Here’s a list worth checking out: Shiznit’s Top 20 Crazy Bastards in Cinema.
20. Frank Costello in The Departed
19. Garland Greene in Con Air
18. Billy Loomis and Stu Macher in Scream
17. Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski
16. Michael Myers in Halloween
15. Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs
14. Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon
13. Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now
12. Francis Begbie in Trainspotting
11. Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
10. Bruce Wayne in Batman
9. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs
8. Ichi in Ichi the Killer
7. Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas
6. Gary Oldman, period
5. Don Logan in Sexy Beast
4. Frank Booth in Blue Velvet
3. Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
2. Norman Bates in Psycho
1. Jack Torrance in The Shining
See the link for selected video-clips. Five of these (9, 7, 5, 4, 1) are on my own top-20 Great Villains and Psychos amazon-list. Granted no two lists will be the same, I do think it’s shortsighted of these raters to omit Max Cady from Cape Fear, Albert Spica from The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover, John Doe from Seven, and Seth & Richie Gecko from From Dusk Till Dawn. (I’d readily drop Garland Greene, Martin Riggs, Bruce Wayne, and Gary Oldman in favor of these.) Against myself, I should definitely have included Francis Begbie.
Curious that these lists are indeed dominated by “bastards” (though note Hayley Stark from Hard Candy and Annie Wilkes from Misery on my list). We need more feminine crazies in film.