There’s no order to this, just a celebration of my fave characters over the years, largely (but not entirely) ignoring final girls and killers. (Some spoilers though – boooo).
Played by Joel S. Rice
In Final Exam (1981)
Why? Adhering to many-a-trope of the campus nerd, Radish is a rather scrawny know-all, however rather than being a second reel kill, he’s kinda promoted to the hero role as he discovers the murders and does his best to alert crush Courtney to the danger. Crush, you say? Well, there’s that barely obscured trait of him being more than just a little bit camp. Horror’s first final gay? Almost.
Quote: “It’s happening! The psychopaths are here!”
Played by Susan Jennifer Sullivan
In Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Why? Fabulously evil Melissa is as socially destructive as Jason is violent. All pearls and high end boutique clothing, she functions mainly to try and thwart weepy heroine Tina’s closeness with Nick, not notice her rapidly disappearing friends, and cop and axe to the face as the film’s last victim.
Quote: “Like has nothing to do with it.”
Played by Desmond Harrington
In Wrong Turn (2003)
Why? One of those ‘clipped’ personalities, Chris is the man who takes the wrong turn that escorts him into a nightmare. Grounded, logical, and a lil bit badass, he doesn’t do a whole lot of emoting, but comes through in the end.
Quote: “C’mon, you motherfuckers… just die.”
Played by Lilyan Chauvin
In Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Why? The epitome of all cliches around a psychologically abusive adult, Mama Sups makes the young life of little Billy hellish, becoming his desired final victim. Despite her counter-evil evilness, there’s something endlessly compelling about the way Chauvin plays it, which, dare I say, is a performance too goo for the film it’s in.
Quote: “I see only greed where there should be gratitude.”
Played by Hayden Panettiere
In Scream 4 (2011)
Why? Losing Randy Meeks in Scream 2 was traumatic, so his torch was passed to the next gen and wielded by dry-witted Kirby, walking horror almanac for the class of 2011. Although plans for the immediate sequel never went anywhere, news that she did indeed survive and will return for Scream 6 was fantastically received.
Quote: “It was the voice from Stab, or… y’know, your life.”
Played by P.J. Soles
In Halloween (1978)
Why? She’s the original carefree friend. The one who smokes pot, likes premarital sex, and doesn’t really give a damn about the possible consequences of her actions. But really, who doesn’t think Lynda is just totally awesome?
Played by Larry Zerner
In Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Why? The original slasher movie prankster; Shelly just wants to catch up with his better looking mates and find a girl who likes him. When that doesn’t work out, the annoying pranks come out instead. But he’s clearly got a heart of gold and we owe him for furnishing Jason with his mask.
Quote: “They said they were going skinny dipping and I’m not skinny enough.”
Played by Patricia Belcher
In Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Why? A local psychic who sees the terrible fate awaiting Darry or Trish Jenner and does her best to warn them of the danger with an unsettling call to a diner they stop at. Sadly, as she receives her future information out of sequence, it’s all gibberish. By the time she physically catches up with them at the PoHo County Police Station, her insights are too little, too late.
Quote: “You know what it eats and don’t you make me tell you!”
Played by Timothy Webber
In Terror Train (1980)
Why? Boyfriend characters are usually a bit lacklustre in slasher films, and while Mo doesn’t get the chance to play hero at any time to protect Alana (Jamie Lee Curtis), punch out his manipulative ‘best bud’, or indeed ever be consciously aware of the killer’s presence, there’s a likeability to the character lacking in many other contemporaries, thanks in main to the additional care that went into Terror Train‘s script.
Quote: “I’ll get you for this one Doc …I mean it this time.”
Played by Renee Jones
In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Why? Part of the new counselling staff at Camp
Crystal Lake Forest Green, Sissy is the fun, insightful one but, because she’s a camp counsellor, is doomed. She just exudes mid-80s awesomeness though.
Quote: “Think I’d rather deal with ol’ Jason.”