreanz. Angelus could have been scarier in the hands of a better actor, but Juliet nails it as Drusilla.
 

white avenger

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Warren was probably the only truly evil character in the entire series. Vampires, demons, hell gods, and the like are all dangerous, deadly predators, and therefore a threat to be eliminated, but, in the end, they were simply creatures being true to their nature, the same as a lion or a wolf. The Slayer and her allies fight them in defense of mankind.

Warren was something totally different: a bully, a manipulator, and a sociopath. He was a monster to his own species, wvery bit as bad as Mayor Wilkins, but at least Wilkins had no soul that should have been guiding him. Warren actually had a soul, but he just plain didn't care.
 

TriBel

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I'm not really sure where you're inferring I somehow think he's morally superior to Drusilla?
I'm not inferring anything: "I mean, outright threatening to kill a kid? I don't think even Angelus went that far", is a bald statement.
What sets Drusilla apart is her unpredictability.
I'd probably agree with that. TBH, I'm not objecting to your choice...it's your prerogative...and she is scary...perhaps unheimlich. What stunned me was the fact that a women who is clearly the monstrous feminine is worse than the man who went to elaborate means to make her thus.
 

thrasherpix

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I've been stalked twice, plus one online (he was easy to deal with, though). Two of them thought I was their soulmate, while the other was just a psychopath having a bit of sport (but displayed an obsession who terrorized any who knew me in trying to find me), though all made me fear for my life and safety (though again, I was able to foil the online stalker before it got too bad). At least in my situation I did not date any of them, nor did they know my family, which was a big relief or it would've been so much worse and I'd have to worry for the safety of others as well. Their intensity made Angelus a terrifying villain to me as it hit a bit too close to home.

As for the Warrens out there, they worry me, but not as much as they do some others. Perhaps growing up as I did (and spending some time as an underage runaway on the streets, which is where a psychopath became obsessed with me) has made me jaded to it all. There are lots of scary things in the world, and the Warrens are just one more thing I could fit into a list of the "hundred things I fear" in manifestations of both human and natural evils. And yet I'm not particularly worried about for the most part, even if I try to be prepared just in case without getting neurotic about it.

(I do worry about the copycats after a mass shooting, and after one targeted women at a gym because "beautiful women" wouldn't date him, I did find going to the gym stressful for awhile after that. Me and my girlfriend both were also threatened to be "executed as God commands" at any time for being lesbians after he got our license plate number, and that did terrorize us for awhile. Still, Warren doesn't remind me of them, though I can see superficial similarities. Maybe if that guy who shot up a gym could build a robot like Warren could then he'd have never gone on a shooting spree, I don't know.)
 

Honoria Dedlock

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I'm not inferring anything: "I mean, outright threatening to kill a kid? I don't think even Angelus went that far", is a bald statement.
Well you're completely ignoring all the reasons I gave for finding Drusilla creepy and honing in on things I didn't even say. It wasn't just the fact that she threatened a kid...it's how she threatened him (which I detailed with a quote) She sings a Victorian song and talks to him gently. When the child says he's not supposed to play with strangers, she suddenly snaps and says "well I'm not a human." Everything about the scene is spectacularly creepy . The only equivalent to it I can think of is in prophecy girl when the vampires smear the blood of their victims on the television. That is my opinion. You're not compelled to agree with it.

I'd probably agree with that. TBH, I'm not objecting to your choice...it's your prerogative...and she is scary...perhaps unheimlich. What stunned me was the fact that a women who is clearly the monstrous feminine is worse than the man who went to elaborate means to make her thus.
I never said she was worse than Angelus...neither can be judged by moral standards..they're both vampires for god sake...and as others pointed out, Angelus and Darla killed children, with Darla using a baby as a litmus test for Angel. They are vampires. They are all equally vile.

I just believe Drusilla was scarier and a more effective villlian than Angelus because of how she exacted her threats and kills because of the character execution, dialogue, and Juliet's acting.

Again you seem to be thinking I somehow believe Drusilla to be the most morally depraved character, which is not true. This thread is about SCARY characters, not most evil. If it were, I'd say Anyanka wins by a mile, having killed thousands of people with a soul informing her choice. I suppose you think that's sexist too because she's a woman? 🙄
 
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TriBel

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I suppose you think that's sexist too because she's a woman? 🙄
Nope...I tend not to use the word "sexist". I'm embarrassed to say I'm often oblivious to sexism - particularly of the everyday variety. I'm much more interested in the psycho-social and structural implications of sexual difference, in Female rather than Woman. I'm a really boring person who needs to get out more and a let down to my more politically active feminist friends. :(

The "monstrous feminine" is a key term from a key text in horror film criticism - Barbara Creed's The The Monstrous Feminine: film, feminism, psychoanalysis. I can't prove it (I haven't tried) but I'm fairly sure Whedon's aware of it - he's a film studies graduate who, by his own admission, was far more interested in theory than practice. In addition, he's obviously familiar with Robin Wood (another seminal critic of horror) because he pays homage to him in naming his character (this is documented and I've read articles where he discusses Wood's ideas). He's also familiar with Joseph Campbell.

Here's the publisher's blurb (though it fails to acknowledge the import of Julia Kristeva and her theory of abjection).

In almost all critical writings on the horror film, woman is conceptualised only as victim. In The Monstrous-Feminine Barbara Creed challenges this patriarchal view by arguing that the prototype of all definitions of the monstrous is the female reproductive body. With close reference to a number of classic horror films including the Alien trilogy, The Exorcist and Psycho, Creed analyses the seven 'faces' of the monstrous-feminine: archaic mother, monstrous womb, vampire, witch, possessed body, monstrous mother and castrator. Her argument that man fears woman as castrator, rather than as castrated, questions not only Freudian theories of sexual difference but existing theories of spectatorship and fetishism, providing a provocative re-reading of classical and contemporary film and theoretical texts.

Your comments about Anya have set me thinking though.
 

spikenbuffy

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No, I'm not really scared by Warren, the only time that I was slighly scared was in Dead Things when him & Andrew were excited to get away with murder. Jonathan looked at them at that moment like he wanted to get away from them fast and regretted to be involved with them.
Warren is a villain that I just hate and I have only pity for him, poor boy. I just see him as a kid in a man's body that shouldn't have played with fire.

About Dru, I agree that she is scary, it's the way Juliet played her role, she seems pale, fragile but cold at the same time when she sometimes talk plus she's insane. Though Angelus & Dru both make me scared as hell.

There's also Marcus in S1 of ATS that was truly scary & creepy.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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Katrina says something interesting to the Trio. She calls them boys playing at being men. The implication is that they are not mature or masculine enough to be convincing bad guys. We have this idea that bad guys are supposed to be cool. They are badass. They have street smarts or credibility. There is a part of us who admire them.

Someone like Warren is met with repulsion or pity, but he would rarely be taken seriously, even though he is as equipped to cause harm as any other.

The truth is, anyone can fire a gun and anyone can bludgeon someone with a champagne bottle. As public shootings become more common, we need to acknowledge that you don't need to be a Bond villain to be dangerous.
 

Honoria Dedlock

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No, I'm not really scared by Warren, the only time that I was slighly scared was in Dead Things when him & Andrew were excited to get away with murder. Jonathan looked at them at that moment like he wanted to get away from them fast and regretted to be involved with them.
Warren is a villain that I just hate and I have only pity for him, poor boy. I just see him as a kid in a man's body that shouldn't have played with fire.

About Dru, I agree that she is scary, it's the way Juliet played her role, she seems pale, fragile but cold at the same time when she sometimes talk plus she's insane. Though Angelus & Dru both make me scared as hell.

There's also Marcus in S1 of ATS that was truly scary & creepy.
Warren is scary because he was genuinely unstable. So was Willow. Something about the lightness and casual way she began threatening people was much like Warren.

The scariest Angel villain for me was definitely Billy from season three. The actor conveyed such effortless creepiness.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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To me personally? No. He comes off as an After-School Special bad guy or a bad X-men Villain. I mean, we already had the abusive ex-boyfriend par excellence in Angelus. We saw another rendition of it in Pete, which was crap. Some will argue that both Xander and Riley were abusive boyfriends, good for you. I thought he did job of transitioning from a joke villain, and I thought his full heel turn was set up well, but scary? Really, he's just a regular Buffy villain without any charm. Like Luke.
 

atiredonnie

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i'm sure others have said this, but warren to me is pretty terrifying because of how well he encapsulates so much of the theme of buffy season 6 as a whole and how much damage he's capable of doing even as just like, a completely mortal dude. buffy season 5 was so incredibly over the top, the most fantastical buffy ever got in terms of scope, villains, character, everything. season 6 couldn't stop that, so it went the complete opposite route and highlighted the absolute horror of the mundane, how buffy's own declining mental health does more damage to her than countless monsters or supervillains, how the monotony of life and the very real expectations the world has from you can slowly steal away at your sanity and ability to enjoy your life, how people just being people can be and often are infinitely more dangerous than fairytale monsters. warren was the apex of that in my vision, just your regular white misogynist dudebro that is even more topically relevant now in the wake of things like gamergate and the entire idea of le sjws ruining our video games. he wreaks more havoc with a gun than anybody else can muster with their array of magical items and spells and sorcery, because the pain of real life is something that buffy had been trying to highlight for years and in this season finally had the thematic buildup to actually attack it from every angle. warren is horrifying not in spite of being human, but because of it.
 

Altoz

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To be honest, at first I found Warren merely pathetic, then I was sickened and disgusted by what he did to Katrina, and loathed him. When he killed Tara, and got his comeuppance from Darkwillow, he damned himself out of his own mouth with his offay misogynist crap toward Buffy and his lack of remorse when confronted with Katrina's ghost and for killing Tara. Morally and ethically, he's a cesspool. And I hated the fact that he was brought back, albeit skinned, in Season 8. He should have stayed dead.
 
K
katmobile
It's one thing I hated about the comics is their inability to let dead big bads lie. They did use D'Hoffryn really well though but he didn't count as he was never a big bad.

TriBel

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@katmobile "It's one thing I hated about the comics is their inability to let dead big bads lie"
And I hated the fact that he was brought back, albeit skinned, in Season 8. He should have stayed dead.
But if the Big Bads are metaphors (in Warren's case for extreme misogyny) it makes sense that they don't simply lay down and die. The point being, whatever they are representative of doesn't go away. In Warren's case, the skin (hegemony) is stripped away - we see his abjectness, his structure (the abjectness, the structure, of misogyny) and yet he lives (sometimes in disguised form). It's telling that Buffy has a dream about marrying Warren (@Priceless - a comment that makes me hate S12 even more).

.
 
Priceless
Priceless
Season 12 - burn it down, burn it all down and salt the earth
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