Great movie Cliches #2 – Spectacles of Death

She was killed by bat-monsters just after this photo was taken

That’s actually quite a cool title for a horror movie or heavy metal band so don’t be too disappointed when you find out what this is really about.  I’m referring to the movie cliche where characters with glasses almost always die. What is it about glasses that excites the grim reaper so much? I was watching Pitch Black the other night and the spectacle wearing, intellectual, weaselly guy was one of the first to kick the bucket. I’ve worn specs on and off for about twenty years and I have yet to be murdered by an unstoppable monster or a squad of Nazis. Although I have been killed while wearing contact lenses – eat that Hollywood! This isn’t the case in movies though, drop your glasses and you’re rendered blind and basically dead, sightless, meat.

If I was a cynical man (oh wait, I am) I would say that the stereotype of the glasses wearing geek is alive and well in Hollywood. Glasses are shorthand for weakness and/or intelligence relegating our bespectacled friends to scientists, cowards, or general nerds. Unless it’s a female in which case they’re usually super hot.

As (sort of) seen in: The Godfather Part 2, Jurassic Park, lots of war films

Let’s start with characters dropping their specs. This is usually proceeded with the glasses being stepped on. There’s some stumbling around followed by a gruesome death. See Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park for a good example of this.

I’m glad a dinosaur spat in his face and then ate him

Even if you don’t drop the glasses you’re still going to die. Short sighted people are rarely the hero unless you’re Austin Powers. Poncho in the greatest film ever lasts longer than most but inevitably is smooshed by an alien.

Then we have the case of the slimy glasses wearing asshole as seen in the character of Mo Green in The Godfather Part 2. He’s the nerdy Harrison Ford lookalike that gets shot through the eye by one of Michael Corleone’s thugs. Don’t they know how much lenses cost these days? (I’m going to try and forget the scene in the Godfather 3 where a man uses a pair of specs to murder someone).

Should have worn your bullet-proof pair Mo

The exception to the rule: The IPCRESS File

It would be an honour to be shot by Harry Palmer

Harry Palmer is a hero to myopic geeks like me. He’s a visually impaired James Bond who manages to be even cooler than 007. He’s a hit with the ladies, is super smart, and coolest of all he’s played by Michael Caine, the second best Michael in the world. Let’s raise our glasses to Harry Palmer! Ah shit I can’t see the screen nofjufhtjridfhej83#%&ejf.

Want to add any to the list? Have you been brutally slain while fumbling around for your glasses? Let me know below you visually challenged heroes of mine.


  1. “Have you been brutally slain while fumbling around for your glasses?”

    I have to wear glasses now for reading.

    Am I doomed?????



  2. Your theories seem to be very accurate. I’m especially going to stay away from Zooey Deschanel now. Hey – if she’s Satan, can she be killed while wearing glasses? Would glasses make her weaker?!


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