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Torture Technician

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In addition to the physical torture, the doll mask adds to the psychological torture.

"Beautiful, isn't it? It took me half a lifetime to invent it. I'm sure you've discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. Presently I'm writing the definitive work on the subject, so I want you to be totally honest with me on how the machine makes you feel."
Count Rugen, The Princess Bride

A guy who makes a "science" or "art" out of tearing body parts loose and inflicting serious pain.

The Torture Technician does just what his name implies. Residing in his own Torture Cellar, he takes the heroes and turns them into screaming, skinned shambles. He makes for prime Nightmare Fuel, as he's often sadistic to the point of overblowing it. Note that many Torture Technicians apparently believe we're still in the Middle Ages as far as interrogation techniques go. That is, if they're not down with electricity. Though a fair number favor "upgrading" their arsenal with the use of a Robotic Torture Device.

An alternative version of the Torture Technician is when he is not a sadist but completely unemotional about his job, in a Punch-Clock Villain-like way. He shows neither empathy nor remorse nor pleasure in torturing his victims; it's just a job at which he's really good. It usually makes him even scarier, since sadism is a simple thing but it is much harder to make any sense of someone who lacks any kind of emotional response to suffering. Such Torture Technicians are usually described and/or depicted as having plain and unremarkable features.

The Torture Technician typically isn't very physically strong, however. There's no real reason for him to be; all his enemies are restrained. When they do get free, however, the Torture Technician is usually taken out fairly easily, or better yet, fed to his own machines.

If he's a fat, giggling, whip-toting, possibly gay Nazi, he's probably one of these. Compare the Exalted Torturer which is basically the "heroic" version of this.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Baccano!:
  • Berserk:
    • That creepy guy from the Golden Age arc locking up Guts and Casca in the dungeon cell with Griffith, the guy they had come to rescue, and it turns out that he was responsible for Griffith's horrific year-long torture. Among other things, he slashed the tendons in Griffith's wrists and ankles, and even giddily shows them that he cut his tongue out and made it into a necklace. In response, Guts smashes through the door with his BFS, runs him through, and cuts his own tongue out before sending him on a long fall to his death.
    • Mozgus's followers in the Conviction Arc torture people as punishment for defying the Church. The story actually shows them in a sympathetic light: they all suffer from deformities that made them outcasts, but Mozgus took them in and gave them purpose. One of their number even admits he doesn't particularly like torturing, but he would do anything to repay Mozgus's kindness toward him. All of them are turned into Apostle Spawn by the Egg of the Perfect World, and are slaughtered by Guts as he rescues Casca from Mozgus.
  • Deadman Wonderland: The sadist doctor, Rei Takashima. Removing a body part or an organ from a living person (without anaesthesia) is her favourite part of the job. So much she's hugely disappointed when (due to rigging the Punishment game slot machine) she can only cut Minatsuki's hair because it's not "exciting".
  • What Erika and Walker used to be in Durarara!!.
  • Daichi of the Element Four from EDENS ZERO is an exaggerated case as he is apparently addicted to torture to the point of having a therapy group to help with it. Its effectiveness is questionable as they are rather flexible on what counts as torture, and Daichi himself has trouble controlling his urges, especially when dealing with pretty women.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, the small town of Hinamizawa has some dark secrets in its history, including a shrine storeroom loaded with medieval torture devices that were once used to discourage townspeople from moving away from the village. Sonozaki Shion puts the Sonozaki family's old-fashioned underground torture cellar to good use during her Freak Out.
  • Feitan from Hunter × Hunter. He's also one of the strongest fighters in his crew, possessing powers and skills not related to his torture methods.
  • Subyss from Innocent manga by Shinichi Sakamoto is quite a flamboyant one. He views his "profession" as an "art form" and drinks when unable to torture and is particularly gruesome in his methods (which include melted sulfur).
  • Ibiki Morino in Naruto, although his preferred method is psychological torture.
  • In Overlord (2012), the Cthulhumanoid known as Neuronist Painkill serves as torture officer for the Great Tomb of Nazarick.
  • Masako Natsume's penguin Esmeralda in Penguindrum.
  • Parodied in 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess, where Tortura and the other Harm-Marshals of the Hellhorde are able to interrogate the Princess with delicious food, video games, and other simple pleasures.
  • Yamori from Tokyo Ghoul is this when he isn't out being The Brute. It isn't clear what he was like prior to being imprisoned by CCG, but during his captivity, he became the victim of a sadistic Investigator and tortured until he went insane. When he finally escaped, he had taken on his tormentor's personality and became a hockey-mask wearing sadist nicknamed "Jason" for his brutality. He keeps a "hobby room" and hunts for other Ghouls to make his playthings.
  • Martin, one of the Aldaac terrorists in Train Plus Train. We get a detailed look at his tools, and he gets to work on protagonist Reiichi, tearing one of his fingernails out before making him give in. Oh, and he's like fourteen years old.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix the Gaul features a rather cheerful Roman torturer.
  • Psyklops, a psychic vampire working for the Dark Destroyer in Atari Force, feeds off pain.
  • In Back to Brooklyn, Churchill is Paul Saetta's "pet psychopath".
  • Batman villain Black Mask was re-imagined as such in the early 2000s; he cites reading up on the Spanish Inquisition as an inspiration for him. His most notorious acts in this vein include torturing Catwoman's brother-in-law to death and driving her sister permanently insane by force-feeding her his eyeballs, and torturing and (for a while) killing Stephanie Brown during the War Games crossover event.
  • The Darkness has an appearance by a nerdy-looking fellow, Mr. Vespasian, described as the ultimate torturer. He took out an odd, hooked, and twisted blade and did something to his own arm with it — something that made hardened criminals gag and look away in horror. "Ow," the torturer said cheerfully. "That hurt." Then he leaned close to the man he was supposed to interrogate and added, "Now imagine what I'm going to do to you." The victim immediately spilled everything he knew... (And then Vespasian's employer gave him permission to work the guy over anyway.)
  • In Empire, the Evil Overlord Golgoth has a typical inner circle of lieutenants. One of them is the "Minister of Punishment", Tumbril, whose characterization can be summed up in one line:
    Tumbril: I mean, you give me an enemy of the state, I'm good for an afternoon. I'd do this for free.
  • The Paine brothersDeSade, Crispo and Torquemada — from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel). They were hired by Cobra and were assigned by The Baroness to torture Snake-Eyes while he was imprisoned in the Cobra Consulate.
  • The Green Hornet falls into the clutches of one in Dynamite's The Green Hornet: Year One, and very nearly doesn't make it out alive (or intact).
  • Lobster Random is a rare example of one being the protagonist.
  • The Mice Templar has Boris the Royal Torturer, who specializes in...well, torture. He also has no problem handing his "subjects" over to be sacrificed for Druids.
  • New Gods:
    • Darkseid's lackey DeSaad. The name says it all. Considering that the Fourth Worlders are apparently embodied Platonic Ideals, this makes him the God of Torture. Yikes.
    • Darkseid's other lackey Granny Goodness is also a master torturer. Unlike DeSaad, she doesn't do it for interrogation, she practices it on orphans For the Evulz.
    • Darkseid himself will indulge if he doesn't have any minions around to do the torturing for him. While his Omega Beams can certainly act as an Agony Beam at their lowest power, sometimes he'll get creative and use the Omega Sanction- a "Groundhog Day" Loop where the victim endures progressively worse lives ending in one painful, ignoble death after another. They stay in that loop as long as Darkseid wants them to, and Darkseid is not one to show his victims anything resembling mercy.
  • Played for Laughs in the Oink! strip "Torture Twins''.
  • In the Belgian comics Passe-moi l'ciel, Hell is full of this, with demons council always searching for new techniques. However, when Pinosecu's (mix of Pinochet and Ceausescu) torture officer is brought to Hell, he ends up torturing the demons to show them how to do it better.
  • The Punisher: Not a villain, but Frank Castle sometimes qualifies, especially in the MAX series. Make Frank really angry, and you'll wish he was just practicing the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • Robin (1993): Johnny Warlock is a mob enforcer whose job includes torturing people, not necessarily to get answers but to send a message. This is by far his favorite part of the job and he once tortured a woman for a day while waiting for her boyfriend to maybe show up even though she had nothing to do with the stolen object his boss wanted.
  • Mr. Brass from Scalped is a particularly sadistic torturer.
  • DC Comics has got Kid Karnevil, who first appeared in Shadowpact and later in Justice Society of America. He's a teenage sociopath dressed like a boy scout, and later revealed to be a Neo-Nazi, who apparently died and went to Hell but was kicked out because he was scaring the other demons too much.
  • Davis from the Sin City story "The Big Fat Kill" is described as an "artist" when it comes to torture, able to put someone through sheer agony without leaving a single mark on the victim, and it's implied that he's even nastier when the "tools" come out. We don't get to see what he does with the tools, because Dwight, along with all the girls of Old Town, pitch in to save Gail in a Big Damn Heroes moment. In the movie, Davis's role is handed off to Manute.
  • In the opening scenes of Sojourn, Big Bad Mordath is seen casually torturing a man so brutally that even his Troll Mooks are squicked by it.
  • Subverted with Herr Doktor Kilikil in the Spirou & Fantasio adventure "QRN On Bretzelburg": his methods involve scraping chalk on a blackboard, or cooking a lavish and fragrant meal in front of a hungry prisoner. He's so good at it that he eventually becomes a restaurant cook.
  • In Tomahawk #112, Tomahawk becomes obsessed with hunting down the Hessian officer Van Grote: a bald-headed proto-Nazi who specializes in extracting information from prisoners.
  • Transformers:
    • The Decepticon Justice Division in The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye all fit this to some degree. Most of them transform into torture devices. Torture devices capable of inflicting unspeakable pain on giant robots. Except for Vos and Tarn. The former likes to make his victims wear his face. The latter simply modulates his voice to extinguish sparks.
    • Overlord's minion Stalker tortures Twin Twist, Springer, Impactor, and many more in The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers.
    • In Dark Cybertron, Whirl catches an Ammonite before it can get away and while we don't see his methods they prove pretty quick and effective — it seems he skips straight to the hurting part until he gets the answers he wants.
      Whirl: He said he'd tell us everything if I promised to stop hurting him.
  • X-23 has been on both sides of this trope.
    • As her primary purpose function has been indicated to focus on covert operations and assassination, she has revealed or hinted at her experience of using torture to extract information, such as by describing her protocols for extraction of information in French class while going to school with her cousin in Target: X, or being outright depicted using torture during her stint on X-Force or in her solo series. Her willingness to use these techniques often puts her at odds with her teammates.
    • Her Ax-Crazy handler Kimura has been frequently shown torturing Laura, her friends, or her loved ones (such as punishing Laura with a chainsaw for escaping), and this is clearly shown to be part of the job. Xander Rice did it as part of the process of preparing her as a weapon (special mention goes to conditioning her for the trigger scent, which involved waterboarding and electric shock), and while his treatment of Laura is clearly established to be Revenge by Proxy, the adult Rice is introduced in Innocence Lost while performing experimentation on mutants which ends with the death of one of the subjects. Malcolm Colcord also utilized torture on Laura and various random citizens of Madripoor during his attempts to resume Weapon X experimentation.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side played this for Black Comedy in a few strips portraying torturers as Bob from Accounting-type office drones.
    "You know, Russell, you're a great torturer. I mean, you can make a man scream for mercy in nothing flat... but boy, you sure can't make a good cup of coffee."

    Fan Works 
  • Tortura from the infamous Power Rangers fanfic Agony In Pink is a monster created from books, reports, and essays about torture, and is very good at it.
  • Parodied in this Death Note fanart, where Matt has all these scary-looking surgical instruments at his disposal with which to torture Light into admitting he's Kira...and chooses instead to eat Light's potato chips in front of him. Cue Light begging for mercy and promising to tell Matt anything he wants to hear.
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness:
    • The Carrows regularly try new torture methods on rebellious students.
    • Never mind Professor Hans Belsen, brought in (if briefly) to demonstrate his research on unruly students. Given that he is plainly based on real Nazi scientists.... * shudder*
  • Volsky in the Firefly fic Forward. Considering who he works for...
  • Frostbite: Dalsh Ruul, by his own admission.
    I think this is very pretty. ... The design. It’s functional. Finely crafted to exacting specifications. Klingon ’oy’naQ are so crude. We acquired the design from them, of course, back in the reign of their Emperor Sompek, but we refined it far in advance of their pathetic efforts. It won’t kill you, but the amount of pain or pleasure you feel is entirely up to me. I find it is particularly effective to give akhvet—I believe the human term is ‘humanoids’, such a self-centered word—a powerful arousal, and then immediately before they peak, trigger their pain center as I did to you just now.”
  • In Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters, it's suggested that Shiryu, the General of the Squid Khan, serves this role for the Oni. When his mask is on Viper and he's trying to corrupt her, he tells her the most painful ways to break people's bones, and how to flay people without killing them in the process.
  • Not directly displayed, but in Finding Joy in Your Long-Distance Relationship, it's hard to argue that this applies to Angel when Willow wonders how he got so good at making art with knives after seeing Angel's jack o'lantern. Oz explicitly observes that they're probably better off not knowing the answer to that question considering Angel's backstory as Angelus.
  • Harmony Theory: Charisma and she enjoys it.
  • Hellsister Trilogy has Darkseid's Chief Torturer Desaad, who tortures information regarding the Anti-Life Equation out of Pariah.
    That had led Desaad down the right track. For tortures of the mind can be even worse than tortures of the body, and Apokolips has mind-probers aplenty.
  • Hivefled's Grand Highblood and Condesce are this in their spare time. They enjoy it very much.
  • The Immortal Game: Terra appears to be this in her free time, when she's not busy creating Mooks unfortunately for Celestia.
  • Lakaya in the Star Wars fic "Important Information". Besides the usual stuff she inflicts on Han Solo-beatings, whipping, broken bones, burning-she employs drugs that amplify the pain he's going through and keep him from passing out. In the sequel fic, it's also revealed she let some kind of creepy crawlies called blood parasites burrow their way into his skin. And when he still refuses to tell her what she wants to know, she repeatedly rapes him as well.
  • Dr. Harker from The Incredibles fanfic Marrow.
  • The leader of the thugs who kidnap Mike Stoker in the Emergency! fic The Numbers Game (bottom links here) is one. He flat-out says he wants to keep Mike alive and lucid until they're good and ready to kill him. And when he is finally rescued, his crewmates are horrified at the extent of the burns, cuts, beatings, etc designed deliberately to inflict as much pain as possible without killing him.
  • Captain Jarvis from The Return is a scarily efficient emotionless Torture Technician and is one of the good guys. Irony being what it is Jarvis becomes a lot less scary and emotionless after being turned into a demon.
  • Vale's Underground: Judging by both her cart of tools for the purpose and her prevalent sadism, Dave isn't the first victim of Cinder's torture.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney): When Judge Claude Frollo has of his minions is torturing his previous captain, he advises the torturer to whip the victim slower because doing it too fast will make "the old sting dull him to the new."
  • Monsters, Inc.:
    • "Say hello to THE SCREAM EXTRACTOR!" Randall Boggs.
    • In a more literal sense of the title, his assistant Fungus operates the machine. He genuinely feels bad for Mike as it gears up.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Jonathan, the Ax-Crazy older brother in Arsenic and Old Lace.
  • In Asian School Girls, Curtis—one of the high-ups in the crime syndicate—has May Strapped to an Operating Table and prepares to perform a female circumcision on her without anesthetic: claiming torture is a hobby of his.
  • Barbarella has the Mad Scientist Duran Duran (yes, this is where the band got its name) who attempts to kill Barbarella with his Excessive Machine which provides increasing amounts of pleasure until you die of it. Barbarella shorts it out, and apparently has quite a bit of fun in the process.
  • Brazil has Jack Lint, the white-collar government torturer pictured in the doll's head above, who brings his daughters to work and has a nice secretary to type out his subjects' screams. The role was Robert DeNiro's first selection, but Gilliam had already promised the part to Michael Palin.
  • Mercurio Cavaldi of Parma, Master of the Torturing Arts, in The Brothers Grimm. Not so evil at heart. Also by Terry Gilliam.
  • Closet Land: The Interrogator shows keen skill in torture, both physical and psychological (especially the latter, which he makes even more use of), utilizing them against the Author throughout the film. However, he admits she's much stronger than most subjects and attributes this to her surviving sexual abuse as a child.
  • Cry of the Banshee has Burke and Bully Boy, the two torturers Lord William puts to work to find Oona through any means necessary.
    Bully Boy: [to Maggie] We can make you die a minute every day for a year.
  • The Scientist SkekTek of the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal seems to delight in his cruel experiments on animals and podlings, and was thrilled to have Kira wind up in his clutches.
  • Francis/Ajax from Deadpool knows quite a bit about torture, since he awakens people's dormant mutant abilities through it (he's a firm believer in Die or Fly). He's also completely incapable of pity.
  • In The Dictator, Aladeen's kidnapper tries to be this, gleefully showing off each of his tools to Aladeen before starting, but Aladeen, being a Torture Technician himself, has seen them all before and mocks them for being outdated or "too safe", ruining the fun for his captor.
  • The villain of The Evil That Men Do is Dr. Clement Molloch, a doctor who advises Latin American dictatorships on how to torture people. The movie opens with Molloch demonstrating to a group of army officers the use of Electric Torture on a dissident journalist. He says he's advised twenty different ones in his career.
    Dr. Molloch: Gentleman, torture as a political instrument is no longer the crude and brutal extraction of information from one's enemies. It has become a subtle and sophisticated specialty.
  • Fantasy Island (2020) has Dr. Torture, a construct based on Melanie's perception of her hated childhood psychiatrist: given form as a Deadly Doctor by the island and turned loose to torture Sloane as part of Melanie's revenge fantasy.
  • The antagonists of Guinea Pig: Devil's Experiment are a group of men torturing a woman to test the human body's pain limits.
  • The movie Hostel and its sequel are all about this.
  • In My Country: One of the perpetrators seeking amnesty is a police officer who used Electric Torture on a prisoner severe enough that this left him impotent. He protests that it wasn't his intent, as he's not an electrician. The guy's probably the least sympathetic among perpetrators aside from De Jager and possibly the killer of Herbert Soblanda, only calling his victim "the subject" and using the old Just Following Orders defense.
  • A few villains from the James Bond franchise qualify:
    • Largo from Thunderball claimed he could do horrible things with just a lit cigar and a bucket of ice cubes. We have no reason to disbelieve him.
    • In Tomorrow Never Dies, Dr. Kaufmann and his protege Mr. Stamper have a whole torture system involving chakras, the point being to torture the person to death as slowly as possible. Dr. Kaufmann describes it as his hobby and has a record of keeping someone alive during it for 52 hours.
    • Le Chiffre from Casino Royale (2006) almost subverts the trope by insisting that torture is quite simple: go for the nuts.
    • Franz Oberhauser from Spectre tortures Bond by strapping him to a high-tech version of a dentist chair and drilling holes into various parts of his brain while explaining what effect this is having on him throughout. He's disturbingly calm throughout this, especially when he threatens to take away Bond's ability to recognize faces.
  • In Kafka, as in Brazil, Ian Holm plays a frail functionary in a dystopian bureaucracy. He's ultimately hoisted by his own petard when one of his subjects breaks loose of his restraints.
  • In Lethal Weapon, Endo fits this and is described by Joshua as "having forgotten more about dispensing pain than you and I will ever know."
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Uncle Rudy turns out to be an erstwhile Nazi and a prolific torturer. His specialty is Electric Torture using an apparatus of his own design.
  • Agent Smith in The Matrix seemed to enjoy torturing Morpheus a little too much.
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico has Dr. Guevara, one of Barillo's most dangerous people, who was responsible for pumping Jorge Ramirez's partner Archuleta full of drugs for several days so that he and Barillo could torture him to death over two weeks. When the cartel gets their hands on Agent Sands, the Doctor drills his eyes out using a quite nasty little device.
  • Captain Vidal from Pan's Labyrinth finds torturing people disturbingly pleasant. He consciously subverts the stereotype of a sophisticated torture artist by using the simple contents of an ordinary toolbox to a monstrous effect.
  • The Perfect Weapon 2016 has Vernon Wells in a small role, as the Big Bad's expert torturer. Who owns a colourful set of pliers, hooks, needles, screws, and other scary-looking instruments. And enjoys his job, taking delight in torturing the protagonist including pulling out toenails, a teeth and was about to work his way downwards (his henchmen had removed the hero's pants for good measure) but then the hero's allies barges in and kills everyone, including offing the torturer with a Boom, Headshot!
  • Mendoza in The Pit and the Pendulum (1991), who is so gifted at torture and extracting confessions from heretics, that Torquemada rescued him from death by crucifixion to serve as his personal torturer. He also flagellates Torquemada whenever the Inquisitor is troubled by wicked thoughts.
  • In The Princess Bride, Count Rugen is a very good researcher:
    Count Rugen: What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest. How do you feel?
    Westley: (helplessly sobbing)
    Count Rugen: Interesting. [Meticulously records a note.]
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark has Major Arnold Toht, who we see offering Marion a chance to play with a red hot poker:
    Marion: Wait, wait. I can be reasonable.
    Toht: That time has passed.
    Marion: You don't need that. I'll tell you everything.
    Toht: Yes, I know you will. [Brings poker within inches of Marion's eye]
    • Later, in a subversion, he whips out a bizarre contraption of metal bits and chains which looks like it would be quite nasty... and then reveals it to be a collapsible coathanger.
  • EV-9D9, Jabba the Hutt's torturer droid in Return of the Jedi. Somewhat subverted in that she only tortured droids.
  • In Scream and Scream Again, Konratz has the reputation of being able to extract information from anyone. The extent of his activities horrifies even his superiors.
  • Preston Scott is this toward the Independents captured by the Community in Six: The Mark Unleashed, played with delicious malice by Brad Heller.
  • Sniper: "El Cirujano" (The Surgeon), a secondary target on Beckett and Miller's mission, is an ex-CIA spook who tortures prisoners for the Panamian insurgents. After Beckett is captured later in the film, the Surgeon applies his skills on his new captive.
  • In Swashbuckler, Durant's silent lute player is supposed to be an expert in the art of torture. Durant uses his reputation (and a small demonstration) as a warning to Major Folly about what will happen to him if he screws up again. Fortunately, the lute player's talents are never demonstrated on screen.
  • In Ten Dead Men, the Projects Manager handles information extraction for Hart. When Keller objects to him taking his time over torturing Ryan rather than just killing him, he responds that you cannot hurry great art.
  • In Three the Hard Way three gorgeous women on motorcycles show up to have a little fun with a mook that the heroes have captured. They have to leave him able to talk before they can have all their fun. One of the good guys notices the last one is carrying a closed shoulder bag.
    Keyes: Can I ask you what's in the bag?
    Woman: Don't ask.
  • Tower of London: Mord, The Dragon to Duke Richard, is the executioner at the Tower of London and also Richard's personal torturer, although he fails to break John Wyatt.
  • In Tower of London (1962), Richard employs a personal torturer named Galvan who tortures Mistress Shore to death while attempting to get her to swear that the princes are illegitimate.
  • In True Lies, Harry Tasker is not happy to meet the Torture Technician Samir. Samir only gets to do a truth serum before Harry picks his handcuffs, uses him as a human shield, and finishes him with a Neck Snap.
  • In Vigilante Diaries, Raven is Andreas' personal torturer. She travels with her own case of torture implements and is the one who uses a blowtorch to burn a 'V' into the Vigilante's chest.
  • Dr. Simnell, Moriarty's pet murderer in The Woman in Green. He insists that his implements are 'instruments' not 'tools', and takes a sadistic glee in murdering and dismembering young women.
  • xXx: Danny Trejo's character, who just so happens to be a professional torturer working for a Colombian cartel. However, his captives think he is an actor at first until Cage notices that the "fake blood" on the machete he's wielding smells real.

  • The Acts of Caine: Arkadeil's matter-of-fact, scholarly manner of To the Pain arguably makes him far creepier than many who take sadistic joy in it.
  • Aftermath: Life Debt: Sinjir was trained in how to inflict pain on fellow humans, having been specifically taught of all the points on the body that will maximize this. When torturing an alien, he has to improvise. This is something he hates doing though.
  • Taylor of Animorphs, unfortunately for all involved, doubles as a Manipulative Bastard and Dark Action Girl. It's heavily implied that tormenting people is the only way Taylor can deal with her own horrific life.
  • Floyd Ferris of Atlas Shrugged is definitely the Punch-Clock Villain version rather than the kind who enjoys it; he's more interested in psychology and controlling people than in actually enjoying someone's suffering.
  • In the Belisarius Series, the Malwa Empire employs a sect of torturers called the mahamimamsa. They're little better than violent, sadistic brutes and are a favourite target of the heroes and their allies.
  • Book of the New Sun:
    • The Torturer's Guild is an organization of these. Like some of the other examples, they are explicitly supposed to be unemotional and just doing a job, explicitly prohibiting those of a Psycho for Hire mentality. Moreover, they don't torture to extract information, only to carry out judicial penalties. It's their job to perform exactly the tortures decreed, and no more (or less).
    • There is a poignant scene in which the now-Autarch Severian tells one of his former masters that he is dissolving the guild, not out of ethical qualms, but because it is intolerable that good men should devote their lives to inflicting pain. The master responds that "It MUST be done by good men"; should it be left to those who take pleasure in it?
    • In the jokes section of The Castle of the Otter, there is one about apprentices clumsily inflicting tortures because they are scared by the master yelling at them until he demands "What are you trying to do? KILL the man?"
  • Cat Chaser: Andres' job was to lead the torture of any enemies of Trujillo's regime. He spent most of his time there leading the mutilation and torture of anyone in his custody before throwing them to the sharks.
  • The entire cult of the evil god Liart from The Deed of Paksenarrion. There's a particularly graphic torture session in the third novel of the series, Oath of Gold.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Part of Azriel's job as spymaster is also extracting information from people. Azriel isn't overly fond of this part of the job but accepts it as a grim necessity.
  • In the second Dexter novel, Dearly Devoted Dexter, we meet "Dr. Danco", who specializes in gradual amputations of limbs, facial features, genitalia, and so on. He keeps his "patients" conscious during the whole thing.
  • Discworld:
    • Various former Kings and Patricians of Ankh-Morpork count, though their tendency is only mentioned in anecdotes within the text. There's a (nameless) Torture Technician with the Cable Street Particulars in Night Watch, however, and Captain Findthee Swing probably qualifies too.
    • The Quisition (In- and Ex-) in Small Gods are also perfectly ordinary people doing their jobs, raising families and buying thoughtful gifts when one of their colleagues retires.
  • In Dragon Blood, the torturer is a loyal subject of the king and just does his job. He does it well and is proud of his ability to, as he claims, get correct information out of his victims, rather than just some nonsense that the victim says to make the torture stop, as he claims is the case with magical torture. He wants his grandson to follow in his footsteps and points out to his victim that he'd like to stop the torture, really, he just needs the information. One is almost sorry for him when his victim stabs him. Almost.
  • Dragon Cauldron features a cheerful and hairy man who believes one should always do one's job well. He's hurt by being called a torturer and prefers the term "facilitator".
  • The Dresden Files: The Fae Winter Queen Mab doesn't seem to make a regular practice of it, but when a ranking member of her Court betrays her, she spends years first keeping him at the edge of sanity, then seeing how far over the edge she can drive him. As Dresden later remarks, if any member of the Winter Court broke Mab's given word, they'd be "thrilled to die" once she was through with them.
    "The White Christ never suffered so long or so terribly as did this traitor. Three days on a tree. Hardly enough for a prelude. When it came to visiting agony, the Romans were hobbyists."
  • Doctor Jest, the chief torturer of the Melnibonean empire from The Elric Saga. It's not clear how much of a sadist he may or may not strictly be, but he clearly does consider himself something of an artist who takes both pleasure and pride in his work...and somewhat chillingly there's no sign that any other Melniboneans ever disagree with him on this point. (Even Elric, who attends one of his 'sessions' with a couple of human spies, isn't particularly disturbed.) Torture Technician is almost the Hat of the Melniboneans in general; their preferred method for making music is to rhythmically torture a group of surgically modified slaves, for crying out loud.
  • The "Turkey Makers" in the employ of The Mafia in The Executioner series. Mack Bolan has to give a Mercy Kill on several occasions after finding their handiwork. He doesn't do the same for the Turkey Makers.
    Bolan: Think of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and the madmen who played medical games there with human meat. Then think of that sort of mentality transplanted to this time and place, give it the absolute power that is enjoyed by a mob boss, and turn it loose on a cute kid who got too cute with that same boss.
  • Inquisitor Glokta from The First Law is not only one of these, but a main character as well... Not just a main character, either, but a protagonist and (dare we say it) a decent guy compared to many of the characters. When you've got one of your foremost "heroes" routinely chopping off fingers and sending innocent people to prison camps, well, you know what state the world is in.
  • Gentleman Bastard: Sage Kindness in The Lies of Locke Lamora. His employer, Capa Barsavi, is said to be a very capable torturer, but when Barsavi runs out of ideas, Kindness takes over. And does so with the "mellow disinterest of a man polishing boots".
  • Ghost In the Noonday Sun: When the pirates think Oliver is withholding information from them, they hang him upside from a vine and have Haji (who seems to be an experienced interrogator) beat his bare feet with a stick until "I thought one more lam of the stick would shatter my feet like glass."
  • One of the three "Unforgivable Curses" in Harry Potter is the Cruciatus Curse, which inflicts excruciating pain on the victim and is primarily used as a way to effectively torture people. Naturally, every wizard who masters and frequently uses this curse qualifies for this trope. Specific examples include:
    • Voldemort himself is capable of performing a Cruciatus Curse that is effective enough to even break through memory-altering charms, something that cannot be achieved with Veritaserum (a truth elixir) or the Imperius curse (causing total obedience to the caster).
    • Bellatrix Lestrange, having spent 15 years in Azkaban for torturing people into insanity and being described by Dumbledore as liking "to play with her food before she eats it." In book 7, while it's off-screen, she does torture Hermione, and, it's implied, not just with the Cruciatus curse.
    • Amycus and Alecto Carrow really love torturing people. During Voldemort's regime, they were assigned to be teachers at Hogwarts, where they resorted to using the Cruciatus Curse as a punishment for misbehaving students. This also includes first-year students, who are only 11 years old. The Carrows also teach other students to be Torture Technicians, by forcing them to use the Cruciatus Curse on misbehaving students.
    • Dolores Umbridge forces students in detention to write lines...with a cursed quill that cuts the written lines into the skin of the student, to the point where it starts to bleed heavily. The scars left by this are even visible years later, as experienced by Harry Potter himself. This is a particularly nasty form of torture, as the victim is forced to inflict pain upon himself.
  • The Hellequin Chronicles has Nathaniel 'Nate' Garrett a.k.a. Merlin's Assassin a.k.a. Hellequin, the protagonist. Since he's over 1600 years old, he's pretty damn good at it, having learned in an era where torture was considered fairly normal. A natural gift for cold-blooded ruthlessness and calculated brutality which saw him picked for assassin training as a child also helps. As Hellequin, he became a Terror Hero so widely feared that over 200 years after he retired the name (and when he decides to resurrect it), Nate revealing who he is tends to get either disbelief or a very literal Oh, Crap!. This actually comes back to bite him, when Deimos uses the Hellequin name to claim responsibility for a global wave of magical terror attacks that have killed 250,000 people in a week because, as is noted, more than a few would believe that this is something Hellequin is capable of. However, while he can get savage when people he cares for are threatened, he isn't a sadist, only usually using resorts to torture when he needs information quickly, and explicitly states that his skills and ability to go cold like that are not things to aspire to.
  • In If This Goes On—, our hero is captured by the evil government. He notices that the several Torture Technician workers for the government show no pleasure in their job, they are strictly business. It is implied that anyone who likes to inflict pain is not permitted in that job, as they are supposed to get information, not necessarily hurt people (although that is always an option if they think it will help).
  • There's a gruesome variation in Franz Kafka's story "In The Penal Colony": there's a torture machine that slowly carves a single sentence into a person indicating the crime they committed and then lets them die for twelve hours, but it's being removed. The Officer, who works the machine and believes in it, asks to be the last person to use it and wants it to carve into him "Be Just". However, the machine malfunctions and ends up just brutally stabbing him to death.
  • Dr. Alice Hong, the Lady of Pain in Island in the Sea of Time, mixes psychopathy with surgical skill.
  • A minor unnamed character in the pre-revision Magic: The Gathering novel Shattered Chains tortures Rakel in many horrific ways — but he's not sadistic at all. To him, it's just a job. This, Rakel thinks, is worse than if he enjoyed it. To say nothing that they don't even want any information—a political enemy of hers just wants her to suffer before her execution.
  • Dieter Franck in Jackdaws is an unusual example in that he absolutely hates torturing people, to the point where he gets debilitating migraines after each successful interrogation session. That's why he's so good at it; while most of his peers draw the process out from sheer sadism, Dieter zeroes in on the quickest and most efficient way of breaking his victim, just so he can get it over with.
  • James Bond:
    • The Dragon Willy Krebbs in Moonraker got his nickname "The Persuader" for always getting the answers from prisoners through torture.
    • Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love is a virtuoso Torture Technician, letting the pain of her torturers (she never actually does the work) build and build and build; then she talks, softly and gently, being mother to her victims. "Tell mama and it will all be over." A chilling passage in the book indeed.
    • The title antagonist of Colonel Sun is a torturer in the Chinese army, who believes that a torturer and his victim can attain a special connection through pain.
  • Andrei Koscuisko of Susan R. Matthews's Jurisdiction series, beginning with An Exchange of Hostages is this trope as part of his job as Ship's Surgeon.
  • The New Series Adventures novel In the Blood has an interesting twist on the "clinical and emotionless" version, with a Man in Black alien who is actually emotionless, comes from an agrarian world of peace and harmony, and is also an utterly conscienceless torturer and killer. Apparently, when you're part of a tranquil and passive Hive Mind you don't need a conscience to maintain it, and when he arrived on Earth he saw what humans do to each other and other animals and just accepted that if this was how our society worked...
  • O'Brien from Nineteen Eighty-Four is shown to be one of these after revealing himself as a Fake Defector. Not only is he a loyal member of the Inner Party, but a high-ranking employee at the Ministry of Love, tasked with supervising the "re-educuation" of dissidents to accept the power of Big Brother.
  • Institutionalized in Only the Dead Are Cold-Blooded. "Conversations" are performed systematically, progressing through three levels of severity, and are conducted by specialists whose job title is Reconciliation Technician.
  • Johnny Dread from Otherland is one of these; it's part of his Serial Killer schtick. He likes psychological torture every bit as much.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, the Persian reveals that Erik (the titular Phantom) worked as one of these for the Shah-in-Shah in Mazenderan. Helps to explain a lot of things.
  • The captured insurgent in Prisoners of Power is kind enough to explain to his overzealous interrogators what a real Torture Technician should be like. No, he isn't Too Kinky to Torture, he's just making a point that they suck):
    You must learn to do your job coolly, officially — for the money. It makes an enormous impression on the victims of your inquisition. What an appalling state of affairs when you find yourself being tortured not by an enemy but by a bureaucrat. Take a look at my [missing] left arm. His Imperial Majesty's specialists sawed it off in three stages; and each order was accompanied by a lengthy official correspondence. Those butchers were just doing a disagreeable, boring, unrewarding job. While they were sawing off my arm, they cursed their wretchedly low pay. And I was terrified. I had to strain my willpower to keep from talking. And now... I can see how you hate me. You — me, and I — you. Fine! But you have been hating me less than twenty years, and I — you, for more than thirty. You, young man, were still toddling under the table and tormenting the cat.
  • The Reynard Cycle: One of the crew members of the Quicksilver is Ghul, who is introduced as being so good at Cold-Blooded Torture that his victims don't have a mark on them afterwards. Even though they're dead.
  • Barin Welachin from Jennifer Fallon's Second Sons trilogy served the Lion of Senet (the world's foremost ruler and religious nut) in this capacity. The protagonist, Dirk, has at one point to talk with him and, as part of the facade he has to put up, feigns interest in the man's work. Barin is delighted to be able to share the joys of his craft with someone truly able to understand and appreciate it (Dirk was trained as a healer and had an unwarranted reputation as The Butcher of Elcast). The right-hand woman of the corrupt and murderous (and dominant) segment of the church, Ella Goen, is also one of these.
  • The Gestapo torturers in The Secret of Santa Vittoria take pride in their work, even taking time to explain that pulling out nails is overrated; electric torture is much more effective.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a number of examples:
    • The Tickler in the band of Gregor Clegane tortures peasants to find hidden booty and track the movements of enemy bands. He asks the exact same list of questions of each person he tortures over and over again until they die horribly. Arya muses that not only is he asking the people questions they couldn't possibly have the answers to, he isn't even giving them time to answer before he keeps torturing them, suggesting he's ultimately just a sadist.
    • Qyburn is a former maester who was thrown out of the organization for conducting amoral experiments on living creatures, including vivisections. Cersei puts his knowledge to use as a torturer, among other things.
    • House Bolton gained notoriety over the years for flaying their prisoners. Their arms depict a flayed man, and they wear pink cloaks with red spots, indicating their old habit of wearing the skins of their adversaries.
      • Alongside the official Family motto of "Our Blades are Sharp" we have the unofficial "A Flayed Man Holds No Secrets" and derivatives said by more than one person affiliated with the House. Some traditions are very much alive and well, it seems. Unlike the Tickler and Qyburn, Ramsay doesn't further any goals by torturing people; he does everything he does for his own sadistic pleasure.
      • Ramsay Bolton, in particular, has mind-breaking skills on par with O'Brien. He may be the most notable example in the series for the way he is able to take a captive and reprogram them into a loyal servant of his through absolute fear of what he'll do to them next.
  • The Speed of Sound: The Sound of Echoes has Mr. Elliott, an assassin who kills his victims as slowly and painfully as possible, then uploads the videos to a dark website to advertise his business.
  • The Mord-Sith in Sword of Truth double as bodyguards. Uniquely, they are on the side of the "hero" (he effectively inherited them), after the first book. In fact, the first thing he did on taking power was order them to disband, but they decided to serve him anyway, on the reasoning that a man who would set them free was worth serving. Every Mord-Sith was themselves broken through torture as a girl (of which only the gentlest were taken) and made to torture their own fathers to death as well for their initiation.
  • Milovan Djilas' historical novel Under The Colors has a prolonged torture sequence where the Turkish interrogator carefully explains to his assistant the name of each technique, where it came from, and what it USED to be called.
  • Venus in Furs has a character that borders on this, though with lots of fetishistic overtones and more psychology-heavy. The author of this novel, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, is the inspiration for the word "masochism".
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Baron Ryoval in Mirror Dance has a staff of torture technicians.
  • In Dennis Jones' Warsaw Concerto, several KGB officers observe as a Torture Technician interrogates and administers electro-torture to a female defector. A doctor monitors her vital signs as she is tortured to her death.
  • The Wheel of Time: Semirhage tortures people entirely by stimulating the pain (and sometimes pleasure) centers of their brains with magic. Formerly the greatest healer during the Age of Legends, she would extract a price in pain in exchange for saving people. When people finally caught on to what she was doing, she was given a choice: take a magical vow to never do it again or be severed from magic forever. She Took a Third Option and joined the Dark Side. People were known to kill themselves at the mere mention she would be questioning them.
  • X-Wing Series: Manipulative Bastard Ysanne Isard dabbles in this, using injections and machines that directly stimulate pain, heat, and cold receptors rather than dismembering people. One of the first things she does is use a drug that the protagonist thinks of as one that would have him reciting things his mother had forgotten while he was in her womb, but the real goal in mind is to set up her authority and prepare them to become Manchurian Agents. She also brought in a Trandoshan to do the grunt work of getting the protagonist in position, hooking him up, manipulating the switches, and so on, because she knew his father had been killed by a Trandoshan.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Averted in 24 where the torture technician seems to just treat it like a job, and in many cases appears to be less willing than Jack to torture suspects.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Daniel Whitehall, former SS officer and one of the heads of HYDRA. In the episode "Face My Enemy", he boasts of torturing a woman "on and off" for a week and remarks that he finds the body's tendency to make people black out due to too much pain "frustrating".
    • Disturbingly, in the virtual alternate reality of the Framework, Fitz is one himself. In his position as Number Two and chief Mad Scientist of HYDRA, he personally carries out the torture and experimentation of Inhumans in order to study their powers. His cool, disconnected attitude about it is the most frightening aspect of it all.
  • Dr. Zhang "Suit And Glasses" Lee on Alias (or as he was known on Television Without Pity, the Sadistic Dentist of Asian Persuasion).
  • Andor: Doctor Gorst has been developing particularly cruel methods of torturing Imperial prisoners to get them to talk. His current favorite is making prisoners listen to the dying screams of children murdered in an Imperial purge. He's disturbingly personable, giving his victim a friendly wave when introduced and cheerfully recounting the story of how those screams were discovered, recorded, and mixed to maximize trauma.
  • Altered Carbon. The Wei Clinic in "Force of Evil". It looks like—and is run like—any expensive health clinic for The Beautiful Elite, but the employees provide a virtual torture chamber where the prisoner can be tortured to death, only to be revived again for another session.
  • Babylon 5:
    • "Comes the Inquisitor" features Sebastian for the Vorlons, who was based more on religious cult brainwashing techniques, but wasn't above physical violence either.
    • Cartagia describing his efforts to make G'Kar scream for his amusement in "The Summoning": "Did you know we assigned one of our best pain technicians — 'pain technicians', they used to be called 'torturers', ever since they got organized it's 'pain technicians'...."
    • The Clark Administration interrogator, a truly chilling Punch-Clock Villain, assigned to break Sheridan 2 + Torture = 5 style in "Intersections in Real Time". J. Michael Straczynski based that on actual prison camp/totalitarian regime methods. Blatantly influenced by 1984: Sheridan is being held captive in a place without windows that makes it impossible to tell what time of day it is by a government that includes a "Ministry of Peace", an ominous "Room 17" is repeatedly mentioned, he is coerced to sign a confession of his crimes against the government and embrace the regime and his interrogator informs him that if he submits, he will be released to live in peace until he's forgotten, then quietly killed.
  • Batman (1966) TV Series: Parodied (maybe) when Mr. Freeze lowers Miss Iceland's body temperature convinced that she will fall in love with him when she also hits fifty degrees below zero. When that fails, he converts her to a Human Popsicle.
  • The Blacklist:
    • Reddington employs a torturer named Brimley, who is a very unusual example. First off, he's a little old man who is constantly hooked up to an oxygen tank. Secondly, his offscreen torture sessions apparently involve a wide variety of Noodle Implements — in one episode, he exits a room where he's been working on someone with a live llama in tow, and in another makes use of board games.
      • It turns out to be a family business, as Brimley's wheelchair-bound wife and heavyset son also pop up in a couple of episodes to help out/fill in for him, using the same techniques.
    • A much more serious example is Dr. Laken Perillos, a Blacklister of the week in Season 8 who works for Arc Villain Nicholas Townsend. She uses a combination of medieval torture devices and modern toxins to inflict the maximum amount of pain on her victims in order to break them and make them talk.
  • Blake's 7: In "Rumours of Death", Avon has himself Captured on Purpose and tortured for days without cracking, all so he can capture a top Federation para-investigator named Shrinker, whom Avon knows will be called in to deal with particularly stubborn subjects. Ironically, Shrinker's talents are much in demand that he was able to survive the rebellion, and the crushing of that rebellion, by making himself useful to both sides.
  • BrainDead (2016): Agent J. K. Cornish is a mild example. He's cheerful (which at first makes it all the creepier) reluctant to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" and happily lets Laurel go when the authorization doesn't go through. He also admits he's been through all of them in his training, which probably helps his reluctance. Still, he believes they're necessary at times.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Faith was quite fond of torture - at one point, Angel complimented her on how well she knew how to do it. One wonders how a teenager knew so much about the five basic torture groups.
    • Angelus himself, the soulless version of Angel, an aficionado of physical and psychological torture (as he put it "The last time I tortured someone, they didn't even have chainsaws."). Angelus could inflict pain on people, either mental or physical, like no other being in the Buffyverse. There were vastly more powerful, there were even some (if not many) more sadistic, but there were none as skilled.
    • There was also Marcus, the Roman-born paedophile vampire hired by Spike in an early episode of Angel to get the Ring of Amara's whereabouts out of Angel.
    • Despite hiring out in the previous case, and generally preferring a toe to toe fight, Spike is a more than competent practitioner of this himself, as demonstrated in Season 5 of Angel when he got "screams, various bodily fluids, and a name" from Knox.
    • Willow as a vampire. Just...Willow as a vampire. She had Angel (described above) trussed up and slowly burnt alive as a form of sex play.
  • Cursed (2020): Brother Salt of the Red Paladins specializes in torture and isn't impeded by being blind at all.
  • George King, "The Skinner" from Dexter used to be a torturer in Nicaragua with the nickname "The Blade" as he specialized in skinning people alive. In present day, he's a serial killer who still tortures his victims for information, though Dexter points out that he really just does it because he enjoys it.
  • Janina Kleiberson from Dracula (2013), in a rare case of this trope being played out by a woman.
  • Farscape: Selto Durka, who not only manages to fit this role like a glove but knows it well enough to eventually break free of a hundred years' worth of brainwashing.
  • Fear the Walking Dead: Daniel Salazar was this, in his past life during the El Salvadoran Civil War.
  • The TV version of La Femme Nikita features a male and female duo of disturbingly adept "white room" operatives. Often brought in at the behest of Madeline (who was an effective torturer herself), these cold-eyed techies got answers for Section One... and occasionally tortured errant members of that group as well.
  • Firefly: Adelai Niska has one, although he's keen on getting hands-on himself. Niska wasn't particularly attached to any one torturer. In his first appearance in "The Train Job" he used Crow, who was also The Dragon before the guy got kicked through Serenity's engine. In "War Stories," he had to hire another torturer and Dragon.
  • A French Village: Müller specializes in torture, it seems, and displays his skill frequently.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Gregor employs one nicknamed the Tickler at Harrenhal in an attempt to root out the Brotherhood Without Banners. With the help of Weasel, who implements his instructions, the Tickler asks a series of standard questions while torturing someone to death...with rats.
    • The Bolton family's traditional hat is flaying, probably the cruelest torture ever thought up by man. Their cruelty also manifests itself in more subtle forms, such as psychological torture of people. Their family motto may be "Our blades are sharp," but their guiding principle is summed up often in the series as "a naked man has few secrets, a flayed man has none." In particular, Ramsay Snow is a master of this Bolton tradition. Ramsay has also shown absolute mastery of mental and emotional torture, which is shown fully in "The Climb" and gets worse from there.
    • Polliver alludes to being one in "Two Swords".
  • Ghoul: Nida and the rest of her unit are part of a black ops torture outfit used to interrogate political dissidents.
  • On Good Eats, there is the Dungeonmaster, who lives in Alton's basement. He shows off more advanced cooking implements and is not above tormenting bunnies and such. Alton doesn't particularly like him.
  • Gotham:
    • Bob in "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon". Falcone's chief interrogator, he is sent to extract 'an apology' from Fish Mooney and maintains a polite banter with her while he is torturing her. However, he is pounded unconscious by Butch before he can get too far into the process.
    • In Season 4, Penguin and later Sofia Falcone employ one known as "the Dentist" for his preference for torturing people through their mouths.
  • KinnPorsche: Vegas specialises in torture for the Theerapanyakul mafia family. He has his own torture kit briefcase for whenever he needs to torture information out of someone.
  • In Lost, Sayid acted as an interrogator for the Iraqi army. He puts his torture skills to use on Sawyer in the first season, though he quits pretty fast and has generally sworn off such things. In a later season, Oldham acts as the DHARMA Initiative's torture expert. He's a folksy psychopath who lives on his own in the jungle and uses drugs that appear to be LSD as part of his technique.
  • Madam Secretary: In a flashback to Liz's time in Iraq, she at one point hands a captured insurgent over to an Army interrogator after spending a couple hours trying to get him to talk as the Good Cop. The shot cuts away and all you hear is the suspect screaming. In the present, Liz explains to her daughter what "stepping it up" meant, including stress positions and waterboarding (straight out of the mid-2000s "enhanced interrogation techniques" handbook).
  • In Merlin (2008), Alator of the Catha is a skilled torturer, although he takes no pleasure in it. He uses a form of magical mind torture which is extremely painful and efficient but apparently leaves no lasting physical or mental damage.
  • Messiah: Avenir was once a professional interrogator/torturer, from what we've seen.
  • In New Tricks, Danny riffs on this while his partner is Perp Sweating two mob flunkies, simply by hovering in the background in all-black clothes and gloves, speaking softly, and fiddling with a bag of household Noodle Implements. Somehow, his colleagues avoid laughing at the act long enough for the flunkies to talk.
    Danny: [Picking up a pair of secateurs] ...They call me "The Gardener".
  • NUMB3RS: Mason Lancer of "Trust Metric" is this to a T. His "weapon" of choice is drug cocktails, and he's quite proud of how well he knows his way around them. He also keeps the cool, detached interest, never breaking a sweat, saying everything like it's an idle curiosity. It's not until the FBI boards the boat that he starts to look at all worried, and even then he remains calm and methodical as he prepares to kill Colby. (Luckily, he doesn't quite succeed.)
  • Preacher (2016): Viktor Kruglov employs one who has a room packed full of instruments and is completely matter-of-fact about his work.
  • Rome. A specialist detachment of the Roman army is assigned to Lucius Vorenus to torture Gaulish prisoners for information after the Thirteen Legion's standard is stolen. Later Titus Pullo has to torture someone and is momentarily stymied because he's never had to do that before — it's just not his job. He quickly works out how it's done on the advice of Octavian.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gul Madred fills this role for the Cardassians in "Chain of Command", even in a time when (as Picard protests) any usefulness torture once had as an interrogation technique has been made obsolete by the drugs they have available. He just likes breaking people's spirits.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: This was occasionally one of Garak's "jobs" in his past as a spy for the Obsidian Order. In "The Die Is Cast", a chance to return from exile made him willing to torture Odo, although the scene makes it clear Garak is hurting as much as his subject and deeply regrets his actions. Odo reveals his longing to return to his own people, paralleling Garak's own motivation. In the Mirror Universe, Garak is a brutal and notably unsubtle Smug Snake of the Torture First, Ask Questions Later variety.
      • Interestingly enough, and feeding the theme of the repentant torturer, is that one of the interrogations that Garak was proudest of involved no physical violence whatsoever: he simply stared at a prisoner until he confessed.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Living Witness", the EMH is portrayed this way in a propaganda holoprogram made about Voyager. The real Doctor (or rather, the retrieved backup copy of him) is not amused.
  • Supernatural:
    • Gordon Walker. A good portion of his debut episode (Season 2's "Bloodlust") sees him hunting a vampire named Lenore, and when he finally captures her, he ties her up and poisons her with dead man's blood. When Sam and Dean walk in on him doing so, he tells them he was planning to cut off a few of her fingers and asks if they want to help. Needless to say, both of them are quite disturbed, to say the least.
    • Creepily enough, Dean Winchester, after spending forty years in Hell. The Angels even ask for his expertise to torture information out of the captured demon Alistair. Later in season 15, escaped demon Belphegor reminisces fondly about their time together in Hell, telling Deanhow much he "loves his work" and calling him an artist.
    • His "mentor" there, Alastair, also obviously qualifies. Alastair is in fact considered Hell's greatest torturer. One demon called him "Picasso with a razor".
    • If Sam's flashbacks and hallucinations are anything to go by, Lucifer has a gift for this himself—not that that should be any surprise.
    • Crowley has a few on staff, such as Viggo, the demon assigned to torture Samandriel, and is more than skilled at it himself. He even has his own butcher's aprons.
    • Very surprisingly, Castiel, who is blatantly hinted to be better in this art than even Crowley. Shocks both Dean and Bobby. Beware the Nice Ones indeed. Tellingly, his Evil Twin from the Apocalypse World universe is a full-time torturer for heaven.
    • Meg studied under Alastair. It should be no surprise that she's an old hand at both torturing and being tortured. "The best torturers never get their hands dirty", after all. A demon wearing Christian Campbell is assigned to torture Meg in "Caged Heat" (S06, E10). She spends the whole time criticizing his technique and making snarky comments.
  • Utopia:
  • In the V (1983) series, Diana is basically a Mengele-Expy with her medical "experiments". She's also the head interrogator of the Visitors and responsible for brainwashing people to serve them against their will. She insists on carrying out the Mind Rape herself specifically because she enjoys it.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): The Whitecloak Questioners like Eamon Valda are skilled torturers, and he demonstrates this with poor Perrin.

  • Wu-Tang Clan: Although he doesn't talk about them in the actual song, Methods refers to various methods of torture that the eponymous Method Man and Raekwon discuss leading up to it, such as pulling someone's tongue out with a rusty screwdriver, anally raping someone with a heated hanger, or sewing someone's anus shut before proceeding to force-feed them to no end.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hunter: The Vigil has the Malleus Maleficarum, a refined branch of the Inquisition that really does not have much mercy to spare for supernatural creatures. Your character can be one of these with the Torture Suite Merit, which adds a bonus to interrogation attempts.
  • Magic: The Gathering gives us a dimensionful of these in the form of Phyrexia, which also double as Clockwork Horror and Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Eonian Justifiers from Mutant Chronicles. To quote:
    "No Cult cell wishes to be visited by a Justifier, for that visit will most certainly conclude with the excruciating vivisection of an errant member."
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Dark Eldar Homonculi are Torture masters whose skills are so good as to make them highly dangerous warriors. Seeing as the Dark Eldar have to torture mortals to survive their entire race may well touch on this.
      • The Dark Angels and their successors have Interrogator-Chaplains, who serve as a sort of internal security as well as torturing any captured heretics into repenting their sins.
      • The Inquisition have Torture Technicians raised from birth in the "art" of torture - woe betide any unrepentant heretics. The Inquisition even has a several-stage routine for torturing people; the second step is telling the victim what the rest of the steps are, the first is telling them who is asking.
      • Adeptus Arbites interrogators and Ecclesiarchy torturers are also worth a mention. The first go about things in an utterly pragmatic way, generally moving from Perp Sweating to Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique to Truth Serums. The latter generally aren't there to extract information, but to purify the soul through mortification of the flesh. The Commissariat and some of the chapters of Space Marines also employ various specialists.
      • The Night Lords legion of Chaos Space Marines wear this proudly as their Hat along with being The Dreaded even before they turned traitor. They basically plan their military campaigns as planet-wide group torture sessions.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team 2018 Medic specialists with the 'Interrogator' Level 3 Skill are able to use their abilities to gain Intelligence during a campaign.

    Video Games 
  • When you enter the interior of the thieves' guild in Baldur's Gate II, one of the first people you'll see is the house torturer and his squeamish child apprentice, the torturer trying desperately to impose some manner of love for the art in his successor, who ends up running off sobbing whenever he gets to the good parts.
  • Bayonetta has aptly named "Torture Attacks" when she has sufficient magic in her magic meter that she can use to dish out more pain (and higher combos) against her angel enemies. Spiked iron maidens, pulled through a chain winch, crushed by two giant hands, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, an unseen member of the Athena crew occasionally referred to as "The Dentist" is strongly implied to be this. Being sent to him/her is considered an extreme punishment, on par with having your body harvested into a mindless cyborg. One seasoned merc is willing to face the One-Man Army that is Riddick when Revas threatens him with a "trip to the Dentist". Earlier in the game, another merc can be overheard joking about it, and his partner immediately shuts him up with a sincere "Don't even fucking joke about that".
  • Cold Winter begins with your arrest in a Red Chinese prison, with a torture expert gleefully burning you with cigarettes and personally snapping your fingers, one by one. You managed to escape thanks to an ally, and one of your objectives is to eliminate said torturer.
  • In Diablo III, the Inquisitors of the Templar Order are essentially this, in charge of "cleansing" new initiates of their sins by beating and whipping the living daylights out of them. They don't particularly give a damn about the guilt or innocence of the initiate, and will gladly pile false sins upon an innocent if they feel he would make an asset to the Order, as happened with Kormac, your Templar follower who was put through this.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • In the opening act, the player character ends up passing through a torture chamber staffed with torturers who are part of the Imperial Legion.
    • The Thalmor are the GODS of this trope, as demonstrated quite vividly during the Diplomatic Immunity quest. Their First Emissary and ambassador to Skyrim, Elenwen, is particularly skilled in the art of torture, such that other emissaries and associates will often have her evaluate their technique. And one of her most prominent victims? Ulfric Stormcloak.
  • In Heroes IV, the Necromancer Castrata is described as having a collection of rare and ancient torture devices, along with written confessions of those she tortures.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, you run into droids with this specific purpose. Furthermore, in the sequel Atton Rand reveals that he used to be one for the Sith, torturing and killing Jedi.
    "There's ways of gassing them, drugging them, making them lose control, torturing them. I was really good at it. What's worse, is that killing them isn't the best thing. Making them fall...making them see our side of it, that was the best."
  • In Liberal Crime Squad There is a Psychology skill. A higher Psychology skill means that the character was better at "enlightening" kidnapped conservatives. That means you can train and employ torture technicians.
  • From the Like a Dragon series, Daisaku Kuze is the interrogations specialist of the Dojima Family, with Nishiki stating that the Dojima are experts at delivering fates worth than death... He has a very good eye for detail in this, knowing enough when to give victims some breathing room as well as when it simply won't work.
  • Mace: The Dark Age: The Executioner serves as a Psycho for Hire torturer and executioner for the Seven. He has an inescapable island prison (called El Katraz) full of ways to kill people in horrible manners, and his fight is in a room filled with various torture instruments. If he gets the Mace, he uses it to usher in a literal hell on Earth. In the bad (for him anyway) ending, he's thrown in his own prison, with Asmodeus deciding to teach him what torture really is.
  • Revolver Ocelot (or just Ocelot when he said this) from Metal Gear Solid. "You know, it's not all that's the ultimate form of expression." This was in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, after seeing Naked Snake with one of his eyes bleeding from having a muzzle flash destroy it.
    • He was inspired by Volgin, who, hilariously, is an absolutely horrible torturer. He's a sadist, and either kills the subjects or ends up giving them more information than he gets.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has the demons of Bootes, who have captured several humans and are subjecting them to nightmarish tortures. The reasoning? They're trying to find out just how much of the material body is necessary for a human to survive. That the answer is "all of it" doesn't satisfy them.
    "When we cut into the human's skull, a gray material leaked out of their skull, and they stopped moving. Our conclusion is that humans need something called a 'brain.' But in hindsight, we've created a person who can never get angry. We've done a good thing! What a good thing we demons did!"
  • Deconstructed with the interrogator for the Damned 33rd in Spec Ops: The Line. Far from being a sadistic maniac, he was tortured himself... and cracked, just like his victims. "We will be like brothers," he writes, "Having stared down death, and flinched."
  • The Voices of Nerat in Tyranny generally just gets the information he needs by devouring souls. But he got his start as a torture technician, and he still keeps it up for kicks.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has Reverend Nathaniel Pastodi. According to people in the city of Novigrad, before he joined the Church of the Eternal Fire, he was a torturer who specialised in torturing women and still in his spare time goes to brothels and pays exorbitant amounts to torture prostitutes to get his rocks off. In the course of trying to track down a religious extremist Serial Killer who mutilated a friend of his, Geralt walks in on him torturing another girl and can decide to kill Nathaniel, even if Geralt finds proof that Nathaniel is not the killer he's looking for, stating it's justice for all the women he's abused.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order has The Knife, a minor antagonist Nazi doctor at a prison camp who sadistically tortures prisoners and incinerates their corpses.
  • This guy in World of Warcraft. Fittingly, he works for the local branch of the Spanish Scarlet Inquisition (and, in-game at least, has the same voice coach as his better-known comrades. Best-known nowadays for being slaughtered remorselessly because a high-level holiday event took place in his instance.
  • Dr. Vahlen of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a rare heroic case. Part of her job is to interrogate captured aliens. While her motivations are noble - the defense of Earth - she does seem to take a certain pleasure in her work. For that matter, none of her subjects have ever survived interrogation.


    Web Original 
  • While A_J herself does enjoy carrying out most of the torture in AJCO this role often falls to whoever her second in command is at the time - usually it's Pythos, though during her absence the role was taken over by Breyos (which she wasn't too happy to find out when she got back).
  • Web-writer Cor's unstoppable tickle "monsters".
  • Dusk Peterson's series The Eternal Dungeon, where prisoners are respected, the truth valued, and confession is considered necessary for the health of the criminal's soul. In the first book, the main character is sent to the Eternal Dungeon after being accused of murder. The series continues with him after he has himself become a Seeker (Torture Technician).
  • Terrence in KateModern, especially in "Answers". It's hardly his official position, but at least he has fun.
  • Dr. Emily Gray in Red vs. Blue is able to do what even Carolina cannot: get information from a captured space pirate. We don't actually see what she does to the poor son of a bitch, but the sounds of power tools, the man's screams, and Dr. Gray enthusiastically singing opera can be heard. She has to "put him back together" before Carolina is able to speak with him again.
  • The Road to Hell... has Psymarr, a sadistic murid working for an orc tyrant solely so he can mutilate an endless amount of victims in a variety of different ways.
  • In Tales of MU Steff is preparing to be one of these.

    Western Animation 
  • Hunter of Monsters Valerie Gray briefly turns into this in an episode of Danny Phantom, torturing Danny for ghost information, mostly of the Electric Torture variety. Danny's hurt, but he refuses to tell, focusing on the true matter at hand (His Opposite-Sex Clone).
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has Eddy's brother being this, playing "Uncle" CONSTANTLY with his little brother. Not only had this form Eddy into a prankster but allowed the use of The El Mongo Stink Bomb.
  • Dr. Moon from Justice League Unlimited (originally meant to be Professor Hugo Strange) wasn't allowed to get too graphic, as per the censors (not that that's necessarily a bad thing), but seemed to be Cadmus' go-to guy for extracting information with a combination of Electric Torture and implanting images directly into the victim's mind. Incredibly, The Question manages to take the scene and play it for laughs.
    Interrogator: Tell me what you know!
    The Question: The plastic caps... on the ends of shoelaces... are called aglets. Their true purpose is... sinister.
  • Doctor Anna Ripley from The Legend of Vox Machina is one for the Briarwoods. "Depths of Deceit" opens with a flashback of a teenaged Percy, battered, half-naked, and tied to a chair, while Ripley presses him for information. When he can't answer, Ripley uses a hook to tear massive gashes into his torso, smiling as he screams in agony. She then calls in Percy's younger sister Cassandra, implying he was being Forced to Watch her be tortured as well. Scenes from Percy and Cassandra's escape weeks later show them battered and bruised, covered in blood, and missing all of their fingernails.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: 3G uses lets one loose on Lance in "Fortress of Deception".
  • Supposedly Cyclonus of Transformers: Generation 1 is one of these, as Galvatron mentions how much he loves watching Cyclonus carry out an interrogation. The only time we see him do this he's merely whipping someone and since he's actually Starscream in Cyclonus' body working with the interrogatee to give Galvatron false information, he's deliberately missing.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • The Starscream himself. "Bring the prod."
    • Shockwave is a much clearer example. In his debut episode, he had his laboratory filled with various torture devices, with his victims being Strapped to an Operating Table as he extracts information from them. He also invented cortical psychic patch, which allows the user to directly view the memories of an interrogatee to gain information from their minds. Due to that, he has a very known reputation among Decepticons as a successful interrogator, to the point that any time there's somebody who needs interrogation, they very often ask him for assistance.


Video Example(s):



Gamon explains his torture methods to Natsu and Lucy, showing even something as silly as goat licking can be very painful.

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Main / TortureTechnician

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