Most lists of this nature focus on iconic or otherwise influential characters, those widely accepted as memorable by pop culture. If you look up any 5 best or worst villain list, chances are you will run into the same names across all of them: The Wicked Witch of the West, Hannibal Lector, Max Cady, Norman Bates, and sure, they all deserve to be on that list for one reason or another, its just not original to keep praising the same fucking characters day in and day out.
While I admit, there is some overlap between my list and what you would find on a traditional top 10 slideshow, when was the last time you read about someone calling Freddy Krueger a faggot? This is not a “top 10 list” but rather a compilation and new perspective on some overlooked or over-praised characters in film history.
Lord Humungus – The Naked Marauder (Mad Max: The Road Warrior)
Even though Lord Humungus was only in about four frames of The Road Warrior, he is instantly unforgettable because he is buff, naked, and pissed off. In search of gasoline and presumably some poon with his gang, Humungus roams the desert wasteland clad in nothing but a hockey mask and S&M gear. When not shooting at Mel Gibson, he passes his days by being introduced to people as the Ayatollah of Rock-N-Rolla, torturing cute animals, and striking scary poses on the side of the road. I’ve seen Thomas Harris villains who were less creepy and more clothed than this gigantic slab of post-apocalyptic creeperbeef.
Hans Gruber – The Accent of Death (Die Hard)
There is a theory going around that Alan Rickman actually has a normal, accent-free voice, but the way the sound waves of his speech careen around his gigantic nose warp them into sounding the way they do. If “March of the Penguins” were narrated by Alan Rickman, you’d think it were a documentary about the Trail of Tears. Rickman’s role of Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard not only shot him into a strange niche of stardom, it proved to us that everything is more intimidating when spoken with a thick Central or Eastern European Accent. It was an added plus that he basically spent the entire film getting rich and fucking with the police with bogus ransom demands and even John McClain himself can’t help but comment on Gruber’s scary voice. Gruber’s flair for nice suits and his murder-spree smile easily outclasses the combined quirks of every other Die Hard antagonist.
Ivan Drago – The Iron Fist of the Iron Curtain (Rocky IV)
He’s a 6’5”, 250 pound breathing bicep who wants nothing more than to beat you to death with his bare hands on worldwide TV, just like he did to your best friend. His boxing record is 100-0-0, all KOs, and his punching power is 2000 PSI, and he plans to use it all to win the glory of Mother Russia. Whenever he bothers to use his lips instead of his fists to communicate, all he talks about wanting to whoop your ass. But words would be too much of a hassle when he can just you know… Kill you. During the filming of the big showdown in Rocky IV, Dolph hit Stallone so hard in the chest that Stallone was hospitalized for 4 days.
The Tremor Brothers (Smokin’ Aces)
In a movie with more bad guys in it than a documentary on the Nuremberg trials, The Tremor brothers stand alone in utter absurd ferocity. Three inbred Nazi white trash meth head brothers turned contract killers excelling in collateral damage and mayhem, what they lack in style and finesse, they more than make up for in bullets and bombs. If you’ve never seen Smokin’ Aces, there’s really no way to describe these guys that does them justice. They’re big, dumb, angry, and tough. While other assassins sought to sneak, snipe, or con their way into Buddy Israel’s penthouse, the Tremors were more than content to walk through the front door and turn everything between them and their target into muddled shit. They spend half of their on-screen time literally drenched in blood, I get a violence boner every time I watch their handiwork. If mowing down entire teams of armed security with fire axes, road flares, and double-barrel shotguns isn’t one of the coolest ways to make a payday, I don’t know what is.
Darth Vader – Congested Evil (Star Wars)
Let me start by saying that I FUCKING HATE Star Wars. Not even I can deny that Darth Vader is an iconic villain. Looking like an evil sentient toaster with a magical red boner that kills everything it touches; Vader has a practiced gait that communicates that he owns everything in whatever room he walks into. Ignoring his crybaby backstory and his lame, redeeming demise, which otherwise would have easily landed him in the list of the worsts we are left with distilled hate and lethal precision that allowed him to force-dickslap his way to the top of a galactic empire, piloting a ship specifically designed to destroy entire planets. Darth Vader didn’t take shit from anyone, and the best part about being a master of the force means you never end up losing your car keys.
…And let me just repeat, Star Wars is for losers. If you don’t agree with me, you are a loser.
-John Doe – The Mass Murderer Next Door (Se7en)
Kevin Spacey is so good at being creepy, it wouldn’t take much to assume that his home address is “outside of your bedroom window.” Never is it more relevant than his portrayal of the nameless, brilliant mass murderer who finds his inspiration in the darkest corners of Biblical allusion. It would take a man with both huge balls and brains to eat a fat man to death, mutilate a crooked DA, and ultimately sacrifice himself to fulfill the prophecy of murders that he himself began. If the movie Se7en teaches us anything, it’s that the bad guys who actually manage to win leave the strongest impression. Especially when he’s murder-and-fuck-a-pregnant-woman insane.
Agent Smith – The Many Who Is One (The Matrix)
What do you do when you make the mistake of casting one of the worst actors in history as the protagonist of a sweeping sci-fi story about an alternate reality in which the “real world” is an illusion? You cast one of the best actors in the world to show up and beat the shit out of him a couple hundred times. Masterfully played by the eloquently Australian Hugo Weaving, Agent Smith is a well-dressed kung-fu computer program that goes rogue against its own master program and proceeds to use infinite copies of himself to beat the ever living shit out of whatever his creepy laugh doesn’t scare away. The Matrix must be a dream world, because in the real world, Huge Weaving would stomp Keanu Reeves’ gay bumbling ass into obscurity any day.
T-1000 – The Liquid Douchebag (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Imagine if you broke an old mercury thermometer that turned itself into an axe and cut your dick off. That blob of mercury then assumes your identity and kills everyone you’ve ever met and makes people spill their drinks before stabbing them in the neck. The T-1000 is a living piece of liquid metal that could take the shape of anyone or thing in the world and is impervious to bullets, blunt objects, and humor. Its sole purpose for existing is to kill you, and not even a robot designed to efficiently mass murder human beings can stop it. The T-1000 is the definition of “Don’t fuck with” and made it on the list over the T-800 because of how hard he whooped the 800’s shit in Terminator 2 and beat out the T-X for not being a lame rehash.
Tall Man – Intergalactic Undertaker (Phantasm)
If Abe Lincoln was a trans-dimensional midget-enslaving alien who killed his opponents by drilling into their faces with his balls, he would be the Tall Man of Phantasm infamy. Also, he can’t die and hates ice cream men.
If this guy is former Delta Force, why is he such a cockstain? I didn’t know the U.S. Army hired fat guys in chain mail t-shirts to do their wetwork. Bennett is a rogue agent, discharged from the Army for his “brutality” before he is hired by a South American dictator to assassinate a President, but all he ends up doing is pissing off Arnold Schwarzenegger and get stabbed by a length of broken pipe. To his credit, his fucking with John Matrix leads to some of the most memorable one-liners in action movie history, but to his chagrin, they are all delivered by his way-cooler accomplices. Ironically enough, Vernon Wells also played the right hand man of Lord Humugus in The Road Warrior, proving that cinematic greatness can be so close, yet so far away.
Luther (The Warriors)
Luther is the leader of one of the various street gangs that attempts to band together to take over New York City under the leadership of criminal Kingpin Cyrus. And they would have succeeded too, if shit-for-brains Luther hadn’t shot and killed Cyrus for literally no reason. Whatsoever…
…At all. In any way. Luther could have OWNED New York. But instead he just kinda randomly decided to ruin everything for everyone, including himself, because “I just like doing things like that,” which is the motive equivalent of James Holmes shooting up the Dark Knight Rises premier because the concession stand was out of fucks to give.
Matt Cordell (Maniac Cop)
I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard of Matt Cordell, and you haven’t heard of him for a reason. Maybe you haven’t heard of him because his back story changes in every movie of the Manic Cop trilogy. In one he was a trigger-happy cop who got stabbed in prison. In another he was a trigger-happy cop who was set on fire in prison. In one of them he was both. In all three of them, no one cared. Maybe you haven’t heard of Matt Cordell because you were too busy not watching a trilogy of bad movies about a zombie cop. Or maybe you passed up renting it at the video store because the tagline “You have the right to remain silent. Forever!” made you think the movie was about Bruce Campbell, Shaft, and the real-life Crimson Chin murdering children who stutter for beer money, which making this movie was the moral equivalent of. I’ll send a free bumper sticker to anyone who sends me a picture of themselves holding up a copy of any of the Manic Cop movies. When I get around to making bumper stickers that is.
Joe Petto (Silent Night Deadly Night 5)
Imagine Mickey Rooney, THE Mickey Rooney, as a toymaker who builds toys that kill children as a way to exact his revenge on society. Only he turns out to be his own son, who is a robot, who killed his father and assumed his identity. His murderous rampage includes a toy car with saw blades attached to it, plastic army men that fire real bullets, and a worm that rips your eyeballs out. Essentially, this movie is Pinocchio on PCP. I’d expect no less than (more?) this from the series that spawned the infamous GARBAGE DAY! meme.
Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street)
Barely edging out techno-Jason from Jason X for the spot of slasher goon on this list is a child rapist in a striped sweater. Freddy Kreuger has been making mass murder really lame for almost thirty years. After a lynch mob of the parents of his victims rightfully set his gay ass on fire, he sold his soul to some demons or something to gain the power to wear old hats and murder children inside of their own minds, or whatever, fuck you. He invades your dreams and with a campiness that would make Sam Raimi blush, devises overcooked and downright dumb ways to kill you. For some reason, whatever he does to you in your head gets done to you in real life, which if that were true I’d be able to claim to have had an orgy with the female cast of Mad Men. While the concept of a poorly-dressed Michael Jackson with razor fingers would indeed be scary in real life, in film it translates to the big-screen equivalent of One Guy One Jar: nothing to see but a little blood and a whole lotta bullshit.
Any possessed child
Kids are the dumbest, most hapless, and least scary kind of human being there is. I’ve taken shits scarier than the idea of a weak little loser who can channel the power of Satan. As a matter of fact, nothing scares me less than a scowling nine year old boy standing at the end of my hallway. Every time this happens in a movie, the parents/foster parents/legal guardians of said possessed child all freak out and rush either to or away from the child, but if this were to happen to me I would do what any real father does when he catches his kid out of bed after curfew: yell at him and give him a black eye. Who gives a fuck if the child can direct the powers of Baphomet? He’s still eleven years old and is still susceptible to being disciplined with a yard stick, just like every other punk-shit kid with an angst problem. What kind of bad parents let their children play in the vicinity of demonic artifacts anyway? Once a devil can possess a bodybuilder or kung-fu master, maybe you’ll be in for a half-decent ghost movie. Until then, scowling little kids in scary movies make me want to beat other people’s progenies out of principal. And just for clarity, that stupid, mindless, fucking faggot Chuckie doll killer falls under this category, though he is tied for the worst amongst them with that ugly little turd from The Omen, who has a scowl as intimidating as a pair of clean socks.
The Tooth Fairy – (Darkness Falls)
I bet you didn’t expect to find this little gem on my list. That’s because Darkness Falls was such a terrible movie that most people pretend it doesn’t exist. This movie exhibits a level of creativity that even the people who name As Seen On TV products mock. The story begins 200 or whatever years ago, where a local woman named Matilda in the town of Darkness Falls begins rewarding children whose teeth have fallen out with money. Dumb things lead to other dumb things and she gets lynched and burned and hung and whatever, no one cares really. Skip forward to the present day, Matilda, who is now the vengeful, homicidal spirit known as the “Tooth Fairy” stalks the shadows of small towns and kill children and… You know what, no. I’m not going to bother going on, if you don’t realize how terrible an idea this is by now, you are probably M. Night Shyamalan.
Sauron – The Angry Lighthouse (Lord of the Rings)
One Ring my ass, all the denizens of Middle Earth needed to vanquish this evil is a bottle of Visine. Once upon a time, Sauron was this bad ass warrior-god who could do pretty much whatever he wanted. Apparently he wanted to be evil, so he took over the world, and was eventually vanquished by an alliance of pissed off fantasy creatures, losing the largest symbol of his power in the struggle, the One Ring. Ever since that time, Sauron was doomed to inhabit the world as what was essentially a stuffed olive on a gigantic foreboding toothpick. Whatever badass he used to be was replaced by the wondrous faggotry of a disembodied eyeball on top of a watch tower. It must have really pissed the most evil being in history off to be able to watch a midget walk across the entire world right up to a volcano about a mile away from your stupid tower and destroy the source of your power while unable to do anything about it because you didn’t have a fucking body. You could have at least posted a sentry to stand guard at the only entrance to the only place in existence the ring could be destroyed.
Madison Lee (Charlies Angels: Full Throttle)
To be fair, Full Throttle was already about as engaging as a tumblr account dedicated to anal prolapse. But even if it didn’t suck, the piss-poor face-palming performance of Demi Moore’s villainess would have brought it down farther than broke Lindsey Lohan on a coke dealer’s taint. Madison Lee is every dumb bad girl cliche rolled into a package so lame and overused that she belongs on the front cover of a Hailstorm album. A hypersexed, leopard-print wearing secret agent with gold Desert Eagles and a forced “mischief girl” cackle, Madison goes out of her way to take every single independent woman cliche and do all of them as often as possible. She somehow holds a Nobel Prize, she playfully runs her fingers along the barrel of her gun, walks around her house in high heels for no reason, does the mouth-open sexy-sigh at everything, cries while watching “Sex and the City,” and spouts lines like “I was never good. I was GREAT!” Ultimately, despite her assumed brilliance and years upon years of field experience, Madison never seemed to learn that compressed natural gas is flammable, and blows herself up trying to fire her gun in a cloud of it. In trying to make The Matrix for girls, I daresay the director succeeded, but any action movie made to appeal toward a female demographic is bound to be awe-inspiring in its failure, so it was a no-win battle from the start. An action movie for women is more of an oxymoron than the term “Croatian playground.”