In which we pay ultimate tribute to the very best (and worst) slasher villains in film history. If you ever meet any of them on the street, make sure you have a weapon handy.
By Stacie Hougland & Chuck Walton
Best Slasher # 10 - Ghostface (Scream, 1996)
This satirical-yet-sublimely scary movie put the teen-slasher movie reboot into hyperdrive, featuring a maniac wearing quite possibly one of the most disturbing (and now Halloween-ubiquitous) masks of all time.
Best Slasher #9 - Candyman (1992)
This monster of urban legend was more bitter than sweet, exacting brutal and bloody revenge for his lost love in the bathrooms and byways of the Chicago projects. Dare you to repeat "Candyman" five times in the mirror without thinking twice, even today.
Best Slasher #8 - Pennywise (It, 1990)
OK, it's kind of a cheat -- this was a Stephen King TV movie. Still, this movie set the bar for evil clowns whose only pranks involve death and misery. There's a word for the intense fear Pennywise inspired in '90s kids: "coulrophobia."
Best Slasher #7 - Pinhead (Hellraiser, 1987)
He's offering you a box that looks like a nifty present, but trust us, it's never a good idea to accept things from a guy with pins in his face. Especially if he's the lead Cenobite from hell and wants to take you on the ultimate experience of pleasure and pain...emphasis on the pain.
Best Slasher #6 - The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers, 2001)
When two kids follow this freak home they see things they don't want to see -- especially when they're stuck in his basement. Even scarier, he's a panty-sniffer. BEATINGU!
Best Slasher #5 - Jigsaw (Saw, 2004)
Don't let the trike fool you, this psycho created the most horrifically inventive ways to kill folks Hollywood's ever seen. Even though he's long dead now, his legacy lives on in the sequels.
Best Slasher #4 - Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974)
It's bad enough being trapped in the middle of nowhere. On top of that, you're being chased by a clan of crazy cannibals, foremost among them a hulking, disturbed individual who wears a mask made of human skin. That blows for his onscreen victims, but it's slasher nirvana for the hardcore Leatherface fans.
Best Slasher #3 - Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th, 1980)
If you're a child of the '80s, there's a good chance the sight of a hockey mask brings up memories that have nothing to do with pucks and goalies. While Mamma Voorhees did the dirty work in the original, it's Jason and his countless sequels that make campers pack those extra flashlight batteries, and the heavy duty pepper spray.
Best Slasher #2 - Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984)
Freddy lightens up some to test out his standup comedy in the sequels, but he keeps the quips to a minimum in the first Elm street edition. Under Wes Craven's careful direction, Krueger's one scary, scarred-up neighborhood boogeyman. Ever since, even red-and black (er, olive)-striped sweaters seem a bit spooky.
Best Slasher #1 - Michael Myers (Halloween, 1978)
Beyond John Carpenter's filmmaking, there are a few reasons why Myers is the ultimate slasher. One, he has no gimmick (he wears a William Shatner mask, but how frightening is that?). Two, he's unstoppable. Three, he has no personality. No humor, no freaky fetishes..just unrelenting evilness..yiikes...
And for the 10 most absurd slasher villains...
Worst Slasher #10 - The Gingerdead Man (2005)
If Gary Busey is ever asked to name the lowlights of his long showbiz career, we're thinking his title role in this stinker could rank high on the list. We'll pass on seconds of this tale of a killer reborn as a cookie monster.
Worst Slasher #9 - Ben Willis (I Know What You Did Last Summer, 1997)
The dark slickers, the mask, and the fishing hook are sort of creepy, but come on Ben, we've seen this all done before, and in much more entertaining slasher flicks. Jason, Michael...get this guy.
Worst Slasher #8 - Billy Chapman aka Santa Claus (Silent Night, Deadly Night, 1984)
No, Virginia, this St. Nick is hardly a jolly fellow -- he doles punishment and death out as Christmas gifts whether you're naughty or nice. Ho, ho, noooooo....
Worst Slasher #7 - Chucky (Child's Play, 1988)
Note to slasher filmmakers: any slasher icon under 4" has a limited scare factor. While we find Chucky a hoot to laugh at, we keep wondering why none of his victims don't just dropkick him into the nearest garbage dump, or at least set up the frustrated chap with a cabbage patch doll.
Worst Slasher #6 - Horace Pinker (Shocker, 1989)
Orange jumpsuit notwithstanding (the black and white checkers are a nice touch), there's not much shock in this shocker. Wes Craven and star/future director Peter Berg give it the ol' college try, but horror hero Horace Pinker just looks like the guy from "The X-Files" doing his worst serial killer imitation (oh, hey, that is Mitch Pileggi).
Worst Slasher #5 - Leprechaun (1993)
Those crazy killer leprechauns. We agree that the mug is downright horrifying, but again, it's hard to be terrified by a pint-sized slasher villain. It's more scary that Jennifer Aniston co-starred with the runt.
Worst Slasher #4 - Jobe Smith (The Lawnmower Man, 1992)
One of two terrible Stephen King movies to make this list featured a baddie in the form of a retarded gardener who inflicts damage Black & Decker style.
Worst Slasher #3 - The Snowman (Jack Frost, 1996)
Chillin' like a villain made out of three big round balls of white slush wearing a plaid scarf and a cigar nose? Come on! Honestly, you wouldn't need a gun or knife to fight this guy off, just a hairdryer.
Worst Slasher #2 - Angela (Sleepaway Camp, 1983)
Gross food, threats of short sheeting and panty raids -- isn't summer camp terrifying enough without a vengeful she-male with sexual hangups and a large knife on the loose?
Worst Slasher #1 - Dr. Giggles (1992)
A doctor you don't want anywhere near your house, this medicine man induced laughs of only the unintentionally hilarious kind. If you liked this movie, it's time to pay your own physician a visit.