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Friday, 10 October 2014

Fictional Polluters in Books, Movies and Television

#1: Danielle Atron
Danielle Atron was played by actress Louan Gideon in the 1990's television program The Secret World of Alex Mack. She was the main antagonist of the series; her entire career was working as the C.E.O. of a chemical plant in the small but modern, corporate town of Paradise Valley. Her goal in life is to hunt down Alex, a middle school girl who becomes a victim of Atron's hazardous chemical shipping when a moron truck driver spills a barrel of a hazardous drug.

#2: Dr. Killemoff
Dr. Killemoff comes from a planet where he and his species survive on pollution the way humans survive on air and water. He comes to Earth disguised as an industrialist as he plots to pollute the fictional city of Tromaville. He was in several comic books and a television series called Toxic Crusaders.

#3: Pollution
As his first and only name implies, Pollution is the embodiment of pollution, one of the four horsepersons of the apocalypse in the novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It is suggested that he was responsible for the Chernobyl disaster, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, among other pollution, but he is a fictional character.
#4: The Once-Ler
The Once-ler was the nonsensical name of a depressed and lonely former industrialist in Dr. Seuss'  The Lorax. It wasn't until recently that a major-motion animated picture dove more into the history of the character himself, giving him a face and a personality. Appartly he was a simple-minded guy who had an idea, but as the idea grew as did the pollution from his products and the environmental devastation, eventually leaving the city he set up his factories in virtually empty.

#5: Mr. Hurley
Mr. Hurley was a fictional persona to keep the privacy of the real boss of Karen Silkwood when her tragic story was adapted into a film. He worked at the Kerr-McGee plutonium refining corporation and tried to cover up the fact that one of his workers, Karen Silkwood, was getting sick from plutonium by bribing her. She refused, and died later on in a car crash. Her story is real, but still a mystery as to what caused the crash. Mr. Hurley was played by Bruce McGill in the 1983 film Silkwood.
#6: Compton Dawes
Compton Dawes was a kind but corrupt real-estate agent, in the Goosebumps novel Welcome to Dead House, as well as its TV movie adaptation in 1997. It tells the disturbing tale of a family that moves to a small and run-down industrial town where they are perused by mutant zombie-like creatures who were once the town's residents. Both the book and TV movie vary greatly, but one thing featured in both but unfortunately never shown on-screen or discussed in detail was the chemical factory accident that killed the residents years ago. Dawes sells a certain house in town to a new family each year to feed the residents of Dark Falls, thus exposing the families to pollution and ultimately death. In the TV movie Dawes was played by Ian D. Clark.
 #7: Shaw Plastics
Cold Case aired an episode of their show called 'Breaking News' which takes place in the Eighties and tells the tragic story of a news reporter who investigates Shaw Plastics' CEO and gets murdered in the process. She discovers from a former Shaw employee and a lackey for the CEO that Shaw knew about the highly carcinogenic effects of pesticides but continued to let workers be around them with no warning. The reporter's murder is officially closed by the Cold Case detectives.
#8: Tom Schmidt
Played by G. W. Bailey, Mr. Schmidt was a fictional secondary character in the 1985 film Warning Sign. He unknowingly spreads a highly contagious virus throughout the agronomics factory where he works, a virus that turns its victims into rageful maniacs bent on sadistic murder.
#9: Hope Center safe-suit workers:
At a top-secret chemical factory called the Hope Center, chemists work 'round the clock to find a solution to overpopulation. When two men clad in ridiculous safe-suits pick up a dead rat covered in an experimental chemical, mayhem ensues when the rat attacks one of the men, and a valve is released, polluting all of New Guinea with the unpredictable chemical. Hell of the Living Dead was made in 1980 as a low-budget ripoff of the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead.
#10: Hedorah the Smog Monster
In the Japanese 1970's film Godzilla vs. Hedorah, a huge amount of pollution in the sea gives birth to Hedorah, a smog monster who eats smog, smoke, factories, anything polluted, and gradually grows larger until Godzilla saves the day.
#11: Tobacco Man
Featured as a very minor character in the Troma film Redneck Zombies and played by E. W. Nesneb, Tobacco Man was a prolific cigarette smoker and tobacco chewer until an illness caused by smoking overtook his life and he had to have half his face removed by "big city doctors". He sells tobacco products to make a living by offering them to the dumb rednecks and hillbillies living in the vicinity of his truck, and Tobacco Man also rescues a girl after the zombies have murdered her friends. E. W. Nesneb may or may not be a real name, in this film many actors/actresses stayed anonymous. 

#12: Captain Pollution
Extremely similar to Dr. Killemoff from Toxic Crusaders, Captain Pollution's goal is to have the entire world heavily polluted. His enemy is Captain Planet, and they both appear in the Captain Planet TV series.

#13: Roy, the Toxic Boy
Tim Burton wrote a brief but effective poem about the sad fate of Toxic Boy, a strange, bowling pin-shaped creature built entirely from pollution, also immune to its effects. He is later killed and his soul drifts up, "leaving a hole in the ozone layer".
#14: Mr. Scheck
Mr. Scheck is a wealthy industrialist trying to tear down a small town to build something over it, and only a gang of bizarre kids can stop his plans. He was the main antagonist of the children's film Hey, Arnold: The Movie.
#15: Rat/Human Guy
 In the 1980's post-apocalyptic film Rats: Night of Terror, after pollution from atomic bombs has devastated  the planet, a gang of goth/punk rebels go above ground to explore what once was home... the problem is, rats have civilized like humans and pollute the water supplies, eat humans and even dress in human clothes!

#16: Krader Industries
In the comedy film Ernest Goes to Camp, Krader Industries is a mining company that wants to demolish the forest where the campground is located. Only Ernest and a group of misfit criminal kids can save the camp.
#17: Dr. David Byrant
In an episode of the sadly unreleased to DVD series  Twice in a Lifetime called 'Whistleblower', Dr. David Byrant was a scientist and spokesperson for National Pesticide, a company purportedly dumping carcinogenic chemicals near Leopard Frog Lake, the leaking chemicals which are causing cancers and birth defects in newborns and a spate of dead frogs. He stands up for his company in saying that they are doing nothing wrong. He dies and gets the chance to change his life by going back in time and reversing what he did.
#18: Jack Napier/Joker
Jack Napier was a mafia hitman in various forms of the Batman franchise (The New Batman Adventures in the above photograph). He was deeply involved in criminal activities revolving around the Axis (sometimes called Ace)  chemical plant, until he fights with Batman and falls over the rails above several toxic waste vats. Batman tries to rescue him but he falls in the vats and becomes the Joker.
#19: Laurel Hedare
Laurel was a character in the Catwoman movie, the main antagonist to be exact. She was responsible for releasing to the public a new cosmetics product with disastrous results, and when one of her employees, Patience Phillips, accidentally finds out, she is flushed through the toxic waste pipes of the cosmetics factory and brought back to life by cats, becoming a crime-fighting superhero as well as a cat burglar.  
#20: Yankee Power Co.
Yankee Power Co. was a fictional nuclear power plant in a small New England town in the Troma horror film The Children. Two idiot workers failed to check the pressure drop on the pipe valves one afternoon and a cloud of yellow gas escaped, poisoning a school bus full of kids and mutating them into zombie-like creatures who can microwave any living thing they touch with their bare hands.
#21: Burt
In the 1985 comedy zombie film Return of the Living Dead, Burt Wilson was the owner of a medical supply warehouse. To protect his warehouse he incinerates a body contaminated with a chemical, sending the ashes from a smokestack as a cloud onto a cemetery. The pollution  seeps through the ground as rain and it brings the dead to life.

 #22: Mr. Burns
One of the main characters in the diverse cast of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns (and on the left is his assistant Mr. Smithers), owns a large and highly dangerous nuclear power plant, which employs much of the town. He is extremely rich but too greedy to pay for environmental safety or the safety of his employees, leading to mutated fish, sick workers, etc.
#23: Alecto Sydney Steele
sort of antihero character in the short novel Smog City, Alecto is a personification of a hazardous waste site in Cape Breton. Since his own life depends on the hazardous waste site being left alone, he often plots to keep people away from his site. He loves pollution and polluting things on purpose, has the power to manipulate pollution, and his activities range from tire fires to drinking Windex to smoking cigarettes to contributing to global warming, although he isn't a bad character at all.

#24: Hexxus
Hexxus is the main villain in the 1990's movie FernGully: the Last Rainforest. He is the embodiment of destruction and pollution and has a prolific love for it all, and an extreme hatred towards the earth. His character is very similar to Pollution from Good Omens and Alecto from Smog City. His signature song, "Toxic Love"  (performed in the movie by Tim Curry), is infamous for having extreme adult themes and implications, although verses such as, "I feel good - a special kinda horny" were cut from it when it was added to the movie to make it more appropriate for children.

#25: Tritannus
Tritannus was an antagonistic character from the animated children's television series The Winx Club. He was a normal guy until he absorbed toxins from an oil spill and mutated. Now he's willing to turn everyone into mutant minions to help his evil plot.

#26: Toxzon
Toxzon was  at some point a normal human, a geneticist working for a large biotech industry until discovering how to turn people into zombies. He appears in the recent children's television program Max Steel.

#27: The Cigarette Smoking Man
The C - Man, Cigarette Smoking Man, Cancer Man, Smoking Man (and many other aliases), was the primary antagonist of the occult/crime drama show The X - Files. He is ALWAYS smoking Morley's brand cigarettes and throughout the show is discovered to be part of an elite group of Pentagon officials, guarding the secret of aliens on earth. Eventually he dies, some time in the last season. His role was played by Canadian actor William B. Davis.

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