We’ve had a great couple years at the movies, so why not give some props to the evil-doers that gave us the best thrills and chills while we wait on Thanos? No reason why not. So here we go:
10) Marissa Wiegler–Hanna (2011)
In this great movie no one saw, Cate Blanchett kills it while trying to kill a young 15 year-old mountain girl. To be unfair to Wiegler, Hanna was experimented on as a child and torn away from her mother in order to become a super soldier. Who wouldn’t want to put a bullet in the annoyingly sympathetic girl? Wiegler is an interesting villain. We don’t get to know much about her, yet we know we hate her. Joe Write as a director does a great job ing making the environment so heady and over-stimulating so that the characters don’t have to be that over the top or fleshed out. Instead of rendering Wiegler boring and under-used, our senses overload with the chaos in the set ups of the scenes and which frames one crazed and great villainess.
9) Andrew Detmer –Chronicle (2012)
Some high school outcasts happen upon super powers and come out (web)swinging…and some unfortunately (and perhaps more understandably), don’t. An entitled thirst for revenge paired with ultimate power corrupt almost absolutely, especially in lost souls who, after years of cruelty and less-than-stable home-lives, ain’t that mentally sound to begin with. Whether you thought Andrew’s villainous fall was yawningly predictable or artfully done, you still have to give props to his car-crushing monologue that managed to almost pulse with pain, insanity, and horror. Chronicle proved that you don’t need a $200 million budget to create movie bad-guy-magic.
Evil Most Foul: Yeah, that car crushing thing paired with the rant about apex predators.
8) Raoul Silva-Skyfall (2012)
Frighteningly blonde and deliciously evil, Javier Bardem gave a magnificent performance as an ex-secret agent with some M-issues. Basically, Silva was fucking nuts and had it in for Bond’s nuts in more ways than one in what is probably the best Bond film of Craig’s run. Silva, however, is the best Bond villain in a long, long time. The dude has it all: genius plots and plans, creepy accent, unsettling disfigurement, and ultimately some deserved sympathy from the audience due to his poor choice in surrogate mother-figures. It’s totally fun to suspend any and all sense of reality with Silva for two hours right up to the beautiful, bloody end.
Evil Most Foul: Killing Severine
7) Dr. Josef Heiter– The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)
Half Doctor Frankenstein…half fetish video director, Heiter was the highlight of the gross-out film, unless you’re really in to watching people forcefully ingest shit. I loved his tasteful (it’s hard to use that word in a sentence talking about this movie) homage to the fantastic mad scientists of the cinematic past. Heiter truly is the modern, yet somehow believable crazed science-guy of this decade. While the film flies the banner of “100% medically accurate,” Doctor Heiter almost passes as a believable fiend you could meet on the side of the road in Germany. Let’s never go to Germany.
Evil Most Foul: Gee, I don’t know….maybe that bit about sewing three people ass-to-mouth.
6)Ravenna- Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Ravenna’s oozing wickedness turned what would have been a very mediocre film into something damn near watchable. Sure a lot of her props were props (director Rupert Sanders did some banging work with special effects), but underneath was a performance filled with desperation, jealousy, and cold-blooded hate. Ok, scratch that last one. While some villains are perfectly evil, the best are dynamic with depth and a sad tale of their own. We glimpse Ravenna’s less-than-happy beginnings with enough time to exchange some feels before losing ourselves again in her beautifully rendered magics and bulging scary eyeballs. Hey look, Ma, made it through this whole thing without a Kristen Stewart joke.
Evil Most Foul: Killing the young rebel while leaving his father to tell the tale.
5)Calvin J. Candi- Django Unchained (2012)
There was a whole lot of movie evil in 2012, but this mother fucker might have all the other baddies beat. He was the dragon that kept fiery-watch over the imprisoned princess at the top of the tower, so you know we had to hate him. He was also incestuous, obnoxious, and oh yeah… he owned a bunch of slaves and delighted in making them fight to the death. Candi had a seemingly endless need to watch our heroes, Django and Dr. Shultz, squirm in his bloody fist. Mistaaaaake. Candi wouldn’t be half the villain he was if he hadn’t been so perfectly played by DiCaprio. Never have I wanted to see a bastard get his so bad, though it may have been the accent.
Evil Most Foul: Probably the crazy rant about eugenics over what may have otherwise been a pleasant dessert.
4) Loki- Thor (2011), Avengers(2012)
He may be the most beloved villain of all time which means sometimes I think he’s more cuddly than diabolical. Still, despite Hiddle’s dreamy eyes, nose, ears, and everything, he did try to dominate the human race under his opera-glasses of will. Powered with more one-liners than actual powers in The Avengers, Loki’s jaw dropping exchange with Black Widow reminded me just how damn evil he really is and almost made me forget the Hiddleston within. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, the greatest villains are as complex as they are heinous, and Loki’s got feels out the yang. With a frost giant for a dad and a family chip on his shoulder heavier than Mjolnir, he was destined to be bad and we are oh so glad he was.
Evil Most Foul: Most definitely belting that red shirt with his staff before removing the good gentleman’s eyeball. Was he or was he not rocking the most fiendish scarf this side of the rainbow bridge?
3) The Joker– The Dark Knight (2008)
Ok, so maybe the clown prince of crime has gotten bumped down on the list from the top spot because of a certain recent DC storyline that I ended up not being so pleased with. Joker’s been done a thousand ways and been around for a bajillion years, but there was something more than special about Ledger’s take on the character. He wasn’t more insane or more funny, or more cruel than every Joker before him, yet there was something down right nasty in Nolan’s big bad. He fit so perfectly in this universe as the realistic foil to Batman’s preparation and vigilance He has no plan, no great sceme. He doesn’t want to takeover and rule Gotham, and ultimately his point is pointless, yet he still exits the stage laughing.
Evil Most Foul: Blowing Rachel Dawes to little bits.
2) Lord Voldemort- Harry Potter Franchise
Many of the Harry Potter movies have their positives and their sucks, but one thing that deserves recognition is the awesome portrayal of the Dark Lord throughout all the films that he deigned to show up in. Flat-faced and murderous, Voldemort cared for no one but himself and in the quest for all power, was ultimately felled by his own fear of death and weakness. Many things make Voldemort the near perfect villain: Creepy face, evil magical powers, chilling laugh, diabolical name, but it is in his defeat that we see why he’s managed to out-bad all the rest: his downfall was designed to teach us all a lesson of love, hope, and friendship. He wasn’t defeated by a bomb or a knock-out battle really. In the end it was only the anthesis of evil that could end his terror, so logically he must be the very locus of evil.
Evil Most Foul: Hugging it out with Malfoy.
1) Hans Landa- Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Magical baddies are cute, but villains made up from the not so distant past that are so freaking evil that an entire theater bursts in to uncontrollable applause when the heroes take them out? Such is the power of Nazis, man. There is nothing that will deliver assuredly in the villain department as a Nazi on the warpath for the mass elimination of an entire race. However, instead of the crazed Jew-hunting maniac that we’re used to, Landa is subtle and therefor much more disgusting. His temper is almost non-existence and unlike all of the other entries on this list, I really don’t think insane can be applied to his particular kind of evil. This is a man who hunts down humans for a living. He’s good at it, he enjoys it, and by the time we meet him, he has wrapped his own legend around himself like a theater cape. It’s not enough to perform his job successfully or even mercilessly. There must be pageantry; there must be a show in which he is the star, puppet-master, and soul audience member. Landa wins this little non-competition based on an imagined poll that I didn’t take, but we should all know to be true: Watching that swastika carved in to his face was the most satisfying comeuppance to any villain ever.
Evil Most Foul: Of Milk and Au Revoir Soshanna!