When you look as chewed up as Jonah Hex, you're bound to only have death and the acrid smell of gunsmoke as your companion. No one is ever going to see you as anything but an outcast and outlaw, so you might as well become one. Jonah has always dealt with his scars as pragmatically and sarcastically as a man can, but he still gets sensitive about it. He's had a lot of nasty adversaries and adventures in his tortured life, but only dinner in the presence of a lady can really make him flinch.
Jonah is a lone wolf, and doesn't even like the friends he has, so I doubt this list will really provide him with any new drinking buddies. But I thought in honor of this fantastically scarred gunslinger, I'd list five of the ugliest faces and scars in film. These aren't necessarily the best or most famous, but I picked the ones that made me flinch. I may be biased (it is Josh Brolin, after all), but I think that Jonah's a right handsome devil in comparison to these poor souls.
The list is below, along with gloriously gruesome photos. See if you agree,and feel free to add your favorite mangled men and women (this is equal opportunity even if I didn't list any ladies) to the list.
1. The Phantom of the Opera
Any list of impossible-to-love faces has to begin with the poor Phantom of the Opera. He's a man of a thousand different versions -- the "death's head" originally envisioned by Gaston Leroux, the acid scarred Claude Rains, the pasty Michael Crawford, and the bronzed, barely-deformed Gerard Butler. It just doesn't matter how well he sings, composes, or plays, it's never enough to compensate for his ghastly demeanor. For the purposes of the list, I'll pick the most famous and faint-inducing Phantom, as envisioned by Lon Chaney Sr.
Poor Harvey Dent. Geekdom isn't to be blamed for your grotesque injury, but there's probably something very unhealthy in how eager we were to see you suffer it. I still remember just how exciting it was when the trailer showed Dent lying in a pool of gasoline. I'm not sure the CG make-up really lived up to the hype (remember rumors that it would be a schizophrenic, half-and-half performance?), and it's probably the one moment Nolan really veered out of his "real world." (Come on, no bandages?) But damn, was it tragic to see the White Knight lose his looks and sanity. At least he has a friend and drinking partner in Jonah Hex. Man, DC really likes to hack at their menfolk's faces.
3. Fake Andrew Laeddis, Shutter Island
Even Leonardo DiCaprio's tortured description of "Andrew" doesn't do justice to this blink-and-you-miss-it cameo of Elias Koteas. He describes a mere scar across the face, but Martin Scorsese gives us a barely healed open wound. (The staples are such a good, gory touch.) No, that's not a face you're likely to forget, and it's one you wanted desperately to believe was lurking in cellblock C as the true villain of the piece.
4. Carl Fogarty, A History of Violence
Carl's scar is tame in comparison to the guys above. But hey, I have a thing about eyes. While Carl may have healed up relatively nicely (I'm sure Two-Face would kill to still have eyelids), it was always the description of Joey Cusack ripping it out with barbed wire that got me. I mean, think about it. Barbed wire. In the eye. And it's so bad, every character you encounter after Carl mentions what a sick psycho Joey was to do such a thing.
5. The Joker, The Dark Knight
Oh, come on. Like I want 50,000 comments demanding to know why he's not on here. Besides, a Glasgow grin? Any way the Joker really earned one (self-inflicted or punishment by some criminal or other), just the thought of it is enough to turn you into ... well, a psychotic criminal hunting Batman.
A quiet and honorable mention goes to Mad Max in Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome. The damaged eyeball is just the kind of subtle scar work I love, and the kind of character continuity few films keep up. Unfortunately, I can't find a single photo that shows it off.