The Five Lamest Horror Movie Villains
Horror has a soft spot for the ridiculous. It’s given us evil Santas, vengeful Uncle Sams, carnivorous four-poster beds, and something called the Gingerdead Man. And if you rent a movie called “Monsturd,” you know what you’re getting into: a cheesy monster who inspires more laughs than screams.
Of course, there are just as many movies that really intend to scare us with serious villains but only leave us scratching our heads or sneering derisively. To celebrate Halloween, we’ve assembled a motley crew of some of horror’s lamest villains (limiting our research to the last 30 years).
5. Ripper (The New York Ripper)
Lucio Fulci’s notoriously gruesome flick has some ingeniously staged, inventively gory setpieces—including a point-of-view murder on a ferry—yet the giallo master ruins them by making his killer talk in a voice that sounds like Donald Duck. How scary is a homicidal mallard with no pants? (Well, pretty frightening, just not in the way Fulci intended).
4. Driller Killer (Slumber Party Massacre 2)
Not the creepy convict of the first movie nor the vengeful dork of the third, but the prancing nincompoop of the second, a phantom rock-and-roll star who kills with a sub-“Rocky Horror” song in his heart. Turning the movie into a music video, he mugs so aggressively with his flashy red guitar-drill that you could easily mallwalk to safety.
3. Leprechaun (Leprechaun)
Did Irish mythology really need a gritty reboot? Before he launched into space and slummed it up in the hood, Leprechaun was actually supposed to be scary. But even the best efforts of Warwick Davis can’t change the fact that it’s still a movie about a killer leprechaun.
2. The Mangler (The Mangler)
Adapting a story Stephen King conceived, wrote, and published before breakfast one day, Tobe Hooper brought to the screen one of the most inane movie monsters ever: a haunted laundry machine with a taste for blood. If the characters wised up and just walked away from it, the movie would have ended before the opening credits.
1. Jigsaw (Saw series)
At first, Jigsaw is just another one of those stock serial killers that movies and crime shows love so well: improbably intelligent, self-righteous, able to be in many places at once, and given to ridiculously convoluted deathtraps that make Rube Goldberg look all thumbs. But what makes Jigsaw such a blowhard is the filmmakers’ growing adulation of him: He’s become the hero of the franchise, with the filmmakers actually buying into his twisted logic and portraying him as actually moral rather than masochistic. That actually makes them pretty scary horror movie villains.