If history has taught us anything, it’s that the greatest horror villains of all time are not your hockey mask wearing zombies, or little ginger dolls with a bad attitude. Nope, the top heels in horror are those taken straight out of real life, and (in this writers opinion) that means the Nazis.
So take a leaf out of our book, and pull up your kampfyest chair, as we look back at the ‘Nein Naziest’ Nazis in the history of horror. See what we did there?
9. KARL RUPRECHT KROENEN (HELLBOY, 2004)
If you had to come up with the blueprint for the quintessential Nazi villain, then you’d probably come up with Karl Ruprecht Kroenen.
OK, so in the Hellboy comics, Kroenen isn’t all that special, but in Guillermo del Toro’s movie adaptation, he’s freakin’ awesome. Part man, part clockwork ninja, Kroenen is as terrifying and dangerous a villain as you could ever wish for.
8. DOOMTROOPER (S.S. DOOMTROOPER, 2006)
Those pesky Nazis and their bonkers experiments. Thankfully, Hitler and his chums were never quite switched on enough to come up with genetically modified super soldiers, but it’s a safe bet they probably tired.
S.S. Doomtrooper was a bloody terrible movie, but it still produced one of the horror genres most imposing Nazi monsters. Well, if you can get past the fact it looks like it’s wearing a leftover Bane costume from Batman & Robin.
7. KURT DUSSANDER (APT PUPIL, 1998)
It seems that Stephen King adaptations are all the rage again these days, and rightfully so. One of his lesser known book to movie translations though, had everyone’s favourite Wizard, Ian McKellen, as a Nazi Death Camp officer in hiding, who’s secret identity comes unglued when he is blackmailed into reliving his past by a snot nosed high school kid.
This was quite a different role for the beloved actor, who we all know and love from Lord of the Rings. He wasn’t so much Gandalf the Grey here though, more like Gandalf the great big Nazi scumbag!
6. DEATHSHEAD (WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER, 2014)
If Deathshead subscribed to an online dating service, his profile would read something like this:
“Aging, balding scientist looking for single, Aryan female for long term companionship.
Enjoys long walks on the beach, holding hands, and vivisecting my enemies while they stare into my cold, dead eyes.
Our list isn’t exclusively a look at Nazi’s from the horror movie genre. There’s also room for one of our favourite bad guys from horror video game series, Wolfenstein – in particular 2009’s The New Order.
Deathshead, whose real name is Wilhelm Strasse, is a hideous, balding, minion of Heinrich Himmler, who is tasked with crating weapons for the modern Reich. He is not a formidable foe, but is instead a sadistic, cruel son of a bitch, often taunting his victims as he vivisects them.
5. STANDARTENFüHRER HERZOG (DEAD SNOW, 2009)
Ohhhhhh, the weather outside is frightful … and to top it off there’s an army of undead SS officers outside too, trying to eat your brains. The leader of this unholy army is one of the horror genres greatest creations – Standartenführer Herzog (Ørjan Gamst), who marches around in the snow, barking out orders to his minions, and looking like a bizarre mixture of Hitler and Frosty the Snowman.
4. ILSA (ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS, 1975)
She may be bloody gorgeous, but Nazi prison camp commander Ilsa is as sadistic and evil as they come. Using her position as a means to feed her never ending lust for man meat, the buxom blonde is fond of cutting off men’s balls when they fail to satiate her hunger.
She’s incredibly hot though, so it might be worth the risk.
3. DARCY BANKER (GREEN ROOM, 2015)
If the thought of Ian McKellen as a Nazi wasn’t enough to ruin your day, in Green Room McKellen’s bosom buddy Patrick Stewart tackles a similar role. Instead of a former member of the legit Nazi party though, Stewart plays Darcy Banker, a club owner who also happens to be a neo-Nazi drug dealing thug, who will stop at nothing to protect his stash – especially murder.
2. DR. ARDEN (AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, 2012)
Dr Arthur Arden is the best kind of Nazi villain. He’s a mad scientist, who’s escaped capture after World War 2, by hiding out under the guise of a doctor at the Briarcliff Mental Institution.
In this respected role, Arden has been able to continue his nightmarish experiments on the unsuspecting inmates of the asylum, with zero fear of reprisal because, simply put, who would believe the inmates if they told?
Terrifyingly portrayed by James Cromwell, Dr Arthur Arden is the personification of the creepy quack character, with more than a few skeletons in his closet. And mutants. And aliens. Just don’t ask him about his micro penis though, OK?
1. ADOLF HITLER (NAZIS AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, 2012)
No list of horrors nastiest Nazi’s would be complete without the führer himself, mustachioed menace, and all round horrible bastard, Adolf Hitler. But which incarnation of the man whose favourite mathematical equation is “What is the sum of 7+2?”, would make it onto the list?
I’ll be honest, I almost went with Hitler from TV’s Preacher, but with that hideous shell suit we saw him wearing in the season finale, it became apparent he was much more Adolf Hipster than he was Adolf Hitler. And so, I instead settled on the far more führious looking head in a jar that appeared towards the climax of Nazis at the Centre of the Earth. Because every movie needs a genocidal maniac’s head rampaging through the streets on a robot body, right?