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: matrixrefugeeEmail / AIM / MSN / Plurk
: Plurk: matrixrefugeeCurrent Character(s):
N/aCharacter InformationCharacter Name
: Milton DammersFandom
: The FrightenersCharacter History
: Link to Wikipedia page on ye canon
(in case this counts as obscure, since the film is almost twenty years old; admittedly, 'obscure' seems to have a bendy definition in fandom these days.
In the 1960s, well before the events of the movie, Dammers started his career in the FBI as an undercover agent, examining fringe groups and suspected cults and possible paranormal happenings, with, as his first case in the field, infiltrating the "Family" of one Charles Manson. He got in over his head, ending up as the Family's sex slave for six months during their sojourn at Spahn Ranch in 1969. This would be the first of many cases where he got in over his head: he'd infiltrate a voodoo cult in the 1970s and then a Satanist cult in the 1980s, amongst others increasingly more horrible, the physical and mental and emotional challenges they entailed, undermining his already tenuous grip on sanity.
In the mid-1990s, he was called to the coastal town of Fairwater (Maine? California? some place in the U.S. of A. that resembles New Zealand, where the movie was filmed??) by the town's sheriff, an old friend of his, to cover a strange series of murders: people of all ages suddenly dropping dead of heart attacks, with no apparent natural causes. Dammers immediately locked his sights on a witness to one of the last deaths, one Frank Bannister, already on the FBI radar as a suspected con artist and phony psychic (though Bannister had the talent of being able to see and communicate with the dead). What he didn't realize was that not only did he have the wrong guy, but also the murders were being carried out by something otherworldly, namely, the ghost of a serial killer, and that this would be his last case, once he got into the gunsights of the madwoman who'd been and still was that killer's accomplice. Character Personality
: At first blush, Dammers seems comically eccentric with his twitchy body language (the guy reminds one of a Nixon parody with the way he hunches his shoulders up to his ears, which already stick out at a near ninety-degree angle from the sides of his head - and that severe undercut sure doesn't help hide that fact), eccentric habits (wearing black leather gloves at all times to avoid touching people or things), and lack of a brain-to-mouth filter (reeling off the facts of a case, including dates and times down to the second, then derailing his own train of thought by muttering what sounds like numerology under his breath; or saying things to people that are frankly insulting and being completely perplexed when they don't react too kindly to it). Till you find out he's spent twenty years running undercover investigations for the FBI, covering various creepy cults and eventually moving on to cases of the unexplained, what he calls "fruity cases" (one wonders if he's in charge of his universe's version of the X-Files; he's certainly what you might get if you poured Fox Mulder and "Twin Peaks"'s Dale Cooper into a pint bottle, shook it up, then dropped the bottle...). And his first case in 1969 was with the Manson Family. Yeah. Then you start to regret ever snerking at him, and you'll want to wrap him up in a blanket and offer him some tea -- though given the way he reacts when even a concerned friend has "violated [his] territorial bubble", you might want to leave the blanket and the fixings to make a cup of tea where he can at least reach them. He's clearly affected by PTSD, psychosis and possibly a high-functioning form of autism, as well as a defensively violent streak several feet wide (given the awful things he's been through and most likely the enemies he's made, he might be justified in carrying an Uzi under his topcoat). One can't accurately call him sadistic, since he doesn't seem to really get off on cruelty, but some of his tactics in interrogation (eg. verbally bludgeoning a suspect with the facts, assuming said suspect is guilty and then attempting to cow him into confessing) leave a lot to be desired. Call it a case of he who hunts monsters becoming one himself. He clearly prefers to have complete control over a situation and once he's in control of a situation, his demeanor shifts and his body language assumes a guarded confidence. We admit it, he's not a nice guy, but you'd rather have him on the side of justice.
He does display a sensitive side at times, whether this is a core part of his personality that has remained undamaged remains to be seen. Also, this seems to have more to do with a neurological sensitivity and sensory overload: he's easily sent into a panic attack by women raising their voices and/or screaming at him. One wonders what lead him into such a high-risk field in the first place (something deeply personal that got him into studying the paranormal? We wonder what the never-produced sequel might have revealed, since he was supposed to return in it, albeit as a ghost). It would seem he still has a core sense of justice, a desire to right the wrongs caused by cult leaders and those with psychic abilities who have used them to harm their fellow human beings, though it's hard to see under his Inspector Javert-like fixation on solving a case at all cost. At the least he's passionate about his work, but that passionate devotion has caused him to burn out.
Oddly enough, for all his paranoid delusions and his tendency to add two and two together a little too quickly, he's quite perceptive: while a lot of people treat Lucy Lynskey as a mere damsel in distress, he treats her as a woman with agency (though he wrongly reads that as her being an accomplice to Frank's alleged crimes) and even a threat when she does turn on him in self-defense. This may be colored by his experience either with the Manson 'Family' or with especially dangerous female cult leaders.
He's grown accustomed to things going wrong in the field and to the results of strange powers (or his perception of them?) that he's developed a habit of crazy preparedness (eg. wearing a lead breastplate - something he likely crafted himself - under his regulation suit while interrogating suspect who seems to be causing massive heart attacks in people, just through the powers of the mind). He also seems obsessed with developing psychic abilities of his own (as a countermeasure against other powers? as a manifestation of his own psychosis?), given one scene where he tries to move a car through telekinesis. He appears to be a strong believer in the paranormal, either from simply being open to the notion, or to being so far gone in his madness that he can't always discern where reality ends. Or perhaps because he's seen enough woo-woo stuff in the field that he can't easily say the paranormal isn't a thing. Either way, he's seen too many unsuspecting people get burned by charismatic but unscrupulous individuals claiming to have special powers and talents or a window onto the supernatural, whether those powers exist or not (and in his universe, they do), and he's committed his life to stopping those sorts from claiming more victims.
His physical scars - glyphs carved into the skin of his torso, including cabalistic sigils, a pentagram and an incomplete tic-tac-toe grid (thank you, Jeffrey Combs and your warped sense of humor which inspired that part of the design...) - are painful reminders of the things he's suffered in the line of duty, but at the same time, he considers them badges of honor. He knows he's a damaged man, yet if you imply that he's broken, he'll take that as a deep insult. He's resilient, yet that resilience has turned into a stubbornness. It's as if he's unwilling to admit that he's on the razor edge of madness, knowing it could end his career and so end his work bringing justice to those who abuse their psychic powers or the innocence of others. He's too stubborn to quit, no matter how much the cases he's covered have cost him, and given the horrors he's endured, it's not something he'd pass on lightly to the next agent to succeed him.Powers and Abilities
: Not applicable, given his cut from just before his bad experience with a 12-gauge shotgun, he's just a plain vanilla mortal.SamplesNetwork
"All that we see or seem/Is but a dream within a dream." [Dramatic pause and he shifts a bit before the device, making himself comfortable, or at the least, trying to.] Clever word painting from the pen of Mister Edgar Allen Poe... but in my coming here, I wonder now if he wasn't on to something. If he didn't 'awaken' [Making air quotes with his gloved index fingers] even just for an instant, in this place. The things that I have seen since I 'awakened' [No air quotes that time, hm] make me wonder: perhaps the 'visionaries' of earth -- or any other world, for that matter -- have spent some time here.
Or if I might turn away from literature and toward philosophy... [Shifting again before the device.] Perhaps this world is better described as the concrete reality, the archetypes of the forms behind the shadows parading past the captives in Plato's Cave, or am I mistaken? This world seems a lot more fluid than the world that I left, but maybe that's the nature of reality. Maybe... it's not what we *think* in the worlds we left, but what *we* think.
Has anyone heard of Uri Geller? He was an Israeli-born stage illusionist, who, starting in the 1970s, claimed that he could bend solid metal objects. With just the power of his *mind*. Clearly, that isn't the same thing, his little shows of skill are child's play compared to the things that people are capable here. I would be... most intrigued to know how far someone can go here, developing a talent like that. It's something I've sought to foster in myself with [a slight pause and then with a note of disappointment] limited results given the limitations of the world I left. None too willingly, as I was in the middle of a case, at the time of my... unfortunate demise.
That's something I can't allow to happen again, though I have a feeling it's less likely to occur, in this... dream outside a dream?Third Person
: Somehow, in his perambulations, Dammers has made his way to the Western District, the cover of the trees giving way to the open, glaring red sky overhead. He blinks a bit at the two moons overhead, wondering if his eyes have unfocused or his brain is playing tricks on his senses. But the sight remains. *No matter: it's unsettling, but no threat, though he can't help but wonder why one can see two moons here, but not in any other district. Strange science? A step into a different dimension within a dimension? Magic? In this place, it could have anything for a cause, and in some cases, a cause one might not wish to know about too hard.
He finds his path leading out from amongst the futuristic buildings and into an open area, a yew hedge wall rearing up ahead of him. He follows the wall, thinking to skirt it or find an opening, and at length, a gap opens in the hedges. He steps through, finding his path turning left before taking an abrupt turn, heading straight. A hedge maze, it seems. Well, one can find the way out eventually if you follow the paths. That's usually how these things go...
After several long minutes of twists and turns, he can feel the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. He turns and he can swear that he saw something or someone step back around a corner of the alley of hedges. But as he turns back, he realizes that the hedges themselves have changed, the yew walls turning from dense evergreen bushes to abnormally tall bushes of dusty, grey-green sagebrush. Ice water seems to run down Dammers's spine. He thinks he hears a girlish squeak of laughter and a translucent figure dressed like a hippie vision of a gypsy girl flit past. He recognizes that squeak and a cold hand grips his heart.
Behind him, he hears a huskier laugh, down in a man's throat. "Lost yer way, G-man? Don't think I didn't guess you were a Fed," an insinuating male voice says. "You came a little too easily, and I knew the Feebs had a bead on the Family."
"Go away, you're a shadow," Dammers snaps, turning to look behind him, in time to see Manson's form sidle into the sagebrush, a knowing smirk on his bearded face.
"Just a shadow? Maybe I am. Maybe I'm your shadow now," Manson's voice says, seeming to come from everywhere, the bushes, the sky above, the wind blowing down the avenue, the ground beneath his heels, from inside his own skull.
"Get out, get out, get out. This is my waking dream, you have no place in it," Dammers snarls under his breath, gripping his forehead.
"What about the dreams you had before? And aren't you supposed to be waking up?" the mocking voice replies.
"GET OUT!" Dammers yells, squeezing his temples, as if that would drive the phantom away...