In Bruges badass Martin McDonagh returns this weekend with Seven Psychopaths, the sophomore feature from the Irish multihyphenate and a good source for onscreen nutjobs. Colin Farrell leads the cast of not-quite-sane characters, who include two dognappers played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. Still, we’re thinking this new septet of psychos has nothing on the filmic crazies that have come before, particularly the lot we’ve assembled for this list. You could repeatedly scour cinema history and return with a new batch of lunatics every time. For now, here are 15 that linger strongly in the memory, a rogues gallery that runs the gamut from clingy patient to schizo serviceman.
Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast (2000). Lodged somewhere between Ben Kingsley’s prestige projects and his penchant for crude comedy, Sexy Beast casts the veteran actor as Don Logan, a bona fide sociopath who ultimately forces retired ex-con Gal (Ray Winstone) to take part in a sketchy London heist. Kingsley’s electrifying histrionics, including the famed, shrill insistence of “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” helped to land him a lot of Supporting Actor awards love, but his character doesn’t meet so handsome a fate. After a retreat that only builds his rage, Don returns to Gal’s Spanish villa, but his vicious intents are thwarted by Gal and company, who off their unwanted guest.