Recently a few of the Horror-writers (dysfunctional) family and I had a Twitter battle regarding the biggest villain in horror of all time. We all agreed that we would not use our favorite go-to’s that we at Horror-writers.net prefer (i.e. Jason, Jigsaw, etc) and I would not use myself as the subject. (How in the hell am I going to try to convince people that there is a horror villain more vile than myself?)
Various evil doers come to mind instantly; Dracula, various Price characters, but a true villain cannot have revengeful motives for their crimes. A true villain is not a supernatural being that has been shat from the bowels of hell, but a mortal that has the ability to choose to do good, but ignores it. A true villain has no remorse for their sins, and relishes in the fact that they are the prime culprit.
After meditating on the qualifications I started the scavenger hunt through my DVD collection. Oh! Here’s one…no wait that was a vengeful spirit. Alright how about…uh, no that was another justifiable homicide rampage. Here! Here is one that….no he was just plain crazy and didn’t know the difference. Well crap! I’m at a loss. Can I justify Dracula as the most vile horror villain ever? How many movies has the character been in? In all of those how many lives has he taken? No. I can’t. He is still a vengeful immortal that many of us who have lost a loved one unfairly can relate to. Sorry but that would be a weak argument and I’m not going to go there. I can do better.
Ah! I got it! How about the most wicked, most evil, most vile character known to man? This character has been the epitome of every evil deed. He has been vilified in every religion around the world. He has been known by many names and faces. According to Quentin Tarantino, his biggest accomplishment “was making the world believe he never existed”. Yes, the Devil himself! He could possibly be the ultimate evil villain. However…he is supernatural and this does break my qualifications that I set for myself.
So what about if I find the devil incarnate? A human that is not possessed by the devil, but rather thinks he is the devil. There has to be a human that is so evil, so relentless that the only thing that he cares about is himself and will stop at nothing to do it. (Rummages more through the DVDs.) Ho-lee shit! I’ve got it.
“I am the Devil, and I am here to do the Devil’s work” –Otis B. Driftwood
Now this is the part of my long manifesto that Shawn and Lisa and a few of you are going to drop your forehead/palm drop, but hear me out and let me explain dammit! You’ve already read this crap for four minutes and now you’re vested! So deal with it!
(I’m going to go ahead and rip off the Band-Aid. Here this is going to hurt but remember, it’s for your own good!)
Otis Driftwood. Yes, Rob Zombie’s character from House of 1000 Corpses and the Devil’s Rejects (and I’m not going to mention the Haunted World of El Superbeasto so let’s just move on). Shawn stop banging your head, Chassity, I don’t even want to hear it “Mrs. West”, and Lisa…I heard that eye roll! Luckily I don’t think I have to worry about Cult, Dusty, or Bryan busting my chops on this one.
Since “House of 1000 Corpses” and “the Devil’s Rejects” give limited information on Otis’ background, I had to scavenge through various reputable internet sites to fill in the blanks. Most of the info herein comes from either the director’s cut with special commentary from the DVDs, the Rob Zombie song “Pussy Liquor”, or Wikipedia. (SPOILER ALERT).
Otis Driftwood was allegedly neglected and abused by his parents, who didn’t even give him a name. According to the song “Pussy Liquor”, his father’s name was Dane. He committed his first murder at the age of 13, presumably his parents. He was a drifter for much of his life, travelling over the country from Wilmington, Delaware to Hurst, Texas. In the small town of Ruggsville, where he met Cutter (Captain Spaulding), and was soon living with his new friend’s family, whom he had renamed “the Fireflys”, and Mamma Firefly gave him his name as we know, Otis Driftwood. Coincidently it was the name of the Groucho Marx character in the movie “A Night at the Opera”.
Otis and Baby bonded quickly, and had a tendency to set up muggings as well as murders (see the intro to the Devil’s Rejects). These violent killings were referred to as the “Son of Satan Murders”. Later, while Baby returned to Ruggsville, Texas (Hell yeah! Texas bitch! Sorry for the cheap plug). Driftwood continued his murderous rampage. He travelled over the country stealing and selling cars for money.
In the Rob Zombie song “Pussy Liquor”, it states that Otis is “white as a ghost, totally insane”. This refers to his albino looks and out of control demeanor to others. In House of 1000 Corpses film confirms that Driftwood is by far the most sadistic of the Firefly family. Considering himself a revolutionary and an artist; he makes sculptures out of his victims, or skins them to wear as costumes. He kills Bill, and tortures Mary and Denise (Mary by showing her Bill’s mutilated corpse, which Otis dubbed “Fishboy” and Denise by wearing her father’s skin.) who he also killed, as well as Officer Steve Naish. He was going to shoot Mary, but let Baby kill her instead.
“You had to come all fuckin’ big stick, walkin’ tall, like a big fuckin’ hero. Got yourself to blame, hero. Look at you now, hero, you’re gonna fuckin’ bleed to death! …I want you to see what happens to heroes…” – Otis B. Driftwood
In Rejects his appearance changed to look more like Charles Manson with older looks and a full beard. Rob Zombie thought that this was a good move to remove his cartoonish appearance to more of a ruthless killer. By the second film, he had become far less animated, and more depraved and sadistic. As in the song “Pussy Liquor”, Otis “likes the girls young and clean, drowning in a bucket of gasoline”. He often rapes his victims, something that is only implied in the first film; however a special feature on the DVD shows Otis hitting one of the cheerleaders who was kidnapped in “House of 1000 Corpses”, then using his teeth to rip her tongue out of her mouth (not shown in close-up detail but it’s clear that’s what he is doing) before he begins sexually assaulting her.
In the middle of Rejects, Otis takes the band “Banjo and Sullivan” hostage in their hotel room. During which time he not only sexually assaults one of the member’s wife using a gun while the husband watches, but he then murders Banjo and Sullivan. Later, he returns to his old habits of one of his victims and forcing the wife to wear her husband’s face as a mask.
At the end of Rejects when Sheriff Wydell captures Otis along with Captain Spaulding and Baby, he shows them a picture of her ravaged corpse, and Otis smugly says that she was still “good” for him, another reference to his necrophilia that ties in to the opening sequence where Otis is lying in bed with a dead woman when the raid begins.
At the end of Rejects, Driftwood meets his death by “suicide by cop”.
“Why”, you ask? “Why” is not the question. How? Now, that is a question worth examining. How could I, being born of such, uh… conventional stock, arrive a leader of the rebellion? An escapist from a conformist world, destined to find happiness only in that which cannot be explained? I brought you here for a reason, but unfortunately you and your sentimental minds are doing me no good! My brain is frozen. Locked! I have to break free from this culture of mechanical reproductions and the thick encrustations dying on the surface! ” – Otis B. Driftwood
Naturally we are dealing with a deranged person here. I don’t think I need to go into the psychodynamics of how murder, rape, necrophilia, etc are not the norm. I’m just going to let this summary speak for itself.
And by the way, everyone that doubts the evilness of Otis, the Firefly family won Spike TV’s Scream award for the most Vile Villain for 2006 and they were up against Jigsaw of Saw! Devils Rejects also won for best horror movie and it was up against Hostel. (And who says award shows are fixed?)
Unofficial number of kills: 11 (known from the two films)
Unofficial number wounded: Many
Renfield Rasputin’s “give a damn” button broke last week. Replacement parts are on backorder.