THE THROWDOWN : Norman Bates vs. Jack Torrance

Wednesday is Throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects, pit them against each other, and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and more. I’ll make a case for each and then see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new Throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

*Last week the zombies (70%) annihilated the vampires (30%) in our horror movie frightfest.*

This week’s Throwdown is a bit of a stretch but it still should be a lot of fun. In keeping with my ’10 Days of Horror’, today we’re looking at two well-known hotel attendants who, let’s just say, have a few issues. Now I know Norman Bates and Jack Torrance’s connection to their hotels/motels are considerably different. But they have more in common than you might think. More importantly, both have gained an almost iconic status in the horror movie genre so why wouldn’t we let them square off? Here’s the question – which is the better/creepier hotel working madman? Is it Norman Bates or is it Jack Torrance. As always you make the final decision. Vote now and defend your favorite. It’s up to you!

NORMAN BATES vs. JACK TORRANCE

I still remember the first time I saw Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho”. You immediately know that there is something not quite right about him. As the owner of the isolated Bate’s Motel, Norman’s creepiest feature is his flirtation with normalcy. You watch him and he seems like a nice guy but there is that sense of unease that makes him a chilling character. Of course we find out that he is a deranged serial killer with a special “affection” for his dear mother. Norman has given us many great horror moments, none better than the shower scene murder of Janet Leigh. He appears in several other “Psycho” sequels but it’s the original 1960 masterpiece that still resonates.

“Heeeere’s Johnny!” How can you forget Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”? While I’m not one that thinks “The Shining” is the horror movie classic that many do, I still really like the film mainly due to Nicholson’s whacked out performance. Jack Torrance isn’t the owner of the Overlook Hotel like Norman Bates. He’s a writer who’s hired to watch over and maintain the isolated hotel through the harsh winter offseason. The problem is that Torrance isn’t the most stable of men. His writer’s block and cabin fever don’t mix well with the supernatural presence in the place and before long he flies off the rails. He shares conversations with ghosts who soon convince him to murder his family. He takes off, axe in hand, to do their bidding.

This wraps up my ’10 Days of Horror’. So, which of these two crazy caretakers is the creepiest? Which hotel/motel would you be the most eager to avoid? Both have earned there spots in horror movie history. But it’s you who decides who’s really the best maniac of the two. Vote now and make your choice known!