Who Plays the Most Convincing Psycho in the Movies, Past or Present?

Street Talk published the week of June 28-July 4, 2000

Jun 28, 2000 at 4:00 am
James Pudlowski
Dance Instructor, E-Z Glide Academy of Dance

"I'd say Christopher Walken has it down pat. The Deer Hunter, The Dead Zone, that freak he played in Batman Returns -- every one of his characters has a twist or quirk of some sort, like 'that boy's not right.' And those eyes -- they look nowhere, like he's in la-la land. Even the comedic role in Biloxi Blues, you can tell he's a half-bubble off."

Mary Ellen Metzger
Sales, Ace Rental

"Oh, Bette Davis. Have you ever seen old Bette Davis movies? She was scary. Her eyes were the scariest. She had Bette Davis eyes."

Jeff DeCuir
Musician, Pink Filth

"You need a psycho, get Bruce Dern. He's gonna deliver -- he's got that intensity, that look, like he's about to crack. He really shines in roles like the psycho biker in The Wild Angels, the terrorist in Black Sunday -- and it's really too bad he didn't get to destroy the Super Bowl in that one. My memory of his roles in the films outweigh my memory of the film itself."

Lori Houghton
Runner-Up, Dupo Days Pie-Eating Contest

"Pauly Shore, and the thing is, he's not acting. That's really him, and that's the scary part."

Jessica Barnett-DeCuir

"Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom. She scared me. I think she scared me because of the details, the little things that set her off -- the neighbor who didn't recycle, Patty Hearst wearing white after Labor Day -- things that even a psycho wouldn't get upset about. And she looked so normal and nice and suburban, but she was raving mad ... though you actually liked her; you wanted her to kill that woman watching Annie."

Dan Brown
Retail Sales Manager, Dobbs Tire & Auto

"Jack Nicholson in The Shining. He was pretty out there. He's crazy in everything he plays. Nicholson, sitting up front at the Lakers game, he just looks crazy. He's a trip, he really is."