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Jack Dante

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What's it like to feel stark terror?
~ Jack Dante
Order into chaos, way of the world.
~ Jack Dante

Jack Dante is a brilliant but sociopathic scientist and the second main villain in the 1994 British-American sci-fi/horror movie Death Machine.

He was portrayed by legendary actor Brad Douriff who voiced the killer doll Chucky.

History

Jack Dante once was the valubable worker and technogolical genius for the Chaank Industries for so long. He has been illegally ordering supplies for the works and projects he designed and created for Chaank. But he has never file a report and never been any of the corporation's board meetings.

Ridley, head of the board of directors, tries to cover things up. Cale demands immediate and full public disclosure. She also wants Dante, who developed Project Hardman, fired. No one seems to care about the situation, besides Dante himself, who takes an eerie interest in Cale. He confronts her on a few occasions with knowledge about her finances, childhood and other personal information.

Meanwhile, Cale wants to know what Dante is secretely working on in Vault 10. He never submits progress reports and is far from cooperative. Ridley, who is scared of Dante, refuses to help. He tells Cale that her recently deceased predecessor took interest in Dante's work and soon had a deadly accident at the corporate headquarters. During the conversation she lifts his access card so she can investigate on her own.

At the same time a trio of stoner pacifist eco-warriors are planning to infiltrate the company's headquarters in order to destroy its digitally stored assets and put Chaank out of business.

Somehow, Dante finds out that Cale has his card and confronts Ridley about it. He later kills the CEO with a mysterious invention.

Carpenter calls Cale after finding Ridley's mutilated body which had an implanted life-sign transmitter. She investigates and finds out that whatever killed him came from the infamous vault 10. Taking matters in her own hands, she terminates Dante's employment and seals the vault. Dante is about to shoot her when the eco-warriors show up and take everyone hostage.

They want access to the building's secure area in order to destroy the company's digital bonds, but Cale refuses to cooperate. Raimi, the leader of the gang, goes to their alternate plan to cut through the bulkhead leading to the containment area. Dante, sensing his chance, "helps" them by suggesting they cut through one of the vaults surrounding the containment instead, suggesting they start at vault 10.

Once the vault is open, Dante jumps in and activates his invention, called The Warbeast (or Frontline Morale Destroyer), which promptly kills one of the eco-warriors. Raimi flees, meeting up with Yutani and the subdued Cale and Carpenter. Dante broadcasts his demands over the monitor system, demanding that his employment be reinstated, and that Cale will be "interfacing with him on a regular basis".

Raimi and Yutani cancel the operation and attempt to get out of the building, along with Carpenter and Cale.

Cale and Raimi survived and escaped. But Jack Dante along with his creation was sealed away in Vault 10 within the corporation's headquarters. They were never seen from again.

Controversy and censorship

Death Machine is considered rather controversial, for a number of reasons. The director himself was never satisfied with the final cut, leading to four different versions being released; An 85 minute version, the 99 minute version marketed in North America, a 128 minute version, and the 111 minute director's cut. The Board of Film Censors accused the film of excessive violence and drug use, and was banned in several countries, including Iraq, China and Australia. Brad Dourif's character Jack Dante was accused of exhibiting acute violent psychosis, profanity, lewd behavior, and in one scene attempts to rape the protagonist. Some countries also censored a controversial scene involving dead babies.

Trivia

  • Jack Dante's last name is referenced to the first name of the Italian author Dante Alighieri. Also on the wall inside Jack's laboratory at Chaank is the written graffiti that says "Dante's Inferno" which references to Alighieri's greastest masterpiece and first part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy.

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