The Baby Played by: n/a
Film(s): Eraserhead (1977)
Both repugnant and heartbreakingly helpless, this is the mutant child to which Henry finds himself father. FX folklore has it that nobody has ever quite figured out how Lynch made it. We don't think we want to know, actually. We're quite alright not waking up screaming in the dark every night, thank you very much.
Will Randall Played by: Jack Nicholson
Film(s): Wolf (1994)
Jack Nicholson's bestial, feral cool is put to good use as the high-flying executive who begins to believe he's turning into a wolf after being bitten by... something. This is a necessary inclusion for the scene where he marks his territory by pissing on James Spader's shoes alone. Bet he wouldn't try that now that Spader is Ultron.
550 Garda Ciarán O'Shea Played by: Richard Coyle
Film(s): Grabbers (2012)
Richard Coyle gives good wobble as the Irish cop who must get increasingly blootered in order to fend off slimy alien tentacled beasties from outer space.
Bill Pardy Played by: Nathan Fillion
Film(s): Slither (2006)
Inexplicably, this remains one of Nathan "King of the 27%ers" Fillion's few big-screen leads, but his turn as a small-town sheriff who reacts to a frankly disgusting alien invasion with a horde of perfectly-deployed wisecracks is wonderfully relaxed. That Slither is a hoot is largely down to Fillion and his Moore-esque raised eyebrow.
Derrick Jones Played by: Jerry O'Connell
Film(s): Piranha 3D (2010)
Jerry O'Connell sleazes it up in style as the porn movie director who gets his johnson - high in fibre, low in moral fibre - bitten off in Alexandre Aja's scarlet-soaked shocker.
The standout from one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, Milla Jovovich has managed to navigate the most ludicrous character development (she's a clone! No, wait, clones! She has powers! She doesn't! She's normal! She's not! She's dead! She's alive!) with stylish ease, and makes zombie killing look effortless.
Dr Heiter Played by: Dieter Laser
Film(s): The Human Centipede (2009)
Again, we're not making any judgements on the film itself. But Dieter Laser does bring wry gravitas to the grotesque surgical proceedings as the depraved mastermind who thinks it'd be a simply capital idea to... well, you know.
Jennifer Hills Played by: Camille Heaton
Film(s): I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
Driven to murderous vengeance after a horrific ordeal in Meir Zarchi's edgy exploitation flick, Jennifer's sanity must have suffered a bit. That's the only explanation for why she continues to blithely hang around where the attack took place as if nothing has happened.
The Strangers Played by: Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis
Film(s): The Strangers (2008)
The set-up - scary people in the home! - is so basic that The Strangers plays out almost as a technical exercise in scaring the bejesus out of you. But this triumvirate of masked, nameless, silent, unexplained home invaders are undeniably effective.
Clara Played by: Gemma Arterton
Film(s): Byzantium (2013)
Don't be fooled by the buxom exterior of Arterton's sultry seaside resort owner: Clara is a lady of the night in more ways than one. She's been alive for a couple of centuries, having lied and bargained her way into the men's club that is vampirism, and she's determined to keep it that way for her and her daughter, Eleanor, any way she can. If that means popping someone's head off with a piece of piano wire, so be it.
Sabreur Played by: Jieno Moxzer
Film(s): I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
A Caribbean zombie master but unlike Legendre, who appears further up this list, Jieno Moxzer's Sabreur prefers a pincushion doll to a potion. He'll do voodoo if he chooses to. But he won't do duvets.
541 Leland Gaunt Played by: Max von Sydow
Film(s): Needful Things (1993)
Satan - in the pleasingly ironic form of von Sydow, aka the guy who played Father Merrin - opens a small-town pawn shop for the sheer pleasure of fucking with the locals. Taylor Hackford's Stephen King adaptation is middling fare, but von Sydow is having so much fun it's hard not to buy what he's selling.
Irena Played by: Nastassja Kinski
Film(s): Cat People (1982)
Nastassja Kinski is a more visceral and carnal feline femme fatale than Simone Simon in Paul Schrader's remake of the classic 1942 horror. That is not a criticism of Simon's performance, of course; Schrader takes advantage of more permissive censorship laws to push the envelope with plenty of kinky Kinski sex.
Emily Played by: Mariclare Costello
Film(s): Let's Scare Jessica To Death (1971)
Costello's Emily is a hippie squatter who seems to push Jessica's buttons in all the wrong ways in this magnificent and little-seen John Hancock shocker.
Peter Bunch Played by: Andrew Painter
Film(s): The New York Ripper (1982)
We're behind the killer's eyes, sharing his POV for most of The New York Ripper, so we only hear his voice as he carves up his victims. That questionable experience is rendered extremely surreal by the fact that actor Andrew Painter sounds like Donald Duck.
537 Zone Tripper Played by: Carl McCoy
Film(s): Hardware (1990)
Fields of the Nephilim frontman Carl McCoy cuts an iconic dash in the opening of his pal Richard Stanley's sci-fi mash-up. McCoy's no actor, but he makes for an imposing presence, even if he's basically dressed in his going-down-the-shops clothes.
Justice Bailey Played by: Patrick Barr
Film(s): House of Whipcord (1974)
Pete Walker's surreal flick sees Barr play a stern patrician running his own correctional facility for wayward young girls and getting a repressed sexual kick from doling out punishment. Basically he's The Daily Mail in human form.
Gabriel Played by: Tilda Swinton
Film(s): Constantine (2005)
Wide-eyed, insane evangelism from Tilda Swinton as the snappily-dressed, androgynous angel. She's going to end the world - won't it be WONDERFUL?
Frank Played by: Joe Spinell
Film(s): Maniac (1980)
More carnage courtesy of Tom Savini and his effects, this time with Joe Spinell playing a mom-obsessed misogynist who scalps his victims in the far superior William Lustig original. Kinky.