Battle Royale: Movie Serial Killers

The best/worst deathbringers in film history...


The latest main event in our Battle Royale series features cinematic serial killers in a bloody brawl-for-all.

For this showdown, we've matched each killer against a rival of similar stature.

Join us, then, as the murderous malcontents bathe in the blood of their foes, devour and debase the bodies of their victims, and listen to Huey Lewis & The News...

Real Life Killers

Henry Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Based on real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, a man who at one point claimed over 600 victims.

Interestingly he was the only death-row convict to have his sentence commuted to life by then Texas Governor George W. Bush. Yay.

Michael Rooker Insanity Factor: 10

Inappropriate-relations-with-a-minor-ness: 1

Kill Factor: 9

 

Shot point blank by…

 

 The Zodiac Killer Zodiac (2007)

Based on San Francisco’s legendary Zodiac Killer, who terrorized the city from 1968 – 1969. (Conspiracy types claim 1963 – 1973)

He wins the round, because, despite many investigations, suspects and theories, the Zodiac was never caught. Plus, he knows where you live…

Letter Writing Ability: 9

Homemade Costume Design Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Cannibal Killers[page-break]

 

Cannibal Killers

Leatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Series (1977 –)

The chainsaw wielding murderer, from a family of cannibals, who’s hobbies include human dismemberment and sewing.

Partially based on Texan serial killer Ed Gein, who killed and dug up corpses, populating his house with furniture made from human skin and body parts.

Chainsaw Skills: 9

Human Face-Mask Visibility Issues: 3

Kill Factor: 8

 

Devoured and served with a nice Chianti by…

 

Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Lecter wins this one on smarts. He would outwit half-wit Leatherface every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

Lecter was partially inspired by notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, who, while locked up in Florida, helped investigators catch Seattle’s Green River Killer.

Staring-Competition Skills: 10

Food/Wine Matching Ability: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: American Dream Gone Awry Killers[page-break]

 

American Dream Gone Awry Killers

Early Grayce Kalifornia (1995)

What is more American than the road trip? For that matter, what is more American than the serial killer?

A road trip around famous serial killer sites with Mulder from the X-Files turns deadly when violent redneck Early ‘done gone crazy’.

Brad Pitt w/Beard Factor: 10

Duchovny-Bashing Points: 9

Kill Factor: 9

 

Given the corporate axe by…

 

Patrick Bateman American Psycho (2000)

Based on Bret Easton Ellis’ satire of Regan-era corporate greed, the death of the American Dream, and sometime Huey Lewis critque.

Bateman could buy and sell Early Grayce with a phone call… Or chop him up and stuff his body into a Louis Vuitton oversize-duffel.

Ability to Return Video-Tapes: 9

Business Card Envy Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Stalker/Slasher Killers[page-break]

 

Stalker/Slasher Killers

Jason Voorhies Friday the 13th Series (1981 –)

You already saw what happened when Jason went up against Freddy, and you’ll never get that 90 minutes back.

Now the real showdown of the stalker/slashers. Jason borrowed a lot from Michael Myers, including his copy of Catcher in the Rye. He wants it back.

I Love My Mother Factor: 10

Actual Hockey Playing Skills: 7

Kill Factor: 9.5

 

Impaled on a large kitchen knife by…

 

 Michael Myers Halloween (1978)

Despite Rob Zombie doing his best to kill Carpenter’s awesome legacy, Halloween gave birth to the stalker/slasher genre.

Myers wins because he carries none of those Mommy issues that seem to plague Jason. Well not until Rob Zombie’s H2 anyway.

Think-That's-A-Knife?-This-Is-A-Knife Skills: 10

William Shatner Mask Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Kevin Williamson's Killer Creations[page-break]

 

Kevin Williamson’s Killer Creations

The Fisherman I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s sweeping Russian epic, this was written before Scream, then sold when everyone wanted on the KW train.

Entirely populated by the usual unusually self-aware teens Williamson is known for, who get butchered by a back from the dead fisherman.

Waterproofing: 9

Deadliest Catch Crabbing Skills: 8

Kill Factor: 7

 

Stabbed in classic slasher movie style by…

 

Ghost Face Scream (1996)

Ghost Face wins this on witty banter alone. The Fisherman doesn’t speak, and only has a raincoat and accessories. Ghost Face has the face of a ghost. Yeah.

He’s the kind of killer we appreciate at Total Film. He not only kills you, he tests your movie trivia too, and we like to think we’d get top marks.

Film Trivia Knowledge: 9

Mask-Based-On-Turn-Of-The-Century-Norwiegen-Expressionist-Art Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 9

Next: Female Killers[page-break]

 

Female Killers

Aileen Wuornos Monster (2003)

After suffering abuse and rape at the hands of men folk, Aileen snapped started killing ‘Johns’ who paid for the privilege.

Female serial killers are extremely rare, and this is one gal that makes us glad we aren’t called ‘John’. Or Stuart Townsend.

Fury of a Woman Scorned: 10

What Has Charlize Done?-ness: 3

Kill Factor: 8

 

Given an arrow through the throat by...

 

Pamela Voorhees Friday the 13th (1980)

A prime example of leave it to Mother. She puts Jason to shame with her stealth tactics, aptitude for murder and inconspicuous appearance.

She takes this round because although she had a screw most definitely loose, she doesn’t spend the whole film going on about it. Just like 5 minutes.

Inconspicuous Factor: 9

Kevin Bacon Slaying Ability: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Lecter's Buddies[page-break]

 

Lecter’s Buddies

Francis Dollarhyde Red Dragon/Manhunter (1986/2002)

Played by Ralph Fiennes in 2002’s Red Dragon and Tom Noonan in 1986’s Manhunter, though Noonan is creepier, and Manhunter is better.

Known as the Tooth Fairy, which fails to give any chills at all, he slaughters entire families and likes trips to the zoo.

Tree-Climbing Abiltiy: 9

Great-First-Date Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 9.5

 

Skinned alive by…

 

Buffalo Bill The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

It’ll always be Bill. Played to perfection by Ted Levine, he cuts pieces of skin from chubby girls in order to sew a woman suit to wear.

Famous for ‘It puts the lotion in the basket’ and the oh so memorable ‘mangina’ dance sequence, ousts sad sack Dollarhyde every time.

Chubby Chaser Factor: 10

Mangina Dance Skills: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Voyeur Killers[page-break]

 

Voyeur Killers

Norman Bates Psycho (1960)

Arguably the most influential horror film of all time, Psycho has done for motel rooms what Jaws did for Roy Schieder. Was released just three months after Peeping Tom.

Norman Bates spies on beautiful women who stay at his motel, and introduces them to his friend, knifey. Also has a penchant for suspenders.

Spy Hole Drilling Skills: 10

Cross-Dressing Factor: 7

Kill Factor: 9.5

 

Filmed dying by…



Mark Lewis Peeping Tom (1960)

Tough round. Peeping Tom came before Psycho, and influenced voyeuristic elements in several Hitchcock works, notably in Vertigo’s opening credits.

Managed to complete his documentary, even when found out. An inspriation for maverick filmmakers everywhere. Well Werner Herzog anyway.

Knife-In-Tripod-Leg Factor: 9

Paul-Greengrass-Inspiring-Handheld-Camera-Technique: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Diminutive Killers[page-break]

 

Diminutive Killers

Leprechaun Leprechaun (1994)

In a film that makes House Party look like House Party 2, we get Warwick Davis as an angry Leprechaun out for his pot o’ gold.

Administers death in various comical ways, including with a pogo stick. This film does little for Irish or Little Person relations.

Fancy Dress Skills: 8

Where's Me Pot o' Gold? Factor: 8

Kill Factor: 7

 

Ankles bitten by…



The Dwarf Don’t Look Now(1973)

The far more successful and terrifying diminutive killer from Nicholas Roeg’s 1973 psychological thriller takes this round.

With a red hooded cape, the killer scampers around Venice, eluding police and racking up bodies, and she gets away with it too.

Little Girl Impersonation Skills: 8

Dandy Red Cape Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 9

Next: Killer Dolls[page-break]

 

Killer Dolls

Chucky Child’s Play(1988)

Child’s Play caused a huge stir when it was released in 1988. Anyone watching today is going to wonder what all the fuss was about.

A doll inhabited by the murderous spirit of Brad Dourif, looking for a human host to ask why he only plays psychos, schizos and wierdos.

Insane Doll Strength: 9

Killing Chris Sarandon Ability: 5

Kill Factor: 7

 

Locked in the trunk and dumped in the lake by...

 

Fats Magic (1978)

Who thought that a film teaming Dickie Attenborough, William Goldman and Anthony Hopkins could be anything less than magic?

Fats the murderous marionette wins this round because he gets Hannibal Lecter himself to do his dirty work. Chuck can’t claim that.

Hand-Up-Arse-Irritability: 10

Getting-Lecter-To-Do-Your-Bidding-Skills: 9

Kill factor: 8

Next: Star-Crossed Killers[page-break]

 

Star-Crossed Killers

Mickey and Mallory Natural Born Killers (1994)

Unpredictable, psychiotic and ultra-violent, Mickey and Mallory are the most dangerous combination since the Blue Brothers, who were the most dangerous combination since nitro and glycerine.

Based, like Badlands, on the spree killings of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate in 1957, though here very loosely so.

Oliver-Stone-Tact-Skills: 5

Julliette Lewis Acts Like She's On Crack Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 9

 

Slaughtered along with their entire families by...

 

Kit and Holly Badlands (1973)

Kit would tie Mickey and Mallory to a tree and shoot them for their attention grabbing, media whore abomination of a killing spree.

Terrence Maliclk’s seminal 1973 film is a master class in restraint and minimalism. Plus, it shits on Natural Born Killers.

Isn't She Like Fifteen?-ness: 10

Didn't He Grow Up To Be President On West Wing? Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 10

Next: Killer Plans[page-break]

 

Killer Plans

Louis Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Louis is a man with a plan. In order to become a Duke he needs to kill eight members of the D’Ascoyne family.

Obi Wan Kenobi plays all eight members of the family, who die by various means before, in an ironic twist, Louis is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

Witty-Deathbed-Lyricism-Skills: 10

Obi Wan in Drag Factor: 8

Kill Factor: 9

 

Executed for his sins by…

 

John Doe Seven (1995)

The insane genius behind Seven’s gruesome series of murders, he’d dispatch Louis for his Greed.

Seeing his grand plan come together exactly as plotted, and sacrificing himself for his own sin, John Doe is one of the most diabolical killers in film history. He's also the man to see for diet tips.

Journal Writing Skills: 10

What's In The Box? Factor: 10

Kill Factor: 11 (This was his life's work, after all)

Who would you like to see showdown? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments

    • TheSwede

      May 28th 2009, 14:47

      My Top 3: John Doe Zodiac Hannibal Lecter NO doubt...

      Alert a moderator

    • frankenscheimer

      May 29th 2009, 4:34

      i think anton chigurgh should be somewhere on this list. like, in a "newbies" category, maybe.

      Alert a moderator

    • RoseyT

      May 30th 2009, 21:36

      As a wisconsinite from the states, I have to correct your Ed Gein history. He was not a texan, he was from wisconsin.

      Alert a moderator

    • Smithy

      Jun 1st 2009, 2:40

      RoseyT, If I was from Wisconsin, I'd be happy to let people think he was Texas. It sounds like you're proud of him! Well done Wisconsin, great Serial Killer!

      Alert a moderator

    • Smithy

      Jun 1st 2009, 2:43

      I meant "think he was FROM Texas" , not "think he was Texas". That would be impossible, obviously.

      Alert a moderator