Happy Friday Every-bloody! We made it through another week! I’m humbled to report that my blog traffic has increased exponentially these past couple weeks, thanks mostly to my “10 Seriously Disturbing Movies” list. Last Friday’s list of “Bloody Brilliant British Horror Films” was also well read. I guess you guys dig lists, and Saucy Josh aims to please. This week, my list consists of 10 of the most evil, terrifying Horror movie villains in genre history.
But before I launch in, I want to make it clear that this collection was constructed under specific parameters that may differentiate it from others lists. Basically, everyone on my list has to be a human (or was human at one point). The following amazing Horror movie bad-asses are, therefore, ineligible: The Xenomorph from Alien/Aliens, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jaws, The Thing, Predators, The Blob, The Leprechaun, The Cloverfield Monster, and Satan.
I’m also drawing the line whenever I detect ambiguity, which means some of my favorites are ineligible as well:
- The Reaper from Jeepers Creepers: His silhouette is human enough, he wears clothes and drives a truck—but he’s also got lizard skin and dinosaur wings.
- The Crawlers from The Decent: There may be a common ancestor between these creepies and homo sapiens, but the bat-like ears and noses are cause for disqualification.
- Pennywise the Clown from IT: whatever he is, IT ain’t human.
- And, perhaps most regrettably, The Tall Man from Phantasm: Gooey yellow blood = not human.
A fictional bad-ass is also disqualified if he is revealed to be different people in different movies, like Ghostface from Scream (at least 6 people have killed behind this mask) and The Killer from Saw (Jigsaw himself died in Part III). No inanimate objects or emotionless concepts either, like the House in The Amityville Horror, the virus in 28 Days Later, the weather in Frozen, or Death itself from Final Destination. Ghosts are okay, but like I said before, they have to have been human at one time.
So without further delay, let’s meet the best of the worst!
10 Truly Twisted Horror Movie Maniacs
Mortis, the “Sadistic Butcher” (Shadow): Maybe it’s because this film is fresh in my mind (loved it!), but the “Sadistic Butcher” is truly creepy and if you haven’t heard of him or the movie Shadow, I whole-heartedly suggest you change that. I know that some of you Horror know-it-alls will argue that Mortis is ineligible for this list based on the parameters I myself outlined above. It’s hard to participate in that debate without ruining the “twist”, but I will agree that he represents a concept (revealed only at the film’s conclusion). However, as presented in the movie, he is a human with all the barriers and limitations of mortality: He’s thwarted by locked doors, he bleeds when stabbed, and he’s eventually overpowered by the protagonist. Human! His drug of choice: Poisonous Toad.
Asami Yamazaki (Audition): She looks sweet, meek, and mousey, but Asami Yamazaki is in fact a ruthless sadist who dishes out torture with child-like glee. Also a dominatrix, Asami keeps a mutilated man as a sort of pet in her apartment where she feeds him with her vomit. The mutilated man says it’s “yummy”. The fact that she is motivated by the need to be loved unconditionally only makes her more terrifying. The final scene of Audition is so unnerving, so depraved, so violent, that I guarantee you will remember every detail (even if you’d rather forget). Her torturing tools of choice: Acupuncture needles and piano wire.
Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre): One of the most feared Horror villains ever, Leatherface is also a pitiable anti-hero. Perhaps an unwanted child born into a family of cannibals, Leatherface is just acting in the custom he was raised. I feel like killing is more of a chore than a pleasure for him (especially the tedious butchering that follows), and his perceived enjoyment of violence really reflects his desire to please his family. At his worst, he’s a dumb brute who can’t control his feelings of rage and abandonment who would rather kill someone before they have a chance to leave him. Aww, Saucy Josh thinks Leatherface really just needs a friend (a girlfriend would be even better). Favorite fabric: Human skin.
Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th): Alright, let’s get the obvious out of the way. And no, I’m not including Jason on my list merely because he’s the most famous, iconic movie murderer ever—I really like Jason. Like Leatherface, I feel Jason too is misunderstood. Not necessarily born a villain, Jason was pushed into mass murder by his mother. The trademark, echoing “Ki-ki-ki, ha-ha-ha” whenever Jason is close by is actually his memory of Miss Voorhees telling him to “Kill for Mommy”. Aww, even though she was crazy and died in the first movie, Jason misses his mother and killing is the only way he knows to fill the void. Poor guy probably also has brain damage from drowning as a child (and it’s also implied that he was “special” even before he died and came back to life). I find it interesting that I’ve never heard anyone refer to Jason as a Zombie, even though that’s clearly what he is. Favorite hobby (besides killing): Camping.
Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street): Let’s give it up for the funniest, most charismatic child killer ever! Currently a ghost, to be certain, Freddy was quite human once. A victim of mob justice, Freddy (literally) emerged from the ashes of mortality with demonic supernatural abilities and a wicked sense of humor. Some aficionados complain that Freddy became a bit too funny as the franchise progressed, but without that sharp/sarcastic wit he’s just another brooding, pissed off boogeyman. Freddy was always the Movie villain I most wanted to be—not in “real life”, just in Fantasy Land (although I did own a plastic replica of his infamous claw). Just to be clear, when I talk about how much I love Freddy, I am ONLY referring to the character played by Robert Englund. I HATE the new rebooted child-molesting Freddy played by Jackie Earle Haley. Who else remembers the entire jump-rope rhyme? “One two Freddy’s commin’ for you…” Previous occupation: High School Janitor.
Pinhead (Hellraiser): I can hear some of you already: “Pinhead doesn’t count! He’s not human, he’s a demon from an extra-dimensional realm. Just check-out his alien-looking belly-button!” But true fans of the Hellraiser franchise know Pinhead by another name: Elliot Spencer. Before being transformed into the leader of the Cenobites by the Lament Configuration, Pinhead was an English soldier who fought in the trenches of World War I. At the time of his emergence, the intelligent, formal, and articulate Pinhead set himself apart from Horror wise-crackers (Freddy Kruger and Chucky) and the mute brutes (Michael Meyers and Jason Voorhees). Pinhead is considered by most to be a demon, but he has transcended into more of a concept. As he so chillingly declares in Hellraiser IV: Bloodline: “I am the face of pain.” His character fluctuates between sadistic and dethatched and emotionless. When Hellariaser 9: Revelations is released on DVD this October, Pinhead, for the first time ever, will not be played by Douglas Bradley—a sad sad fact indeed. Favorite Hangout: The Chamber of Soulless Delights.
Jack Torrance (The Shining): As if Jack Nicholson on a bad day isn’t scary enough, his unyielding portrayal of Jack Torrance in The Shining has blurred the line between the person and the performer. Unnerving to begin with, Jack Torrance’s decent into madness in truly frightening to behold. The iconic image of his grinning mug announcing, “Here’s Johnny!” while swinging an axe is one of the most memorable in cinematic history. Favorite game to play with his son Danny: Hide and Seek.
Jame Gumb, aka Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs). You know, I’m sick of Anthony Hopkins getting all the attention for his portrayal of Hannibal Lectur in Silence of the Lambs, as if he alone made this film successful. The scenes that really made my stomach drop and burrowed under my skin involved the other villain, the antagonist who truly propels the storyline forward: Jame Gumb, aka Buffalo Bill. The “lotion in the basket” scene is still almost unbearable for me to watch, with his inhuman detachment towards his victim, and the way he refers to her as “it”. Before this movie, I bet most women didn’t even know it was possible for a man to tuck his genitals away like that! I was literally on the edge of my seat during the movies climax as he stalked Agent Starling through pitch blackness with night vision goggles. Academic interests: Entomology.
Mick Taylor (Wolf Creek): Crocodile Dundee he ain’t! Wolf Creek is based on the real-life “Back Pack Murders” of New South Whales, and Mick Taylor is based on the man responsible: Serial Killer Ivan Milaht. Mick proves that some of the most vicious villains come in very mundane packages. There is nothing unusual looking about this typical Aussie of the Outback (just a bit sun-baked and dusty). Mick seems quite congenial and doesn’t overpower his victims with brute force; rather he puts them to sleep with drugged water. And even when they wake up, bound and frantic, Mick is just as cool as a cucumber—a master practitioner of physical and psychological torture. What makes Mick so scary is that he could be any man who lives alone and in isolation. It’s almost as if the extreme solitude is what encourages him to kill (and at the very least, it gives him a sense of sanctuary). Rumors are abounding about the possibility of Wolf Creek Part 2. Favorite haunt: The abandoned Navithalim Mine (“Navi” and “thalim” spelled backwards reads: Ivan Milaht).
Mademoiselle (Martyrs): Imagine sitting petrified in a room full of unfriendly looking thugs, clearly intent of keeping you trapped. Now imagine a sweet, feeble looking old woman enters the room and sits across the table from you. “What a relief!” you may find yourself thinking. “Surely this lady who looks like my grandma won’t let anything bad happen to me. How could this frail being possibly have ill intentions?” Well, you’d be wrong (dead wrong). Turns out Mademoiselle (her only moniker) is the leader of a secret society obsessed with learning details of the afterlife. Under her instructions, various members of the group systematically torture and degrade young women in the hopes of inducing a transcendental state, within which “Martyrs” can observe the afterlife. The process can take years and involves several steps, the final one too extreme and gruesome to reveal. The only thing more shocking than the program she oversees is what Mademoiselle does when she finally learns the secrets of the afterlife. Martyrs is fast becoming a staple of Top 10 Horror Lists everywhere and an American remake is in the work. Mademoiselle’s favorite headgear: The Turban.
I’ve got Honorable Mentions for a few others. Some of these fellows may actually deserve more props, but I either don’t personal care for them (Michael Myers) or I’m just sick of them (Hannibal Lectur): Michael Meyers (Halloween), Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lectur (Silence of the Lambs), John Doe (Se7en), Norman Bates (Psycho), Chucky (Child’s Play—come on, he was a human before he was a doll!), Willard (Willard), The Candyman (Candyman), The Fisherman (I Know What You Did Last Summer), Sadaku Yamamura (The Ring), Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Mummy.
Obviously, there’s no shortage of baddies bumping around in the night! Have a great weekend Every-Bloody, see you next Friday!