Article written by Maya Vukovska

Тhey are giving us the creeps but at the same time, we are strangely attracted to them. They are the queer villains on the silver screen.

Norman Bates - Psycho (1960)

This character has become synonymous with pure horror that lurks in the shadows of the human psyche. Created by writer Robert Block and portrayed by gay actor Anthony Perkins, the character was inspired by serial killer Ed Gein. Norman is a young man who runs a small, off-highway motel in Fairvale, CA. What is not revealed until the very end of the movie is that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder. After killing his mother, he develops a three-way split personality. Social isolation and the lack of interaction with women turn the man into a serial killer who commits vicious murders when the “Mother” personality takes over. However, what is most terrifying about Norman Bates is not his murderous inclination, but the fact that it was born as a result of too much motherly love.

Frank N. Furter - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Tim Curry as the mad scientist from space Frank N. Furter is a part also of the original London stage production from 1973. The story is as simple as it can get: the car of a young couple breaks down in shitty weather near a castle where the lovers seek a phone to call for help. However, they are about to make a hair-raising discovery. The host, Frank, is an alien transvestite who’s created a man called Rocky in his lab - his living sexual plaything, really. The couple is seduced by Frank but eventually is set free by the servants in the castle. If that’s not a plot for a porn movie with a sinister twist, I don’t know what else is!…

Jareth - Labyrinth (1986)

Portrayed by infamously eccentric bisexual artist David Bowie, Jareth is a lonely, sexy Goblin King, whose favorite pastime activity is stealing babies, as well as wearing tight pants and leather jackets, singing, and playing with crystal balls The film follows the adventures of 15-year old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) within an enormous labyrinth. She has only 13 hours to rescue her baby brother from the evil King, but somehow, along the way, she falls in love with this hyper-sexualized rock star. But can you blame her - it David-fucking-Bowie!

Buffalo Bill - Silence of the Lambs (1991)

For the protagonist, FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jody Foster) evil is a force that she faces every day in her job. But the case of Jame Gumb, known by the nickname “Buffalo Bill”, is going to be a game-changer. The character, played by Ted Levine, is a sadistic transvestite serial killer who murders young overweight women in order to make a “woman suit” from their skin for himself. Although it never becomes clear whether Gumb is real transsexual, it is kind of obvious that the guy has some serious gender dysphoria issues. To connect with the character he had to portray, Levine visited transvestite bars and really enjoyed meeting people who “had hormones and augmented stuff and would lip-sync to Barbra Streisand”.

Catherine Tramell - Basic Instinct (1992)

Portraying a bisexual serial killer is, without doubt, the most iconic role of Sharon Stone, and the movie has become a cult classic. Although the character has been labeled as a “damaging misogynistic stereotype,” it’s far more complicated and intriguing than that. Cathrine is a writer but her hobby is killing people. She is highly intelligent, charismatic, and manipulative. She displays features of narcissistic personality disorder, and also has risk addiction: the greater the risk, the better and more powerful she feels. And what to say about her looks! One simply cannot take their eyes off the face of this femme fatale.

Tom Ripley - Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

That’s probably my personal favorite performance of talented Mr. Matt Damon. Motivated by self-hatred and ambition, Tom is unstoppable in his way to the high society world of the beautiful and the rich. He is the kind of likeable psychopath everyone is willing to befriend because he looks so innocent, and approachable, and friendly. He is just the good old Tom - what’s not to like? Well, apart from the fact that he’s a pathological liar and a cold-blooded killer who beats to death Jude Law’s character and feeds his body to the fish in the ocean, I guess everything else is just fine with him.

Barbara Covett - Notes on a Scandal (2006)

A highly-acclaimed British actress and an Oscar winner, Judi Dench delivers another brilliant portrayal as a fragile-looking veteran high school teacher who is also a repressed lesbian who preys on the emotionally unstable new teacher (Cate Blanchett). Like most of the characters we’ve mentioned so far, Barbara, too, is borderline psychotic, only it’s her chronic loneliness that unleashes the evil-doer in her.

August 24, 2021 — Andrew Christian
Tags: Listicles