Film & TV

8 Subtle Scary Screen Scoundrels

mikemyers-1There have always been baddies that we love to hate as a film audience, from Dracula to more modern ‘Slasher’ types.

This list though is actually more of a credit to the actors that made their baddie characters so sinister and believable.

It proves that whether from the ‘40s or much more recent, with the right actor cast for the role, a baddie can become iconic and his/her scenes truly unforgettable! Here then are a list of baddies whose actor’s made them completely creepy and plausible:

child-catcher-11 – The Child Catcher – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Kicking off this list and serving as a BIG deterrent to encourage children to say no to strangers has to be the very creepy child catcher from ‘Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang’ who lures children with lollipops, only to imprison them. With his funeral attire, black gloves, giant honk to smell the blood of children, not to mention his great big net, this character (played by Robert Helpmann) still has the power to freak out generations!

darthmaul-12 – Darth Maul – The Phantom Menace

Before Kylo Ren (who could make this list in his own right, but is not included for risk of ‘Star Wars:The Force Awakens’ spoilers,) there were iconic baddies a plenty in the Star Wars films, Darth Vader, Jabba The Hut and The Emperor to name a few, but Darth Maul deserves a place in this list. Remaining silent, having a physical resemblance to Satan himself with horns and red/yellow eyes; not to mention being lethal with martial arts type fighting skills and expertise with a double lightsaber, make Darth Maul (played by Ray Park) an extremely talented assassin with a very unnerving appearance,

ming-13 Ming The Merciless – Flash Gordon

Taking the cheesiness of the 1980 film version of ‘Flash Gordon’ aside, Ming The Merciless (played by Max von Sydow) is a truly evil tyrant who not content with ruling his own planet Mango, wants to destroy Earth. The fact that his daughter is tortured and nearly killed seems to mean nothing to him! Perhaps equally creepy though is his pantomime villain type laugh, not to mention his very scary 80’s over the top clothes and collars!

The-Shining-14 Jack “Here’s Johnny” Torrance – The Shining

The phrase, “here’s Johnny” is now legendary and has been parodied in many tv programmes and films since. Jack Nicholson gives true eyebrow raising chills in his portrayal of insane Jack Torrance in the 1980 film version of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’.

Particularly memorable is the scene where an axe wielding Jack is chasing after his own son and wife, whilst reciting part of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ fable – which will not be the same for you to read to the grandchildren after watching this film!

psycho-15 Norman Bates – Psycho

Similarities to Jack Torrance could be drawn with Norman Bates, particularly as they share the pastime of wanting to murder people in remote hotels!

Rather than reciting lines from fables though, Norman (played in the 1960 film by Anthony Perkins) likes to dress up in his dead mum’s clothes and chillingly mimic her voice.

The iconic shower scene has been parodied many times, and Anthony Perkins went on to ‘send up’ the character of Norman Bates in the US both on their ‘Saturday Night Live’ show and on an advert for cereals!

pinkiebrown-16 Pinkie Brown – Brighton Rock

A young Richard Attenborough gave an outstanding performance back in 1947 as dodgy gangster Pinkie Brown in the film noir Brighton Rock. He is repulsed by anything sweet or affectionate in life, and ruthlessly gets revenge on anyone who crosses his path.

Although ‘Dickie’ Attenborough was just twenty years old and relatively new to the film scene at the time the film was made, his fresh faced look somehow adds to the sheer complex scariness of a young seventeen year old Pinkie Brown.

misery-17 Annie Wilkes – Misery

When your No 1 fan kidnaps you and wants to chop your ankles off, there really isn’t a lot of hope!

Kathy Bates stars as a crazy Annie Wilkes in the film Misery. What is particularly scary is that Annie seems to genuinely believe she is caring for her favourite author Paul, as she holds him hostage. By profession, she is also a nurse! Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her performance in this film, and quite rightly so!
Green_Goblin-28 The Green Goblin – Spider-Man

There are many great baddies in Spidey films, but a chilling performance that stands out is Willem Dafoe’s in the 2002 film version of Spider-Man.

There is a bizarrely disturbing scene where Norman Osborn has a conversation with himself/alter ego The Green Goblin in plain clothes, via a mirror! In true baddie style once he has THAT suit on, he becomes insanely powerful with antics including dangling children and Spidey’s dream girl Mary Jane from a bridge – to make him choose!
Author: Karen Hill

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