One vote from me to Anton Chigurh of No Country for Old Men.
Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Night is a force of reasonless anarchy. To which I’m attracted and by which I’m repelled.
Yeah, of course, the new Joker!
while bergman shows a little sympathy near the end of of the film, caligula in ‘torment’ is one of the most sinister villains i’ve ever seen.
Who would I like to be ?
The Terminator in The Terminator
Michael Biehn’s Navy Seal in The Abyss.
Best overall villians ? (The commentary on the villains is not my own)
_Phoenix in Gladiator _
Sometimes, sons to not live up to their father’s expectations. Then again, when sons kill their fathers, that usually doesn’t make a good impression with dear old dad. This definitely sets Commodus apart from many other villains, right off the bat.
This smarmy bastard not only had a taste for destruction (he brought the vile gladiator fights back to the Coliseum), but nearly had a taste of his sister as well. He cheated, lied, and made people’s skin crawl, but his jealousy for the great General-turned-Gladiator Maximus (Russell Crowe) – and his sister’s desire for the same man – drove Commodus to new heights of mental instability, eventually leading to his downfall.
Burke in Aliens
The last thing Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) needed after a 57-year nap was another helping of corporate lies. The Company ignored her warnings of danger on LV-426, the planet where she and her crew had discovered an Alien. And now one of their project leaders, Carter Burke (Paur Reiser), was asking Ripley to join the trip out to that planet as an advisor. And they would annihilate any Aliens out there. Yeah, sure.
Accompanied by a crack team of Space Marines, Ripley and Burke would find the settlement on LV-426 seemingly abandoned. Then, they found find traces of fighting, large gaping holes in solid steel, and strange H. R. Giger inspired matte paintings. Indeed, the Marines would encounter an entire nest of these acid-blooded baddies and take a bunch out, but not before most of their own squad had paid the ultimate price. And all the while, Carter Burke, Company Man watches the carnage, plotting his next move. When the Marines are ready to retreat from the doomed planet, Burke advises taking an alien specimen with them. No dice, they say.
Things aren’t so easy, however, as their rescue ship is crashed by an alien, and now they’ll have to sweat 17 days in the planet until the next ship arrives. The Marines find a young girl named Newt who has survived for weeks in the underbelly of the settlement, and she takes to Ripley like a daughter to a mother. Carter Burke, seemingly out of options, releases an alien facehugger into the sleeping quarters of Ripley and Newt, hoping one of them will become “impregnated” with an alien specimen and they’ll be able to carry it back to Earth inside their bodies, undetected by anyone. The Marines realize what’s happening, find the women, and kill the alien, and now Burke’s ass is grass.
His imminent beating at the hands of the Marines is interrupted by an all-out alien attack. While the Marines fight them off valliantly, Burke cowardly and foolishly scurries out the back and locks the door behind him. The Marines are trapped and forced to make a stand while Burke tries to escape the settlement on his own. He soon realizes this was The Worst Idea in the Universe when he is greeted by an alien. Burke becomes the latest in a long line of victims, ironically by a member of the species he was trying to save from being destroyed. His cowardice in the face of grisly death is unforgivable, especially when a little girl was ready to fight before he was. Carter Burke is even worse when you realize he’s a backstabber too. At least a facehugger will look you in the eye when it attacks you… sort of.
“You like lamb, don’t you hon?” As a representative of the upper crust of society aboard the maiden voyage of the Titanic, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) still has plenty to learn about the opposite sex. Then again, back in those days, I guess it was commonplace to drive your significant other into the depths of despair because of the incredible ass you were acting like. No wonder 17-year-old hottie Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) wanted to leap from the stern of the biggest boat in history. Kudos for Leo DiCaprio for spotting a hot piece of ass when he did.
But back to Cal. He’s a total dick. Arrogant and greedy, he understood his place in society as a rich white man to be that of a control freak. Just as the passengers of the Titanic never considered a disaster could befall the ship, Cal never thought his marriage-to-be could be destroyed by the likes of an Irish commoner, even one as pretty as Leo. However, between trying to save face over the loss of his babe and greed over the giant jewel he had given her, Cal went to every length possible to rid himself of Jack Dawson. And that included submerging Rose along with him and the doomed oceanliner.
Cal’s reached his own demise off-screen, between the lines of Rose’s narration, no less. He survived the incredible disaster – did he even notice? – but his arrogance would catch up with him and lead to suicide. Indeed, how can you expect anyone else to love you when you’re too busy being in love with yourself?
Hackman in Superman
Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) is so dangerous and filled with evil that it’s hard to imagine the world being able to stop him without Superman (Christopher Reeve) on its side. This self-proclaimed “greatest criminal mind” certainly earns respect with numerous attacks on the planet, not to mention the entire state of California. Lex found an enemy in the Man of Steel, and with the discovery of kryptonite, was able to exploit one of Supes’ very few weak spots.
Luthor’s first plan was to sink California into the Pacific Ocean by blasting the San Andreas Fault with giant missles. When that failed, he joined forces with General Zod, hoping his association with a guy with the same Kryptonian powers Superman possessed would help his own cause. Luckily, Luthor was out of action for Superman III, but he would return with another devious plan: create a nemesis out of Superman’s DNA. Nuclear Man was born, but soon fell to the Last Son of Krypton, as did Luthor’s dreams of ruling the world… again.
Lex is 100% criminal. He loves living the high life and stepping on the little people, intent on asserting his will on those who oppose him. He formed a unique connection with Superman, for as noble and courageous as the Man of Steel was, Luthor would counter by being just as nefarious and vile. Eventually, Luthor would be caught, and only the righteousness of Superman would save the supervillain from being pummelled into powder for his evil deeds. The question at this point: will we ever see Superman battle Lex Luthor on the big screen again? There seems to be no prison that can hold gool old’ Lex, except for the one that’s keeping a new Superman series in pre-production hell.
_Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction _
Talk about “unsafe sex.” One of Michael Douglas’ many roles as a white-bread family man who screws the wrong woman came in this 1987 Adrian Lyne thriller when he played Dan, a lawyer who has a one-night stand with a woman he works with.
That colleague is Alex, played by Glenn Close, a women quite drawn to Dan. So drawn, in fact, that for the rest of her time on the mortal plane, she devotes her life to trying to keep him all to herself. No matter that he’s married with a little girl (who looks way too much like a little boy, but that’s another story).
Alex does a number of things to hold onto Dan: attempting suicide, riddling him with constant phone calls, showing up at his office… you know, the usual psycho ex-girlfriend kinda stuff. Then, when that didn’t work, she tried the unusual: kidnapping his daughter, faking a pregnancy, attacking his wife, and boiling the family rabbit.
Alex is one of those Mofos that, for some people, is justified in her actions… to a point, that is. I’ll admit, it serves Dan right for cheating on his wife. However, Alex redefines the term “mental illness” with her inability to simply let go when there was no going back.
Glenn Close’s Oscar-nominated performance solidified Alex Forrest as one of the scariest villains ever for the “horny married man.” Just rent this movie and those urges will pass… quickly.
That Nakatomi Corporation Christmas Party of 1988 sure was one crazy party, huh? Well, if you didn’t make it, you missed the appearance of the internationally-feared German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his band of thieves taking over Nakatomi Tower and holding the entire company hostage. If it wasn’t for the NYPD’s own John McClane (Bruce Willis), things might have gotten really out of hand.
Hans Gruber was quite the mastermind, though, assembling a team capable of breaking through a number of high-level security measures to infiltrate the main vault in search of hundreds of millions of dollars of negotiable bearer bonds. On the way, he personally killed Joseph Takagi, the company CEO, and was deft enough to keep both the hostages and his own crew together while distractions like McClane were running around the building screwing things up for him. At one point, Hans would find himself on the wrong side of the building, coming face-to-face with McClane himself and pretending to be a company employee. It wasn’t entirely believable, but it was strong enough to buy himself the opportunity to get back with his German compadres.
It was Hans Gruber who anticipated the FBI shutting down the building’s power, thereby allowing his gang to open the vault. It was Hans Gruber who told his right-hand man Karl to “shoot the glass,” inflicting further injury to McClane. And it was Hans Gruber who discovered McClane’s wife was among the hostages, setting up a showdown between the thief and the cop with her caught in the middle. Unfortunately, it was Hans Gruber who fell out a window, ending his felonous plans, and setting up a little revenge story we like to call Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Actor – Robert Mitchum in “Cape Fear” – still the nastiest, meanest SOB to ever grace the last 20 minutes of a movie.
Actress – Shelly Winters in “A Patch of Blue” – still the nastiest, meanest B——- mother-from-hell to ever grace the screen……
Jack Torrance from The Shining
Jack Nicholson + 4-Star Hotel with all the amenities + Bacon and Eggs in the morning when you don’t even ask for it. Who would pass that up?
the master of the flying guillotine from “master of the flying guillotine”. dude was relentless. my first time watching the movie, i literally physically tensed up whenever he was on the screen. few villains can provoke an actual physical reaction in me.
Danny Huston as Arthur Burns in The Proposition.
Ben Kingsley did a great turn as a villain in Sexy Beast. Good call on Mona Demarkov from Romeo is Bleeding and Hans Gruber from Die Hard.
i have to give a nod to hip-hop cinema, and two brilliant villians.
wesley snipes as nino brown in “new jack city” by mario van peebles. the man who uses a 5 year old girl as a human shield in a shootout. he’s pure evil. a demon, as he even calls himself.
and the incomparable tupac shakur as bishop in “juice” by ernest dickerson. when he says “you’re right. i AM crazy. i don’t give a fuck about myself”, with fury and passion in his eyes, it captures the entire tragic villainous rage of the hip-hop generation. this film is a masterpiece, and one reason, though not the slightest, is the power of shakur’s performance.
I’m surprised only one other person has mentioned Bill Sykes. He wasn’t only in the musical Oliver! you know. Talk about a brutal guy though.
I would like to be a villain just so I could say something like “Can you fly Bobby?”
Most of my favorites have already been mentioned. Gangs of New York was a pretty terrible movie, but Daniel Day Lewis was absolutely cold to the very core in that one. Evil man.
Oops double post.
The volcano from Joe vs. the Volcano!
Christopher Walken in “At Close Range.” The last word in nightmare fathers! Among those not already mentioned, other favorites include Vincent Price in “The Witchfinder General” as the cynical, opportunistic, and highly educated “witch hunter” who makes his living exploiting the fear and ignorance of superstitious villagers. Bill Moseley in “The Devil’s Rejects,” a brutal psychopath who is frighteningly articulate in explaining the futility of heroics. Bruce the Shark in “Jaws,” because that f___er still haunts my dreams and keeps me off the beach. “Ride The High Country” gave us the immortal Hammond Family, surely the most terrifyingly believable bunch of inbred monsters this side of a James Dickey novel. James Cromwell was absolutely chilling in “L.A. Confidential,” and the scene where he murders Kevin Spacey still shocks. And Lee Marvin’s performance in “The Big Heat” is the last word in mid-level mob toughies. He was entirely too comfortable with slinging that pot of scalding hot coffee in Gloria Grahame’s face.
gotta give a nod to tony montana. surely the greatest excessive, exaggerated, over-the-top villain.
Rebecca De Winter in “Rebecca”.
hmm, i don’t know. if we’re going hitchcock, we have to say uncle charlie in “shadow of a doubt”.
Villain or hero? It’s all in your personal POV, but my hiss-and-boo list now includes Billy Mitchell in “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.”
“Now young skywalker, you will die!”
Way back in this thread (page 2), Stavros called “aileen from the monster” a villain.
What makes a villain? I would have thought it was an individual operating out of malicious self-interest, a psychopath, a sadist, anyone using power for evil or exploitative objectives.
Aileen doesn’t count. The title’s ironic.
Or did I fall asleep and wake up in a parallel universe? Is an anti-hero a villain?
I think Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile was the first film character to truly make me passionately angry in real life. I can’t say he’s the best or one I’d like to be, but I remember him leaving a deep impression on me.
Orson Welles in “Touch of Evil”
Peter Lorre in “M”
Tatsuya Nakadai in “Yojimbo” and “Sanjuro”
you can’t get ANY more villainous than this, people.
Rhoda in The Bad Seed…I’ll clobber you with my tap shoes, look adorable, ask my father “Daddy, what will you give me for a basket of kisses?”, and end the day playing “Clair de la Lune” on the piano.
Lee Marvin as Vince Stone in The Big Heat.
Ooooh, so ice cold. Coffee in a woman’s face? Straight up vicious.
Ray from Nil by Mouth. Gary Oldman has demons.
(Star Trek fans prepare yourselves)