The Fellas are back with another list. We realize that most everyone places Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, and Pinhead at the top of their lists of Horror Villains. I asked the guys to give me a list that doesn’t include these very well known faces. I wanted villains that meant something to them, not just the quintessential horror villain. Also, excluded from their lists is Pennywise. We admit, he has haunted us since childhood, however, with all the talk of killer clowns lately… He was disqualified from making the list. As the “producer” of the podcast, I added my two cents to the list.
Please note that there are Spoilers abound in this article.
Garrett’s Top 5 Horror Villains
Corky/Fats in Magic (1978) portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Corky is a mentally unstable magician/ventriloquist armed with a foul-mouthed dummy named Fats. Corky wants to be a professional magician but his mental illness gets in the way.
Billy Zane as The Collector in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995). The Collector is a representative of demonic forces and on a mission to collect a relic to bring about the end of the world. He uses psychic powers, manipulation, and murder to achieve his goal. Sounds like a nice guy, Right?
Gabriel in The Prophecy (1995) portrayed by Christopher Walken. “I’m an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls. From now ’til Kingdom Come, the only thing you can count on in your entire existence…is never understanding why.” Need more evidence?
Vincent D’Onofrio as Carl Stargher in The Cell (2000). Stargher is a schizophrenic serial killer who falls into a coma before FBI agents can locate his last victim. The sadistic side of his murderous personality revels in torturing those that enter his mind.
Mama portrayed by Javier Bortet in Mama (2013). Mama is a loving, protective, jealous, insane, murderous entity. Twisted by grief (literally and figuratively), she strikes out in a murderous rage at anyone who is perceived as a danger to “her children.”
Rich’s Top 5 Horror Villains
Human Stupidity is not a villain in corporeal form; however, it has claimed more lives than any of the other villains on this list. Everything from not watching where you are running, underestimating danger, being inadequately prepared, to just plain ignoring all of the signs that you should leave an area and not look back. Human stupidity is what gets us yelling at our televisions and shaking our heads when someone dies. Why did they do something so dumb?
Inbred Hillbillies found in such movies as Deliverance, Wrong Turn, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These sadistic murders despise outsiders and they are hungry, for human flesh. They are often underestimated and therefore able to collect more victims. Typically, you will have someone who warns the would be victims away from the area but they usually don’t listen.
Puppets from Puppet Master (1989) are tiny anthropomorphic harbingers of death. The puppets are brought to life by an Egyptian spell that imbues them with the soul of someone who has already passed away (Chucky meets Pinocchio). Each puppet is equipped with a unique murder weapons and set about wreaking havoc. If evil toys are your thing, you are in luck since there are nine Puppet Master movies.
Predators from the Predator film franchise (1987). Predators are ridiculously strong aliens who hunt humans for sport. They are capable of cloaking themselves to become invisible and using thermal imaging to track their prey. This fear inducing villain has gone toe to toe with the Xenomorphs from Alien. Hopefully, if humans can reign in their stupidity, the aliens will feud with each other and leave us alone.
Sharknadoes from the Sharknado franchise (2013) are hilariously terrifying. Waterspouts in the ocean manage to pick up man-eating sharks and carry them via liquid tornado and deposit them in Los Angeles.
Seth’s Top 5 Horror Villains
John Doe in Se7en (1995) is portrayed beautifully by Kevin Spacey. John Doe is a psychopathic serial killer obsessed with the seven deadly sins. He stalks, tortures, and murders people who he feels are guilty of these sins. Doe also manipulates the police involved in his case. The film is very compelling and evokes an emotional response to the characters distress.
Tom Noonan portrays Francis Dollarhyde in Manhunter (1986), he is a serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy. Dollarhyde is a demented individual, whose hobbies include developing film, biting people, and murdering families. He idolizes Hannibal Lecktor and has become secret pen pals with the incarcerated murderer.
Burke played by John Lithgow in Blowout (1981). Burke is a gunman who is supposed to kill the Governor of Pennsylvania. John Travolta’s character gets involved and saves a woman from the accident. This forces Burke to start murdering woman who resembled this woman, thus making people think there is a serial killer. In reality, he was trying to disguise the murder of the woman. Burke himself, is not that terrifying, but it is more the conspiracy and cold decisions that the film embodies.
Top Dollar in the Crow (1994) portrayed by Michael Wincott. This incestuous mobster states to Eric Draven “Hell nothing in this town happens without my say so, so I’m sorry if I spoiled your wedding plans there friend. But if it’s any consolation to you, you have put a smile on my face.” So glad he gets the 30 hours of pain before dying.
PC Principal from South Park, voiced by Trey Parker, premiered in Season 19 Episode 258 Stunning and Brave (2015). His dastardly deeds include making the children of South Park more politically correct by any means necessary. PC Principal uses violence such as physical and verbal assault, battery, hazing, and murder. He also forces poor Butters in child labor.
Dustin’s Top 5 Horror Villains (that aren’t Jason).
Lee Woo-jin from Old Boy (2003) is portrayed by Yoo Ji-tae. Lee, consumed by guilt over the suicide of his sister/lover, plans an extraordinarily twisted form of torture to inflict on the man he believes is ultimately responsible for her death. He is a very patient man with very well laid plans. Lee’s attention to detail is astounding.
The Psychopath, played by Erwin Leder, from Angst (1983). Psychopath is a killer that was recently released from prison and goes on an awkward killing spree. His murderous escapade isn’t planned or smoothly executed. The method to his madness is pure lunacy. The Psychopath is loosely based on the mass murderer Werner Kniesek.
Felissa Rose as Angela Baker in Sleepaway Camp (1983). Angela embodies the most innocent aspect of the entire film. Ridiculed and bullied by other campers, as well as, her main counselor, the people who are mean or try to harm Angela wind up dead. In the sequels, Angela is a one-woman jackass annihilator. She does not tolerate rule breakers or rude people.
Chatterer is a Cenobite from the Hellraiser franchise (1987). Chatterer is a sadomasochist who explores the outer limits of human sensation, which most would classify as torture. Due to his radical facial modifications, he is unable to speak and communicates through clicking his teeth. Chatterer is the enforcer for Pinhead; he will attack and physically restrain those who have opened the box.
Cropsy from The Burning (1981) played by Lou David. Cropsy is an alcoholic, pedophile working as a caretaker at a summer camp. Some of the campers play a trick on him that leaves him horribly burnt, and set on revenge. Cropsy’s weapon of choice is a set of garden sheers, which he uses to stab, slash, cut, and impale anyone who crosses paths with him.
Amber’s top 5.5 Horror Villains
Death from the Final Destination franchise. In Final Destination, Death is sentient and does not like when you mess with its design. Most of the characters probably would have been better off if they had died from Death’s original design.
Hannibal Lector has been in movies from Manhunter to Silence of the Lambs. Lector is a highly intelligent psychologist with cannibalistic qualities. Hannibal is a great villain in all of his iterations. Consult with him about serial killers; just don’t invite him over for dinner.
From the Saw franchise, we have Jigsaw aka John Kramer is twisted, diabolical, sadistic, and a genius. He is dying, and decides that he wants to help people become better human beings. A civil engineer by trade, Jigsaw has designed “games” that he designed around what he perceived were their personal flaws. So people died, but he really has the best of intentions.
Asami Yamazaki from Audition (1999) is a piano wire-wielding murderer. A recent widower holds auditions to find a new wife. Asami presents herself as a very sweet young woman, and becomes involved with the widower. Investigation into Asami’s background reveals that everyone around her has either been mutilated or dismembered and murdered. So I Married an Axe Murderer to the nth degree. Asami had a rough childhood, it couldn’t be helped.
Sam from Trick R Treat (2007) played by Quinn Lord. He is a childlike demon who visits a town during Halloween to enforce the “rules” of the holiday, and punish those that break them. Sam has supernatural abilities and appears to be immortal. He does, however, have a weakness for chocolate.
Bughuul from Sinister (2012). Now, bear with me here. I think the idea of Bughuul is terrifying. A demon that can turn my child against me and cause him to kill his family?! Horrifying. The execution in the films could have been better. This is why Bughuul only receives partial credit.
We could go on for days about the nuances of different horror villains, however, we stuck to our parameters so that we had an article not a book. Who tops your list of horror villains? Let us know! You can catch the podcast on Tuesdays. The Fellas round table a movie each week, discuss Blu-ray news, distributor of the week, and yearn to hear from their listeners. Drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, @justtheslips on Twitter or leave a comment below.