It’s time for a new installment of Who Would Win?, where we determine based on five scientific categories which movie villain would win in a fight. If they weren’t, ya know, fictional characters and all. In this week’s battle, it’s cult leader against cult leader. The Master from Manos: The Hands of Fate takes on Lord Summerisle of The Wicker Man. We’re of course pretending there is only one version of The Wicker Man, as it should be. Ready? Let’s do this.
Motivation: The Master’s motivations are unclear, but my best guess is that he just wants to have a lot of wives. Maybe he thinks it’s fun to enslave travelers and take their wives. He’s the type that gets off on a challenge. Lord Summerisle wants to be the smartest person on a whole island full of ignorant rabbit fuckers because that’s what his grandfather taught him to do. And make the crops grow, of course. He’s basically a hippie trustafarian. I can smell the patchouli. I’m more impressed with a self-made man, aren’t you? Does anyone really like rich kids? Decision: The Master
Origin: The Master is a man of mystery. We know he’s been away, and then he isn’t. Lord Summerisle has lived his whole life on Summerisle, watching underage naked girls jump over a fire and dressing up like Emo Phillips in a Shelley Duvall wig every Mayday. Of course, a 1973 Christopher Lee was pretty damn sexy, and at least his female consorts get along with each other unlike those mouthy wenches of The Master’s. Decision: Lord Summerisle
Nature: The Master is undead. His power comes from his rad black cape with the red hands (or manos, if you’re Spanish). Every lady loves a man in a cape. He has a centaur on the payroll and he can control people with hypnosis. He also has a few wives for henchmen, and a Frank Frazetta painting of Frank Zappa. Lord Summerisle is a real live mortal man. His power comes from his wild hair. Also, he might get killed by his sheeple next year if the crops fail. He needs a whole island full of fundamentalist soccer hooligans to help him roast one not very bright cop. Worst of all, there are numerous hints that Summerisle doesn’t even believe in the paganism. Decision: The Master
Availability: Both men are pretty elusive until about halfway through their respective movies. We hear a lot about them, but we don’t see them. However, The Master lures his victims with an unknown force to turn down his road and beg to stay at his place. Lord Summerisle has to send a letter to the mainland, stage a kidnapping, and trash a plane; then he has the audacity to claim Howie is going to the sacrifice of his own free will. Decision: The Master
Scariness: While Lord Summerisle is enchantingly gleeful and looks like a cool guy to party with, he isn’t all that scary. We’re all familiar with people who are motivated by greed and power. So as a villain, he’s ho hum. The Master, on the other hand, is inscrutable and unpredictable, and his movie is so horrifyingly bad that it spawned one of the best MST3K episodes EVAR! Decision: The Master
Well, it looks like it’s 4-1 for The Master. Sorry Lord Summerisle. Hope those crops thrive this year for ya, buddy. Maybe you should have had a painting of yourself up in your house instead of your old granddaddy.