10. Freddy Krueger
Born from an angry mob of parents who threw him in a furnace, Freddy Krueger sort of had a reason to be so pissed off at the PTA members on Elm Street. So why not haunt their children’s dreams to get even? I mean at least he did his form of terrorism with some witty banter and a smile. Freddy was a man who enjoyed his work and there is something to be about that. I always liked Freddy Krueger; those kids reminded me of kids that would tease me in high school. I think they deserved a few bad dreams.
9. Hans Gruber
Even though Bruce Willis was technically the star of Die Hard, Alan Rickman made this movie timeless. Hans Gruber conducted crime with a debonair flair unknown to cinema at that time. Now every crime movie has a ‘too cool for school’ crime boss (eg; every Tarantino film ever made). Hans Gruber is a man I can on board with; a man with a vision and will work on weekends and holidays…… ho ho ho.
8. Nurse Ratched
She runs a tight ship at the mental institution. And why not, I mean she is surrounded by lunatics. I know she was tough, seemingly harsh at times, but she had a point. Especially with Jack Nicholson. Let’s face it, he was sort of an ass. Although he probably didn’t deserve death, I sort of see her side of things. I would love to have a beer with Nurse Ratched and hear some of her stories. Because we all know proctologists and insane asylum workers have the best tales.
I can’t put my finger on it, but this Leatherface guy seems a bit off. I don’t know if it is the skinny tie he wears (so 1950’s), the undersized blazer, or the fact he uses human faces as a mask. Regardless, this guy is pretty weird. And this movie is really creepy and still maintains that gritty eerie feel for 40+ years. Leatherface is not a well spoken chap; he lets his chainsaw do the talking. And you know what it is saying?
Yeah, I don’t either.
As a huge Tolkien fan, I am bound to put at least one character on every movie list I make. LOTR does not have an in your face central bad guy; Sauron is more of an overall representation of all that is evil and not a traditional villain. But Smaug, well Smaug is a villain. He was beautifully imagined by Peter Jackson and Co., his movements were hypnotic, and that voice….well….anything Benedict Cumberbach lends his talents to will surely be quality. Yes, I am a Cumberbitch. Smaug is pretty awesome and arguably the best part of the prequels.
5. Biff Tannen
Biff is such a loser. And he is not one of those losers that you sympathize with. He is a bully and we all hate bullies. Well, maybe not Trump supporters…but anyway I digress. There is nothing likable about Biff, or his entire family tree in fact (as well learned in part III). You would think the Tannen clan would have one person who was honest and tried to right the sinking Tannen ship, but apparently not. Biff sucks in every which way, except being a really fun-to-hate villain.
4. Anton Chigurh
Wow is Anton creepy. Originally when I saw the TV ads for this film, I thought it was just Brad Garrett with a bad haircut. But whoa!!!! Was I wrong. Every element to this character is masterfully crafted and performed. From the aforementioned hair, to that crazy grin, to his mumbled voice, Mr. Chigurh is the harbinger of evil. He has no remorse. Absolutely no remorse. And no fashion sense, but more importantly no remorse. Not sure why he flips a coin, he is just going to shoot you with his cattle gun anyway.
3. Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal eats people. Pretty gross. Have you ever had people? They really don’t taste good. That trait alone is villainous. But he is willing to eat your face, were it as a mask to escape prison, and call the pursuing FBI agent just to taunt her. Yeah, Hannibal is a bad ass. He can deconstruct your mental fabric and then eat your liver with fava beans all in one session. Great psychiatrist? Yes. Great dinner guest? Not so much.
2. The Joker (Dark Knight)
When Heath Ledger was originally cast for the Joker, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was skeptical. We all loved the jovial and charismatic portrayal of the Joker by Jack Nicholson, so we all expected a step down in Joker performance. Wow, were we wrong. This version of the Joker was nothing like anything we have seen before. This Joker was not fun. This Joker was not a comedian. This Joker was a complete psycho and Ledger exuded that aura in every scene in the movie. The mannerisms of the Joke, from his movements to his voice, haunts the viewers. This character portrayal literally gave people nightmares. We sometimes like to root for the villain, villains tend to be more interesting, but you can’t root for this guy. You just can’t. Even though he does have a great pencil trick…..
1. Darth Vader
Who else would be #1? I mean they made 6 movies about this guy (and 3 more that are about him tangentially), he better be a great character. The design of Vader is iconic, the powers of Vader are unmatched (sort of), and the voice….well….the voice is how we will always remember this guy and launched a young, plucky James Earl Jones into stardom. Darth Vader is not the scariest villain ever nor is he the most evil, but he is most enigmatic. The mystery that shrouded Darth Vader is what ignited our interest. Who is he? What is this ‘Force’? Where did he come from? Yeah, those mysteries were solved eventually (SPOILER ALERT: he is Luke’s father, the Force is a bacteria living in our blood, and he is a bastard from Tatooine) but that didn’t hamper the popularity of the Jedi who brought balance to the Force. Star Wars started an entire new genre, ‘Science Fantasy’, and Darth Vader is the centerpiece of this creative masterwork.
Is there any debate about why Darth Vader tops this chart?