A Happy Halloween to everyone! It is that day of the year again where anything and everything that gives one the chills and the thrills reign supreme: from demons, zombies, monsters, serial killers, vampires, aliens, to ghosts.
Every Halloween we usually see people dressed up as their favorite horror characters. Though these characters are the usual classic horror novel characters, some prefer horror movie characters and why is this so? Because these characters have become a cultural horror icons on their own rights and respective times. Their movies, though not as usually blockbusters have created a loyal fan base or cult following which made producers make movies after movies starring these horror icons again by popular demand. As a tribute and a Halloween Special for CMAQUEST I made a list of the most popular horror movie icons from the 80s up to the 90s and here they are:
Who could forget that unforgettable Masked Killer from Scream Trilogy. This movie has given birth to two more sequels (Scream 2 and Scream 3) and inspired the revival of slasher films (Urban Legends, I Know What You Did Last Summer, etc.) back in the late 90s next and parody films like Scary Movies. Before every ending the man behind the mask and the killing spree is finally revealed but for the rest of the movie he is usually seen with a white ghostly face mask and a black hooded costume which resembles the grim reaper. The only comforting fact is that behind the mask is a mere human so it is not that hard to stop him right? Signature Line: "What's your favorite scary movie?"
Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Series belonged to an abusive family of cannibal serial killers. While the rest of the family scouts, traps and gathers their "harvest" (which are human candidates for their dining table). Leatherface is usually seen behind the shadows waiting for the next butcher. He got a disease at an early age which greatly disfigured his face into something monstrous. Leatherface is a mentally retarded person with the brain of a 12 year old but travelers beware. Never underestimate the capabilities of this psychotic cannibal. He is usually seen with varying masks from that made of sown animal hide to human flesh, thus his name Leatherface. He usually is equipped with a sledge hammer and a chainsaw to prepare the day's meat.
Michael Myers from the Halloween Series is a serial killer who first discovered his bizarre talent for man slaughter at an early age. Ten to be precise as he murdered his sister. His fascination for bloody carnage didn't subside even when he was institutionalize. He is depicted as an almost "unkillable evil" as seen on how various methods to stop him (fire, bullet, hand combat) proved futile. He never goes out without his signature jumpsuit, white mask, and knife (though it might vary to whatever arsenal is accessible)
The Candyman of the Candyman Series is a vengeful spirit brought up by a tragic love story in a wrong place at a wrong time. Anyone who calls forth the name of Candyman five times in front of a mirror will summon the ghost slasher and will kill his closest descendant (usually portrayed by a woman). He has a signature hook and a swarm of bees which populate his body inside out.
Pinhead of Hell Raiser Series is one of the next bizarre literally "out of this Earth" beings. Usually successfully solving a complex puzzle (e.g the Rubik's cube) will bring a sense and feeling of accomplishment, but try solving the strange puzzle box called the Lemarchand's box and what you'll only be getting is your very own death wish. Demons who have come forth upon the solution of the accursed puzzle box are the followers of Leviathan, the Cenobites. The Cenobites are capable of extraordinary abilities like telepathy, extra ordinary strength, teleportation, and chain manipulation from their hell world. Their objective is to bring the one who solved the puzzle to their world which is a large hellish Labyrinth for the solver to experience their definition of pleasure.... a slow suffering and torture to death. The Cenobites logical leader is Pinhead who takes pleasure in eternal torture and agony. "You solved the box, we came. Now you must come with us, taste our pleasures. ".
From an overly logical hellish demon, we now go to a seemingly harmless doll of an almost deadlier craving for slaughter and murder. I am referring to Chucky of the Child's Play Series. When an infamous and serial killer got almost cornered and captured by the authorities in pursuit of him, he managed to pulled off one last unimaginable act which is to transfer his rotting soul to a Good Guy Doll on a Toy Store he sought refuge in. After the lightning his the toy store burning him inside he woke up as a murderous doll. His next big undertaking is returning back to being a human. He chose his the boy who found him to be the bearer of his ruthless soul and thus the chase for the boy's body began, and everyone who gets in his way are as good as dead. The series later became a horror comedy but nevertheless a popular horror icon and a cult classic favorite.
The Leprechaun from The Leprechaun Series could be rank with Chucky in terms of their height. Though the Leprechaun bears more magical powers. The producers have used the mythology of the jolly Leprechaun of the pot of gold at the end of every rainbow and twisted it as a tale of the greedy and murderous killing sprite. A forest spirit who will stop at nothing to complete his missing gold coin pieces. Along the series he was shown with a wide array of magical abilities that grows even more powerful as he collects and completes the gold collection. Some skills include teleportation, hypnotism, illusion, levitation, reattachment of decapitated parts, telekinesis, shape-shifting and more. But he is not an unstoppable force as far as his magical skills can pull for he has also weaknesses which the protagonists in each film eventually discovery to either trap or eradicate him. The human characteristics and wit of the Leprechaun is what made it into a horror comedy. Capture him and you are guaranteed with a wish but be careful what you wish for for he may just like be our next horror icon...
The Djinn of The Wishmaster Series. Djinn's are evil genies trapped within a dimension. The only way for them to be freed and wreck havoc on Earth is for them to fulfill three wishes of the one who summoned them. The catch is the wish that unknowing victims or summoner will always have a fatal twist or catch in its execution. The Djinn is no lighthearted genie like from Aladdin for he can make your wildest wishes come true.... for a second or so that is. Watch out for "Your next wish could be your last..."
Freddy Krueger of The Nightmare on Elm Street Series started from a serial child murder of Elm Street. When a technicality has given him freedom from the right justice that was supposed to be intended for him, the parents who lost their child from the the hands of the child murderer took vengeance by burning him in his hideout. He was later reborn as a vengeful and evil demon. Freddy feeds off the fear of his victims making him more powerful to execute his plans. Death by nightmare means death in the real life. Whatever happens to a victim in his nightmare will happen to him for real. Freddy plays around with his prey which eventually gives them the time to conjure up the necessary courage to strategized against him. Eventually in the end of each movie he will always had the last laugh. One, two, Freddy's coming for you... Three, four, better lock your door... Five, six, grab your crucifix... Seven, eight, better stay awake... Nine, ten, never sleep again."
Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th died from the first film but then reappeared on the sequel. This known fact made it a bit confusing to most audience but after clearing this out Jason's killing spree began. He dwells in the dark corners of Camp Crystal Lake. He knows know mercy for anyone who dares set foot in his territory may it be raunchy campers or plain teenagers, he will end their stay in a very unforgettable fashion... murder by his signature machete. Jason's signature hockey mask was only adapted in later films which became the trademark of Jason Vorhees of Camp Crystal Lake.
And there you have it, the list of the most popular horror movie icons of the past. If you are looking for older stereotype horror characters like the mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein or the werewolf you won't find them here. For these are the iconic horror characters of the 80s to 90s. So who's your favorite horror icon?