Sunday, September 11, 2005

Let's Hear it for the Headbutt!

I happened to catch Green Street Hooligans twice this weekend (some friends were going on Saturday, and I figured, why not). The second time I paid more attention to the details, and one thing I noticed was that the fistfight moments that got the biggest crowd reactions were the headbutts.

The reason for this is obvious: the headbutt is nature's greatest weapon. Like the fierce spikes of the Stegosaurus, a headbutt transforms the purely defensive evolutionary trait of a thick skull and turns it into your own personal cudgel. Your fists and those carrot-stick finger bones weren't meant to take hard blows. Your skull was.

I remember many years ago I was sitting at home watching one of those (lower case) after-school specials, this one about a girl who was raped and her family's attempts to deal with the aftermath when the assailant (another student) isn't prosecuted. I was only half-watching it with a friend, mostly making fun of how poorly the movie was done. We were having particular fun mocking the girl's boyfriend, a total wuss. Then came a scene when the girl and her boyfriend meet up with the evil date raper, who openly jokes about the rape. The boyfriend did nothing, until ...


and suddenly my friend and I cheered and took back everything mean we'd said about the boyfriend. The entire two hour film was redeemed by that headbutt. I tried to find the film on the Internet, but "high school headbutt rape" was the best search term I could come up with, and that didn't work)

The headbutt:
A). Looks really cool.
B). Is best when it comes out of the blue like the one described above, or even better when the headbutter is being held by the arms by the headbuttee so that you think he's unable to fight until THWAP!
C). Can make a wet end like the dude described above come out looking like Vinnie fucking Jones. (side note: Jones has been cast to play the Juggernaut in the new X-Men flick, which is excellent casting) Jones delivers an excellent headbutt in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The headbutt is sort of a Brit phenomenon (it even showed up at the Leeds festival last week), as you can tell from the film references above. My theory: soccer teaches it to you.

But is doesn't have to be that way. Folks, if you're looking for a way to drop some pure bad-ass into your fiction or film, have a headbutt. You're welcome.

(ps --I racked my brain for some other great headbutts in film, but came up dry. What's your favorite headbutt?)


Blogger Trench said...

I never thought about the headbutt like that before but you're absolutely right.


There's a pretty decent headbutt scene in the movie Red Eye.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

If I recall, Nick Nolte does some tough headbutts in the 48 Hours series. At least one.

1:38 PM  

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