1. The Joker – The Dark Knight
The Joker, a self-described “agent of chaos,” is about as psychopathic as one can get. He doesn’t care about how he looks, ritualistically smears makeup across his scarred face, and relishes any scheme that undoes order. Nicholson’s Joker was a clown, but Ledger’s Joker was a frightening, unpredictable terrorist. The Joker’s abandonment of all societal norms, coupled with his violent, disruptive behavior makes him one of the more memorable movie psychos.
2. Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal
The infamous Dr. Lecter is a genius with a taste for flesh and brains, an unnerving paradox of sorts that helps cement him in the mind of anyone who happens to cross his path. Being a serial killer is psychotic enough, but Lecter’s got cannibalism on his resume, too, raising the bar for psychopaths everywhere. Simply put, Lecter is one dangerous S.O.B. Also from Silence of the Lambs, Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb is a memorable psycho, but his mangina doesn’t hold a candle to Lecter’s psychopathic tendencies.
3. Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
If there ever was a lovable psycho, it was the privileged elitist Patrick Bateman. With good looks, wealth, and a remarkable sense of style, Bateman personifies the 80s Wall Street yuppie. The irony that is Pat Bateman, though, is that despite being a psychopathic killer, he’s more in touch with emotion and reality than his superficial, materialistic peers. We can debate whether Bateman really did kill people or if it was all in his head, but either way you look at it, Bateman is one sick puppy. If you’ve read the book, by the way, you know that the book version of Pat Bateman makes the movie version look like a saint. Don’t just stare at it, eat it!