6. Kit Carruthers ('Badlands,' 1973)
With his James Dean sense of style (dig how he slings that rifle over his shoulders like he's Jett Rink) and photogenic pout, Martin Sheen's Fifties drifter makes for a much more romantic figure than his real-life counterpart, serial killer Charles Starkweather. But movie-star handsome or not, Kit Carruthers is chilling even at his warmest, and the longer you follow him and his teenage girlfriend as they go on a murder spree throughout middle America, the more you feel like you're peering into the emotional equivalent of a black hole. Even the extreme politeness he shows to his victims feels eerie and predatory. Like Springsteen, who used the Starkweather case as the basis for the title track of Nebraska, filmmaker Terence Malick saw something in this notorious true-crime story that reflected a certain disconnect in the nation's character; when he was still doing interviews, the director said that he wanted Badlands to be "set up like a fairy tale." For Sissy Spacek's Holly, Kit is Prince Charming. For the rest of us, he's a better-looking version of the Big Bad Wolf.