October Madness: Tournament of the Deadliest Slasher Villains in Movie History

Horror movies thrive on taking out unsuspecting bystanders that can barely walk without tripping over themselves. It begs the question — what would happen if these villains were forced to face off with each other? In honor of Leatherface releasing on October 20th — a film depicting the origin of one of film’s most famous slasher villains — we’ve decided to develop a March Madness-like bracket to see which one of these horror icons would end up on top.

Slay-In Round

Pennywise The Dancing Clown (IT) vs. The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers)

Just like March Madness, we need a couple of games to determine the last few spots of the tournament. Kicking off the festivities are a pair of slashers that only come around every so often. Pennywise has risen back to fame with the 2017 reboot of a 1990 miniseries entitled It. It is an extraterrestrial shape-shifter typically taking the form of a clown. He appears every 27 years to pray on the fears of the people (mostly children) of Derry, Maine.

The Creeper is bit less patient. The star of the three-part film series comes out for 23 days every 23rd spring. Not much of the monster’s origins is known, but he has showcased regenerative abilities and the ability to fly to great heights. His main targets are young adults, but he’s also shown the penchant for taking out an old lady or two.

Although the Creeper has showcased some serious power, in the end he has proven he can be subdued by human gadgetry. Pennywise has been defeated as well in the past, but only when the children of Derry have the all-powerful “Turtle” on their side. The Turtle is even more powerful than Pennywise, and represents everything good in the world. There’s no way something like that will be on the Creeper’s side. Advantage Pennywise.

WINNER: Pennywise

Ghostface (Scream) vs. Pinhead (Pinhead)

The main character of the Scream series is Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), but the star has always been the one that wears the infamous mask. The killer is almost single-handedly responsible for everybody getting Caller ID, dating back to the first house call he made to a young Drew Barrymore. Using a knife and a voice changer, Ghostface terrorized the teenagers of Woodsboro — breaking every horror movie stereotype in the process.

Pinhead is a demon. As in not human.

David Arquette was able to finish off the killer in Scream.

We think the demon will be alright.

WINNER: Pinhead

Opening Slashes

#1 Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th) vs. #8 Pennywise The Clown (IT)

Pennywise just can’t catch a break as he draws one of the most indestructible villains in cinema history. Jason (among others) helped bring the genre to the map with his creative kills and ominous nature. Originally, Jason was just a regular camper (albeit a little peculiar) at Camp Green Lake. After endless ridicule and bullying, Jason was eventually drowned in the lake and proceeded to spend the rest of his times terrorizing (usually promiscuous) campers.

Vorhees doesn’t have nearly as many tools as the Creeper does — but he doesn’t need him. He’s not very fast, can’t fly, and his typical weapon of choice is the signature machete. Albeit all of this, he does have one thing the Creeper doesn’t — the art of surprise. Vorhees isn’t restricted to a 23-year cycle, and can pop out of virtually anywhere at anytime. He’s also made a “living” off of killing teens, which is obviously something that Pennywise can work on.

Pennywise’s entire game is feeding off of fears, but Jason’s only notable fear is water. Unless he can shape shift into the Pacific Ocean, Jason puts a machete into the clown’s ugly mug.


#4 Michael Myers (Halloween) vs. #5 Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Now we’re getting into the juicy match-up. A pair of masked killers that have strong ties to their respective families square off in a dream battle for the ages.

Michael Myers can take a lot of credit for setting the tone for this genre. The creepy music and vibe of the original Halloween films used original tactics that are still employed to this day. Anybody that has seen the movie remembers the famous piano tune, and made sure to check all the locks twice when babysitting. Although classified as a human, Myers has shown the ability to come back time and time again having survived being burned alive and being shot several times.

Leatherface inhabits the deepest part of the Texas countryside, preying on anybody and everybody his family can get their hands on. Wielding a chainsaw, the imposing brute swings his weapon of choice with reckless abandon.

While the first few films in the series don’t give much info on the origin of his deadly ways, the newest film in the series — titled Leatherface — gives a better idea of how he came to be. Like Myers, the brand-new installment (which quaintly releases on October 20th, 2017) shows Leatherface’s horrifying upbringing as a child, and depicts him as normal boy that regularly clashed with his twisted family’s views.

Now Myers certainly has one thing over Leatherface in that he’s far sneakier. Myers is nearly silent as he stalks his victims — swiftly ending them with a swipe of his kitchen knife. Leatherface loses all subtlety when he revs up that chainsaw. Having said that, this IS indeed a tournament setting. If the two were to face off — with no distractions around — Leatherface does have some advantages. For one, he’s depicted as a far more impressive physical specimen. Secondly, he wins the reach battle with his chainsaw. In an early-round upset, we give the victory to Leatherface in a grueling battle.

WINNER: Leatherface

#3 Chucky The Doll (Child’s Play) vs. #6 Leprechaun (Leprechaun)

Undoubtedly the marquee match-up of Round 1 is a battle between the tourney’s two most diminutive slashers.

Chucky is a Good Guy doll inhabited by a bank robber via voodoo magic. Taking the form of the doll gives Chuck a sense of stealth, as he can sit idly when he doesn’t want to be noticed. He’s come back time and time again. He even gotten married and had a child along the way.

The Leprechaun is based off of an Irish folk tale. Having been around for countless centuries, the Leprechaun will attack anybody he thinks stole his pot of gold. He’s played by the phenomenal Warwick Davis. Interestingly enough, this was Jennifer Aniston’s first major motion picture appearance.

It would be a fight to the death for the ages. What they both lack in size they make up for in attitude. The Leprechaun has magical powers including mind control, but Chucky has some magic on his side as well. When the Leprechaun’s amulet is placed around his neck, he’s turned to stone until it is taken off again. Chuck is far too resourceful to have a weakness like that.

WINNER: Chucky

#2 Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) vs. #7 Pinhead (Hellraiser)

A pair of Clive Barker creations square-up in the final match of the first round.

Pinhead gained some momentum from his first win — and he’ll need it with the deranged Freddy Krueger waiting for him. Krueger was once a serial killer that tormented children in his basement. When the townspeople found out about his terrible acts, they burned his house with Krueger inside. Although his body dies, he lives on in the dreams of the people in his old neighborhood. In these dreams, Freddy is virtually untouchable, using people’s fears against them.

Now we can’t know this for sure, but demons probably don’t sleep much. Freddy is far more vulnerable in real-life (as depicted in Freddy vs. Jason). However, what we do is that Pinhead only arrives when somebody solves the puzzle box named The Lament Configuration. Freddy would do everything in his power to prevent that from happening.

Freddy would enter the dream of the person that solved the box to find Pinhead. In the dream world, anything goes. We know Pinhead is plenty strong, but Freddy is the end-all be-all in the dream world. Freddy’s hand-to-hand prowess — coupled with his unique style — allows him to avoid an early exit.

WINNER: Freddy Krueger

Round 2 (There’s Always a Sequel)

#1 Jason Vorhees (Friday The 13th) vs. #5 Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

The two quintessential mama’s boys are set for a clash between horror titans.

Jason is a near unstoppable force. He’s been to space and survived. He’s been to Hell and New York — which some might consider not all that different — and prospered. Vorhees finds a way to come back, even when his murderous plans are thwarted.

Through his trials he’s always had one person by his side — his mother. His mom has helped Jason tremendously throughout the years. However, she’s not physically around anymore.

This is where Leatherface has a distinct advantage. His family is still alive and is large in numbers. In the Leatherface film, you truly see just how deranged the Sawyer family is. It starts with the mother, Verna Saywer, who is played by Lili Taylor (The Conjuring, American Crime). It gives an impeccable look into what exactly set Leatherface off in his youth, and showcases the maniacal nature of the entire family.

Killing Jason would be a tough feat. However, he has been detained in the series history — most notably at the bottom of Crystal Lake. Leatherface and the Saywer family have the man power to accomplish such a task. In every NCAA Tournament, the two teams that everybody expects to play in the National Championships rarely end up both getting there. Leatherface does some bracket-busting here, and prevents the rematch between Vorhees and Krueger. It’s truly an upset for the ages.

WINNER: Leatherface

#2 Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) vs. #3 Chucky The Doll (Child’s Play)

Can we make this a movie already?

In a bout between horror movie icons, Freddy and Chucky would make for an incredibly entertaining fight. The deadliness of both — coupled with the respective wittiness and humor — would keep audiences interested throughout. Chucky is quick thinker. He would try his best to force Freddy into the real world, where the battle can be fought on even grounds. Then again, are we even sure Chucky sleeps?

For the sake of argument, let’s say Chucky successfully drags Freddy out of the dream world much like in Freddy vs. Jason. Chucky is relentless, and highly resilient. It must be noted though that Freddy actually held his own against a Jason in the real world — who is far more imposing than Chucky. He flashed some sweet martial arts skills, and is likely far more physically strong than the doll. Krueger imposes his will, slashing Chucky’s head and stuffing it in the original packaging.

WINNER: Freddy Krueger

The Gruesome Finale

#2 Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) vs. #5 Leatherface (Hellraiser)

Not exactly the pairing many would have suspected, but isn’t that always how these sorts of tournaments end up? The dream killing Krueger faces off against the family-first Leatherface. Who ends up on top? Let’s discuss:

Leatherface drew a couple fortuitous match-ups. Although he took out slasher giants Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees, Freddy is by far the fastest and most agile of his competitors. Leatherface is anything but graceful, and could struggle if stuck in close quarters with the claw-wielding Krueger.

Of course, the chainsaw-wielding mad man would have his family right beside him. Their propensity for torturing, killing and maiming their victims are well-documented and visualized beautifully in Leatherface. It’s an advantage that holds through in all the rounds, but might be slightly mitigated in this battle.

Freddy is a psychopath, but he’s certainly not dumb. He knows if he can get Leatherface on a purely one-on-one situation that he can pull of this victory. The cunning Krueger would systematically pick apart the Sawyer family one-by-one, terrorizing their dreams and eventually killing them. The death of his family would certainly set Leatherface off the edge, but that sort of rage is what a calculated Freddy preys off of. He would bait Leatherface into make a wrong move with the heavy chainsaw — whilst then delivering a quick and sudden slash to the throat.

Leatherface had a miraculous run, but Krueger is the true champ of the slasher villains.

CHAMPION: Freddy Krueger

Sources: Bloody Disgusting, Wired, Movie Pilot, MovieWeb, Friday the 13th Wiki, IGN.com, Comic Vine, Dark Horizons, 96.5 The Fox, Wikipedia, Screengeek, Halloween Love, Bloody Disgusting, Dread Central, ScreenPrism