The '70s and '80s gave us Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and an endless list of other horror icons that we still know and love today. The slasher film set the rules — no sex, drugs or alcohol — and characters with the same background ruled the genre for decades. But with the arrival of the new millennium, several new horror icons were born — and some of them are way different from the classics we have grown accustomed to.
Here are 13 of the weirdest, most interesting and unusual horror characters since 2000.
13. The Bong — Evil Bong (2006)
What isn't weird about this character? It's a bong that grants wishes and turns them into nightmares. One thing that can be said for The Bong is that it is definitely a unique, creative character. I don't think it will become as big as Freddy anytime soon, but there is no denying that The Bong deserves to be recognized on a list of weird horror characters.
12. The Gingerbread Man — The Gingerdead Man (2005)
The gingerbread man is essentially Chucky in cookie form. He's a cookie that contains the soul of a convicted murderer that goes after the girl who sent him to his death. Tasty and deadly.
11. William Dekker — Digging Up The Marrow (2014)
William Dekker (played by the immensely talented Ray Wise) is not a villain per se, nor is he a psychopathic killer. His role in the film is both unique and difficult to explain: He wants help proving the existence of monsters, but once he gets his proof, he's not sure he wants it after all. He is both crazy and genius.
10. John — Devil May Call (2013)
John (Tyler Mane) is unique to say the least. He is a serial killer who no longer wants to kill, even considering taking his own life to put an end to his murderous compulsion. When he finds out that the one person who has been able to help keep him sane is leaving his favorite suicide prevention line, his murderous tendencies come back and his reign of terror begins anew. Quite different from the slashers of yesteryear.
9. Mayor Buckman — 2001 Maniacs (2005)
Is he a ghost? A demon? Or a man? Mayor Buckman (played by slasher extraordinaire Robert Englund) is crazy, foul and funny all rolled into one psychopath. 2001 Maniacs is not as well known as some of the other works of this horror genius, but Mayor Buckman is a lot like Freddy Krueger: Dead and out for revenge. If more people were made aware of this character, he has every possibility of becoming an icon.
8. Sheriff Hoyt — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) And The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
When you hear the name The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface generally springs to mind. But Sheriff Hoyt made both the 2003 remake and 2006 prequel much more entertaining. R. Lee Ermey is one of the best actors around and he brought every bit of that rage and talent to the table to make Hoyt one of horror's most despicable, vile villains. He's a character that you want to root for, but at the same time would love to see meet a grizzly demise.
7. Mary Mason — American Mary (2012)
At the beginning of American Mary, Mary Mason is a sweet med school student with a promising future. But after attending a party at her professor's house, she becomes a badass body-mod surgeon with a vendetta. She is a perfect example of a person pushed too far and forced into becoming what makes her truly terrifying. Pretty much every horror fan knows who Mary Mason is, and she is the Soska sisters' best creation to date. She is truly a horror icon.
6. Mick Taylor — Wolf Creek (2005) And Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
Mick Taylor is without a doubt one of the most terrifying characters to hit the big screen in decades, but he doesn't quite get the credit he deserves. What makes him so interesting? He is a psycho in a Crocodile Dundee hat who will charm you then brutally kill you with a smile on his face. Not to mention, he has an awesome accent and a distinctive voice.
5. Chromeskull — Laid To Rest (2009) And Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2 (2011)
Chromeskull gets a lot of mixed reviews from the horror community, but whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying that he is one of the most brutal new slashers to hit the genre in the new millennium. What about him is not unusual or interesting?
He wears a nicely tailored black suit and dress shoes to kidnap and murder people, he records it, his knives are awesome, he wears a chrome mask, he's huge, and his motives are unknown. Every other slasher out there has a clear motive for doing what they do, but Chromeskull just shows up on our screens out of the blue one day to brutalize random girls.
4. Captain Spaulding — House of 1000 Corpses (2003) And The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Captain Spaulding is one of the most vile characters in horror history, yet everybody loves him. Legendary Sid Haig delivers one of his best performances as this psychotic clown. A purveyor of fried chicken and gasoline by day, a homicidal maniac and family man by night. He is one of the most quoted genre characters and has become a true icon over the years.
3. Otis Driftwood — House Of 1000 Corpses (2003) And The Devil's Rejects (2005)
What can't be said about Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley)? He is insane and a bit homicidal, but still maintains a certain charm and sense of humor. Whether he is creating a fish boy, quoting Charles Manson, brutally murdering someone or any of the other crazy things he does, fans are in awe of this unusual character. He is captivating and a true horror gem.
2. Sam — Trick 'R Treat (2007)
He's adorable, he loves Halloween, and he will stab you with a lollipop. In an anthology film, it is unlikely that one character in particular will stand out above the others, but Sam has become a true horror icon since his 2007 debut. He is two little monsters rolled into one — hooded scarecrow kid and pumpkin-headed goblin. He is kind of like the police of Halloween, enforcing every rule and punishing those that dare blow out their jack-o'-lanterns or forget to check their candy. He will continue to be a symbol of the genre for years to come (especially with the announcement of Trick 'R Treat 2).
1. Victor Crowley — Hatchet (2006), Hatchet II (2010) And Hatchet III (2013)
The birth of Victor Crowley typified the rebirth of the slasher; since his 2006 debut (thank you, Adam Green) the slasher film has made a serious comeback with fresh new faces (and a few remakes of the classics). Victor (Kane Hodder) is one unique character. He was cursed in his mother's womb, accidentally killed by his own father and returns as a ghost every night in search of the only person to ever show him kindness. Between his disfigured appearance, and skills with a hatchet and various other tools of murder, the legend of Victor Crowley will continue to grow and inspire further generations of celluloid slashers.
Hollywood may have bombarded the 2000s with remakes, but new characters were still able to emerge and a fresh class of icons was born, some of which were a bit bizarre, but that only makes us love them more.
Who is your favorite horror character of the new millennium?