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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 secondary antagonist in the 1994 British-Japanese sci-fi/horror movie Death Machine.
He was portrayed by the legendary actor Brad Dourif, who also played Chucky in the Child's Play movie franchise.
Jack Dante once was the valuable worker and technological 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. To make matters worse, his cyborg supersoldier project, codenamed "Hardman," malfunctions and slaughters a group of innocent people. Ridley, head of the board of directors, tries to cover things up. Cale, the new CEO, demands immediate and full public disclosure. She also wants Dante 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 secretly 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 Chairman with a mysterious invention. The head of Chaank's security, 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 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 Weyland, 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.
- 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 greatest masterpiece and first part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy.
- It is also likely that Jack's last name is based on filmmaker Joe Dante. Death Machine's other characters were infamously named after famous directors as well, with Ridley being named after Ridley Scott, Raimi after Sam Raimi, and Carpenter named after John Carpenter.