So Halloween is upon us. Or as it is better known to geeks: epic horror movie marathon time! Naturally we’ve been celebrating this holiday with plenty of features about horror, and decided to put together a list of the best horror movie villains there is. Then we remembered that every geek website on the internet has done the exact same thing and nobody will care.
So we’ve decided to dig into our brains and find those lesser known beasts who make us check under the bed before going to sleep. Maybe you’ve heard of them but never taken the time to see the movie, maybe you’re about to discover you’re new favorite horror movie. At the least you’re getting some great holiday viewing suggestions.
Funk’s Pick – Hans Beckert from M
Hans Becket is the original cinematic psychopath, predating Norman Bates by three decades. The German Expressionist legend behind Metropolis, Fritz Lang, created Hans Beckert for his first feature film with sound and cast classic horror actor Peter Lorre in the role.
Just as terrifying today as he was in 1931 Hans Beckert is a child murderer who haunts the suburbs of Berlin. People living in the area are becoming increasingly paranoid about who the killer could be and begin turning on each other as the police investigation fails to progress. The only way the child serial killer is exposed to viewers during the early scenes is seeing his shadow cast on a wall or hearing him whistling ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ when stalking his prey.
When a stout and unassuming character is revealed as the murderer the audience finds itself dealing with a much more complex villain. Beckert seems to be torn apart by his impulse to attack children and Lorre puts in a mesmerising performance as he fights against whatever demon is driving him before hardening his features and whistling his signature tune. The movie was decades ahead of it’s time by dealing with such an evil yet human character and depicting the use of forensics in catching him, but it’s Lorre’s chilling performance and the nature of this monster that makes him memorable.
SuperMarcey’s Pick – Simon Cartwright from The Ugly
The Ugly is perhaps one of the best horror films you haven’t seen, this obscure gem actually comes from New Zealand and it contains one of the most interesting characters this side of Hannibal Lector. Simon Cartwright played by Paolo Rotondo is a serial killer, living out his days in a psychiatric facility. So what set’s him apart from the rest? He is sympathetic!
Yes, I believe what makes him memorable and equally as terrifying is for the most part he is a sympathetic character. He does not come across as a monster and as the psychologist delves into this mans mind, we find there is something which makes him do these horrible things – or is it?
He is a character you won’t soon forget, an amazing type of villain that will leaving you reeling. The film is one of the greats of the 90’s – lost maybe but forgotten? Certainly not if I am around to discuss it.
Bowser’s Pick – The Tall Man from Phantasm
Oh boy, Phantasm. A cult classic horror film with a storyline even crazier than Rocky Horror. I don’t honestly remember much of the plot, but what I do remember is simply nuts. Two brothers encounter a mortician known as the Tall Man. He has been killing people and then using their bodies to create a group of dwarf minions.
I will repeat that. He has been killing people and using their bodies to create a group of dwarf minions. Eventually the brothers learn the dwarves are in fact aliens from another planet (which makes entirely no sense), and the funeral home has a portal to their alien planet.
The scenes involving the Tall Man are the most memorable. He appears to be an old, creepy-looking man, with the same angry scowl on his face. He’s unsettling. And he stalks the brothers throughout the movie, always appearing at the worst possible time. Google him. Seriously, imagine that face staring down at you as you lay in bed.
Bryan’s Pick – Lola Stone from The Loved Ones
There are so many great horror movie villains out there. If I say Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Michael Myers, I guarantee an image of said killer will immediately pop into your mind (or the actor Mike Myers for a few of you)…but one truly underrated villain of horror is Lola Stone from the brilliant Australian horror flick, The Loved Ones. Many of these heavyweights are male killers, but Lola deserves to be up there with the best of them. We need some great female villains.
What makes Lola such a great villain? For one thing she is honestly terrifying! Part of what makes her scary in my opinion, is the fact that she looks like a normal teenage girl. She can be young neighbor or your classmate or even your cousin. She could be anyone you know. Sometimes the most normal seeming people are the craziest ones. She is also quite vicious. She wants her way, and if she doesn’t get it, she is not happy. She isn’t afraid to use power drills, knives, or just her shear insanity to get what she wants. In The Loved Ones, she wants our hero Brent to be her date to the school dance…but when he refuses (in a kind way by the way. He’s very nice when he lets her down, because he has a girlfriend), Lola isn’t happy. She has her father kidnap the boy and Lola gives him a night of torture he’ll never forget. Then there is that implied incestuous relationship with her father, which just makes her more disturbing.
A fun thing about the character is her love of girly things, to put it lightly. She loves the color pink and she adores glitter, but she manages to make it all creepy with her overuse of it. Even her bedroom is just so girly, that it comes off maniacal because of her. Look at her dolls, which are rather creepy looking with the way she has them. She manages to take something pretty, and make it something dark.
In the end, she is just PLAIN CRAZY! The movie doesn’t try to justify her actions; she is just plain terrifying…but she is also morbidly funny, so you can’t help buy like the girl. This is all thanks to Robin McLeavy’s BRILLIANT performance as Lola. In my opinion this is one of the greatest villain performances of all time. McLeavy completely loses herself in the role, and even adds a touch of sympathy to her in parts, which surprised me…but Lola in the end is one vicious bitch that you want to see die…but you also can’t help but cheer for her. She is a brilliant character, that I wish I could see more of.
I hereby knight Lola Stone. She is no longer Lola Stone, but shall be known as Lola Stone, Princess of Horror. You may all bow down to her.
Jamie’s Pick- The Mermaid from She Creature
She Creature is about two carnival workers (Carla Gugino and Rufus Sewell) who find a real mermaid (Rya Kihlstedt) to use in their show. They steal her away from her captors, despite warnings of danger, and take her back on their ship. At first all we see is a beautiful (half) woman trapped in a tank surrounded by lewd pirates. She forms a psychic connection with Gugino’s character who begins to feel entranced by the creature and even attempts to help her escape. However, during their ocean journey they learn just how dangerous the mermaid can be when she turns into something a lot more hideous and intimidating. After her transformation the once beautiful siren resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon and goes tabout taking out the members of the ship one by one.
This mermaid isn’t your typical sea princess. She isn’t a 15 year old girl in love with a human prince. She isn’t Daryl Hannah in a fin. And she isn’t a lovely siren who wants nothing more than to interact with the strange land creatures with legs. Old mythology tells of dangerous creatures that were half fish and half human who lured sailors to their death with their beautiful voices. Modern day tales have turned mermaids into harmless little pets or sexual objects. But this movie shows the danger of this mysterious sea creature that people used to believe in. What I love most about this villain is that she seems quite harmless at first. She goes from the one being trapped to the one doing the trapping. She goes from beautiful humanoid to terrifying sea creature. And no one saw it coming. We don’t really see many mermaid features in cinema anymore and when we do they’re watered down children’s stories. This is how I like my mermaids; terrifying, deceptive, and villainous.
Randy’s Pick – Coffin Joe
Probably the only entry that surpases the creepiness in real life as well. José Mojica Marins better known as Zé do Caixão, (which loosely translates into Coffin Joe) is a Brazilian media personality who has directed all sorts of films and tv shows but rose to fame with his character Coffin Joe,
Coffin Joe has appeared in television programs, songs, music videos and comic books, his ‘real’ name is Josefel Zanatas (the last name backwards is zatanas, or Satan), aside from wearing a cape and a top hat, he’s know for having disgustingly long fingernails which Jose Mojica grew naturally. He was created for the 1963 film At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul the begins gave way to the Coffin Joe trilogy, being followed by 1967′s This Night I Will Possess and even if he was part of Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind, Awakening of the Beast and The Bloody Exorcism of Coffin Joe, he closed the official trilogy 40 years later with Embodiment of Evil in which he set out to out-evil, out-crazy the previous entries. The series naturally centers around the character who believes himself superior to others and his main purpose is to continue his blood line of perfection, for that he has to find the perfect woman, which for him doesn’t translate to something like sexiness but more like similar beliefs and superiority and of course anyone that gets in his way will find themselves dead.
The character was inspired from a nightmare that Mojica had: “I was being taken to the cemetery to be buried, but I was still alive … I remember that I was wearing all black, so I started filming that way.” He realized that Brazil needed some presence in the horror genre so he turned his nightmare into his character and the country’s first horror film.
If you want something that’s off the wall crazy then check out the Coffin Joe movies, while cheesy at times it’s a total mind f*ck when you least expect it, and you’ll get your dose of torture, sex, creepy crawlers and violence. Just to give you an idea, the casting process for these movies revolved around finding beautiful women who had no problem being in close quarters with bugs, snakes, rats and other icky creatures, bonus points if you’re a masochist and a fan of body alterations, actresses were usually weeded out after being put through “bravery tests”, it was like Fear Factor but instead of Joe Rogan giving you money, José Mojica Marins gave you a role in his movie… and nightmares.
Matt’s Pick – Mick Taylor from Wolf Creek
Mick Taylor is evil.
There’s nothing to it, he’s pure, unrelenting evil. At least Freddy and Jason had excuses, they are undead monsters. Mick is a living breathing human which makes him all the more terrifying. Played by John Jarret in the Aussie horror film Wolf Creek, Mick is shown at first to be a Crocodile Dundee style outbacker – he ruins the line ’That’s not a knife, this is a knife’ with his own brutal meaning – that helps some lost tourists, he’s friendly if a little strange at first. That all changes in the night where the tourists wake up to find they’ve been drugged and that Mick has been beating, raping and torturing one of the girls through the night.
As the film goes on it becomes more and more evident that these aren’t the first people Mick’s ‘helped’, he’s a sadistic serial killer that enjoys hurting people and has no sign of remorse. None whatsoever, he’s so cold towards his victims it’s almost unreal. He even kills one guy just because he was talking to one of the escaping girls.
Armed with a fast car, a deadly sniper rifle, a big ass knife and a cold nature Mick is one of cinema’s most vile and terrifying villains. His crowning achievement is introducing the world to ‘Head-on-a-stick’ and yes it’s as horrible as it sounds. Smart, cold, violent and all the while still an actual living person. Mick is a great baddie that deserves more attention.
Just don’t think your knife is better.