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Rage Helm

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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. Don't be surprised if this is part of the Doom Troops' uniform. 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. A common feature of Scary Impractical Armor.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam
    • The MS-07 Gouf series of Mobile Suits in have a distinctive triangular protrusion hanging down from the middle of their mono-eye visors, giving them a perpetually scowling look.
    • The MS-14 Gelgoog series have stern looks due to their wide, flat 'brows' and narrow visors. Uma Lightning's variant deserves credit for looking like it's actually trying to glare someone to death.
    • 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.
    • As does the Legilis (Regulus?) Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.


    Films — Animated 
  • In Big Hero 6, Baymax's helmet (visible on one of the posters) frames his friendly Black Bead Eyes just right to turn them into perpetually scowling Conjoined Eyes.
  • In Moana, the Kakamora are a tribe of crazy intense coconut-armored pygmy pirates. Right after Moana comments at how cute they are, they paint angry faces over their armor.

    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.
  • Star Wars
    • Darth Vader's helmet has a chillingly penetrating stare. Appropriate as the concept was based on samurai armor (see Real Life below.)
    • Stormtroopers are intended to look this way, with their frowning mouth grills vaguely resembling a grimace, but they look more sad to some people.
  • 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.
  • General Kael, 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.
  • In Zardoz, the Exterminators wear grimacing masks of the titular Zardoz, their god who showers them with blessings in the form of guns and ammo.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Immortan Joe, a despotic leader suffering from respiratory problems, wears an oxygen mask decorated with horse-teeth to have a skeletal/feral appearance.
  • In Black Panther (2018), Erik Killmonger dons his own vibranium armor with a snarling jaguar pattern baring its teeth on his mask.

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

  • 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 Túrin Turambar.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. The Hound has a helm resembling a snarling dog. It comes to represent the dark part of his personality as well as that of other people who wear it.
    • When Eddard Stark visits Tobho Mott's smith shop, Mott offers to make him a helmet with a snarling wolf so detailed/realistic, children will cry upon seeing it. Stark declines.
  • The Blood Pact of Gaunt's Ghosts wear bronze masks cast as snarling, angry faces when they go into battle. If that was not intimidating enough, they also undergo ritual scarification and intentionally stain their uniforms with blood.
  • Ithicanian army in The Bridge Kingdom Archives wears helms resembling savage animals, which—as prince Aren says, was his grandfather's stroke of genius, even though they are uncomfortable to wear. But they hide the identity really well, which allows Aren himself to go on spying missions, as well as hiding the fact that a large proportion of Ithicanian military consists of women.
  • Kane: General Javro in Dark Crusade wears a helm with a visor that looks like a snarling demon's face. Underneath, his own face is horribly disfigured by burns.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: The Hound's helmet looks like a snarling dog.
  • 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, either snake heads for the Serpent Guards or hawk heads for the Horus Guards. Those are quite scary, except for Setesh guards' helmets. Apparently, the latter are the subject of many jokes among the Jaffa, jokes whose humor is Lost in Translation.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and several other Power Rangers/Super Sentai series have Mooks and Monsters of the Week with sculpted mouths on their helmets. The rangers' helmets often feature sculpted mouths as well, but the trope is inverted in their case since their helmets' mouths are universally sculpted into neutral/calm expressions.
  • The helmets of all Makai Knights in GARO appear to be stylized images of wolves baring their teeth.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • A couple of the helmets in Vindictus have scary faces on them, notably the Beholder Mask. 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind:
      • Played straight with the each of the game's various Daedric helms.
      • Averted with the Indoril helms of the Ordinators, which instead have an emotionless Frozen Face. The lore-friendlynote  Tamriel Rebuilt Game Mod (which seeks to expand Morrowind by adding the rest of the province of Morrowind) indicates that there are specialized Ordinator groups whose helmets are altered to show other emotions. The ones who have shown up thus far are the Ordinators in Mourning, the guards for the necropolis of Necrom, whose helmets are designed to look like Nerevar (supplementary materials back around Morrowind said that the Ordinator helmet was based on Nerevar's face) crying.
      • Played straight with Almalexia's "War Mask" in the Tribunal expansion, which you get to see up close and personal when she tries to kill you.
    • Skyrim:
      • Dwarven Helmets exhibit this, with the faceplate of the mask crafted to look like a perpetually furious Dwemer (unless your character is female, in which case it's smiling).
      • Played straight once again with Daedric helmets, as is standard for the series.
      • The Wolf Armor helmet has a cheek-guard shaped to resemble a wolf's jawbone.
      • The Carved Nordic Armour introduced with the Dragonborn DLC has a helm shaped like a bear.
  • The Fallout series' Enclave have Powered Armor helmets so intimidating that, in the third game and Fallout: New Vegas, they reduce your Charisma by one point! Not that it makes much difference. In the third game, they're nicknamed "devil suits" in-universe, as the Enclave armor resembles, er, devils with pointed horns.
    • The helmets of the T-series (T-45, T-51, and T-60) Power Armor are not too far behind in this regard as their visors are always slanted in such a way as to make the soldier wearing them look like they're perpetually angry.
    • In Fallout 4, the Enclave's Advanced Power Armor returns under the name X-01. The helmet still has the same insectoid appearance as in 2 and New Vegas, but without the Charisma penalty. In fact, you can actually get a Charisma bonus depending on what paint job you get for your armor. Also, Charisma is no longer a Dump Stat.
    • New Vegas has Legate Lanius's demonic helmet, which comes with a scowling facemask. There are also the helmets worn by some Marked Men on the Lonesome Road. The best are near-perfect replicas of Lanius' helmet, but a step below that are the ones that are incomplete, cracked, and deformed.
  • Several helmets in Blacklight Retribution put a nasty-looking face on the helmet, such as the Bonebreaker, which is a scowling skull.
  • Concept art for Commander Rimanah in E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy had him wearing a grinning skull helmet. However, in-game both he and your Mentor wear serene facemasks. The Mentor's facemask even has a beard!
  • A scowling helmet known as Dragon Helm in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is described as frightening to enemies, and it halves their defense because of it.
  • In the roguelike game Angband, the Iron Helm of Gorlim is described as a gaudy, barbaric helm, and it aggravates all nearby creatures.
  • In Halo: Reach, Emile decorates his visor with the visage of a demon skull.
  • The Last Guardian: The man-eating beasts (Including our Trico originally) all wear metal helmets that have snarling dragon faces carved into them. Even just the shape of the helmets make the beasts look more threatening.
  • [PROTOTYPE 2] redesigned the Blackwatch mask to become this.
  • In The Witcher 3, the Wild Hunt wear scary skull themed black armor with skull-like helms. This is a deliberate intimidation tactic on their part. It's made more effective by the fact that they are Aen Elle, elves who are much taller on average than humans. Their helms also seem to be enchanted to make their voices sound deeper — when their helmets are off they sound fairly normal (if arrogant) but with them on they sound like demons from the pits of hell.
  • Half-Life 2's Combine Guards wear creepy gas masks similar to the Soviet PMG and PBF designs (see in Real Life folder below).
  • Helghast soldiers in the Killzone series have slanted glowing eyepieces that make them look angry. Particularly when coupled with the low-sitting edge of their helmets and the Kubrick Stare they give on the covers of the first two games.

    Web Comics 
  • Jagganoth from Kill Six Billion Demons has his signature helm that looks like a grinning, demonic, vaguely elephantine entity with several skull-like attributes. He never goes out without it in public, to the point that it's rarer to see him out of the helmet than wearing it.

    Real Life 
  • Samurai could wear protective masks together with their helmets. The Menpō (from nose down to chin) and Sōmen (entire face) masks usually bore the shape of wrathful faces, and sometimes had a Badass Moustache made from horsehair.
  • In an aversion (or perhaps a Tranquil Fury-invoking variation), certain Roman soldiers wore metal face masks, but they always had impassive expressions to represent the gods.
  • Soviet gas masks often were colored white and had small eye windows, making them look eerily like skulls. Since they conceal nearly all of the face, this adds to the Uncanny Valley effect, making designs like the PBF, and the PMG, look rather imposing, but the PMK comes closest to the trope, but the GP-5 is definitely the scariest.
  • There's a closely related idea in automotive design - it's common for people to anthropomorphize cars, with the lights as the eyes, the grill as the mouth, etc. Sports cars and high-end luxury models tend to be designed with a lot of hard lines and downward-sloping angles to give the car's "face" an angry, intimidating look, which presumably appeals to the kind of people who buy those cars.
  • Some balaclavas to have big, toothy maws printed over the wearer's mouth to make them look scary. While often worn by civilians to look cool, soldiers sometimes wear this variety as part of their protective gear for intimidation.


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