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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Best Movie Villains

The best villains are ones that have a motive for why they behave the way they do. They're typically driven by greed, self-interest, and some sort of power, and have little to no regard for others. We can usually empathize with them or see what drives them to their behaviours. Post may contain spoilers.

I wouldn't exactly call these my 'favourite' characters, but they're movie/literary villains that I think were brilliant, humorous, well portrayed or wonderfully evil and clever. (Will do a separate post for Disney villains). Some of them I do adore or admire.

Amy Dunne. She's brilliant and badass, a perfect psycho. She manages to create a perfect and believable story in order to frame her husband for her 'murder.' Amy is extremely smart, and meticulous in her planning. Rosamund Pike's performance is spot on.

Annie Wilkes. Annie is one of the most disgustingly psychotic villains to ever appear in fiction. She tortures and torments poor Paul, insisting she loves him and that she's his biggest fan. She has no respect for the craft of writing or how long it takes to weave a story - noted, in that she forces him to burn 'Fast Cars.' (Reading that section was heartbreaking). She's perfectly portrayed by Kathy Bates. What makes Annie so scary is how unpredictable she is; one minute she acts like she loves you, and the next she's cutting off your toe.

The Joker. I didn't care for 'The Dark Knight', but Heath Ledger's performance was incredible. It was the only think I liked about that film. His dark humour is joyful to watch, and his nihilistic philosophy is spot on. Without order, humans would revert right back to our core nature - killing each other. After all, we've spent so much of our time sacrificing each other to imaginary gods, starting wars, and laughing at the pain inflicted on others (Saturnalia, the original Christmas, expresses this dark sentiment). Even though the Joker gets caught at the end, he is proven right. 

Glinda the 'Good' Witch. We've always been told that the villain in the Wizard of Oz is the Wicked Witch of the West. However, I believe she isn't the true villain of that movie. Glinda frames Dorothy for murdering the Witch of the East, and puts her in danger by not allowing the ruby slippers to come off. The Witch of the West has just lost her sister, and those ruby slippers are rightfully hers. But Glinda sets Dorothy up in order to get rid of the Witches of the West and East, and the Ruler Oz. This makes her the sole ruler of Oz. And she does it all with a smile and a pretty dress because who could suspect a smiling, pretty woman? Conniving bitch. 
Good theory by The Theorizer on this:

Lil Ze from City of God. He was a psychopathic child that grew up to be the most respected hood in the City of God. In the end he is killed by the Runts, showing the 'circle of life' in the ghetto. He's a great example of a crazy orphaned psycho that is also a product of being born and raised in poverty.

Patrick Bateman. I've seen an interview where Christian Bale was talking about the intelligence and humour used in this movie/story. This isn't just a story about a crazy psychopathic man, it's a comment on the corporate world (like Mad Men and Fight Club have done), on class and the role of men, and on life itself. Is he a vicious killer or is most of it in his head, created to escape his mundane world? And if so, are the real evil people the one around him, that go on oblivious to anything outside of their job and cocaine?

Steven Stelfox from Kill Your Friends. Haven't seen the film (yet) but I've read the book. Steven is a psychopath, but the way he's portrayed is excellent. The dark humour and satire used to get inside a frustrated A&R man's head trying to make it in the music industry is spot on. This is someone who will strive by any means necessary to get ahead in his career, even if it means murder. What he does is awful, but it's written so hilariously that you can't help laughing and even cheering this nasty person on at times. Most of us aren't psychopaths like the people on this list, but we all get frustrated and angry about things related to school, work, people and the like. This is what makes characters like Steven relatable, despite their horrible wiring.

Darth Vader. He's probably my favourite character in Star Wars. He's not actually the evil one in the show - the Emperor is. He is a man who was one of the best Jedi knights, but ended up falling to the dark side due to his frustration. I think the boy that played Anakin was adorable (only saw the first prequel film - couldn't finish the second or be arsed with the third). It's easy to see his tough background and how that led him to power. 

Syndrome from the Incredibles. Similarly, Syndrome is someone that presumably had a tough childhood (The Theorizer does a great theory on his parents which I will link), and who idolized Mr Incredible, only to feel let down. His frustration - like Darth Vader's - ended up pushing him to power, causing him to become a sociopathic mastermind. But naturally, his cockiness became his downfall. 

Regina George. Notably, not all the characters on this list are complete evil psychopaths. Some are more complicated. Regina is one of my favourite characters because she's nasty, manipulative and cunning, but she's also vulnerable, insecure and has no real loving friends. She lives in a huge house but as Gretchen mentioned 'her parents totally don't sleep in the same bed anymore', plus her mum constantly behaves strangely, the way she tries so hard to be 'cool' and dresses like she's still at school herself. It's likely these tough circumstances led her to feel like she had to spread rumours about people (e.g. Janis) in order to get some sort of attention and validation that she felt was missing from her home life.

Cersei Lannister. Like Regina, Cersei is nasty and conniving, but she isn't a full on psychopath. She definitely is a narcissist, but she's someone we can sympathize with. She is pushed into a loveless marriage, can't be with the one she truly loves because it's taboo, and ends up losing all of her children which is horrible. She is even raped by her lover which never became addressed in the show. Out of all the awful people in GOT, she is probably the one I sympathise with mostly and sort of 'get.' Plus I rated her SO MUCH for blowing up the Faith Militant.

Mitsuko from Battle Royale. I don't know why but I love her. She's just wonderfully evil and sometimes it is funny to watch awful murderous characters who don't give a shit. I haven't read the book, but her background was actually tough; she was abused as a child by her dad which probably contributed to her character. Definitely on this list there is a spectrum from characters who are completely evil, to those that are manipulative narcissists but aren't psychopaths and who can be sympathised with.

Bellatrix Lestrange. Helena Bonham-Carter goes all out in creating a malicious unforgiving character who the audience hates but who is also brilliant. She's crazy, the way she runs around laughing her head off and appears to care about nothing. She murders her own cousin, and sees no shame in disposing of everyone that gets in her way. There is something about 'crazy' evil villains that makes them more sinister but equally funny to watch.

Rhoda Penmark. And finally, an evil child like Lil Ze; little Rhoda. Patty McCormack was great here, really pulling through in making this seemingly sweet and innocent angel into a manipulative, cunning and greedy psycho. Rhoda terrifies her mother as she learns the truth about her sinister child. She literally kills someone for a medal. One of the most fucked up people on this list.

Good GRIEF! What a wonderful list of evil maniacs. What are some movie villains you like or think are well written/portrayed? Lemme know below!

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