you so crazy

Ranking Christopher Walken’s Eleven Most Psychopathic Roles

Photo: Universal, MGM, and Warner Bro

Christopher Walken’s first few roles included a rage-filled rebel soldier, a car-crash-craving suburbanite, and a warped Vietnam vet. And that was that; he’d found his type. Walken has gone on to play dozens of wild-eyed weirdoes, some villainous, some innocent, but all possessing his clipped delivery and white-dude version of a hi-top fade.

Hans, Walken’s character in Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, puts him back in a familiar place. He’s a pacifist with a violent past caught up in a dognapping racket with an unemployed actor. He’s also not afraid of guns. But as nutty as Hans is, he’s Ward Cleaver compared to most of the characters on Walken’s cuckoo’s nest of a résumé. Here are his eleven craziest, in order of batshit craziness (we use the official Walken Psychometer Ranking).

Captain Koons, Pulp Fiction
Waking up every day in a Vietnamese POW camp would make any man batty. For Koons, who makes an ever-so-brief appearance in Pulp Fiction, he also stored a watch up his ass for two long years so he could one day present it to the son of his fellow POW. Honorable? Absolutely. Slightly mental? You bet your watch-free ass.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 3/10

Mr. Caesar, Mousehunt
You’ve got to be a little bonkers to work as an exterminator, right?
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 3/10

Mr. Smith, Nick of Time
The sadism is strong in Mr. Smith, the character Walken plays in this Johnny Depp thriller that takes place in “real time.” A mysterious business type with a perv’s mustache, Walken kidnaps Johnny Depp’s daughter and tells him to kill the governor if he wants her back. In the annals of Walken’s psycho roles, this one’s mostly forgettable but still pretty unstable.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 4/10

Max Schreck, Batman Returns
A department store mogul who wants to build a power plant, Walken’s Gotham City villain initially seems like just your average, everyday member of the one percent. But once he throws his secretary out the window (thereby turning her into Catwoman) and masterminds the mayoral campaign of a man who was raised by penguins, it becomes clear he’s actually part of the 4 percent of the one percent.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 5/10

Duane, Annie Hall
It’s probably a little harsh to call a guy a psychopath just for fantasizing about driving his car into oncoming traffic. (I mean, who doesn’t, amirite?) But when you reveal those fantasies to your sister’s boyfriend …
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 5/10

Reed Thimple, The Country Bears
Uncontrollable murderous rage isn’t the only type of psychosis. There’s also the type that induces one to become the Armpit Farter.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 6/10

Vincenzo Coccotti, True Romance
He only appears in one scene, but what a scene it is. Vincenzo Coccotti is a “pure evil” Sicilian mobster who’s in a “vendetta kind of mood” as he interrogates Dennis Hopper’s Clifford Worley. After asking his questions, Walken allows Hopper some vile last words that flip a switch in the gangster, turning him from functioning psychopath to ruthless killer. He laughs manically, calls Hopper a cantaloupe, and then, after a sweet kiss to the cheek, pumps him full of lead.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 7/10

Max Zorin, A View to Kill
There’s so much crazy in Max Zorin, the Bond villain from Roger Moore’s final movie as 007. For starters, he’s a former KGB agent and the product of Nazi genetic experimentation. He’s also a brilliant microchip magnate who plans to destroy a large swath of California by triggering an earthquake with bombs. He dopes up his horses. He uses tactics that even the Russians find untoward. He owns a blimp. And then there’s the hair, as sure a sign as any that this dude is few bullets short of a clip.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 7/10

Nick Chevotarevich, The Deer Hunter
Walken is clearly a master of the comically crazy, but the first role that got him noticed was his bracingly realistic turn as a permanently fucked Vietnam vet in The Deer Hunter. Unlike so many of his other character’s, Walken’s Nick is real-life crazy, driven so mad by his V.C. captors that he starts making his living in Saigon Russian roulette parlors.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 9/10

The Hessian Horseman, Sleepy Hollow
While alive, he was a brutal mercenary who filed his teeth into points and got off on decapitations. While dead, he had no head and therefore no teeth to file, but he still dug decapitations. He makes John Wayne Gacy look like Alex P. Keaton.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 10/10

Archangel Gabriel, The Prophecy
With the singular goal of destroying humanity, Walken’s Gabriel sets the standard for his psychopathic characters. As he attempts to accomplish his goal, Gabriel rips a man’s heart from his chest, has his own heart eaten by the devil (and lives!), gets kicked out of hell for being annoying, and attempts to kill the second coming of Christ while he’s still in utero.
Walken Psychometer Ranking: 10/10

Christopher Walken’s Most Psychopathic Roles