A good horror movie is like fine wine, the older it gets the better it is. Well, that’s how it should be, but we all know that movies usually do not age well. What does age well usually is the killers that make those movies iconic? Chucky, Ghostface (Scream), that scary clown from House of 1000 Corpses, there is no shortage of iconic killers from the silver screen. So, since today is Friday the 13th, I figured I’d look at the five most iconic serial killers that Horror films have given us. So let’s just get right into it, here are the – The Greatest Killers!
5. Michael Myers (Halloween) – The Greatest Killers!
Perhaps one of the most iconic serial killers in history, Michael Myers starts us off today. Michael Myers is characterized as pure evil, both directly in the films, by the filmmakers who created and developed the character over nine films, and by random participants in a survey. In the first two films, Michael wears a Captain Kirk mask that is painted white. The mask, which was made from a cast of William Shatner’s face, was originally used in the 1975 horror film The Devil’s Rain. Myers has seen reboots, remakes and a hailstorm of bullets coming his way but he always finds a way to walk away and come to kill another day.
He’s got an impressive body count and has been the main antagonist in all but one of the Halloween films. There is another film coming up entitled Halloween Kills due out in the US on October 15th, but we will see what the pandemic has to say about that. Suffice it to say, the twelfth film in the franchise is sure to keep the narrative going and see even more bodies.
4. Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) – The Greatest Killers!
Coming in next is the one and only Leatherface. Leatherface first appears in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as a cannibalistic and mentally unstable mass murderer who, alongside his family, kidnaps, kills, and cooks unsuspecting travellers who venture near their ranch in an unidentified part of Texas. The character’s name comes from the human skin masks he is seldom seen without, which hide his deformed face. Leatherface’s signature weapon is the chainsaw, though he has also used other tools, such as cleavers and hammers, to kill his victims. The character was largely inspired by real-life murderer Ed Gein, who also wore masks made of human skin.
The character is the only one to have appeared in all instalments of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, though never as the main antagonist, due to always acting under his family’s orders He has been credited as one of the most influential killers of the slasher genre for inspiring the stereotype of the hulking, masked, and mostly silent killer, which includes other horror icons such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Speaking of Jason…
3. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) – The Greatest Killers!
He’s our number three today. Jason first appeared on Friday the 13th (1980) as the young son of camp cook-turned-killer Mrs Voorhees, who was the main antagonist of the first film. The trademark hockey goalie mask did not appear until Friday the 13th Part III. Since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, filmmakers have given Jason superhuman strength, regenerative powers, and near invulnerability. Some interpretations suggest that the audience has empathy for Jason, whose motivation for killing has been cited as being driven by the immoral actions of his victims and his rage over having drowned as a child. No matter what his actual motivations are, one thing is for certain.
He’s killed so many teens and unfortunates who got in his way that his body count would probably fill even the largest real-life cemetery. Whether it’s a machete, a skate, an iron poker or his bare hands, Jason is the one killer who you just will not escape from. You can run, you can try to hide, but the seemingly immortal Jason will find you. If you’re lucky, your death will be quick. If you’re unlucky, he’ll stuff you into a sleeping bag and use you to beat your friend to death.
2. Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) – The Greatest Killers!
One.. Two… Freddy’s Coming for You.
Freddy Krueger is the spirit of a serial killer who uses a gloved hand with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. In the dream world, he is a powerful force and almost completely invulnerable. However, whenever Freddy is pulled into the real world, he has normal human vulnerabilities and can be destroyed. Freddy attacks his victims from within their dreams. He is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, dirty red-and-green-striped sweater and brown fedora, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove only on his right hand.
This glove was the product of Krueger’s imagination, the blades having been welded by himself. Robert Englund has said many times that he feels the character represents neglect, particularly that suffered by children. The character also more broadly represents subconscious fears. Freddy is introduced as a child killer from the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio, who kills his victims with a bladed leather glove he crafted in a boiler room where he used to take his victims. He is captured but is set free on a technicality when it is discovered that the search warrant wasn’t signed in the right place. He is hunted down by a mob made up of the town’s vengeful parents and cornered in a boiler room. The mob douses the building with gasoline and sets it on fire by throwing Molotov cocktails, burning him alive. While his body dies, his spirit lives on within the dreams of a group of teenagers and pre-adolescents living on Elm Street, whom he preys on by entering their dreams and killing them, fueled by the town’s memories and fear of him and empowered by a trio of ‘dream demons’ to be their willing instrument of evil.
1. John Kramer aka The Jigsaw Killer (Saw) – The Greatest Killers!
Yeah, I’m not sorry here. Jigsaw is the serial killer to beat. Sure, he died at the end of like, the third movie, but he had so many followers and apprentices that there seems to be no end to the Saw franchise. In the series’ narrative, John is a former civil engineer dying from an inoperable frontal lobe tumour that had developed from colon cancer. After a suicide attempt, John found a new appreciation for his life and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to inspiring the same appreciation in others by testing their will to live.
His methods include forcing his subjects through deadly scenarios, which he referred to as “games” or “tests”, in which they were forced to inflict pain upon themselves or others to escape. These tests were typically symbolic of what Jigsaw perceived as a flaw in each person’s moral character or life. The Jigsaw name was given to him by the media for his practice of cutting a puzzle piece-shaped chunk of flesh from those who fail. Let’s face it, folks, even though he’s dead by the end of the third movie, he’s left a legacy and a body count that may never be topped.