“I said your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig. Now you think about that when I beat the rap.”
#1 FRANK NITTI – The Untouchables
This bastard is just cold blooded. First he kills Charles Martin Smith, then he mows down Sean Connery. And like every son of a bitch on this list, I stood up and cheered when the motherfucker got his. And there is probably no greater demise than having your ass thrown off a building by Kevin Costner.
#2 HANS GRUBER – Die Hard
Shoot the glass! Yes, when it comes to breaking down your enemy by making him run barefoot across shards of glass, no one does it with as much finesse as Herr Gruber. He probably should have surrounded himself with a better cabal of men, but no one could have anticipated the ultimate fly in the ointment. He still had the class to go out by plummeting 40 stories to his death.
#3 MAGUA – Last of The Mohicans
This motherfucker is devoid of emotion, even when he cuts open your chest and rips out your still beating heart. I don’t think anyone had a problem with him slicing up the Redcoats, but when he gutted Hawkeye’s brother, he pissed off the wrong father. To watch him getting sliced and diced by an ax the size of a Chevy is a thing of beauty.
#4 GUNNERY SERGEANT HARTMAN – Full Metal
This dude is a tough one. I mean, after all, the guy was just doing his job preparing his men for war. He wanted them to be tough, unflinching killing machines. Still, the mind fuck he pulls on Pvt. Leonard over the course of basic is even more brutal than the actual war. That didn’t stop me from relishing the full metal jacket he took directly to the chest.
#5 WARDEN NORTON – The Shawshank Redemption
As cool and conniving as any villain ever portrayed, this cocksucker never gets his hands dirty but still manages to kill and torture those who stand in his way. He may be running a prison full of mostly guilty men who have perpetrated unspeakable acts, but he affords no dignity to those he knows to be innocent. And there isn’t much better than forcing a supreme cocksucker to blow their own fucking head off.
“You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!”
I rooted for all 5 of these to be the winners and by the end of their respective movies, I missed them all.
#1 JOKER – The Dark Knight
In my opinion, Heath blows Jack’s Joker out of the box. The comparison between the two is inevitable: Jack tries to be funny, while Heath doesn’t even fucking attempt it. To him, it’s all business. And what is his business? Well, showing Gotham that they need a better kind of criminal, of course.
And what the hell is a better kind of criminal? Apparently, one that’s ahead of Batman every step of the way. From the very first few minutes of the movie, you’re introduced to a master chess player; and through the entire movie, Batman never catches up. No interest in money because, after all, bullets and gasoline are cheap. And never afraid to get his hands dirty, Heath redefined the joker, in both looks and personality. Batshit…. Fucking….Crazy. I will miss his Joker.
#2 DARTH VADER – Star Wars
Not a whiny little brat, but the “Builder and Destroyer of Stars”; the project manager that can bitch-choke you from a billion miles away; the unknown father; the DARK ONE!
The Big V! Showing little to no remorse or even feelings towards his non-cyborg prey, while channeling “The Force”, Vader showed us what evil was. Truly ruthless: torturing his daughter and cutting his sons hand off, these movies snuck past the snuff censors with an idle “he didn’t know” … oh he knew. We all knew. And there isn’t one of us alive that hasn’t pictured yourself just choking the life out of someone. Thanks Vader for that image.
#3 JEAN-BAPTISTE EMANUEL ZORG – The Fifth
In a future filled with flying cars, 100 billion people, and of course EVIL, PURE EVIL, is a man known to most only as Zorg. As Zorg, Gary Oldman makes an appearance as an, apparently, very successful business man; one that rules his company with an iron fist. He’s..umm..recruited… to find 1,2,3,4 stones (not 3 or 2 or 1, but 4 stones) by a Mr. Shadow (played by a dark rock in space). OK, it’s no academy award appearance, and it’s hard to believe how someone so powerful could be surrounded by such incompetent people, but it’s a character that I immediately fell in love with, and in fact, rooted for.
A villain that sends his henchmen and mercenaries to their ultimate deaths is as old as, well, villains. It’s kinda what they do. Eventually forced into taking matters into his own hands, Zorg hunts the stones on his own, but coming up juuuuust a bit short. Zorg eventually dies in a glorious explosion… But I miss you Zorg!
#4 TONY MONTANA – Scarface
How many of us have used the line “Say hello to my Leetle Friend” while pointing their squirt guns at someone. This was just a business man working his way up the ladder. Granted, the ladder had some drugs on it, maybe some blood, possibly a few bodies draped over the rungs. But really, it’s the same as any business man that’s getting to the top runs. There are very few CEO’s out there that don’t have a few skeletons in the closet. Tony just has some buried in a few other places.
As with most villains, he’s not with us any more; but FUCK, did he go out in a blaze of Cocain-Amped Glory! .. If the bullets hadn’t gotten him, surely the 2lbs of coke he just snorted would have. I mean after all, he’s no Charlie Sheen.
#5 SIMON PHOENIX – Demolition Man
Frozen in ice for several years, Simon wakes up in a world very different than the one he was originally frozen in. Simon gets busy doing what he does best: causing chaos, and, well, he’s pretty good at it. Especially considering that while in his slumber, he’s been “taught” martial arts, hacking security codes, and programed with a desire to kill someone. Continually hunted by John Spartan (Sylvester Stalone), they demolish a city in their wake.. and fuck .. with Taco Bell being the “High End” restaurant in the movie, who fucking blames ’em?
Simon gets most of the good lines in the movie, and so he should. By the end of the movie, I’m rooting for Simon to win the gold.
“Now pay close attention, Mr. Penn. I’m about to make the Bophal disaster look like a Girl Scout picnic!”
#1 TRAVIS DANE – Under Siege 2
The first Jew supervillain. A true leader never goes fisticuffs with Segal, instead he summons his minions to dispatch with the surly chef. They fail of course, but we get to see plenty of Katherine Heigel’s bulbous teen ass. Chance favors the prepared balls.
#2 FRANCIS DOLLARHYDE – Manhunter
Jesus he still creeps me out even after the 27th viewing. Well done. How is it Joan Allen looks older then than she does now? YOU. OWE. ME. AWE.
#3 PATRICK BATEMAN – American Psycho
Is he really a villain? He’s just a neat and tidy guy who likes a bump of coke, murder, and Whitney Houston. Fuck you Paul Allen.
#4 RICHIE MADANO – Out For Justice
Crack is whack baby. If your gonna go, go out with a bang. And a corkscrew in your forehead.
#5 Mr. JOSHUA – Lethal Weapon
He burns his arms for fun. But we never get to see his skills until Riggs puts the choke on him. It’s the unknown about him that makes him badass. I’ll pay to see a movie about Joshua in Nam.
BASEMENT CHEETOH EATER
“Kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri!'”
#1 ASAMI YAMAZAKI – Audition
Some…perhaps many of you, haven’t seen this movie. Good. I strongly suggest you don’t. First off, this movie’s fucked in a way almost no other film has ever been – it’s revolting, creepy, amoral and filled with a sense of impending dread that makes it immensely tough to sit through. In short, Audition is about a lonely Japanese movie director who pretends to be casting for a film so he can meet women. He meets one. The wrong one. The lovely Asami is mercurial, shy, beautiful and devoted…but underneath it lies a damaged crazy you can’t begin to fathom. Glenn Close? Kathy Bates? Fuck you and your amateurish choices…those bitches are Betty Crocker compared to Asami. She’s so damaged, that she has a former date who got little rough with her at home in a bag….he fits neatly in the bag because she’s removed his arms and legs (as well as his tongue and eyes). And she feeds him vaguely like a bird…by vomiting meals into a bowl and pushing it in front of him…then, it’s back in the bag for another nap. And he merely got a little grabby…now imagine how she’ll react when she realizes the director wasn’t honest about his intentions toward her? The ending of Takashe Miike’s Audition is a stunning exercise in unholy, gratuitous excess. And this film has the notable (almost praiseworthy) claim of being the only film that ever turned the stomachs of Rob Zombie and Eli Roth. For my part, I spent the night awake after watching it in a really dark place emotionally and very angry with myself for enduring it. Big Kudos to Benetton model Eihi Shiina for destroying the last vestiges of my childlike innocence.
#2 ROY BATTY – Blade Runner
I’m not even sure Roy’s a villain in the truest sense of the word…but for much of Blade Runner’s 116 minutes, Sir Ridley certainly wanted you to think he was. And his Roy is so monstrously persuasive and intimidating, that legions have fans have been convinced Rutger Hauer is 6’5 or more ever since (he’s only 6’1, by the way). And that’s the miracle of Roy. He’s big. He’s beautiful. And he will tenderly kiss your mouth as he fingerbangs your fucking eye sockets. This isn’t a villain hellbent on destroying the world. He just wants more life, fucker. And he’s completely convinced an extension of his slavery-like android existence can be found…but maybe not in time. You see, Roy (and his friends) are aging rapidly..so, they only have a few days left to find “a cure”. And if that means committing wanton acts of depraved murder to find it (or just to protect their identities), he’ll do it. All of the Replicants will. And Scott’s decision to have Roy save Decker at the end remains as stirring today as it was in 1982…and wonderfully blurred the lines between villain and anti-hero.
#3 HAL 9000 – 2001
Another entity that may not even be a true villain…at least in the sense that Hal’s intentions are more obscure rather than pure evil – but his unemotional, passive and lethal calm is unnerving in a very real and terrifying way. As the artificial intelligence responsible for piloting Discovery One to Jupiter, HAL 9000, at first, seems dutiful, polite and efficient. But when faced with a decision which causes a “logic fault” in his programming, he responds in the most efficient manner possible….by killing the entire crew. Event Horizon and the myriad of films like it all borrow from this same idea – the machine you’re relying on to keep you from the vacuum of space can always decide you’re not worth bothering with. Maybe it’ll cut off your air, and you’ll die gasping for breath. Or perhaps it’ll eject you into the unforgiving cold of space where you’ll suffer horrific decompression while you’re flash-freezing. Who knows? The scary part is this: you can’t reason with it. There’s no morality to appeal to…no conscience that serves to navigate its intentions. It just politely kills you…then moves on impassively to it’s next programmed chore without thought or regret.
#4 OWEN DAVIAN – Mission Impossible 3
I know…it’s odd I’d choose a villain from one of the weaker MI franchise entries. But there’s a reason – I look at the quality of the villains separately from the story around them. And as Owen Davian, Philip Seymour Hoffman hit a homerun. This is the face of TRUE evil in the world. We’re not talking some ludicrous Bond villain who somehow thinks he’ll survive the holocaust he’s trying to bring about. Owen is simply the evil that exists in today’s world – greedy, pitiless and unrelenting. Hoffman’s Davian is an arms dealer. No more, no less. That’s the start of his genius – he’s not flashy, nor a suave billionaire…nor even a mad scientist. He’s just an arms dealer who’s got some cash and a few minders…but his power is the strength of his mind and planning. He doesn’t make anything special…just money. And as a bagman for the CIA, he’s been protected. Don’t forget…the CIA has had DOZENS of guys like this that they’ve supported over the years….most of which, they were forced to hunt down with Special Forces detachment teams after they became too dangerous. Owen’s there…he’s become too dangerous; but when Ethan Hunt apprehends him (and then tries to intimidate him), the unthinkable happens: Owen becomes MORE dangerous. More intent. More observant. And more committed to responding in kind. Remember…this is the movie that opens with the ending: Tom Cruise duct-taped to a chair watching his wife being executed. Owen Davian terrifies because he is the evil we fight everyday.
#5 BISHOP EDVARD VERGERUS – Fanny and
1982 was a great year for villains. Roy Batty. The creature from The Thing. Tip O’Neal. And Bishop Edvard Vergerus. Fanny and Alexander was to be Ingmar Bergman’s last full film…and it became one of his most notable masterpieces. The story is simple – a poor Swedish mother of two loses her husband to a stroke so accepts the marriage proposal of the local Bishop. All seems well…except his puritanical convictions go beyond zealotry and become the pretext he uses for abusing the family verbally, mentally and finally, physically. The Bishop is savage…and is so very real….and his ferocity is aided by the amazing performances of the children (who were rumored to be terrified of the actor portraying him even on the set). Vergerus is, simply put, a very scary man. He’s powerful, convinced of his own righteousness and freely applies scripture in the most heinous fashion (picking and choosing passages that allow his abuse to continue). You can feel the desperation in every scene – the unimaginable horror of living with a fiend and your shitty town is so mesmerized by his charisma that they don’t dare question his treatment of you. Vergerus is the kind of villain behind every doomsday cult – where iron will and deadly certainty far surpass forethought and temperance.
“I see you found my trophy room Dalton. The only thing that’s missing… is your ass.”
The best heroes are only as good as their adversaries, so it’s no surprise that the nemeses of a couple guys on my heroes list from last week appear here. These are the guys we love to hate—the arrogant, selfish, sometimes poetic, and often-misguided pricks who made their respective films so memorable.
#1 BRAD WESLEY – Road House
James Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is tapped to be the “cooler” at a hot new club in Jasper, Missouri called the Double Deuce. He’s definitely the right bouncer for the job and has all the right moves—but businessman / mobster Brad Wesley has a firm grip on the townspeople. Dalton butts heads with Wesley when he learns the prick has been skimming the profits at not only the Deuce, but every other business in town. When Wesley throws a tantrum, an auto parts store goes out of business (sorry, Red), a car dealership is crushed by a monster truck (sorry, Pete), and the house owned by Dalton’s host is torched (sorry, Emmett). And if that’s not enough, Wesley knives Dalton’s mentor (Sam Elliott) in the back. Wesley is sly and pompous, selfish and confident. And I’ve never despised a villain more. RIP Ben Gazzara, you Professional.
#2 KAHN NOONIEN-SINGH – Star Trek II: The Wrath
In the original Star Trek TV series, Khan and his band of genetically-engineered “supermen” are rescued by Captain Kirk—who banishes them after they try taking over the Enterprise. Cut fifteen years later and the crew of USS Reliant happens upon Khan’s ragtag bunch of stowaways on the wasteland planet Ceta Alpha V. Then the chase is on, with Khan pursuing Kirk and the Enterprise like Ahab after the white whale, hell-bent on vengeance. Khan slashes the throats of a bunch of scientists, causes the death of Captain Terrell (with a space slug), maroons Kirk and friends, and indirectly causes the deaths of not only Spock, but Scottie’s nephew and Kirk’s son (in the next movie). Montalban brings grace and grit to a classic villain, which was no small feet given his character never even confronts Kirk in person during the movie. Rather, their cat-and-mouse game plays out over intercoms and overhead screens on the Enterprise bridge—and it’s awesome.
#3 WILL TEASLE – First Blood
Ostracized war veteran John Rambo arrives in the small town of Hope looking for lunch and a little of the good fortune for which the place is named. Instead he finds Sheriff Will Teasle, who makes clear he doesn’t like Rambo—who he sees not as a war hero but as a longhaired drifter. Teasle is a complicated villain because he’s supposed to be a good guy. He’s a cop, after all, and as much as he loathes Rambo’s kind he gets pissed when he learns how poorly his deputies treated their mysterious prisoner. The battle with Rambo gets personal after the fugitive maims his posse, kills a few dogs, and causes the nasty Gault to fall to his death from a helicopter. Teasle never thinks he’s in the wrong, and says as much to Rambo’s mentor, Trautman. Yet everything he does to contain (or capture / kill) Rambo seems personally—rather than professionally—motivated. Dennehy’s performance was perfect counterweight to Stallone’s iconic disgruntled action hero.
#4 ROY BATTY – Blade Runner
Roy Batty is a replicant—a synthetic android from a dystopian future. He’s one of six who escape to Los Angeles from an unseen Off-World to find his maker, Tyrell, and see if he and his peers can’t have their lives extended. Roy is a physical threat, a combat-model replicant with superior hand-to-hand skills. He’s also got the mental acuity of a genius. Which makes him a formidable foe for rumpled, semi-retired cop / android hunter Deckard (Harrison Ford). Batty stops at nothing to locate his “father,” Tyrell, even killing the engineer responsible for making him (J.F. Sebastian) and tormenting the man who crafted his eyes, which hold so much symbolic import later. Yet in all his rage (and thirst for vengeance after Priss is killed), Roy finds a piece of humanity and recognizes himself in Deckard. He makes sport of turning the tables on his hunter during the climax, but instead of killing Deckard he rescues the hero and gives up his ghost—along with a morning dove—into the raining morning sky. Batty is a beautiful villain. “Time…to die.”
#5 HANS GRUBER – Die Hard
He’s got a taste for fine music and Armani suits. He’s proud of his classical education. He prefers to not think of himself as a terrorist, even if terror is precisely what Hans Gruber brings to the Nakatomi employees in the original (and best) DIE HARD. Rickman imbues his Euro-trash thief with a kind of elegance; it takes a lot to ruffle Gruber’s feathers (or suit) even when he’s shooting Mr. Takagi or trying to reacquire his missing detonators. He’s a careful planner who anticipates precisely how the LAPD and FBI will respond to the hostage crisis, and executes his scheme accordingly. The way he spouts his anti-American venom at “cowboy” McClane over the radio in his thick accent is simply delicious. The two guys are peas of a pod, in a way, neither necessarily super-strong—but each determined and clever in his own way. “Shoot the glass!”
“That’s right, my dear! Enough to dip Toon Town off the face of the earth! Vehicle of my own design; 5,000 gallons of heated dip, pumped at enormous velocity through a pressurized water cannon. Toon Town will be erased in a matter of minutes.”
#1 JUDGE DOOM – Who Framed Roger Rabbit
In creating this list, I thought long and hard about what specific villain really fucked me up as a kid. We all know what villains are cool (Darth, Hans) and that all the animal villains were the scariest. But, which one to me was the most demented, and the image of a crazed Judge Doom killing that innocent cartoon shoe is one of the most fucked up things ever put on to celluloid. I mean who shows kids that cartoons have souls, SOULS that can be fucking burnt to death in acid? And even if sweet an innocent cartoon characters have souls….who in their right mind would make it their goal to fucking kill them just to build a fucking highway? God and that hair cut? Just a truly sick and fucked up character.
#2 HANS BECKERT – M
This is the villain work that inspired numerous other villains. This is the John Carter of the villain world. Peter Lorre is the original child creeper, and he does a great job at it. Well it wasn’t that hard: he already looked the part, but the meekishness he displayed on this film set the bar high very early on as to what the creepy man should be like. This is an epic role and for an old timely movie it’s still creepy as hell.
#3 SIMON PHOENIX – Demolition Man
Has there ever been an against type casting that’s had this much fun with the reverse of what he’s used to? This movie is fun as fuck and Snipes is a fucking blast. Who would’ve thought Sly Vs. Snipes would’ve been the best pairing of the two. His quick whips match up perfectly with Sly’s lumbering jokes. You wonder if during the filming if Snipes started to really hate that mother fucker. He’s so sly, smooth and charismatic it’s a joy on every level. You almost feel bad for his epic ending because you wanted more battles between the two.
#4 JEAN-BAPTISTE EMANUEL ZORG – The Fifth
So yes we all know Oldman gets the lifetime achievement as cinemas greatest villain actor. This top five could’ve easily been all him (in fact I struggled between this and his role as the asshole Alcatraz warden in Murder In the First). This one wins out because sort of like Demolition Man I love that gay science fiction future. The world created in the Fifth Element is so colorful and awesome that you needed a villain to match that. They easily could’ve gone with just some dark character but instead they made a weird villain who probably spent more time on his hair than he did actually thinking through his plan’s. I mean he’s making a deal with pure evil, who is going to blow up the planet he lives on, pretty much he’s aiding in the death of Earth and himself. But he does it with such gusto who cares if his plan’s would’ve ultimately lead in his destruction, and who knows maybe he just wanted to see the world burn? How is that not the most evil maniacal villain in the history of cinema. He was going to kill everyone on Earth including himself.
#5 KING HYPERION – Immortals
Yes I know this feels a little early, but I feel time will show how awesome of a villain Mickey and his stand in were in this film. I don’t give a shit about actual greek myth, it’s fine but this take on what ever King Hyperion was is too much fun not to be given a chance. Now here we have the opposite of Oldman and Snipes in terms of charisma, but still the same sense of style. If there ever was proper use of the term scene chewing here is where it would be applicable. Rourke explains how he’s going to end one mans family lineage but let him live while gnawing on some fruit. He plans on ruining the whole land by making sure his is the only seed all the women receive, it’s just such a fucked and ruthless plan. As for the battle at the end of the film with Superman, it’s a fucking great fight. This is where Rourke’s stand in gets a shout out, who knows how little or much of that fight Mickey actually did but it’s well shot and sounds brutal as hell. His face at the end of it is the stuff of nightmares. This may seem like a down played role but I think it’s perfectly executed.
“He will join us…or DIE.”
#1 DARTH VADER – The Empire Strikes Back
The BIGGEST. The BLACKEST. The BADDEST motherfucker in the galaxy. He’s a machine. A calculated killer. He doesn’t give a fuck about you. He doesn’t give a fuck about your family, your home, your planet. The only thing that drives him is his unquenchable lust for power, and he will crack ANY FUCKING SKULL THAT STANDS IN HIS PATH. He has no friends. No vulnerabilities. What could you threaten him with….death? He doesn’t give a fuck. He’s single handedly murdered thousands; men, women, children. FUCK EM. HE HAS NO SOUL. He’s an emotionless shark, one that’ll keep biting until someone puts a spear in his black heart. Why? Because that’s all he knows and all he lives for, the predatory instinct to never shed a tear for no bitch. UNFUCKWITHABLE.
Note: Surprisingly though, Vader only gets a chance to go truly balls out and dominate in one film, The Empire Strikes Back (AKA 2 HOUR SMORGASBORD OF REBEL ASS-FUCKERY), and that is primarily what I base this assessment on.
#2 DARKNESS – LEGEND
Jesus….this motherfucker. He’s everything I want the actual Devil to be when I meet him. Ripped, scary, and sexy as fuck. Every motion is an act of seduction. Every syllable uttered….fucking poetry. The only thing on this scorched earth redder than his chiseled stomach—his FUCKING SWOLLEN COCK. Praise Satan.
#3 THE KING – Radio Flyer
This guy’s just a Grade A MOTHERFUCKER, and though this isn’t a fun choice; as far as the representation of true evil on screen, villains that strike fear in the hearts of all around them, ‘The King’ is one of the best. The kids call him that because “That’s what he liked to be called”. We only see the prick from a child’s perspective; a big, ominous figure weaving in and out of the edge of the frame. He’s a monster, one they’d sooner pretend didn’t exist. And though Radio Flyer is a magnificent film that explores all types of childhood adventure, at its heart it’s an examination of child abuse and the way it affects those around it. Great movie. Fucking asshole character. I’m done. ***MIC DROP***
#4 BIFF TANNEN – Back To The Future
No villain list would be complete without a bully, and Biff is the fucking KING OF ALL BULLIES. The ultimate dip-shit with a hair-trigger temper that thinks he’s the smartest/funniest/best looking/most well-liked guy in the world. The irony of the BTTF trilogy of course being, he IS the best fucking part….by far. He’s the asshole we love to watch in action; telling bad jokes, threatening dorks with physical violence, conniving his way out of every situation, never fully closing his mouth, and attempting to rape cute girls in the backseat of his Ford, etc. He’s the villain we love to hate. Without him, this trilogy would be nothing, and to tell you the truth, we probably wouldn’t even fucking HAVE a trilogy.
#5 DRACULA – Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This is Oldman at his most godless and depraved. Out of all the great villain performances he’s shat out over the years, THIS is the one I keep coming back to, aroused by the fascinating portrayal of the dread and decay of the human spirit. I never really go for this ‘THE ACTOR DISAPPEARS IN THE ROLE’ bullshit. I’ve only seen that actually happen precious few times. Ledger’s Joker? Get the fuck outta here. The role’s fun, sure….but the ‘actiness’ shines through more and more upon each viewing. But Oldman’s Dracula? FAWWWWWK. I have no idea where the man is inside this beast. He sold his fucking soul to play this role. You could tell me Oldman ACTUALLY ate a live baby in preparation and I’d believe you. You can’t escape him in this. He’s intimidating as fuck. He seems to be lurking everywhere in the shadows, ready to spring out in some new form, always more hideous than the last. There’s a raw energy woven through the film, undoubtedly lassoed to Oldman’s barbed cock-head; some kind of animalistic immediacy, dragging you deeper and deeper into the black void of this wretched Devil’s heart. It’s loud and it’s grotesque and it’s ballistically insane. He’s the last fucking character I’d ever want to be in a room with. THE MOTHERFUCKER IS DOOMED; you hate him, yet you root for him. Wretchedly morbid, and disturbingly fulfilling all at once, he’s a villain that takes us to the dark/scary place and somehow convinces us it’s a good idea to stay awhile.