Crazy Hairstyles

Ashley Clark

From the moment he unleashed the shocking screenplay for Kids in 1996, Harmony Korine has built a reputation as an uncompromising, left-field creative talent. But surely his most controversial move yet is to furnish James Franco’s head with ridiculous, K-Fed-esque cornrows for the upcoming Spring Breakers. In response we’ve trawled the archives through to find ten of the craziest hairstyles in cinema history. Be prepared.

1. Bill Murray as Ernie McCracken - Kingpin

In the Farrelly Brothers’ underrated bowling comedy, the hair of arch villain Ernie McCracken (Murray) stole the show. As the pressure told in the big finale, it developed a mind of its own. A completely brilliant mess.

2. John Travolta as Terl -  Battlefield Earth

Kudos to John Travolta for managing to keep a straight face long enough to get this sci-fi shambles in the can. Truly, these are the dreadlocks to end all dreadlocks. They’re everywhere (even his goatee has dreadlocks).

3. James Earl Jones as Thulsa Doom - Conan The Barbarian

Medieval romps have a way of throwing up spectacular haircuts, but this is something else. This severe (yet luxuriant) fringed bowl made one of America’s greatest actors look like a forgotten touring member of Slade. An absolute nightmare.

4. Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod - The Fifth Element

Chris Tucker burst onto the scene as the spectacularly irritating master of ceremonies Ruby Rhod in Luc Besson’s manic sci-fi fifth element. Luckily, his voice was drowned out by the sheer volume of his hair, which looked like a fluffy lemon hairdryer. In a film full of mad haircuts, this one took the prize.

5. Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men

If you’re as ruthless and relentless as psycho killer Anton Chigurh, you can have whatever haircut you want, even if it’s a rigid bob. What are people gonna do, laugh? Apparently based on a 1970s photograph of a mysterious man in a hotel, the haircut had a serious impact on actor Javier Bardem, who apparently became depressed because of it. He said: “"You see yourself, you see the haircut. You don't realise that it's affecting you in a very delicate way, through your own psyche”.

6. Sean Penn as Allen Klein - Carlito’s Way

There’s always been something funny about white men with afros, and this sweaty, glistening (yet somehow also severely balding) effort from Sean Penn as sleazy lawyer Klein in Carlito’s Way is no exception.

7. Samuel L Jackson as Rev. Fred Sultan - The Great White Hype

Some actors seem more predisposed toward crazy haircuts than others. Samuel L Jackson, for example, could fill this list on his own. Consider his dangly hitman jheri curl in Pulp Fiction, or the asymmetrical sci-fi fro in Unbreakable. But none can touch this weird grey rug for sheer incongruity. It’s like he went forward 30 years and stole a geriatric Halle Berry’s hair.

8. Halle Berry as Nisi - B*A*P*S

Speaking of Halle Berry, what about this towering effort from little-seen comedy B*A*P*S about a pair of waitresses whose dream is to open the world’s first hair salon and soul food restaurant. It ain’t a great film, but that hair deserves some serious love.

9. Eddie Murphy as Maximillian - Vampire In Brooklyn

Eddie Murphy’s comedy horror Vampire in Brooklyn didn’t go down well with the critics, but that might’ve been because they were too distracted by the otherworldly creation atop its star’s scalp. Possibly an homage to 80’s popstar Nick Ashford, it was a brave, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to revive the “blullet” (black man’s mullet).

10. Cameron Diaz as Mary - There’s Something About Mary

We couldn’t really not include this, could we? Fresh out of hair gel, Mary (Cameron Diaz) reaches for the convenient glob hanging from the ear of Ted (Ben Stiller). Except it ain’t hair gel. Never mind that the set-up for the joke didn’t make a blind bit of sense (Ted must have had some serious upward traction going on for his “release” to catch him at that angle), it’s an indelible moment, and perhaps the defining image of gross-out cinema.

Follow Ashley on Twitter: @_Ash_Clark 

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