Horror loves it some weirdos – and so do we! Be honest, Carrie would not have done nearly so much damage had she fit in somehow, right?
Oh, Carrie – how we love you and your nutcase of a mom. And the White women are hardly alone. Freaks and misfits litter the horror cinema landscape – and thank God for it! Whether Edwin Neal – the hitchhiker and harbinger of what’s to come in West Texas – or an unseemly Pit Bukowski, white gown and katana bedecked in Der Samurai.
You want to get really weird? How about anybody from Calvaire? Possession’s swinging Heinrich? Let’s not forget our favorite prom non-goer, The Loved Ones’ Lola (Robin McLeavy).
And these aren’t even the best. Who are the five best weirdos in horror cinema?
5. Orlok (Willem Dafoe) Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Veteran actor/effortless weirdo Willem Dafoe picked up an Oscar nomination playing Max Schreck, the “actor” who portrayed vampire Count Orlock in FW Murnau’s groundbreaking 1922 film Nosferatu.
Shadow film pokes good natured but pointed fun at the industry, but it’s based on the rumor at the time that Schreck’s performance was so authentic because he was, indeed, a vampire.
Dafoe is odd as they come, and also heartbreaking, goofy, lovable, wounded and terrifying.
4. Ichi (Nao Ohmori) Ichi the Killer (2001)
Clearly someone from a Takashi Miike film was bound to make this list. Indeed, just about every character in this film would have been in contention. But no one out-weirds Ichi.
A man-child who’s equal parts sympathetic and repellant, Ichi does the bidding of those who care for him. Their moral compass does not always point North, though they try to do the right thing by letting Ichi unleash his very, very wrong behavior in a kind of, sort of heroic way.
Which is why some of his actions are so profoundly, scarringly surprising. Because Ichi does some seriously fucked up shit. And he’s not even the one who skins a guy alive.
3. May (Angela Bettis) May (2002)
Oh, Angela Bettis. No one – not even Sissy Spacek – captured the crushing awkwardness of trying to fit in when you are, deep down, cripplingly odd as well as Bettis.
Her May aches for a friend. She has some heartbreaking trouble finding that in Adam (Jeremy Sisto) and Polly (Anna Faris – brilliant). But if you can’t find a friend, you might just have to make one.
Her performance is all awkward pauses, embarrassing gestures and longing. It’s beautiful, tender, sweet and – eventually – forgivingly bloody. We love May.
2. Bubby (Nicholas Hope) Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
Christ, kid, you’re a weirdo.
Writer/director Rolf de Heer explores something amazing in his Aussie arthouse horror Bad Boy Bubby. Bubby has spent his entire 30 years in a single, windowless room with Mam. She leaves now and again, affixing a gas mask and warning the boy that he’ll die if he sets foot outside.
No, things aren’t that great for Bubby. They’re even worse for Cat. When Bubby eventually has to meander out into the open, his adventure is so authentically pieced together. He assimilates information and behaviors with the perfect sense of childishness.
Nicholas Hope’s performance is a minor miracle in a film that is wild, disturbing and pretty amazing.
1. Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels ) Greasy Strangler (2016)
Honestly, just about anybody from this film might have made the list. Big Brayden (Sky Elobar) was an obvious possibility. Those glasses! And he’s shit scared!
But it’s Big Ronnie (or is it Private Eye Jodie?!) who earns the accolade. Yes, he may be a bullshit artist, but that smile, the disco suit, the “big rat,” – let’s not even get started on his diet or hygiene. We’d never have thought of using a carwash quite that way, and yet we will never be able to think of it otherwise again.
Big Ronnie is the Weirdo All Star. Celebrate with some potato chips?