Top 100 Movie Killers
The movies are filled with madmen, maniacs, and psychopaths. Some become pop culture icons, while others just fade into the blood-soaked background. For your enjoyment, I’ve put together this list of the top 100 movie killers. Along with each entry, I’ve also posted a link to a site that discusses, or at least mentions, the killer in question. Have fun immersing yourself in this world of severed limbs, mommy issues, and recycled body parts.
Keep in mind that these movie madmen are not listed in any order. For your convenience, I’ve instead broken them up into categories. This way, you’ll have no trouble finding something for your Netflix queue if you’re in the mood for a film about a killer wearing a suit and tie or speaking a foreign language.
Top Sophisticated Movie Killers
Some movie killers are just downright rude and crude, but not these guys. Sophisticated movie killers are either wealthy, highly intelligent, or a combination of both. While some movie killers live in abject filth, these fellows are likely to be found stalking art galleries and high society.
1. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho – Driven into a murderous rage by the quality of a co-worker’s new business cards, Bateman is constantly “returning videos,” and hacking up the disaffected youth of New York. Notice how he’s able to quote magazine articles and reviews off the top of his head, but he’s always at a loss when asked to express his own opinion.
2. Peter Neal from Tenebrae – A successful horror writer from America, Neal is surrounded by assistants and lovely women (plus John Saxon). Too bad he also seems to be surrounded by death and mayhem.
3. John Doe from Se7en – He’s John Doe by choice, which means this movie killer is one guy you don’t want to mess with. Detective Mills gets smart with him, and look what happens (“What’s in the box?!”).
4. The Dean from Pieces – The head of the local university seems like a nice enough guy, at least until they find his collection of female body parts. For an academic, he sure knows how to work a chainsaw.
5. Dr. Robert Elliott/Bobbi from Dressed to Kill – Michael Caine as a cross-dressing killer?!
6. The Jigsaw Killer from Saw – Stricken with cancer, a man decides to teach others to appreciate life. Unfortunately, his life lessons always seem to revolve around deadly steel contraptions. Even in death, Jigsaw manages to dominate the Saw movies.
7. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs – The king of the sophisticated movie killers, Lecter can talk about opera, art, medicine, or a wide range of other subjects. All the while, though, he’s thinking up the best way to cook your pancreas.
Top Backwoods Movie Killers
The killers on this list can be found hanging out in the woods and other isolated, rural areas. They’re often fond of skinning their prey, and housekeeping isn’t normally one of their strong points (neither is dental hygiene). I’m talking, of course, about those wacky guys and gals known as backwoods killers.
8. Otis B. Driftwood from The Devil’s Rejects – He appeared as an albino in House of 1000 Corpses, but it appears that he found a cure by the sequel. A self-styled artist, Otis enjoys stitching up the bodies of his victims (when he’s not sleeping with them). He may be a mean dude, but he’s no match for Diamond Dallas Page.
9. Victor Crowley from Hatchet – As a child, Victor was hit in the face with a hatchet. This did nothing to improve his looks (or his disposition). Don’t let this backwoods killer get his hands on you, or he’ll literally rip your limbs from your body.
10. Cropsey from The Burning – A summer camp caretaker burned beyond recognition, Cropsey returns to wreak bloody vengeance with a lethal pair of shears. Can the likes of Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander stop him?
11. Papa Hades from The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) – This massive mutant is a real handful, able to withstand tons of damage before going down. Steer clear if you’re a woman, or else you’ll become the latest mother to his mutated offspring.
12. Madman Marz from Madman – If you even say his name, this mad hillbilly will hunt you down and end your life. A group of smartass teens find this out the hard way.
13. The Mountain Twins from Just Before Dawn – Two huge palookas skulking around the mountains and attacking anyone who strays into their territory. You know you’re bad when George Kennedy is trying to track you down.
14. Mr. Slausen from Tourist Trap – Chuck Connors plays Mr. Slausen, the owner of an out-of-business museum. While he seems all kindly at first, we soon realize that he and his crazed telekinetic brother have nothing but sinister intentions. This certainly ain’t The Rifleman!
15. Judd from Eaten Alive – Neville Brand is a real hoot as Judd, a countrified lunatic with a giant pet gator. When he’s not hacking up people with his trusty scythe, he’s busy feeding victims to his pal.
16. Vincent & Ida Smith from Motel Hell – If you wanna make great sausage, it’s best to include a touch of biker and maybe a hint of hitchhiker. That’s the way this crazed duo looks at it, as they busy themselves hacking up the locals. ‘Ol Vincent is also pretty handy with a chainsaw, although taking off that giant pig’s head would probably improve his vision.
17. Captain Spaulding from The Devil’s Rejects – Clowns always seem to creep people out, so this rural psycho is especially scary with his grease paint and maniacal attitude. When he’s not engaging in “top secret clown business,” he can usually be found torturing people out at the Firefly Ranch.
18. Colonel Ives from Ravenous – A respected officer turned cannibal, Ives lures a whole detachment of soldiers to their doom, then heads back to their fort for seconds.
Top Youthful Movie Killers
Creepy kids are a popular device in horror movies, so let’s take a look at the top youthful movie killers. If you haven’t had children yet, this list may make you reconsider.
19. Belial from Basket Case – While he’s not exactly a child, it’s hard not to think of him as one (especially considering that he lives in a basket). If you’re talking about freaky-looking children, Belial’s mutated little body easily wins the prize.
20. Gage Creed from Pet Sematary – Isn’t he adorable? Well, he is until he gets hit by a semi and returns as an evil undead tot. He wants to play with yooouuuu.
21. Timmy York from Identity – Little Timmy just looks traumatized throughout most of the film, but he’s secretly bumping off everyone while nobody’s looking. Apparently, he doesn’t like whores, either.
22. Damien Thorn from The Omen – This chubby little kid is the Antichrist. I guess he doesn’t have to eat his vegetables if he doesn’t want to.
23. The Davis Baby from It’s Alive – Mutant babies are always a hit, especially those who maul onlookers.
24. Henry Evans from The Good Son – Macauley Culkin sheds his Home Alone image by playing a pre-teen psychotic. I wonder if Joe Pesci gave him any tips on how to portray a nutjob?
Top Masked Movie Killers
Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees wear masks over their face, so it stands to reason that a number of other characters would follow suit. While they all can’t be as cool as Michael and Jason, the guys on the following list come awfully close.
25. The Miner from My Bloody Valentine – With a pickaxe, gas mask, and a desire for revenge, this miner really knows how to hold a grudge.
26. Ghostface from Scream – If you had a chance, wouldn’t you want to kill Neve Campbell, too? I’m joking, of course (especially if Ms. Campbell’s attorneys are looking at this).
27. Kenny Hampson from Terror Train – The end result of sexual torment, Kenny dons a wide array of disguises to dispatch teens on a train. He even kills David Copperfield, although I suspect the illusionist found a way to escape.
28. Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Crazy guy…mask made of human flesh…chainsaw. That about sums it up.
29. Michael Myers from Halloween – With his modified William Shatner mask, Myers just can’t seem to leave the poor residents of Haddonfield alone.
30. The Phantom Killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown – With a bag over his head, this real-life Texarkana killer looks eerily similar to Jason in the sequel to Friday the 13th.
31. The Prowler from The Prowler – A deranged vet takes out his frustrations on a town using swords, bayonets, and assorted other lethal weapons. He gets his in the end, though, courtesy of a massive shotgun blast to the noggin.
32. Leslie Vernon from Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon – When he’s not looking like Jim Carrey, this wanna-be slasher legend dons a creepy mask and make-up to terrorize a group of hand-picked victims. And he’s got an Ahab!
33. Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series – The king of the masked movie killers, Jason is equally comfortable in a burlap sack or hockey mask. He’s been in a dozen movies so far, and more are definitely on the way (although that last film did suck harder than Pamela Anderson on a yacht).
34. Max Seed from Seed – Before being captured and sent to the electric chair, Max Seed killed 666 people. Getting electrocuted and buried alive didn’t stop him, so he clawed his way out from the prison cemetery and picked up where he left off.
35. Alex Hammond from Prom Night – When you watch your sister fall to her death, you’ve gotta expect some psychological trauma. Of course, stalking Jamie Lee Curtis and an assortment of other high school students might be taking things a bit too far (especially since you run the risk of encountering Jamie Lee’s fabled trouser snake).
Top Foreign Movie Killers
Where’s it written that American maniacs get to have all the fun? In this section, let’s pause to pay tribute to the top foreign movie killers. You may not understand a word they’re saying, but murder has a way of bridging any language barrier.
36. Peter and Paul from Funny Games – These teenage hooligans terrorize a vacationing family and even manage to break the fourth wall on occasion. In the American remake, they get to terrorize two non-Americans in Tim Roth and Naomi Watts.
37. Sadako from Ringu – A creepy Japanese kid in need of a good blowdryer, Sadako kills anyone who fails to copy her cursed videotape and pass it along. Wonder if she planned ahead for Blu-ray?
38. Kayako Saeki from Ju-on: The Grudge – The ghost of a housewife makes life miserable for everyone she comes into contact with. If those croaking noises, jerky movements, and neck-grinding sounds don’t disturb you, then you’re made of sterner stuff than yours truly.
39. Light Yagami from Death Note – A young man finds a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written inside. He starts off eradicating criminals, but his thirst for death soon begins to expand. Nobody ever died from a Trapper Keeper.
40. Mick Taylor from Wolf Creek – He may act like Crocodile Dundee, but this Australian is as mad as a hatter. He’s also a damn fine shot, nailing one victim in the face from an impressive distance.
41. Joseph from Sheitan – The burly caretaker seems like a harmless enough guy at first, but it soon becomes obvious that he’s up to something quite sinister (assuming you consider Satan to be sinister). Judging from the looks of his wife, he sure isn’t picky when it comes to his women.
42. Doctor Genessier from Eyes Without a Face – This wacko surgeon tries to restore his daughter’s once-lovely face. A noble enough ambition, at least until the killing starts.
43. Mark Lewis from Peeping Tom – A lonely British lad, he murders women and films them at the same time. In fact, an especially devious device allows the women to watch themselves die.
Top Supernatural Movie Killers
Horror movies are filled with examples of vampires, werewolves and Satan worshippers. In this section, we’ll be taking a look at those who fall into this category. It’s a section I like to call “Top Supernatural Movie Killers.
44. Jimmy Bones from Bones – If you’re going to kill the local good-guy gangster, you’d better make damn sure he stays dead. They don’t, of course, thus allowing Snoop Dogg to wear outrageous clothes from beyond the grave.
45. Candyman from Candyman – This hook-handed spirit will appear to anyone who says his name three times. He’s also pretty chummy with bees, although I have no idea why.
46. Chucky from Child’s Play – When a serial killer finds himself moments from death, he manages to cast a spell and place his soul inside a child’s doll. After that, it’s back to bloody business as usual.
47. The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers – Staying young by eating the internal organs of the living, the ancient being known as The Creeper drives a rusted truck in search of his next victim. Of couse, he can also sprout wings and become death from above when the situation warrants.
48. Death from Final Destination – When a group of students avoid his icy embrace, Death himself takes an active hand in setting things right. He may never make an appearance on the screen, but his elaborate way of balancing the scales makes up for it.
49. Eric Draven from The Crow – The rare hero on this list, Draven returns from the dead to gain revenge for the murders of he and his bride-to-be.
50. Jack Frost from Jack Frost – A killer gets hit with chemicals and transforms into a homicidal snowman. Who’d you expect, fu*kin Frosty?
51. Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street – With his trademark fedora, striped shirt, and finger knives, Freddy is a horror icon whose popularity continues to endure. In fact, a reboot of the franchise is currently being filmed (unfortunately, it’s from the same people who brought you the latest Friday the 13th film).
52. Pinhead from Hellraiser – If there’s a tour in Hell, then Pinhead is your willing guide. He thrives on suffering and pain, but you probably figured that out from the countless rows of pins driven into his skull.
53. Eddie Quist from The Howling – He’s a werewolf, but he’s also a serial killer who preys on women. How’s that for a winning combination?
54. Severen from Near Dark – An immortal vampire who helped start the Chicago Fire, Severen loves to kill and terrorize mortals. He’s also pretty handy with that spur he wears on his boot, as demonstrated by his slitting someone’s throat with it.
55. The Tall Man from Phantasm – Angus Scrimm is the Tall Man, a creepy fellow who runs a mortuary and exhibits control over killer steel orbs and dwarf-like robed henchmen.
56. The Djinn from Wishmaster – First off all, who would ask for a wish from a guy who looks that creepy (and I‘m talking about his human guise)?
57. Horace Pinker from Shocker – After getting fried in the electric chair, the serial killer returns in the form of electrical energy, allowing him to posses the body of others. No more Mister Nice Guy.
58. Johnny Charles Bartlett from The Frighteners – A serial killer in life, Bartlett came back from the dead as a ghost to continue his evil ways. Boy, what a set of teeth on Gary, Jr.
59. Count Dracula from Dracula Has Risen from the Grave – Christopher Lee sets the bar for portraying Dracula incredibly high. This film is no exception.
60. Officer Matthew Cordell from Maniac Cop – What’s the only thing worse than a corrupt cop? An undead cop, that’s what.
61. Pumpkinhead from Pumpkinhead – A giant creature with a head resembling a pumpkin (natch), he’s directly tied to Lance Henriksen. And who wouldn’t want to be directly tied to Lance Henriksen?
62. The Gemini Killer from Exorcist III – Even though he’s supposed to be dead, the Gemini Killer managed to make a deal with the Devil and return to the material plane. Locked in a padded cell, he uses the power of possession to kill again. Brad Dourif plays him with deranged gusto.
63. The Warlock from Warlock – Julian Sands plays this ancient sorcerer trying to help Satan conquer the Earth. He goes barefoot throughout the film, which gets him turned away from numerous restaurants. No wonder he’s cranky.
Top Non-Human Movie Killers
Not every movie killer possesses human DNA; some are from outer space, while others are from an ancient magical race. Still others are just animals which have climbed up a few extra rungs on the food chain. Check out these top non-human movie killers and see what all the fuss is about.
64. Blade from Puppet Master – This tiny doll’s got a trenchcoat, black hat, and knives for hands. Why can’t I find dolls like that at the local Wal-Mart?
65. Christine from Christine – A killer car from the mind of Stephen King. When it’s not blaring golden oldies or running people down, it’s slowly warping the mind of the guy who played Rodney Dangerfield’s son in Back to School.
66. The Shark from Jaws – “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Damn straight.
67. The Predator from Predator – The Predator travels to various planets looking for worthy prey to hunt. If it had known that Schwarzenegger lived on Earth, I’m betting it would’ve kept right on going.
68. The Thing from The Thing – After freezing in the cold of Antarctica, a shape-shifting alien is thawed out and begins a horrifying rampage in an effort to reach a population center.
69. The Xenomorphs from Aliens – These buggers are quick, sneaky, and absolutely without mercy. And even if you think you’ve gotten away, you may be surprised to have one burst right out of your chest.
70. The Klowns from Killer Klowns from Outer Space – They look like clowns, but these malevolent creatures are something else entirely. An inspired premise to be sure.
71. The Leprechaun from Leprechaun – He’s been to “tha hood,” outer space, and even tried to kill a young Jennifer Anniston (what was he thinking?!). He’s not nearly as nice as that Lucky Charms guy.
72. Ben the Rat from Ben – A sinister rat with powers of telepathy, he leads a massive uprising against humanity. It doesn’t get very far, though, as rats can’t shoot guns or read nuclear launch codes. Back to the drawing board, I suppose.
73. Ella from Monkey Shines – It’s a killer monkey. Consider me amused.
74. Pennywise the Dancing Clown – His true form is that of a giant spider-like creature, but he seems to prefer the body of a harmless-looking clown. Actually, harmless may be a bit of an overstatement, especially when he shows off his razor-sharp teeth.
75. Sil from Species – If you’re going to die at the hands of an alien/human hybrid, getting to bed Natasha Henstridge beforehand isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Top Female Movie Killers
While real-life males tend to be larger and stronger, these rules can sometimes go out the window in the world of horror movies. When it does, you can count on some truly sadistic on-screen violence. Here are the top female movie killers for your enjoyment.
76. Baby Firefly from House of 1000 Corpses – If you spy a sexy hitchhiker on a lonely stretch of road, it might be best to keep driving. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
77. Mother from Mother’s Day – While Mother doesn’t do the killing herself, she’s more than happy to encourage her two sons to rape and murder any unfortunate girls who cross their path.
78. Marie from High Tension – She looks sexy as hell with her butch haircut and lean bod, but Marie is hiding a terrible secret.
79. Pamela Voorhees from Friday the 13th – Mrs. Voorhees snapped when her son drowned due to the negligence of camp counselors. Her response? Grab an axe and go on a kill-crazy rampage.
80. Amanda Young from Saw II – Amanda begins as one of the Jigsaw Killer’s victims, but she later becomes his prize student. Her motives differ from his, however, and the former junkie’s death traps don’t allow anyone to get out alive.
81. Asami Yamazaki from Audition – She seems sweet and demure, at least until you sleep with her. After that, her obsessive nature kicks in, and you’ll be lucky to leave with both of your feet intact. And if you’re really unlucky, you’ll end up inside a sack eating nothing but vomit.
82. La Femme from Inside – A mysterious woman obsessed with carving the baby right out of a pregnant woman‘s belly. She’s a tough gal, too, soaking up all kinds of punishment prior to the film’s conclusion.
83. Brenda Bates from Urban Legend – With great hair, a beautiful face and attractive body, nobody would believe that Brenda Bates could be a stone-cold killer. Of course, that would be their last mistake.
84. Tiffany from Bride of Chucky – She begins as the girlfriend of a serial killer, but she later ends up as a psychotic doll (thanks to a voodoo ritual). The perfect companion to the murderous Chucky.
85. Samantha Pringle from Deadly Friend – After her father beats her to death, a teenage girl has a computer chip implanted inside her by the neighborhood whiz kid. It brings her back from the dead, but the once-sweet girl is replaced by a murderous creature who’s able to knock someone’s head off with a basketball.
Top Psychotic Movie Killers
The following group isn’t comprised of mask-wearing monsters or members of the social elite. At the end of the day, the following men and women just have a few screws loose. This tie with reality can make them seem pitiful at times, but it can also make them appear far more terrifying than your average unstoppable killing machine. One of these top psychotic movie killers could very well be your next-door neighbor.
86. Norman Bates from Psycho – He’s a boy who loves his mother. He also loves taxidermy, watching women through a peephole, and dressing up like his mom and stabbing strangers to death.
87. Jerry Blake from The Stepfather – Jerry wants to have the perfect family. When it doesn’t work out, he murders them all, adopts a different identity, and then tries again. I guess he’s what they call a perfectionist.
88. Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs – The master of the genital tuck, Buffalo Bill loves his dog Precious and has a large stock of lotion. He’s also making a “woman suit” made from the skin of corpses.
89. Angela/Peter from Sleepaway Camp – When you take a boy and raise them as a girl, it’s certain to cause a few issues for the child. In the case of Angela, she enjoys posing in the moonlight, surrounded by dead bodies, with her/his penis hanging out. Some kids will do anything for a little attention.
90. The Celluloid Killer (Eric Binford) from Fade to Black – A lonely young man obsessed with movies, Eric impersonates various movie legends to commit his murders.
91. Billy Chapman from Silent Night, Deadly Night – After watching his parents get murdered by a madman in a Santa Clause outfit, Billy grows up to become a raving psychotic who punishes the naughty people during the Christmas holidays.
92. God’s Hand Killer from Frailty – Possessed with an almost magical ability to punish the guilty, the God’s Hand Killer title is passed down from a kindly father to his son.
93 Henry from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – Based on real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, Henry is a violent man with severe psychological problems. Running into a like-minded individual named Otis doesn’t help his disposition.
94. John Ryder from The Hitcher – Roaming the highways of America, John Ryder wipes out entire families in his quest to find someone who can finally bring his spree to an end. He’s also an uncanny shot, able to blast helicopters out of the air by firing off a few rounds.
95. Mickey & Mallory Knox from Natural Born Killers – These murderous lovers always leave one victim alive to tell the story. In the meantime, they’re being pursued by a cop who becomes just as ruthless as they are.
96. Frank Zito from Maniac – A sad little man who kills women and keeps them in his apartment like mannequins, Frank has some serious mother issues.
97. Annie Wilkes from Misery – The epitome of the deranged fan, Annie captures a famous horror writer and puts him through the wringer. At least he got a great book out of the experience.
98. Jack Torrance from The Shining – Jack Nicholson created one of horror’s most memorable characters in Jack Torrance. A recovering alcoholic and aspiring writer, he acts as caretaker for a huge resort hotel in the middle of the winter. Things begin well enough, but the hotel has a mind of its own and soon starts to influence Jack. “Here’s Johnny!”
99. Billy from Black Christmas – Between his heavy breathing and high-pitched obscene phone calls, Billy is one of the most psychotic movie killers to ever grace the silver screen. What a coincidence that he winds up inside a sorority house filled with nubile young women.
100. Frank Dodd from The Dead Zone – After killing a number of local residents, this mad deputy is found out by the strange powers of Johnny Smith. Before he can be arrested, though, he takes his own life in a particularly painful-looking way.
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