Maybe it’s when he takes a captive child out of leg irons and offers her a cigarette. Or maybe it’s just that evil sparkle in his one eye that makes Waterworld villain Dennis Hopper so delicious. In fact, ever since 1969’s Easy Rider, Hollywood’s legendary hell-raiser has created his very own on-screen rogues’ gallery. Here, his more notable twisted turns of the last decade.
Blue Velvet, Psycho: Frank Booth, low-life criminal. Misdeeds: Murders crooked cop; sexually abuses and tortures woman; kidnaps her husband and son; cuts off husband’s ear with scissors; kills at least two others. Choice words: To woman whose husband and son he’s kidnapped, ”Mommy, baby wants to f — -.”
Backtrack, Psycho: Milo, hitman who becomes obsessed with artist he’s sent to kill. Misdeeds: Murders mob guys who hired him; makes wild noises on saxophone when angry. Choice words: While on artist’s trail, he tells another, ”I used to work in concrete, too. Shoes.”
Paris Trout, Psycho: Paris Trout, racist store owner/moneylender. Misdeeds: Murders 12-year-old black girl and tries to kill her mother; attempts to drown his wife; kills his mother, his lawyer, and, finally, himself. Choice words: To child he’s just shot, ”Are you scared now?”
Red Rock West, Psycho: Lyle from Texas, Marine-turned-hitman. Misdeeds: Murders innocent deputy and guy who hired him. Choice words: After taking a bite from the sandwich of cop he’s just shot in the head, ”Mmmmm, turkey. One of my favorites.”
Super Mario Bros., Psycho: King Koopa, lizardlike dictator of lost dimension of dinosaurs. Misdeeds: Stalks two plumbers from Brooklyn; enslaves less evolved species. Choice words: ”Hi-de-ho, mammals!”
Speed, Psycho: Howard Payne, ex-bomb squad cop. Misdeeds: Tries to blow up elevator, city bus, and upstanding citizens; succeeds in blowing up another bus while killing dozens along the way. Choice words: After being cussed at, ”In 200 years we’ve come from ‘I regret I have but one life to give for my country’ to ‘F — – you!”’