Gangs in movies can range from the campy, finger-snapping kind to the genuinely terrifying. Today we're here to examine those gangs toward the latter end of the spectrum. They're vicious, mean, cruel, and most of them are lacking in decent health and dental coverage for their members. Here are seven of the most frightening movie gangs.
Blizzard's Gang, "The Penalty"
Lon Chaney by himself is scary enough, which puts the gang headed up by him in the silent crime thriller "The Penalty" towards the top of the list of frightening movie gangs. They're from a previous era of gangsterism, with lots of secret passageways and clandestine killings. And Chaney himself gives a characteristically brutally physical performance, with his legs bound to give the appearance of a double-amputee.
El Jaibo's Gang, "Los Olvidados"
Luis Bunuel is known for his surrealistic masterpieces like "That Obscure Object of Desire" and "The Exterminating Angel." But early in his career he made this, a visually electrifying and dramatically heartbreaking look at the life of young criminals in Mexico. El Jaibo is a typically tough young gangster, who leads up a group of kids who engage in everything from petty thievery to bullying to murder.
The Droogs, "A Clockwork Orange"
Even the scariest movie gangs have some kind of human face behind the affiliation, so you have some hope of cracking the violent shell and seeing a real human underneath. Not so in "Assault on Precinct 13," which has a police station being attacked by a merciless (and usually faceless) street gang – one whose members would even stoop to shooting down an innocent young child.
The Entire Population of Detroit, "
OK, so it's a slight exaggeration to say the entire population of Detroit is a gang in the "Robocop" movies. After all, there are probably 3 or 4 gangs at work in the city. But it's telling that in any given scene Robocop can pretty much fire his machine gun anywhere and hit a couple of known criminals. Thank God for robots.
The Reservoir Dogs, "Reservoir Dogs"
Call them the Reservoir Dogs for lack of a better name – they don't actually have a gang name in the movie. But a more frightening group of criminals than Mr.'s Pink, Blond, Blue, White, and Orange you'll be unlikely to meet. The real scary one of the bunch if Mr. Blond – a truly psychotic killer who gets his rocks off by torturing a helpless cop.
Everyone but The Warriors, "The Warriors"
The list of gangs that The Warriors have to fight against in Walter Hill's "The Warriors" would be too long to post here. But suffice it to say they're all pretty scary, although not necessarily on a realistic way. Most of them favor outlandish costumes – but if you think that makes them less frightening, think again: How scared would you be if a bunch of guys on roller-skates were chasing after you in a dark corner of the city at 3 AM? Pretty scared, probably.