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Faceless Goons are already pretty scary, but some villains just want more. But the faces under the helmets aren't particularly fearsome, and Spikes of Villainy just don't cut it. Something to suggest the pain these guys are gonna bring...

Solution: make the helmet itself look angry. Enter the Rage Helm.

This is when a helmet's visor is embossed with a furious face or something similarly frightening. Merely having scary-looking eye-slits doesn't count, although features that just vaguely suggest a wrathful expression might. Stern looks also count, and might even be scarier than the raging ones. Mecha-Mooks might have this, depending on how their "faces" look. Compare and contrast Malevolent Masked Men (for when the scary visor is the whole point) and Expressive Mask (which actually changes expression). See also Faceless Goons and Gas Mask Mooks.

Examples of Rage Helm include:


Anime and Manga

  • The MS-07 Gouf series of Mobile Suits in Gundam have a distinctive triangular protrusion hanging down from the middle of their mono-eye visors, giving them a perpetually scowling look.
    • The Physalis Gundam also has an unusually malevolent looking face, with a curious, angry looking red "mouth" in place of the iconic twin horizontal vent slits.


Films -- Live-Action

  • In the movie of Prince Caspian, Miraz's forces wear helmets embossed with a fearsomely snarling face, and Miraz himself wears a slightly fancier one.
  • Iron Man: The closure line of Stark's Iron Man helmet suggests a thin-lipped scowl.
  • In Star Wars, Darth Vader's helmet has a chillingly penetrating stare. The stormtroopers, on the other hand, are textbook Faceless Goons with sad helmets.
  • Dark Helmet from Spaceballs is an over-the-top parody of Vader.
  • Evil Robot Maximillian in The Black Hole has that bright red eye with a furrowing brow sculpted/painted above it, making it look like he's permanently scowling.
  • The immortals in 300. Not that they need it, really.
  • The Dragon in Willow has a helmet with a terrifying skull face that really leaves an impression.
  • Agamemnon's helm in Time Bandits.
  • Starting with Tim Burton's Batman movies, every film version of Batman's costume has frowning eyebrows sculpted into the cowl.


Gamebooks

  • In the Lone Wolf gamebook series, the Drakkarim -- Elite Mooks of the Darklords -- always wears metal helmets with skull-shaped facemasks in battle. To the point this is often the main feature used to describe them.


Literature

  • Discworld likes to mock this trope. They appear in Interesting Times and Pyramids. In Pyramids the soldiers wear them even during innocuous conversation, and some of the palace guards in Interesting Times have actually cultivated the art of going to sleep in their feet, confident of not being detected behind the expressions of metal rage on their visors.
  • In The Silmarillion, dwarvish helms apparently were like these. One of these helms becomes significant as the signature item of the hero Turin Turambar.


Live-Action TV

  • The high-ranking Jaffa soldiers in Stargate SG-1 tend to wear full-face masks depicting the inspiring Egyptian, animal-headed god of their commanding Goa'uld, which depending on the animal could be quite scary.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and a few other series with sculpted mouths on the helmets.


Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • A couple of the helmets in Vindictus have scary faces on them, notably the Beholder Mask.[1]
  • As in Tabletop Games above, the BattleTech Atlas invokes this trope.
    • The Atlas head is sculpted to resemble a skull and as such is technically incapable of displaying any emotion, however many designers got creative especially when leader units were involved.
  • Inverted with Ordinator (Indoril) helmets from The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind. These display an emotionless Frozen Face. Played straight, however, with Almalexia's war mask, and with the Daedric helmets.
    • Skyrim's Dwarven Helmets exhibit this, with the faceplate of the mask crafted to look like a perpetually furious Dwemer.


Western Animation


Real Life

  • Samurai helmets tended to have scary faceplates, and were in fact the inspiration for Darth Vader.
  • In an aversion, certain Roman soldiers wore metal face masks, but they always had impassive expressions to represent the gods.

Notes

  1. Vindictus is also the Trope Namer, but the item in question is not this trope; it's actually a helm enchanted to cause Unstoppable Rage.
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