Immorality is something we all dabble in. If not, there would be no need at all for the commandments of religion to exist. From adultery to gluttony to murder the human race as a whole has done it all time and time again. We excuse our moral slips and beg for forgiveness feeling entitled since surely as children of God we deserve absolution from simple folly, all murderous intent aside. But what of the constant abuser, those soulless beings who are driven by urges that we regular folks can’t even fathom. Here are but a few examples of same. In no particular order let the games begin.
10. Frank Zito (Maniac) – The year was 1980 and Joe Spinell poured all his sweaty swarthy best into one screwed up character by the name of Frank Zito. ‘Maniac’ caused quite a grindhouse stir when it emerged at the beginning of the Greed Decade. It was New York City griminess at its best as our Mama’s boy Frank stalked the seven boroughs in search of beautiful women to capture, kill, and scalp. Horrifyingly not necessarily in that order.
9. Rhoda Penmark (The Bad Seed) – In 1956 an eight year old pigtailed horror germinated from novel, to stage play, to big screen in the form of Rhoda Penmark. This little girl as demon would stop at nothing to have her way. Drown a classmate for a scholastic medal, no problem. Old lady pushed down stairs for a knickknack or two, piece of cake. Burn a janitor alive to cover up the last couple of crimes, all in a baby’s days work.
8. Michael Myers (Halloween) – Now here we have a little boy on a mission. In 1978 John Carpenter brought to life another one of cinematic horror’s L’enfant terrible. Little Michael Myers didn’t care much for his home life so he brutally murdered his sister. Not satisfied he breaks free from custody some fifteen years later to return home to finish the job, and our butcher knife wielding man child loves to leave a trail of corpses along the way back home. An infinite number of sequels and remakes later hasn’t slowed him down a bit.
7. Frank Cotton (Hellraiser) – Oh the things we do for love. It was 1987 when our man Frank first raised his malignant head. Frank is one sexy beast. He’s a criminal who wants it all. His brother’s wife is happy to oblige, and after a puzzle box ticket into Hell tears his world apart, literally, she will stop at nothing to put him back together. Of course evil knows no gratitude and Frank has survived Hell remember. He will stop at nothing and use everyone to secure his degenerate place in this world. His incestual lust for his niece is just the icing on the cake.
6. Holland and Niles Perry (The Other) – These troubled twin boys sprang to the big screen in 1972 and with them brought an uncanny ungodliness with them. A summer of mischief spells death and destruction for this team. ‘The Other’ is a lost gem of a film that works a web of psychological fear in the form of wholesomeness gone bad. There is no one or nothing safe on the farm with Holland/Niles Perry’s malevolent minds at play.
5. Fred Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) – This son of 1000 maniacs lives up to his mythology. The world has forgotten just how black Freddy’s soul is what with the sad list of sequels adding comedy to the mayhem and watering down his filthy legacy. In the first and greatest installment, ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ the media was polarized with the depravity Mr. Krueger brought to the big horror picture show in the form of a child killer in life and a murderous, vengeful, unstoppable maniac in his dream powered afterlife.
4. John Doe (Seven) – The seven deadly sins never hurt so badly than in the hands of Kevin Spacey’s John Doe. A man with seemingly no soul and literally no identity John Doe is sleazy stealth living amongst us contempt seething until he strikes in biblical fashion. No remorse and only one goal of pain inflicted cruelly in the name of moral justice. John Doe is spiteful arrogance and one should be afraid.
3. Alfredo Grossi (The Stendhal Syndrome) – Director Dario Argento brought to life one of the most despicable men to grace the cinematic screen in the form of Alfredo Grossi. He is a serial killing rapist who knows how to toy with a victim making their degradation seem almost desired. His torment of Detective Anna Manni is a bloody mix of psychological terror and physical pain that is truly hard to view.
2. Coffin Joe (At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul) - José Mojica Marins Is a Brazilian Actor and filmmaker who has his own bent on quite a few things in this world. In 1963 he molded our dear fiend Coffin Joe out of some of those odd beliefs. Coffin Joe is depravity incarnate. He is amoral and challenges God, the church and all who believe or anyone who simply gets in his way. His search for a “perfect” female specimen to sire him an unholy spawn is never ending. Coffin Joe aka Zé do Caixão walks this earth taking light, leaving dark and blackened ruin in its place as he laughs all the way home.
1. La femme (Inside) – The woman, La femme, she with no name, is a creeping unknown menace that wants from you the worst thing imaginable, to cut you in two and take you, the future you, and your soul to boot. Her disgusting hunting down and ultimate bloody victory over lovely mother to be Sarah Scarangelo feels like watching grim madness run amok. Evil your name is Mother.
This is but a taste of the depraved characters that you can find lurking amongst the cinematic celluloid. As you can see they run the gamut from cradle to beyond the grave. Please get to know them. They are an interesting lot, and since they are trapped inside movie imagination you can sleep peacefully once the lights are out…we hope.