Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Best fictional serial killers

This gruesome subject is brought to you as I'm making an all too kiddie pie, the sweetness of which needs balancing.

So, there being so many fictional serial killers about, lets cull the list to the best. Brutality isn't going to be the deciding factor. No, believability is, although there is some definite overlap. And considering we've had chess board killers, killer clowns, husband and wife teams, killer hotel owners, killer doctors and nurses and even skin wearers in reality believability is going to be a bit stretched for those amongst us without such urges.

Patrick Bateman from American Psycho by by Bret Easton Ellis
Over the top on the gruesome scale just for the impact but showing many believable traits for a serial killer.

The Trinity Killer from Dexter
Trauma breeds issues. If you aren't born with a mind wired for serial killing then trauma might just make you into one and leave you spinning in bloody circles for the rest of your life, intelligence and social capabilities aside. Also, it is entirely possible for serial killers to maintain families.

Dexter from Dexter
A mind twisted by trauma and trained through the application of logic. Although the fact that he's never caught despite such a huge tally is quite unbelievable he does have that meticulous plan in his head, one he carries out most of the time. His values and emotional responses are skewed just right.

Dr Hannibal Lecter from Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris
It is quite true that serial killers can show extremely high intelligence, even if it is twisted. Smart doesn't always mean nice or gentle or understanding.

Norman Bates from Psycho (always the original)
Mothers really can have a bad impact upon a person's mind. Also, that friendly or shy guy who looks perfectly acceptable might not be quite what you think. Nice packages don't always hold nice surprises.

Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Look past the showmanship and you get a rather believable cannibalistic serial killer. There's been many a desperate person turning to human flesh in times of food rations and starvation. He just took it to another level.

The Delicatessen from The Delicatessen
Another believable cannibalistic serial killer who gets a bit more glamour than he deserves. Luckily, although the art and colour of this movie are beautiful, the delicatessen is not only ugly but utterly repellant. He isn't the main character or focus of the film but he is the one who drives the plot.

Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Masacre
As he's loosely based on Ed Gein I can't argue that he's far from believable. This movie should give you the creeps for its reflection of reality more than anything else. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Gein's making furniture out of people is part of a rather a long tradition in human history.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Take out the beautiful writing and you're left with a killer seeking what he doesn't have. Basic and believable in his twisted desires, although the ending is quite out there and unrealistic even in terms of serial killers.

Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct
Although there are few female serial killers to judge her against she does match up well with the overall criteria of sex and relationship based kills as well as the use of her physical appeal. In the cases of real female serial killers intelligence or stupidity hasn't been an obvious factor, as yet, while sex, trauma, relationships and survivalism have been. I have to point out that Catherine Tramell is far more in control than the real female serial killers so far.

Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon by Tom Harris
Shows the very distinct patterns of textbook serial killers.

Runner up due to this killer being more than one:

The Gorgomon ancient serial killer collective from Bones
People do get sucked into the most extreme situations simply through the application or misapplication of logic.

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