The Insanely Creative Killers of NBC's 'Hannibal'


With True Detective now off the air, I feel pretty confident in saying that NBC’s Hannibal has regained its rightful throne as the best show on television, at the present time. I love The Walking Dead just as much, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something so captivating and mesmerizing about Hannibal, which makes it stick out in my mind as one of the very best TV shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.

Cannot. Get. Enough.

In addition to incredible acting, an enthralling storyline and stunning visuals aplenty, one of the truly impressive things about the show is the ability of the writers to consistently dream up some of the most creative killers in the history of morbid entertainment, who our old pal Hannibal is oftentimes helping the FBI to track down.

So creative are those killers, and their clever methods of murder, that each and every one of them could quite frankly be given horror movies of their own, and the show has already invited us to be flies on the walls of crime scenes that are quite frankly more gruesome and disturbing than anything that’s been seen in horror cinema, in recent years.

Today we take a look at five of those killers, who managed to upstage even the extreme brutality of the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter!

Hannibal mushrooms

In Episode 2 of the show’s inaugural season, Will Graham and his FBI cohorts are on the hunt for a serial murderer who literally uses the bodies of his victims as fertilizer, for the purpose of growing human-mushrooms. As it turns out, the killer is a pharmacist targeting diabetics, and he taints their insulin in an effort to render them comatose.  He then buries his patients alive in shallow graves and covers them with fungi, so that mushrooms will sprout out of their decaying bodies. As if being buried alive wasn’t bad enough, am I right?!

Hannibal human angels

Season 1’s fifth episode paid homage to Silence of the Lambs, particularly the scene where Hannibal flayed open the dead body of an officer, and hung him from his cell. The killer in the episode does a similar thing to his victims, cutting flaps of flesh from their backs and stringing them up to the ceiling, thereby turning them into human angels. As the brilliant Will Graham surmises, he’s creating these angels to watch over him because he’s got terminal lung cancer and is afraid of dying, and by episode’s end, the killer takes his own life, turning himself into one of his macabre creations.

Hannibal cello

One of the most downright shocking visuals thus far on Hannibal was in Episode 8 of the first season, wherein the ‘killer of the week’ literally turned one of his victims into an instrument, opening up the throat of a musician and inserting a cello into his mouth. The chords of the instrument exposed through the gaping wound in the man’s neck, the killer plays him like a human violin, in an attempt to catch the attention of Dr. Lecter. We learn that the killer is a man named Tobias who uses human guts to make his violin strings, and Hannibal ultimately rejects his attempts at friendship, killing him at the end of the episode.

Hannibal totem pole

Things got even more shocking in the 10th episode of Season 1, with the reveal of this highly disturbing human totem pole, composed of 17 different human beings, many of whom were killed several years prior to the macabre structure being erected. The bodies are determined to be murder victims who were exhumed from their graves and by the end of the episode we learn that an old man named Mr. Wells (played by horror veteran Lance Henriksen!) is responsible for the murders – and the creation of the world’s most horrifying totem pole. The structure is his legacy, he says, and he’s shocked to discover that his own son was among the bodies that went into creating it. Oops!

Hannibal color palette

The first couple episodes of Hannibal’s second season, which just kicked off a few weeks back, centered on perhaps the most creative killer we’ve yet seen on the show, a guy whose goal in life is to essentially create a human color palette. Rounding up victims with all different skin tones and colors, the killer forces them to overdose on heroin and then crudely stitches them together in an abandoned silo, with each body serving as a stroke of his proverbial paintbrush. He then sprays the bodies with resin to keep them preserved, turning human corpses into pieces of art. If Van Gogh built himself a Human Centipede, it'd probably look a little something like this!

Do you love Hannibal as much as we do? Comment below and let us know your favorite moments from the show, thus far. And be sure to come on back here to FEARNET every Saturday, for recaps of new episodes!