Why We All Love Bill Paxton

WilliamBillPaxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017) was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton. His father was a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. His mother was Roman Catholic, and he and his siblings were raised in her faith. Paxton was in the crowd when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas on the morning of his assassination on November 22, 1963. Photographs of an 8-year-old Paxton being lifted above the crowd are on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas. [Wikipedia]

We all love Bill Paxton. Here’s ten reasons why.

1. He was Titanic‘s anchor

You can hate on DiCaprio and Winslet all day, and still have a proper Jim Cameron subplot to enjoy, thanks to Bill Paxton’s treasure hunter. You can watch him with your girlfriend as he spars with Gloria Stuart and have no complaints.

Srs Pax.

2. He was the life of the party in “Fish Heads”

Bill Paxton conspired with Bill Mumy, and the result was Barnes & Barnes’ immortal “Fish Heads”. That’s Bill Paxton acquiring the titular heads, and subsequently partying with them. This is music-video DNA.

3. He was the absolute star of Aliens (1986)

No other character in the Alien saga is quoted as much as Bill Paxton’s Hicks HUDSON, SIR! HE’S HICKS! WHY DON’T YOU PUT HER IN CHARGE?! GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!

4. He could make a sleazeball lovable

True Lies (1994) is a true Hollywood anomaly. It has holes like a loaf of Swiss cheese, but it still holds up. It reminds you why you liked Tom Arnold, and Jamie Lee Curtis. It has action, comedy, and Bill Paxton as a used-car salesman with a tiny penis. Once again, he’s the best part of the movie.

5. He was goddamn MORGAN EARP

Bill Paxton played Wyatt Earp’s little brother in the absolutely spectacular 1993 western Tombstone. I literally have nothing but praise for that film. My fondness for it is as boundless as the American West. Holy tap-dancing sideways fuck, what a movie. Tom Mix wept.

So will your girlfriend, when Morg bites the dust.

6. He made good Predator fodder

1990’s Predator 2 is a lot better than people think. Morton Downey Jr. gets punched out. Danny Glover squares off against like ten space monsters. Ruben Blades didn’t ruin it by doing the soundtrack, like he did with Q&A. And Bill Paxton wears Dick Tracy suits, which he pits out, due to the heat.

That’s Maria Conchita Alonso at right. We were much more accepting of Hispanic actresses in the 90’s.

7. He made us give a shit about people who chase tornadoes

Twister (1996) is an unholy abortion of a movie, and we all loved it when it came out. It’s Roadhouse-level stupid. The flying cow is on par with Steve Oedekerk’s Kung Pao: Enter The Fist. It has Cary Elwes, widely known as the dashing hero of The Princess Bride, as the villain, and he gets a rather gruesome send-off. Ferret-faced Helen Hunt doesn’t even act with her nipples, like she did in As Good As It Gets. Why in tarnation did we/I see it so many times?!?

Bill Paxton as THE EXTREME, that’s why. THE EXTREME.

Like I said. Roadhouse-level stupid.

Auntie Em! It’s a stinker!

8. He was the ultimate asshole older brother

Bill was Chet Donnelly in 1985’s Weird Science. A theme in Bill Paxton’s filmography is the elevation of crap. Weird Science is another unforgivably stupid movie that we willingly forgive. Chet gets a line that etched itself indelibly in our minds, for future use tormenting hungover friends:

How ’bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?

Chet is transformed into a shit monster by Kelly LeBrock. Once again Bill Paxton steals the show.

9. He was Coconut Pete

Go rent Broken Lizard’s Club Dread (2004). It doesn’t matter that it’s not as good as Super Troopers, which isn’t actually that good. What does matter is that Cheryl Ladd’s daughter does a naked backflip, and that Bill Paxton does a Jimmy Buffett parody so spot-on, Buffett himself requested permission to perform Coconut Pete songs on his tour.

I’m getting tired of typing “best part of the movie”. Still, that naked backflip.

10. Near Dark (1987)

Greatest vampire movie ever made. It was directed by someone you might recognize; Kathryn Bigelow. The first woman to win the Best Director Oscar. (For The Hurt Locker, in 2009.)

She also directed Strange Days and Point Break. She didn’t just direct Near Dark, she co-wrote it. The greatest vampire movie ever made. You shouldn’t rent it; you should own it. 

Bill plays the psycho vampire Severen. He’s why no grown man has to care about TwilightInterview With The Vampire, or even The Lost Boys. The coolest vampire in the greatest vampire movie ever made.

Still, only part of why we all love Bill Paxton.

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