10. Stansfield -- Leon
What a horrible chap Gary Oldman’s bent copper is. It’s one thing to systematically and calmly kill an entire family in cold blood, but that neck click and pill popping his does makes him terrifyingly unpredictable and deranged as hell. So don’t mess with him, unless you’re a milk-guzzling, French assassin called Leon, of course.
9. Begbie – Trainspotting
Probably the person on the list you’d most try to stay on the good side of, because you’ve absolutely no idea what he’ll do if you so much as farted in his direction. The most memorable scene in Irvine Welsh’s Edinburgh-based tale about drug abuse in the 90s is the nonchalant chucking of a pint glass over his head. The fact it smashes in someone’s face and proceeds to batter the victim’s mates tells us all we need to know about this pint-sized mental case.
8. Mr Blonde – Reservoir Dogs
At no point we’re ever quite sure what this squinty-eyed criminal wants. What is Mr Blonde’s deal? He’s just done time for his close mob boss pal, but doesn’t appear to think before he shoots or speaks. Maybe he just wants to see the world burn? Funnily, it’s his don’t-give-a-shit narcissism that inevitably gets him blown away by an irate Mr Orange.
7. Richard -- Dead Man’s Shoes
Intimidation is his game (as well as a stellar beard), but Paddy Considine’s ex-squaddie has the balls to back up his threats by killing practically everyone in a well-executed (pardon the pun) manner. But it’s all in the name of revenge on behalf of his tormented younger brother, so it’s fine, right...?
6. Tommy DeVito – Goodfellas
It is one thing being a psycho, but this guy will scare the shit out of you and is probably beyond the point of getting a kick out of it. He does what he wants, when he wants, and no one – absolutely no one – fucks with him. This is going to end badly, isn’t it? And whatever you do, don’t ever call him funny.
5. Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
You can tell from the moment we see this power-hungry, high-pressured business type that he’s going to snap, but it’s the often cool nature of Bateman (even during moments when he’s dismembering a victim with his chainsaw) that you realise what a complete nut job he is. Delusional and desperate for gratification and success; it’s his circumstances that perhaps render him the most sociopathic.
4. Bruce – Filth
This fella does all sorts of crazy shit. He’s a disgusting, manipulative, sexist, homophobic, drug-taking, alcohol-swilling, corrupt cop, but he’s arguably the most guilt-ridden and fucked up madman of recent times. His 100 mile-an-hour lifestyle inevitably catches up with him, yet he’s definitely the most emotionally damaged nutter on the list.
3. The Joker -- The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger’s powerhouse portrayal of a man who thrives on anarchism is scarily organised, scarily precise, but most of all, goddamn scary to look in the face. Who says all whack jobs are idiots? This one’s not: he’s intelligent and organised, with a thirst for death and destruction.
2. Mickey – Natural Born Killers
He really doesn’t give a fuck, does he? Even during the most heinous moments, like slowing down to shotgun an innocent cyclist in the face, will leave a grin on this bald-headed psycho’s face. He’s manipulative when it comes to Mallory, but wouldn’t bat an eyelid at killing or mutilating someone, either.
1. Jack Torrance – The Shining
The ultimate film crazy, for me, is Jack. Sure, other characters will make you wince and shudder, but none make you feel as uncomfortable as Nicholson’s cabin-fevered father who sets out to slay his wife and boy. He’ll stop at nothing, but it’s the things he does in Kubrick’s seduced tale at the Overlook Hotel that sets him apart. Whereas others film nutters often do things to affect people directly, there’s many Jack does that aren’t meant to be seen by anyone, such as the ‘all work and no play’ typed pages, which makes him absolutely batshit.