Christopher Walken is one of the most diverse and eccentric actors in Hollywood today. With nearly 100 movies to his name, Walken has performed in everything from musicals to horror films.
Over the years, he’s perfected the awkwardly creepy and disturbing character. Here’s a list of the Creepiest Christopher Walken performances.
While the remake is nowhere near as creepy as the original film, Walken’s performance as Mike Wellington is something special. He has an uncanny ability to make you like him and want to be his friend even though he’s asking you to basically join a cult. He effortlessly takes control of the minds of the men in town and convinces them to turn their wives into robots. His charming smile and jokes make him a likable cult leader, going so far as to make you question if you could turn down his charismatic smile.
While the Penguin was the main villain, Walken’s portrayal of Schreck was just as terrifying. The scene where Schreck kills Selina Kyle reveals the true brutality and lack of compassion in this character. It’s not the actual act of Kyle falling out the window that’s so shocking, but the expression on Schreck’s face. The man is such a psychopath that he even joked around with the terrified Kyle before pushing her out the window.
For a while Stephen King novels were being made into the best horror-thriller movies around. In 1983 audiences were introduced to a young Christopher Walken playing Johnny Smith in the psychological thriller The Dead Zone. Smith is able to tell the future of a person by simply touching their hand. Even with dated effects, The Dead Zone continues to startle audiences.
In the over-the-top musical directed by John Turturro, Walken plays a man who takes his revenge on a cheating girlfriend. Walken stabs her the while dancing and singing to Tom Jones’ “Delilah.” Like many other characters on this list, what makes this performance particularly creepy is the pure joy exuding from Walken.
It’s the classic story of the headless horseman’s search for his head. In Tim Burton’s version, Walken doesn’t have a line until his head is actually returned. Walken’s thin frame and skeleton-like face are enhanced with pale make-up and vampire looking teeth that would haunt anyone who dare to close their eyes.
Even while being funny Walken can still manage to be terrifying. In Woody Allen’s 1977 romantic comedy, Annie Hall, Walken plays Duane Hall, the brother of the title character. Duane is a man obsessed with the idea of suicide. In a scene full of awkward moments, Duane calmly explains every detail of his desire to turn his car into oncoming traffic to Allen’s character. After explaining his ideal car crash, Duane is then asked to drive his sister and Allen’s character home. The entire time Duane’s face is stone cold and as headlights flash across his face, you wonder if he will actually turn the wheel.
While Walken’s character isn’t particularly creepy, his circumstances certainly are, especially the infamous Russian roulette scene. Walken and Robert De’Niro’s performances are completely bone-chilling and capture the true fear of the moment. When they realize that only bullets remain in the gun Walken begins to laugh. This moment is so poignant to the film, because it shows the true disappear of the character.
Is there anything more terrifying than having Christopher Walken hand over your dead father’s watch and then calmly explain where he hid it all those years in Vietnam? At least it explains why he’s so slow to sit down. In just two paragraphs of dialogue and a few minutes of screentime, Walken captures the horrors of war, and the disturbing ways people will try to cling to a shred of humanity. Captain Koons is that friend of your dad’s you hope you never meet.