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The 666 Greatest Horror Characters
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Show all 666 characters  |  Random character View A-Z by:  characters  |  films  |  actors

Burt Gummer 191
Burt Gummer
Played by: Michael Gross
Film(s): Tremors (1990)

It's hard, at first, to separate Michael Gross' amped-up gun nut - sorry, survivalist - from his wife, Heather (Reba McEntire), but since only Gross returned for the subsequent sequels, it's clear that he was the standout for many audiences. No-nonsense and more heavily armed than most countries' armies, Burt is more than a match for the Graboids when they come a-burrowin'. At the time, Gross was best known for playing the dad on Family Ties, so to see him as a goateed, quip-happy killing machine was a huge shock. The only thing that could match it, we imagine, would be if the dad from Malcolm In The Middle wound up playing a teacher who becomes a meth dealer. But what are the odds of that happening?

Jennet 190
Played by: Liz White
Film(s): The Woman In Black (2012)

She's been iconic on the page, in Susan Hill's novel; on stage, in the long-running play; and on the small screen, in the cracking 1980s TV movie. So there was a lot of pressure on James Watkins to ensure his Woman In Black - a force of pure evil fury who targets children - was up to scratch. Helped by a poised turn by Liz White, he succeeded, masterfully holding back her big entrance.

Played by: Sarah Polley
Film(s): Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Sarah Polley is superb amidst the zombie mayhem in Zack Snyder's remake as the nurse who, after getting over the immediate shock of seeing her husband turned into a monster in front of her, provides a cool and level head for her fellow survivors and an emotional anchor for the audience.

188 188 Murder Legendre
Played by: Bela Lugosi
Film(s): White Zombie (1932)

Lugosi empoys that stare again as a Haitian voodoo master, handy with a potion. His name is even "Murder", just in case you weren't sufficiently scared already.

187 187 Helena Markos
Played by: Unknown
Film(s): Suspiria (1977)

Mater Suspiriorum - the oldest of Argento's Three Mothers - seems all the more real for the fact that nobody knows who played her. Legend has it the uncredited "actress" was a very old prostitute found by Argento on the streets of Rome.

186 186 Lt. Donald Thompson
Played by: John Saxon
Film(s): A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

John Saxon isn't just a cop on the edge. He's a dad on the edge, too, at a loss to explain just why his daughter's friends are dying one by one in horrible ways. Thompson is fleshed out and given more to do, funnily enough, in A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors where, as a drunk clinging to regret, he gets a shot at redemption in a scrapyard.

185 185 Roger Marsh
Played by: Peter Fonda
Film(s): Race With The Devil (1975)

Peter Fonda, sporting a simply amazing pair of glasses, is the standout here as the ordinary guy who, while taking an RV trip with his wife and best friends, finds some Satanists indulging in their own RV: recreational voodoo. The ensuring chase between Fonda's troupe and the improbably connected network of devil worshippers builds and builds toward one of the great endings of '70s horror cinema. Queasy Rider, anyone?

184 184 Gordon Zellaby
Played by: George Sanders
Film(s): Village Of The Damned (1960)

George Sanders is the very epitome of reserved British horror as the mild-mannered government scientist-cum-teacher who finds that he may be the only thing standing between mankind and destruction at the hands of a group of alien children, including his own 'son'. Sanders' internal struggle at the film's famous climax still packs a punch, like hitting a brick wall.

183 183 Susan Harris
Played by: Julie Christie
Film(s): Demon Seed (1977)

Donald Cammell's examination of a failing marriage and what it means to be truly human is a sublime slice of off-kilter moviemaking, but the basic plot - a wife is trapped inside her apartment by a megalomaniacal computer, which then proceeds to impregnate her - is so absolutely bonkers that it needed an Oscar-winning actress to sell the craziness and legitimise it. Step forward, Julie Christie, who convincingly conveys Susan's journey from terrorised hostage to willing participant - even lover? - in Proteus IV's masterplan.

Seth Gecko
Played by: George Clooney
Film(s): From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Made when he was still trying to throw off the shackles of Dr. Doug Ross and long before he became Oscar-winning actor, respected director, noted Nespresso salesman and all-round awesome dude, George Clooney is almost dangerously charismatic in this Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino mash-up. As the on-the-lam criminal, snake tattoo creeping around his neck, who finds that he's a readymade vampire killer when The Titty Twister goes tits-up and fangs out, Clooney announced his arrival as a movie star. He's been in better movies since, he's played more well-rounded characters since, but it's arguable that Clooney has never been cooler than here.

181 181 Dr Anton Phibes
Played by: Vincent Price
Film(s): The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

One of cinema's most imaginative serial killers, the good doctor - played by Price in a manner that suggests nothing is safe, not even the scenery - bumps off those he holds responsible for his wife's death by recreating the ten plagues of Egypt. If Jigsaw had a passport, he'd have turned out like this.

180 180 Angela Vidal
Played by: Manuela Velasco
Film(s): REC (2007)

A smiley, glossy TV reporter who gets much more than she bargained for when a routine assignment leads to a terrifying lock-in in a high-rise with demon-possessed zombies. Manuela Velasco is at the centre of one of horror's most famous shots - being dragged into the darkness on an infra-red camera at the end of the first movie - but she's excellent throughout the first two Recs, particularly when a, well, personality change is called for. Angela Vidal will return in REC 4: Apocalypse, and we can't wait to see what she gets up to next. How about hosting The X Factor?

Played by: Brad Dourif (voice)
Film(s): Child's Play (1988)

The flipside of Toy Story, Brad Dourif's Chucky - a.k.a. the soul of nutzoid serial killer Charles Lee Ray, transplanted into a toy via voodoo magic - is proof that not all living dolls are fun. Sorry, Cliff.

178 178 Christiane Genessier
Played by: Edith Scob
Film(s): Eyes Without A Face (1960)

After her face ripped off by a car crash, Christiane should be a monster. Instead, the elegant Edith Scob brings beauty to the beast in George Franju's enigmatic blend of plastic surgery horror and gothic fairytale. The blank white mask influenced Halloween. Her closing fate will stick with you a lifetime.

177 177 Belial
Played by: n/a
Film(s): Basket Case (1982)

The star of Frank Henenlotter's ultra-cheap exploitation flick, Belial Bradley - to give him his full name - is a mutated, clawed, drooling, telepathic (former) Siamese twin who, inbetween whining about nothing and everything all at once, kills anyone who comes between him and his relatively more normal sibling, Duane. He's not really played by anyone, although, in one scene, he is literally a glove puppet operated by Henenlotter himself.

Dr. Carl Hill 176
Dr. Carl Hill
Played by: David Gale
Film(s): Re-Animator (1985)

An absolute meddling bastard in life, David Gale's dean comes into his own in death, masterminding the downfall of Herbert West with the aid of his own bumbling body. Not bad for a head in a tray.

Maxwell Frere / Hugo
Played by: Michael Redgrave
Film(s): Dead Of Night (1945)

In the best chapter (directed by Alberto Cavalcanti) of this classic Ealing horror anthology, Michael Redgrave's ventriloquist's dummy is a right little bastard that has a mind - and teeth - of its own. We're convinced this is what happens at Keith Harris' home, when nobody's watching Orville. We 'ate that duck.

174 174 Anna/Helen
Played by: Isabelle Adjani
Film(s): Possession (1981)

In a double-role (don't ask; we're still confused), Isabelle Adjani is startling in the Antichrist of its day, oozing fluids, embracing mania, hiding bodyparts in the fridge and - our favourite bit - making dirty love to a slithery squid beast. Like we said, don't ask.

173 173 Raymond Lemorne
Played by: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu
Film(s): The Vanishing (1988)

No butcher knives. No brooding. No wild eyes, rolling in their sockets. No monologuing. Well, a little bit of monologuing. Otherwise, there are no clues to indicate that Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu's self-confessed sociopath and claustrophobe is an ice-cold killer who sets out to complete one goal - abduct and kill a woman - with the relish of a perfectionist. He's a family man, completely ordinary to the untrained eye, the last person anyone would suspect. And that makes Lemorne's actions - especially in the build-up to that ending - all the more chilling. Compare and contrast with Jeff Bridges in the American remake, also directed by Georges Sluizer, whose sweaty, peculiar character virtually cries 'Fruitloop!'.

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