Milan Todorovic is one of the directors of DREAD’s upcoming horror anthology Deathcember! For this edition of Dread X, he lists his Top 10 Movie Anti-Heros.
“A good anti-hero should be a bad person,” the filmmaker explains. “The anti-hero is not a villain, but a protagonist who has no conventional hero traits; most often an individual of dubious moral values, with a dark personality, aggressive, doesn’t care about laws … But still someone for whom the audience nonetheless will cheer and consider him the hero of a story.
“I always loved anti-heroes” Todorovic continues. “The conventional hero is too boring. They have to have something dark inside them and to do what is right even if it is wrong by all conventional means. I tried to have anti-heroes in all of my movies, and even the girls in December the 19th are not the traditional ‘good personalities’.”
Check out Todorovic’s Top 10 Movie Anti-Heroes below the trailer and synopsis for Deathcember.
A collection of 24 films that take a look at the dark side of the festive season. 24 international directors with the most diverse ideas and styles; linked by short animated segments that deal with the Advent calendar itself.
ASH WILLIAMS from the Evil Dead (1981, 1987, 1992, 2015-2018) played by Bruce Campbell
Ash is a salesman who has to deal with evil forces from hell, including dead men, demons and similar monsters when he reads a passage from the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead. Bruce Campbell has made an unforgettable character of a cheeky, cynical, immoral hero who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He has appeared in three films, and in a TV series. And he has a chainsaw instead of a fist. How awesome is that!
HELLBOY from Hellboy and Hellboy II (2004, 2008) played by Ron Perlman
The only superhero on the list and a true anti-hero. He is some kind of Devil. That grew up in our world. Says a lot about his personality. He is big bad motherf**ker, and he is ruthless, lazy, swears, kills, smokes… He’s like a wild teenager in a body of a huge demonic creature. Ron Perlman made it a memorable character true to comic book origin.
JOHN WICK from the John Wick franchise (2014, 2017, 2019) played by Keanu Reeves
John Wick is a killer. In the world full of killers. But he’s the most lethal one. I honestly didn’t like the first movie, but it is amazing who good this character is from movie to movie, and it’s just like one non-stop action sequence throughout the entire trilogy. Keanu is just brilliant in the role and the outrageous killings he’s conducting in the middle of fantastic action choreographies.
DJANGO from Django (1966) played by Franco Nero
Django is a mysterious gunslinger who carries a coffin with him. He was played by Franco Nero in the 1966 film Sergio Corbucci and was so popular that it literally produced dozens of unofficial sequels, one official in which he was re-played by Nero. A mysterious cold eyes killer who deals with anyone who gets in his way in a very violent way. He kills 79 people in the movie. No regret whatsoever.
MAN WITH NO NAME from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) played by Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood. Say no more. His name is synonymous with “anti-hero“ as he played so much of them. Although maybe Dirty Harry is the most famous one, I decided to pick the one that started it all. It is a character from the Sergius Leone dollar trilogy, a character that is not only the milestone of Eastwood’s entire career, but is an inspiration to hundreds of characters in film history. An important cinema and cultural figure. He comes from nowhere, doesn’t know where he goes next, but always has the time to pursue justice in his own way full of violence. He plays by his rules, does not hesitate to be violent when necessary, and acts as if he cares only for himself, with some small moments of benevolence.
ERIC DRAVEN from The Crow (1994) played by Brandon Lee
The rock star returns from the grave to avenge his death and the death of his fiancee. A memorable performance by Brendon Lee made this character immortal and timeless. The dark avenger coldly executes executions in a very violent and visually striking way. Practically a zombie, Eric Draven is torn between unbearable suffering and the desire for brutal revenge. Stylish as hell and dark as night.
SAMANTHA CAINE (CHARLIE) from The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) played by Geena Davis
The best action movie of the ’90s had one badass female anti-hero. Meet Samantha Caine. She’s a housewife in some small town. Happily married and has a daughter. Has amnesia and doesn’t remember who she was… And she was some super-elite assassin that is more lethal than Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer together. When her memory comes back she will kill everyone that is on her way in any which way she can. Some amazing action stuff and cool violent killing spree.
SETH GECKO from From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) played by George Clooney
Seth Geko, a notorious criminal, in the company of his crazy brother, abducts a priest’s family while running away from the police and makes his way to Mexico. However, when they get attacked by a group of ancient vampires at a nightclub, Seth Gecko becomes the hero who will become the last line of defense. George Clooney in his coolest role ever. “Everybody be cool, you be cool!” or “I may be a bastard, but I am not a fucking bastard!”
PAUL KERSEY from the Death Wish franchise (1974, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1994) played by Charles Bronson
A New York architect becomes a ruthless avenger when his wife is killed by some street thugs. He takes revenge, but not specifically on the killer of his wife, but of all street criminals and hooligans. Charles Bronson in his legendary role that practically marked his career. From the common man of liberal understandings to the cold-blooded avenger. If police and the state cannot protect their citizens, Kersey will take justice into his own hands. Later sequels made him possibly the greatest example of the anti-heroes, as he kills people from their back, unarmed people, he just does whatever it takes, and the thing is – he is enjoying it! “Who are you?” Kersey: “Death!”
SNAKE PLISSKEN from Escape from New York and Escape from LA (1981,1996) played by Kurt Russell
Like all great antiheroes, Snake Plissken lives outside the classical social norms. Formerly a war hero who was a distinguished soldier in World War III, Snake went on a crime spree. The system he once protected pushed him this way, so he became the ultimate anti-hero, a bad guy who is against power and the system, and only cares about himself but has his own code of honor. Kurt Russell is brilliant in this role in the John Carpenter movie. Snake is an unshaven, long-haired gritty man who also has an eye patch, a shaky attitude, and he smokes, drinks and hates the whole world. But he still gets the task of saving civilization, and he does it in a very special way. Call him Snake!