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School Of Hard Knocks – THN’s Double Hard Teachers

by John Sharp

‘Stop whining! You kids are soft. You lack discipline!’ – John Kimble, Teacher

Every child needs a great educator to inspire them. Not just in their studies, but in life. And sometimes, just sometimes, those lessons will include how to open up a can of whoop-ass. Academia is vital, but when cornered by a bunch of low-lifes, knowing the Pythagorean Theorem ain’t gonna do squat. As Kevin James demonstrates in HERE COMES THE BOOM, you need a professor who will stand up and fight. You need one tough tutor who will help you graduate The School Of Hard Knocks. With a mortar board made of fists.

Kevin James isn’t the only bad-ass educator with lessons in ‘laying the smackdown.’ Here’s THN’s Top 5 Double Hard Teachers.

Pam Ferris

Here is a principal so vile and sadistic, Michael Gove cracks one out to her every morning (at least that’s the rumour). Built like a brick hot house, she cuts an imposing figure and won’t take any sass from any naughty kids. Nor does she like well behaved kids. In fact any child is likely to feel the wrath of Miss Trunchbull, and they frequently do. Throughout the course of the film she swings a girl around by her pigtails and hurls her like a discus, force feeds a boy a cake the size and consistency of The Hulk’s latest bowel movement and slams innocent kiddywinks in The Chokey (a cupboard-cum-torture chamber). She may well have even murdered her brother-in-law. So, ethically dubious, but handy in a scrap.

What She Could Teach Us To Fuck People Up:
Brute strength
Emotional terrorism
Force feeding

James Tolkan
BACK TO THE FUTURE I & II (1985/1989)

The most no-nonsense teacher of all. His punishments to no-goodniks range from bops on the head with a bit of paper, to breaking out a shotgun. If there’s one thing he hates, it’s ‘Slackers!’ which could well make him a distant cousin of that bloke from ChuckleVision. In fact I’m sure of it. As stern as he is bald, he’s a strict disciplinarian and is practically the same here as he is in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987 – where he also brandishes a shotgun) and TOP GUN (1986) In all of these roles he just wants these goofy youngsters to straighten up and fly right. That works particularly well for TOP GUN. Because they’re pilots.

What He Could Teach Us To Fuck People Up:
Intimidate with baldness
Always carry a weapon; if no firearm is handy, a rolled up sports almanac will suffice
Shout the word SLACKER at them

Brendan Gleeson

Like The Trunchbull, he is frightening to behold. A big fella with a massive stick and one eye (easy!), his striking appearance is matched by his gruff voice and even gruffer personality. Formerly an Auror (dark wizard/witch hunter), he has caught and probably duffed up many a magical miscreant, so despite only having one leg, he could still kick plenty of arse. He’s a practical teacher too, getting his pupils ready to fight, showing them how to kill and punishing the cowardly. In one case, he turns young Malfoy into a ferret who then scurries down Crabbe’s trousers which inspired the strangest slash-fic I’ve ever read. And I once read one about Bob Peck banging a raptor. Clever girl.

What He Could Teach Us To Fuck People Up:
The Unforgivable Curses
Turning your attacker into a small mammal
Whirling your eye around until your opponents get upset and/or frightened

Harrison Ford
INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL 2008 (Now let us never speak of it again)

By far the most gentle teacher on this list, he is a well meaning academic who merely wants to help expand young minds and get precious artifacts to where they belong; a museum. But for an archeologist, he sure does murder a lot of people. Don’t challenge him to a sword fight, he’ll shoot you in the face. Get into a fist fight and he’ll break your nose and shred you with a propeller. He’s so tough that by closing his eyes, he diverts the power of God. Yes, that which emanates from the Ark of the Covenant and melts Nazis is withheld by the strength of his eyelids. That being the case, surviving a nuclear explosion and being hurled several miles in a fridge is a piece of piss. He’s also pretty handy with a whip, just like one of the teachers from my school. What fun those detentions were. What fun.

What He Could Teach Us To Fuck People Up:
If in doubt, shoot
Whip it good
Keep punching until they walk into a propeller
Close your eyes and it’ll be fine

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Even Mad Eye and Strickland would think twice about crossing this Austrian oak of an educator. Like Moody, he’s not really teacher but a badass criminal catcher. ‘I’M A COP, YOU IDIOT! I’M DETECTIVE JOHN KIMBLE!’ he quietly declares. He shoots people, he thumps abusive parents in front of his colleagues, he makes out with his lady-friend in front of the class and he threatens tiny children with physical violence. He screams constantly, to the point where you think he may be psychologically worrying. ‘SHUUUUUUT UUUUUP!’ he says to the ‘little terrorists’ that are his kindergarten class. ‘Stop whining! You kids are soft, you lack discipline. Well I’ve got news for you. You are MINE now. You belong to ME!’ He is even harsher than Miss Trunchball and yet, the kids love him. At one point on a plane, a kid no older than six is kicking the back of Kimble’s chair. The big man turns around and threatens to snap the kid like a pencil. The kid stops. Intimidation equals instant respect. And like Mad Eye, he has a thing for ferrets, which aids him in catching the bad guy in the end. When he returns to class, the children cheer for him. They know, they KNOW that each and every one of them will grow up to be muscular marauders as well as mentally magnificent members of society because of Mr John Kimble.

What He Could Teach Us To Fuck People Up:
Having biceps the size of a small cathedral
Use ferrets as a distraction and then shoot’em up
Find out who their daddy is, and what he does

HERE COMES THE BOOM is released in UK cinemas 9th November and is reviewed here.

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1 comment

Craig Hunter Nov 9, 2012 - 11:52 pm

No hard as fuck, bad ass Tom Berenger in The Substitute? How very dare you!


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