Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface are horror staples, they defined the genre as we know it today, that should go without saying. But over the years and along the way there have been a number of very cool memorable psychos that added to and inspired so much of horror/slasher genre we've become so familiar with. Below is a list of some of horror's iconic unsung antagonists and anti-heroes.
25. Maniac Cop (1988)
Bruce Campbell wasn't always the poised, genre anti-hero audiences have come to know and love. In fact he finds himself both framed and pursued and subsequently he meets his maker by courtesy of a psychotic bad-ass serial killing superhuman cop know as Maniac Cop.
24. The Tooth Fairy, Darkness Falls (2003)
Hands down Darkness Falls is one of the coolest concept designs for a horror character I've ever seen. It's even a decent flick considering the movie studio that produced it was constrained by a PG-13 rating. There's so much potential with this character that I'm surprised no film-maker has attempt to re-make and reboot it.
23. The Collector, The Collector (2009)
A creep in the style of Dr. Decker from Nightbreed infiltrates a wealthy family's home and sets elaborate death traps all in an effort to capture the perfect human specimen. That is until a unsuspecting burglar gets caught up in the madness. Thus the game of cat and mouse ensues. This is one graphically violent film. It's not camp. And it's grim. Not for children.
22. The Black Cat, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1989)
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie was an anthology horror film based on an anthology TV show of the same name. My personal favorite story of the film, and in my opinion one of the coolest antagonists of any horror film was the black cat. The story centers around an elderly disabled wealthy tycoon that is seemingly tormented by a black cat. He'll go to any cost to see it killed, including hiring multiple hit-men.
21. Santa, Tales from the Crypt: And All Through the House (1989)
Tales from the Crypt was an anthology comedy-horror series that ran on HBO from 1989 and through the mid-90s. So technically I'm not speaking in terms of a horror film icon. And technically he doesn't really do much outside of make one appearance. Just watch the episode for yourself and I believe you'll see why this character is the second most synonymous with the series outside of the Crypt Keeper himself.
20. The Moaner, Black Christmas (1974)
Loosely inspired by both a real life serial killer and an urban legend, Black Christmas introduced us to the first real motiveless psychopath with a penchant for co eds prior to Michael Myers.
19. The Miner, My Bloody Valentine (1981) In a freak accident, an underground methane explosion kills a group of miners, and incapacitates another leaving him trapped underground on Valentine's Day. Without any means to survival our Miner antagonist resorts to cannibalism and develops a blood lust that he celebrates annually on guess what day?
18. Mick Taylor, Wolf Creek (2005)
Wolf Creek was inspired by real life mysterious events surrounding the disappearance of three travelers in vast wilderness of Australia's outback. But what makes this villain's character stand out is the lengths this film went to, to leave his torture methods with nothing to the imagination. Truly not a film for the faint of heart. There is nothing camp about this film. So parents beware this is most certainly not for children.
17. Ricky and Billy Caldwell, Silent Night Deadly Night 1 (1984) & 2 (1987)
Ricky and Billy are some of my favorite unsung psychos of the slasher genre so I can't decide which one I like better. They both certainly have some hilarious stand out moments. These films are total camp and over-the-top. If you're not familiar with the Caldwell's they are two brothers that didn't share quite the same Santa Clause experience as a child of which most of us were accustomed.
16. Mommy and Daddy (The Robesons), The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs isn't your typical horror film. That's of course a gross understatement. And I really believe that's the charm of the film. Mommy and Daddy are some of the most twisted and bizarre antagonists of the horror genre itself.
15. Horace Pinker, Shocker
You won't look at Mitch Pillegi's, Agent Walter Skinner quite the same after seeing this film. This time Pillegi is on the other side of the law. This was Wes Craven's attempt at another franchise that just didn't do that well at the box office. Pillegi plays Horace Pinker a convicted serial killer who is executed by means of the electric chair only to then come back and wreak supernatural terror.
14. Evil Ed, Fright Night (1985)
The make-up and practical special effects in Fright Night coupled with Stephen Geoffrey's performance as a maniacal nerd turned murderous vampire made this film an instant classic. Also, the death of Evil Ed features one of the coolest looking werewolf transformations since John Landis's An American Werewolf in London.
13. Hoax Willmoth, 976-EVIL (1988)
Stepehen Geoffreys plays a nerd named Hoax that's fed up with being bullied in Robert England's directorial debut. So he calls up the devil for a little help.
12. The Creep, Creepshow
The Creep is truly the thing of nightmares. Although the Creep has no dialogue, he navigators the viewing audience through a series of hybrid real-life and animated transitions in the film with such eerie resonance, that will make the hair on your arms stand up.
11. Cropsy, The Burning (1981)
The Burning is a horror film derivative of many of its predecessors. It takes place at a sleep-away camp, involves a psycho by the name of Cropsy that has a very similar backstory to that of Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees. But what makes this film so unique is that it brings with it a lot of innovative horror tropes that so many filmmakers in the horror genre would come to draw inspiration from. In example, A Nightmare on Elm Street.
10. Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, The Demons (1995) I loved this movie's practical special effects and the demon horde. Billy Zane's character the Collector not so much.
9. Basket Case, Belial Bradley (1982)
Daniel Bradley has a secret in the basket he carries everywhere he goes. And that secret is his homicidal and jealous former conjoined twin brother Belial. Although, Belial resembles something more like a giant cystic mass Dr. Pimple Popper would squish, than an actual human being.
8. Pumpkinhead, Pumpkinhead (1998)
Pumpkinhead is a vengeful spirit summoned by a witch to exact revenge on behalf of a grieving father who lost his son in an accident to a drunk driver. But after summoning Pumpkinhead dad soon realizes he got a little more than he bargained for.
7. Angela Baker, Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Sleepaway Camp has some of the best campy scenes in the history of the slasher genre, but the one you'll remember the most is in the very last frame of the film. Nuff said.
6. Russ Thorn, Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
Leatherface had his chainsaw, Freddy has the glove, Jason switches it up from time to time but mainly carries a machete. Russ Thorn, in Slumber Party Massacre, carries on the biggest hand drills known to man. However, one mystery remains; were there cordless drills in '82 or did dude have to carry an extension everywhere he went?
5. Death, Final Destination 3 (or any of the films for that matter)
Okay so you never actually see death in these films but you know you can't cheat him. This might be my favorite and in my opinion most underrated and undervalued horror franchise of all time. Not since the days of Freddy Krueger were we treated to such creative and humorous methods to off people.
4. Chop Top, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
If you're a hardcore fan of the horror genre then you already know about this guy. Bill Moseley's performance as Chop Top steals the show from Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
3. The Doctor, Hellraiser 2: Hellbound (1998)
Dr. Channard not only almost unseated Pinhead as leader of the Cenobites but for and an instant he was literally connected to the pure embodiment of hell, the Leviathan. He is arguably the most uniquely disgusting and disturbing monsters to ever grace the silver screen.
2. Dr. Decker, Night Breed (1990)
What makes Clive Barker's Night Breed so unique is that it turns the horror genre upside down and on its head. Whereas most of the villainous horror icons we have come to know and love are deformed, disturbing and cruel monstrosities, they are the protagonists here. And instead the real horror we find here lies in the cruel, sadistic means of a human serial killer who seeks only to exploit a peaceful community of supernatural societal outcasts.
1. Blade, The Puppet Master (1989)
Blade is just one of the many bad ass puppets created by the Puppet Master Andre Toulon. Blade is infused with the human soul of a man named Hess who sacrificed his life helping Toulon evade capture from the Nazi detainment during WWII. Not only is he the coolest looking puppet from the franchise but he without question one of the most prominent faces of the B movie horror genre.