On-screen psychos: Everybody loves a nutter
It's true, especially with us blokes. We've always been drawn to the unhinged. Every cult anti-hero and almost all popular iconic movie villains share one thing in common... they're all bat shit crazy. There's something that's just sparks interest in a character that isn't quite a full shilling and if they're dangerous too, that just pulls you in further.
So with that said, we've decided to list some of our favourite headcases to ever grace your screens. Most of them famous, some of them not as famous, all of them nuts.
Alex Delarge. (A Clockwork Orange)
How could we not feature this infamous cult villain. An anti-hero to some but if brought into reality a pretty disturbing character with deep delusions of grandeur. A person that thinks nothing of dishing out lashings of ultra-violence, often on innocent victims and feels no remorse whatsoever. You'd have to argue that for all the cool arrogance he and his fellow droogs ooze, Alex is one evil bastard, a psychopath perhaps.
The films plot sees him opting into a new advanced rehabilitation program in exchange for an early release. A method not designed to stop his violent thoughts but to create a negative physical and mental response to stop him from acting them out.
If we had to grade Alex on his madness, he'd be up there with the best of them.
Young Gangster (Gangster No.1)
Paul Bettany played a blinder for his film debut with his deranged Young Gangster role. A slightly lesser known character and film, Gangster No.1 is one of those underrated hidden gems with some clear nods to Stanley Kubrick's Alex Delarge. In fact, Malcolm McDowell (Alex Delarge) plays the main character grown older.
Young Gangster is another dangerously unpredictable character, who takes it upon himself to push for the violent takeover of the mob boss he works for and everything he owns.
His grandiose delusions and schizoprephic-like physcotic breaks just add to the tension and authenticity of what it's like to live, if only briefly in the mind of a lunatic.
Richard, (Dead Man's Shoes)
Richard, played brilliantly by Paddy Considine in Shane Meadow's cult classic Dead Man's Shoes, is perhaps the most relatable character on our list. Clearly a very damaged character, we could speculate that he maybe suffers from PTSD from his military service, however there's definitely no doubting that he feels deeply guilty for not being there to protect his brother.
Once you realise the story's twist, it's very easy to connect with Richard's cause, making him an instant anti-hero. If you grew up or live in a small town especially, you will probably know all too well the types of bullies portrayed in this film, the big-fish-in-a-small-pond plastic gangsters that like to prey on the weak.
So although Richard is no doubt an unhinged dangerous vigilante, he certainly isn't evil and it's clear from the unfolding story that he wasn't born that way.
Still, we wouldn't like to think he was on the hunt for us.
Don Logan (Sexy Beast)
Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) is a retired career criminal living the dreamlife in Spain only to have his peace shattered when Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) turns up on his doorstep to hire, or more force him to do one last job back in England. Ben Kingsley doesn't disappoint and plays this unstable loon to perfection. Don is undoubtedly very dangerous and has been sent over to intimidate Gal back into a life of crime. A task to which he is violently committed in following through on, literally.
As with many a film nutter, there is a real comedic value to some of his bizarre behavior. From unexpected outbursts or randomly pissing on Gals bathroom floor all the way to accusing a male air host of "touching his front bottom" to ensure he isn't deported. He becomes a character that's hard to forget.
All jokes aside though, there's no doubt that he has some real issues and if you happened to look at him the wrong way in the street, he wouldn't think twice about rubbing you out....permanently.
Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)
Perhaps the scariest crank on the list is stone cold psychopath Anton Chigurh, played ever so awesomely by Javier Bardem. This slick Coen brothers thriller has been described as a modern western and features one of the baddest nutjobs to ever climb into our TV sets. No Country for Old Men is an intelligent violent, poetic thriller that again has some real dark humour thrown in.
Anton is a cold blooded hitman on the trail of Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a bloke out hunting who accidentally stumbles upon a large amount of cash from a drug deal gone wrong, and decides to keep it. Big mistake!
Anton is a genuinely terrifying character. From his extremely violent methods of murder (a cattle stun gun springs to mind!) to the warped coin toss game he likes to play with his victims lives.
He's one of the last people on the planet that you'd want to have you card marked by. And for that, he makes our list with ease.
We could quite easily go on with this list and who knows? maybe we'll work towards a continued second edition, however for now these are the characters that instantaneously spring to mind when we think of memorable on-screen headcases.
In the meantime just don't forget that there are some real nutters out there, not just the fictional ones on our screens! Watch out for 'em.
Think we've missed someone off?
Feel free to let us know your top picks in the comments.