Horror 101:Meet the Greats

credit to Facebook and image owner.

I was browsing Facebook earlier and stumbled into this super cool collage of horror icons. Being a fan of blood and gore (in the movies and not in real life), I was so psyched to realize that I recognize all of them from movies that I’ve seen growing up that I couldn’t keep myself from sharing and educating non-horror or budding horror fans about these awesome awesome figures of cinema that scared me half to death when I was little — back when horror was made up of more than CGI and when movie magic depended on great costumes, make up and scary dudes who agree to star in movies that feature them in creepy masks in its entirety.

1. Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street 1-7, plus collaborations and remakes). The ultimate horror icon, Freddy Krueger played by Robert Englund is a creature who preys mostly on teenagers and kills them in various creative ways through their nightmares. He is ruthless and cocky and has no qualms about toying with his victims before he kills them in their dreams (which results in their death in real life). The original movie featured Johnny Depp in one of his earliest starring roles. Too bad he doesn’t make it til the end of the movie. Clarification: He is in no way related to Diane Kruger, no matter how cool it may have been.

2. Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th). Believed to be dead and is the subject of his mother’s revenge on counselors of Camp Crystal Lake in the original 1980 movie, Jason appears in various forms throughout his film run, sometimes as a supernatural entity, sometimes as survivor of the camp accident, sometimes appearing in  a dream or in space or in hell but always with superhuman strength and a thirst for blood. He has killed countless teenagers and several adults both in and out of camp and his hockey mask is a mainstay on his face, allowing numerous actors and stuntmen to assume the role. Like Freddy, he is the subject of one of the longest and most successful horror franchises in cinema. They even share screen time in the Freedy vs Jason movie.

3. Creeper (Jeepers, Creepers). Talk about creepy, this demon who wakes up every twenty third spring and feasts on human flesh for 23 days not only consumes the body parts of his victims (which later become a part of him) but also stitches them up and sticks them on an underground mausoleum to form a collage of human bodies, for kicks. This dude is an excellent stalker and the original movie scared the hell out of Justin Long way back before he dated Drew Barrymore. What big eyes he had.

4. Billy the Puppet (Saw). Used as a means to communicate with his victims, Billy often represents the serial killer Jigsaw, whose MO is to test his victims with a series of contraptions that put them through emotional as well as physical torture like rats in a maze. In the end, if they survive, they get to walk free but often by this time, enough blood has spilt to fill a bathtub. I think the Saw movies are some of the most brilliant horror movies I’ve seen because it does not only rely on gore to sell the movie but rather appeals to the audiences’ intellect and emotions. And of course, the twists are a trademark of this franchise.

5. Chucky (Child’s Play). Chuckie aka Charles Lee Ray is the main character in the Child’s Play franchise. As a serial killer who gets stuck in the body of a Good Guy doll, Lee Ray’s mission has always been to take possession of the body of Andy, his owner so that he could be human again. He starts out as cute as hell, but proceeds to become a bit more ragged looking but this does not stop him from hooking up with another doll (his girlfriend Tiffany) which results in the birth of a kid (also a doll) Glen/Glenda. Chucky is one of the most awesome characters out there because he has the best lines — he is wisecracking, bloodthirsty and uber fun to watch. His trademark weapon is a sharp jungle knife a la Rambo which is as almost as large as his body.

6. Cenobites (Hellraiser). I don’t really remember much of the plot of Hellraiser except for how the Cenobites looked — like pasty faced humans in long leather trench coats with nails sticking out of their faces. Anyhow, these creatures get their kicks out of taking captives and tearing their flesh in a most painful way. This franchise spawned eight movies in all.

7. Ghostface (Scream). Now who doesn’t know this familiar face? Most of the slasher flick generation revere this image as one of the most menacing characters in horror. Responsible for the Woodsboro massacre(s), this killer quizzes his victims on horror movies before he eventually does away with them. So, I suggest you read the rest of this entry should you receive the dreaded call (What’s your favorite horror movie?). This series is great mainly because it combines the whodunit angle with a lot of chases, injuries, topped off by the hottest cast — Drew Barrymore (guest), Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Jerry O’ Connel, and the last movie Scream 4 was mostly an all star cast of cameos.

8. Puppetmaster (Dead Silence). This puppet may not be as popular as Billy but he has been responsible for some of the grisliest murders in Ravens Fair. Believed to be the instrument of Mary Shaw, a ventroliquist who was killed by the townspeople for allegedly kidnapping and killing young boys, the puppetmaster takes revenge on the people whom she holds responsble for her death. Ryan Kwanten (pre-True Blood) is the main star of this 2007 flick, and he takes on the role of a berieved husband who wants answers for the death of his wife in the hands of the myeterious doll.

9. Michael Myers (Halloween). Not to be confused with the comedian Mike Myers, there is nothing funny about this disturbed killer who spent 15 years in a psychiatric facility after killing his older sister in cold blood. When he manages to escape, he is fueled by a singular goal — killing his remaining sister Laurie (originally played by Jamie Lee Curtis). Halloween is significant for the franchise as it is the night when Michael first commits his heinous crime and when he emerges and reemerges anew to stalk the remainder of his family in subsequent films.

10. Candyman (Candyman). The son of a black slave who was killed by being covered in honey and exposed to bees (as far as I remember, thus the name), the Candyman is a supernatural character who appears when someone mentions his name for five consecutive times.  He has only one arm, the other is replaced with the hook and this is his main weapon for killing his victims.

11. Wishmaster (Wishmaster). A creature who grants wishes but always with the twist, the Wishmaster is a jin (genie) who has the ability to make wishes come true but often with dire and deadly consequences. If anyone wants to prove the saying ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ there is no more ample movie than this to illustrate one’s point.  This franchise is the creation of horror master Wes Craven, who also created The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left, and also the Scream franchise.

12. Predator (Predator). I have no idea why this dude is part of this collage because I for one, think that Predators are more Sci Fi than horror. I would have included in this list Aliens and considered them more fitting as a finale. Anyways, Predators are basicallya hunter species who prey on other species for sport. They kill using high tech weaponry. Not horrific at all, but very cool considering that they faced off with Arnold Schwarzennegger in his heyday — but lost.

So there, that concludes the list. It took a while to rack my brain for the appropriate storylines but as always, its been my pleasure to share.

Check out my homage to horror and the art of villainy in this earlier entry: The Baddie Awards