From books to film, slashers have been terrifying us for years. Anyone who grew up during the eighties will tell you that this is true. There were even slashers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Jack the Ripper was one of the most notable slashers who is still famous today. I mean, he even had the nickname, “Ripper.”
What is it that makes these people so damn terrifying? I guess we should all ask ourselves this first, “Why slashers have and will continue to stand out?” The answer may be a bit more complicated than you think, because for everyone, it will be different.
So, I have compiled a list of my Top Three Favorite Slashers in literature and film. Are you ready?
1. Norman Bates from Psycho.
Norman ripped through the pages in 1959 and graced the big screens a year later in the cult classic Psycho. Author Robert Bloch had the good graces to create this psychotically memorable character, but it was Alfred Hitchcock who introduced him to us on screen.
What makes Norman so memorable, and why has he stuck with us for so long? From the original film to the remakes, this character has been terrorizing us for years. I think, for me at least, it was Norman’s ability to hide behind that charming smile and fool us into believing that he was a totally normal, and kind of handsome, sweetheart. At least in the film anyway.
His ability to camouflage his killer instincts and incredibly psychotic alter ego was astounding. Unfortunately, no woman was the wiser. Mary Crane learned this the hard way in the novel. In the film, the shower scene will forever haunt our minds. Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother, Actress Janet Leigh played Marion in the movie. I never understood the characters’ name change, but I guess Hollywood will do what it wants.
Now, the shower scene differs a bit in the novel. It is quite brutal. Instead of just stabbing the poor woman to death, Norman actually beheads her instead. But I guess the movie industry wasn’t quite ready for that sort of gore back then.
Norman is a psychotic, brutal, crossdressing slasher, and that is why he is on the top of the list as one of my favorite slashers.
2. Angela Baker, played by Actress Felissa Rose in the 1983 film Sleepaway Camp.
This character’s creative kills and “little secret” make this movie unforgettable. I’ll try my best not to spoil the ending, but if you know, you know.
Angela is a character defined by trauma. She is traumatized by children, traumatized by her peers, the camp counsellors, and by her own family. It is no wonder this character goes off the deep end.
I think the thing that makes Angela one of my favorites, other than her “little secret,” is the fact that she has some of the most unique kills. From bees, to boiling water, a curling iron—you don’t want to know, or maybe you do—to the trusty butcher knife, they’ve got it going on. My favorite kill was the boiling water because, and let’s face it, that perv deserved it.
Angela is quiet, shy, and awkward, and knows how to fight back. This is a character every bullied child can relate to. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of getting revenge on their bullies, maybe not the way Angela does of course. Nobody go getting any crazy ideas. We’ve all longed to see our bullies fall, maybe with a little public humiliation, but that’s about it.
Unless you’re Angela, a merciless killer of the worst kind. That is why they are number two on my list of favorite slashers.
3. Last, but not least, Hannibal Lecter from the book series written by Thomas Harris beginning in 1975 and the film first aired in 1986.
I really should’ve put Hannibal at the top of this list. But with so many choices, it is so hard to decide.
Most of you will remember the great Doctor Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs where he was played by Anthony Hopkins and starred alongside the talented Jodi Foster. So, I’ll try to stick with this character adaptation.
Dr. Lecter was quite a gentleman. He was educated and cunning and even had a soft spot for Clarice Starling, the FBI detective in training, who had the courage to interview the infamous serial killer.
Now, as most of you know, Hannibal likes to munch down on his victims. Which is raunchy enough in itself. But he does it in the most creative, refined, and tortuous way possible. We even see him feed a guy his own brain for fuck’s sake. Eating someone is one thing, but to feed them their own flesh…that’s just wrong, and a little nasty.
The last thing you’d want to do is get caught by this dubious mastermind, because once you did, there was no escape. He had everything planned down to what seasoning he was going to use, and which wine would pair best with your spleen.
Let’s talk about the tension between him and Clarice for a minute. In those moments, when they were close to one another, face to face so to speak, you never really knew if he wanted to kiss her or bite her. I was always waiting for him to either plant one on her or gnaw her face off. Either way, it would’ve been interesting to see. He never did eat her face, so I guess he was a bit of a romantic in the end.
Well, that’s a wrap on my top three favorite slashers. Jump in the comments and tell me some of your favorites. I’d love to know. As always, don’t forget to share this blog with your friends.