Anonymous characters can be great in movies. As always, it can be messed up very easily, but when done right it can make those characters really cool as a result. There are tons of ways to use them, as well. I’m talking about the characters that are in the background, or have a non-major role in the plot, but make a large impression very quickly because of what they do, say, or look like. More specifically for this list, in a totally creepy way.
I think we can all agree that the Cenobites are some of the creepiest dudes and dudettes around. By the first Hellraiser they seem to be old hat at torturing and maiming (and sexing up? Not sure how that pleasure/pain thing works) people who are good at puzzle boxes. We get a nice little introduction to all of them, and they all made their individual initial visual impacts: there was a chick cenobite, a fat cenobite, and the one that chatters his teeth. Uhh, what’s that about? It’s never really explained.
Anyways, along with their leader, Pinhead, they all had their individual charms (The Chatterer still being my favorite, along with the obvious, Pinhead) but they all met their match against the evil Dr. Channard and his fingers of doom. In quick succession he took out each and every one, and when they died they turned into their old human selves. Pinhead into regular looking guy, chick into human chick, fat guy into human fat guy, but what does the fucking Chatterer turn into? A little kid.
Ok, tons of assumptions to make here. What is this kids deal? Where did he get that puzzle box? Did his rich parents buy it for him as a Christmas present from the “funny-looking” vendor table on their monthly trip to India?
I think not. You know what I think? I think that this little kid was the biggest sex freak of all-time and, just like Uncle Frank, was looking to find out how far he could go by taking a private jet (mid-coke binge, explaining the chattering teeth) with his friend Miguel, to see “what’s down the rabbit hole”.
What’s a list of the creepiest characters ever without Quentin Tarantino? I love Quentin Tarantino, the director, but he has this weird tendency to write himself as (or influence people to write his character as) a total creepo. If he didn’t have a name in From Dusk ’til Dawn he would be near the top of this list, but he’ll have to settle for almost near the top for his role as Mr. Brown, or, as I and everyone else called him after he said it himself, Mr. Shit. You know, because his name is brown like poop.
He starts the movie in true creep form: talking confidently to a bunch of criminal strangers, with whom he’s about to do a huge bank job, about the size of guys dicks. I’m talking a lengthy discussion, where he does approximately 90% of the talking about enormous penises, until he has to take a breath, where, thankfully, the tension is broken up by Lawrence Tierney, who can break any amount of tension by saying anything at all.
He also dies in a really weird way. Mr. Orange, Mr. White and Mr. Shit (who is driving) are fleeing from the scene when they run into the back of a car in front of them at a light. Orange and White, neither of whom were wearing seatbelts, appear to be totally fine from the collision, but Mr. Shit’s head is all bloody and he appears dazed. This doesn’t stop him from swearing and hitting the steering wheel out of frustration. Cut to about a minute later when he is apparently dead. Uhh?
Sure, Mr. Brown isn’t the creepiest guy on the planet, but consider this more of a lifetime creep achievement award for Mr. Tarantino.
What? A creepy character in a David Lynch movie? I can’t be serious, right? Well, I am. Dead serious. Deadly serious. Deadliest serious. And this isn’t the last time you’ll see one on this list.
Mulholland Drive is one of those movies that is really hard to understand at face value, but defines itself more the more you watch it. Parts of it aren’t exactly clear, but it seems that The Cowboy is a part of Diane’s sub-conscious. I don’t want to get more involved than that, because it wouldn’t be fair to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie. He is not real, but he takes on a very mysterious role in the events that happen where he does exist.
This may sound like mumbo jumbo, but this is a Lynch movie we’re talking about, and nothing can be what it seems. The Cowboy shows up to one of the major characters in a position of absolute power, but he shows up out of nowhere, with no explanation. And he’s a cowboy. And he’s super pale. Remember that movie Powder? Well, throw Powder in a cowboy get-up and make him extra, super creepy and you’ve got The Cowboy. Oh – and another notable creepy anonymous character is the monster thing behind the diner – just what the hell is that?
Mom and Dad
People Under the Stairs
This one is pretty self-explanatory. They live in a mansion filled with tunnels, electronic metal shutters, torture equipment, a horde of freaks, and even a daughter that they keep locked up. Best part is that they are both equally into all of these shenanigans. It’s a perfectly functioning relationship, aside from all of the laws that are being broken. Their motto is “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”, and that horde of freaks I mentioned are their children, that have broken this sacred motto and been thrown under the stairs to feed on the scraps of their other victims. Oh, did I mention that they are brother and sister? Yeah, that too. They torture one resourceful kid too many, and the whole operation literally explodes in their faces.
An awesome little addendum to these two is that they were also a couple on the television series Twin Peaks, at probably around the same time. I only finished Twin Peaks a month or so ago, so it only hit me recently while watching it, that it was the same two actors playing completely different characters, but still as a couple.
This is kind of one of those underrated horror movies that isn’t particularly great but it has a lot of interesting ideas. I like when genres collide, and they were going for a fantasy horror movie with the house being some different type of world to this lost and lonely traveler, with the most obvious connection being their daughter, named Alice.
Harold and Kumar
Let’s examine this: Jamie Kennedy, in a suit, late at night, in the middle of a forest, chooses same bush to pee on as Kumar, out of hundred of other places to pee, stares at him while doing so. I mean, I know that this was exactly what they were going for, but that does not lessen the effect of this creep, who apparently gets out of work and immediately goes to hang out in the forest and wait for someone to have to stop their car to pee, so he can join and stare at them. And did I mention he looks like Jamie Kennedy?
The Ninth Gate
This might be kind of a controversial pick because A. she’s a total babe, and B. she’s actually pretty cool for most of the movie. She shows up near the beginning to act as a kind of bodyguard for Johnny Depp as he gets into his crazy Satanic adventures. You don’t really know what her deal is for the entire movie, because she barely talks, but you know that there is something strange about her from her very first scene. She seems like she is a few steps ahead of everyone. All of this is the positive.
The negative? Well, she’s kind of the gatekeeper of Hell, I think. I’m sorry but I’m just not one of these people who is intrigued by checking out Hell. And I’m also not desperate enough to hook up with a gatekeeper of Hell, and hope to never be.
They leave the end of the movie pretty damn vague, with them having fire sex and her having a pretty freaky face. Depp looked like he was enjoying it well enough, though. He ends up walking into some kind of light. Is it Hell? Is it Heaven? Is it to go meet her dad to get permission to date? I’m not really sure, like I said, pretty vague, but it probably wasn’t as cool as the Three Musketeers party that they crashed the night before.
The intriguing thing about The Voice from 12 Monkeys is that you don’t know it’s origin. While the plot of 12 Monkeys concerns the fate of the world, the backbone is the psyche of James Cole and the effects that time travel would have on a human body. The Voice shows up in 1990, on Cole’s initial trip back, when he is confined in a psychiatric hospital room by himself. Cole actually converses with The Voice, asking it where it comes from, and it mocks him by saying it could be a guy from the next cell, or a spy up in the vents, or even just a voice in his head (which is the most likely culprit).
Put yourself in Cole’s shoes though. Imagine, every time you’re alone some voice comes in, making fun of you and calling you Bob over and over again for some reason. And it doesn’t help that he has a voice that sounds like Shane MacGowan looks. That shit would get annoying fast.
Coincidentally, a bum shows up in a later scene that has The Voice’s…umm, voice. Which I’m sure was just put in to speculate on it not just being in his mind. That bum didn’t look like any spy I’ve ever seen though, and I would pay money to see him get into that psychiatric ward’s vent system.
As far as I can surmise, The Derelict’s role in the Hellraiser series is to retrieve the puzzle box after it has been discarded, so it can be sold again and the cycle can start all over again. He’s obviously not human, since he turns into a big flying monster at the end of the first movie, but he still doesn’t have enough self-respect to take a shower once in a while. The guy is the dirtiest person I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve hung out with anarchists. Even if you can get past the dirtiness, the guy apparently only eats crickets.
He also could, or could not be, the head that is on that death pole in Cenobite world. This guy is a jack of most trades, but being not a creep is certainly not one of them.
The Tall Man
The Phantasm series
I think even if I met Angus Scrimm (the actor who plays The Tall Man) in real life, I would be terrified. The guy just looks like a monster. It was hilarious seeing him in Phantasm 4 (what can I say?) as the old, kindly farmer that got abducted and turned into this horrible, immortal, inter-dimensional being. He just seemed like a cool, really tall grandpa. Still, you could tell that none of it would last because this guy will ALWAYS be The Tall Man, and he will always be creepy. It’s also pretty impressive that he has become as synonymous as he is with the role and the horror community in general, since the Phantasm series is on the lower totem of the horror classic spectrum.
As far as The Tall Man’s origins, it’s kind of hard to describe. Like I said before, he used to be a farmer until his body became a conduit for the leader of a race from another dimension. They found a portal into earth, and, posing as a funeral parlor owner, he slowly kills all of the members of small towns and turns them into his army. I can’t recall if they mention how much territory they have taken over by the end of the series, but it seems like a lot. It’s a very dark series with a very dark protagonist.
When I saw Lost Highway originally, which was probably a couple of years after it was initially released, it definitely creeped me out. The whole vibe of the movie is disorienting, which is exactly how David Lynch likes it. I won’t say I am the biggest fan of this film, and it definitely isn’t one of Lynch’s strongest, but one particular thing sticks out (besides the glorious soundtrack) and that is Robert Blake, in his last theatrical appearance as The Mystery Man. And oh, how mysterious he is.
Fred Madison shows up at his friend Andy’s big party, but he’s already not really into it because of a series of videotapes that have shown up at his house. These video tapes show someone entering Fred’s house and going through his things, the latest ones even including taping Fred and his wife as they sleep. Fred is approached by the Mystery Man, in all of his pancakey make-up glory, and proceeds to have the oddest and creepiest conversation of all-time. I’ll just let you watch…
This all, of course, becomes even creepier, dare I say creepiest, because this was really the last we saw of Blake before he (most likely) killed Bonnie Lee Bakly. Well crap, now I might have to add O.J. as Nordberg in Naked Gun to the list…