Battle Royale: Bad Movie Hair

To celebrate Tom Hank’s queasy quiff in this week’s Angels & Demons we’re putting the Wrongest Hair title up for grabs…

It’s a follicle smackdown, with tag-team champions Nicolas Cage and John Travolta taking on all comers.

So, let's get ready for the Royal Rumble of Receding Hairlines...

Sean Penn, Carlito’s Way (1993)

Like Penn’s mob lawyer David Kleinfeld, this white afro is serving up no justice.

Curliness: 8

Frizziness: 7

Cringe Factor: 8

Out-fuzzed by…

Nic Cage, Adaptation (2002)

This is one Cage match that Penn won’t win, thanks to the double team of Donald and Charlie Kaufman.

Curliness: 8

Frizziness: 10

Cringe Factor: 9[page-break]

John Travolta, Swordfish (2001)

Travolta’s Gabriel Shear is a bad, bad man. He has a haircut to match, complete with ‘soul patch’ accessory.

Evilness: 6

Resemblance to boobies: 3

Cringe Factor: 7

Topped by…

Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

In this battle of the bad guys, the Prince of Darkness is not going to be trumped, and easily takes the hairpiece… er, crown.

Evilness: 10

Resemblance to boobies: 10

Cringe Factor: 10 [page-break]

JCVD, Hard Target (1993)

Jean Claude Van Damme, that’s a mullet worth being shot at for. Not surprising he was a hard target with that greased bonce.

Business in front/party at back ratio: 9

Greasiness : 9

Cringe Factor: 9

Prison-shanked by…

Nic Cage, Con Air (1997)

Winning the battle of the rednecks, though, is Cage’s Cameron Poe, with flowing locks that a cousin-romancer would be proud of.

Business in front/Party at back ratio: 10

Greasiness: 9

Cringe Factor: 10 [page-break]

Cher, Mermaids (1990)

Cher plays a single mother in 1960s Massachusets… but that’s hardly an excuse.

Hugeness: 9

Curl-under-ability: 8

Cringe Factor: 8

Dragged-out by…

John Travolta, Hairspray (2007)

Oh good Lord, the horror. Travolta takes this round through sheer terror. The dress isn’t half as scary as the wig.

Hugeness: 9

Curl-under-ability: 9

Cringe Factor: 10[page-break]

Nic Cage, National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

This Da Vinci Code -lite series has borrowed much from it’s source inspiration, but the hair, like the plot, is looking a bit thin.

Forehead exposure : 8

Comb-over factor: 6

Cringe Factor: 7

Bowled-over by…

Bill Murray, Kingpin (1996)

The one true king of the combovers. Not even the bus-station loony could threaten his syrup-requiring supremacy.

Forehead exposure: 9

Comb-over factor: 10

Cringe Factor: 10[page-break]

Kevin Costner, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)

Costner sullies classic English folklore with a ridiculous accent and this more ridiculous mullet. We're rooting for the Sheriff.

Anachronistic styling factor: 7

Maintenance issues: 7

Cringe Factor: 7

Spiritualised by…

John Travolta, Michael (1996)

Travolta’s archangel Michael didn’t fall from Heaven. He was kicked out for not being able to find the celestial barber.

Anachronistic styling factor: 8

Maintenance issues: 8

Cringe Factor: 8[page-break]

Tom Hanks, The Da Vinci Code (2006)

The lack of haircut that inspired this list, Tom Hanks should be forced to apologise to the Church, Opus Dei and film fans for this bouffant.

Scalp visibility: 9

Inappropriate length for character: 9

Cringe Factor: 9

Out-flopped by…

Nicolas Cage, Next (2007)

Not only does this haircut - and film - expect you to suspend disbelief, it asks you to completely disregard the rules of attraction after Cage pulls Jessica Biel.

Scalp visibility: 10

Inappropriate length for character: 10

Cringe Factor: 10 [page-break]

Nicolas Cage, Valley Girl (1983)

Look at that fresh face! It’s summer 1983, and Nicolas Cage is launching his assault on the world box office. And barnets in general.

Retro-styling over-kill: 9

Ladykilling factor: 9

Cringe Factor: 9

Out-elevated by…

Brad Pitt, Johnny Suede (1991)

Look at that fresh face! It’s summer 1991 and Brad Pitt is launching his assault on Nic Cage’s bad hair trophy. And he’s winning.

Retro-styling over-kill: 10

Ladykilling factor: 10

Cringe Factor: 10[page-break]

Jack Black, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Only one thing to say: there is no good excuse for dreadlocks on white people. Not even for a joke.

Visual pain inducement: 9

Career-ending potential: 8

Cringe Factor: 9

Thumped by...

John Travolta, Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000)

Apparently this is the greatest film of all time, it’s just that Travolta’s manky dreads are so terrible, they detract from its allegorical profundity.

Visual pain inducement: 10

Career-ending potential: 10

Cringe Factor: 11 (This goes way beyond a 10)[page-break]

Nicolas Cage, Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

Cage plays an assassin in Thailand who kills people with his awful hair. So bad it kept the audience away, too.

Last-thing-you-see-before-you-die awfulness: 9

Importance to menacing-aura: 8

Cringe Factor: 9

Assassinated by…

Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men (2007)

Bardem plays an assassin who kills people with a pneumatic bolt-gun. The haircut accentuates his lighter, more playful side.

Last-thing-you-see-before-you-die awfulness: 10

Importance to menacing-aura: 10

Cringe Factor: 10

And the winner is...

Final Score: Cage/Travolta 6 Rest of the World 4

Kneel before the mighty partnership of Cage/Travolta, sitting pretty in the barber's seat of Bad Movie Hair domination.

Celebrate by watching Face/Off .

And then get that hair cut.