My Six Favorite Bill Paxton Roles

There’s no doubt that Bill Paxton’s death has been felt not just in the horror genre, but in all genres. The man was able to effortlessly slide into any role and not just own it, but completely make it believable. Below is a list of my six favorite Bill Paxton roles.

from l-r, William Sadler, James Pickens, Jr., Bill Paxton

6. Trespass (1992)

What could have easily been a silly and farcical story was intense and uneasy, mainly due to Paxton’s character, Vince. A treasure hunt by two firemen lead them to a pretty unsavory neighborhood where they witness a murder committed by a very dangerous dude … who know hunts down our firemen. Stylishly directed with lots of action and drama make Trespass a surprisingly fun and disturbing film.

5. Predator 2 (1990)

Some say Gary Busey steals this film, but for my money, I thought Paxton’s Jerry Lambert shined in this film. He didn’t have a particularly big role, but whenever he was on screen, he dominated. But in all fairness, Busey’s death was way more satisfying.

4. Weird Science (1985)

Chet. Chet, Chet, Chet. Who didn’t love-hate Chet in this classic film? Paxton’s portrayal of older brother Chet is the very definition of douchebaggery. With such lines as, “How ’bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray,” and “You two donkey-dicks couldn’t get laid in a morgue,” Chet had audiences rolling with laughter in the aisles. Paxton was simply brilliant in this role and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing this part.

3. Aliens (1986)

“Game over, man!!” Paxton’s Private Hudson was macho and brave…. at first, but once the aliens appear, he turns into a sniveling, whiney, coward. Or is he the kind of person 99% of us would be in such a situation? Regardless of what you think of Paxton’s Hudson, it’s a fantastic character that Paxton beautifully brought to life.

2. Near Dark (1987)

What can I say about Paxton’s vampire Severen? Severen is charming, handsome, and at times downright likable. But, he’s also horrifyingly brutal, deranged, and psychopathic. He enjoys the hunt more than actually feeding, and the scene in the bar will have you sleeping with the lights on for weeks. Paxton really shines in this film and proves that he is most definitely one of the best working actors of his time.

1. Frailty (2001)

Although I love all the films on this list and Paxton’s performances in them, Frailty tops my list because in addition to starring in it, Paxton also directed. A single father of two one day tells his sons that God is working through him to rid the world of evil people. Is this true, or has Paxton’s Dad Meiks gone off his nut. In front of the camera, Paxton gives a wonderfully complex performance. You can’t help but like the man even though he is killing people. But at times, there is an unmistakable insanity behind his eyes. There lines are blurred here, and behind the camera, Paxton expertly weaves this story and has the audience guessing until the very end.

What is your favorite Bill Paxton movie or role? Sound off in the comments section below.

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