|Business||Valiant Video Enterprises|
|Allies||The Cerberus Leader|
The White Rabbit
|Enemies||James Earl Cash|
|Status||Deceased (Killed by James Earl Cash)|
|Voiced by||Brian Cox|
- "They're going to be screaming your name boy, mark my words!"
- — Starkweather, to Cash.
Lionel Starkweather, also known as the Director, is a major character and the main antagonist of Manhunt.
The twisted mastermind behind the whole scenario, the Director communicates to James Earl Cash through an earpiece until Cash kills the White Rabbit. He tells Cash where to go and sometimes gives instructions on performing certain special tasks.
Starkweather's personality is ultimately that of a perverted and immature psychopath who is utterly devoid of any form of moral compass, empathy, or remorse. He's very impatient and shows absolutely no regard towards anyone's death. He gets very excited after Cash kills a hunter and becomes annoyed to the point of throwing childish tantrums, if Cash waits around too long. He's also shown to be very dishonest, as Starkweather told Cash he'll release him if the man participated in his snuff film. However, in reality, he is planning to have Cash murdered by the Smileys (as hinted by his dialogue during the scene Kill the Rabbit). Another example is when Cash rescues his family members, Starkweather orders the Wardogs to execute one of Cash's relatives, recorded on video and shown to him.
Starkweather is motivated not only by his sadistic and hedonistic impulses, but his own psychotic beliefs as well. Although he's producing snuff films for the black market, Starkweather still views himself as a great director and artist. Many of his quotes praising Cash's executions revolve around a delusional belief that he will make him "a star" and bragging that Cash will "turn the slash world on its head".
Despite all the countless murders he's committed, Starkweather is a cowardly individual. He always relays on Ramirez or the Cerberus into doing the dirty work for him, while Starkweather would hide away from the action. When Starkweather is confronted by Cash at the end of Manhunt, he attempts to kill him with a revolver. However, Starkweather resorts with running away and attempts to negotiate with Cash into sparing his life after he runs out of ammo.
Starkweather is heavily implied to be a sexual sadist, as he takes great pleasure in both violence and death, with dialogue at certain points indicate that he's possibly masturbating to Cash's murder spree (thus adding a bit of comic relief to a rather serious game). However, as the game progresses, stealth-based executions begin losing their effectiveness as Starkweather stops directing Cash after his betrayal. Now, his interests are instead brought on by firefights.
Despite having a total disregard for others, he does seem to particularly despise the Skinz over the rest of the gangs for their racism, referring to them as "dumbass supremacist bastards", stating they are "always blaming others for their inadequacies". Before directing Cash, Starkweather encourages him to brutally kill the Skinz, telling Cash to "Butcher 'em Cash, beat 'em up, cut 'em up, and choke the fucking life outta them!", more than any other gang.
Life until 2003Edit
Lionel Starkweather was once a successful Vinewood film director, until his movies started to flop badly and his career was finished. Later, he moved to Carcer City and developed an obsession towards morbid acts of violence. Soon, Starkweather began producing underground pornography and snuff films, which he sold to certain Japanese businessmen.
His newfound success made Starkweather very rich, allowing him to open an illegal company named Valiant Video Enterprises. Eventually, Starkweather began working with various criminals, like Mr. Nasty, and hired local psychopaths (including Ramirez) to serve him. Starkweather also employed a group of mercenaries, known as the Cerberus, to serve as his personal bodyguards. At one point, Starkweather exacted his revenge on thoses who ruined his career by filming their murders in a video collection he entitled "Director's Cut".
Starkweather begun paying off the CCPD police chief Gary Schaffer, allowing him absolute control over Carcer City and all the gangs participating in his snuff films. At one point, he purchased a mansion, which was designed by the Las Venturas Planning Department and built in Wapona Hills. With all this power, Starkweather remained isolated in his mansion, watching everything through security cameras and paying people to do all his dirty work.
Events of ManhuntEdit"Cash, I made you!" - Starkweather's last words before Cash executes him
At some point, a Journalist discovered Starkweather's snuff film ring and begun gathering evidence against him. Meanwhile, Starkweather found out about James Earl Cash and decided to direct a movie starring him. In doing so, he bribes the police and prison officials into releasing Cash from death row.
Cash is given an earpiece so Starkweather can talk to him and instructs him to perform various tasks, while Starkweather watches and films it through security cameras. He also has many sections of the city blocked-off by electric fences, which he can open once Cash has completed a task. He has the Cerberus transport Cash to each location, while Ramirez organize the Hunters.
He soon has Cash's Family kidnapped for him to rescue. Regardless of doing so, Starkweather still has at least one of Cash's family members killed anyway and shows the footage to Cash, enraging him. Nearing the end of the film, Cash is set to die, but he managed to fight back and escapes. Starkweather even orders Ramirez to stop Cash, but Ramirez himself is ultimately killed by Cash. He then has the corrupt police chief, Gary Schaffer, send police forces after Cash and the Journalist. Cash soon breaks into Starkweather’s Estate, and kills all the Cerberus guarding the compound. Cash then enters Starkweather's office as he attempts to defend himself with a Revolver, but fails and is killed by Cash with a Chainsaw.
- Rockstar possibly named Lionel Starkweather after Charles Starkweather.
- Despite being the main antagonist and being heard throughout the game, he is only seen in person during the final mission, Deliverance.
- In Bully, civilians from New Coventry can be heard conversing on rare occasions about someone named Starkweather.
- Starkweather's art panel states "throughout the game, he constantly rants against the movie industry and the people who crossed him". This doesn't occur in the final release.
- During the mission Architectural Espionage in San Andreas, blueprints of Starkweather's Estate can be found.
- Starkweather has several lines of dialogue which are unused/rare, such as "Look, I can supply you with a day glow jumpsuit if you want one." whenever Cash is spotted.
- Starkweather's mansion has a similar interior to the Vercetti Estate from GTA: Vice City.
- Starkweather is the only character to speak during his execution. All hunters just make grunts to show their pain.