Whorfin was a hated military leader of the Red Lectroids, described by John Emdall as a bloodthirsty butcher similar to Adolf Hitler. Whorfin and his troops ruled over Planet 10 until freedom-loving forces of the Black Lectroids overthrew him. Whorfin was condemned along with his followers to spend an eternity in the Eighth Dimension.
Whorfin escaped from the Eighth dimension during the experiment at Princeton in the 1930's, when he possessed Emilio Lizardo.
He fought with Lizardo over the control of their shared body. While at the mental hospital, Lizardo was able to (mostly) control the body with the aid of drugs administered by hospital staff, but when the drugs started to wear off, Whorfin seized control. After his escape from the institution, it was only Whorfin who controlled their shared body.
After seeing a news report about Buckaroo Banzai's success with the Jet Car, Whorfin regained his memories, decided to steal the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER, and broke out of the mental hospital. After talking by phone with his lieutenant, John Bigbooté, Whorfin killed a guard on his way out and stole a car (which he quickly crashed). Whorfin directed his top men (Bigbooté, John Gomez and John O'Connor) to kidnap Professor Hikita and force him to build them an OVERTHRUSTER, but Hikita was freed by Banzai.
After returning to Yoyodyne, Whorfin found his Lectroids in bad shape. Morale was very low and no one seemed to care about their return to Planet 10, so Whorfin started with several executions and ordered the Lectroids to work exceptionally hard on the Panther Ship. To that end, Whorfin gave several pep talks to his troops while they worked. The most famous one depicted in the movie has one of two most favorite lines of Peter Weller from the movie: “Character is who you are in the dark.” (The other one being “It's not my god damn planet, monkey boy” by John Bigbooté).
When Penny Priddy was captured at Yoyodyne, Whorfin tortured her in order to force her to reveal the secret of the OVERTHRUSTER's operation. When this was unsuccessful, Whorfin used Penny as bait to force Buckaroo to come to him. Whorfin then tortured Buckaroo himself in the Shock Tower and sent Penny to the Pitt.
When Team Banzai attacked Yoyodyne, Whorfin decided to try leaving the planet on the Panther ship with his own OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER. However, Whorfin's OVERTHRUSTER was very crudely built (like most Lectroid technology) and was not working correctly, so the ship reached the eighth dimension only partially, freeing Lizardo in his young body and transforming Whorfin “into the most hideous of Lectroids” (events are not depicted in film).
The Panther ship crashed through the wall of Yoyodyne and started flying over New Jersey with Buckaroo and John Parker in the energency pod. Whorfin, tired of Bigbooté's complaining, shot his lieutenant in cold blood. Whorfin also released the ship's emergency pod to get rid of Buckaroo and John Parker (who actually did find a way to fly the pod and eventually destroyed the mothership with laser fire).
It was supposed that Whorfin died when the Panther ship was shot down. However in Return of the Screw he appears again (with a Lectroid looking suspiciously like John Bigbooté). He offers Xan a way to rule the Earth using seismic resonators. He also has a spawn (a child).