David Koechner plays a horrible rich person in Cheap Thrills, out on home video this week. Holding out cash as a reward, he lures two financially-desperate men into a series of dares, endangering their mental well-being and possibly their lives. But he's hardly the first person of means to act in a reprehensible manner, as the examples in this gallery make clear.
By Peter Martin
American Psycho (2000)
Investment banking executive Christian Bale is made of money, the kind of money that can bankroll an extravagant lifestyle in Manhattan. But he is also suffering from a severe mental disorder, one that causes extreme suffering to others when he murders them in cold blood.
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
In this remake of William Castle's 1959 original, Geoffrey Rush takes on the role originated by Vincent Price. Here he's a billionaire businessman who throws a party for his estranged wife in a former psychiatric asylum, the scene of a notorious mass murder. With sadistic glee, he offers one million dollars to any party guest who can survive the night.
Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
A very rich man (F. Murray Abraham) dies, leaving his estate to family members. On the face of it, that's a good thing, but it turns out that his home is filled with hostile ghosts, a fact that the wealthy -- and malicious -- collector knew very well.
Ray Milland is the most unpleasant patriarch of a family that gathers together for an annual July 4th celebration on his private island. Proudly referring to himself and his clan as the "ugly rich," he proves it by using poison on the over-abundance of frogs and toads on his property. Don't worry: eventually he gets his comeuppance for black-hearted, selfish actions.
Usually we don't think about Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) in terms of the wealth he's accumulated over the centuries he's been alive, but consider the opulence of his huge castle, his resplendent clothing, and his ability to travel freely throughout Europe. For all his wealth, however, he certainly doesn't treat people very well, sucking them dry at the first opportunity.
Gary Oldman is barely recognizable as Mason Verger, a despicable pedophile who enjoys making children suffer. He's also incredibly wealthy, which allows him to stay alive and plot revenge against Hannibal Lector, who convinced him to cut off most of his own face.
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Slum lords don't get any creepier than the couple depicted in Wes Craven's frightening tale, which follows a boy who sneaks into his landlords' home in search of a way to avoid his family being evicted. But he discovers that some rich people are truly horrible, in every sense of the word.
Backpackers in Europe act like, well, ugly Americans, but their uncouth behavior certainly doesn't merit the torture that is meted out to them. And, without giving anything away, those responsible are evil, evil men -- who are very, very wealthy.
Count Dracula was a wealthy individual vampire, but even his great fortune cannot compare to the riches amassed by the vampires in this movie. While they luxuriate in style, their mortal enemies, the werewolves, must be content with living in the slimy recesses of the subway.
The Freelings, a typical, middle-class suburban family, gets caught in the middle when they buy a home in a new development. What the family doesn't know is that the developers, in search of the almighty dollar, have built the house on top of a sacred burial ground, and the spirits are not happy. The developers are the worst sort of horrible rich people: they make other people pay for their sins.
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