Q&A Friday #54: Name Your Favorite Bad Guys From The Movies

Question: “Best movie bad guys ever. Go.” — maledicta

Answer: Here are my faves:

Thulsa Doom from Conan: The evil, sword swinging sorcerer/cult leader who was Conan’s nemesis in the movie.

William ‘D-Fens’ Foster from Falling Down: The reason this villain was so brilliant was because you could sympathize with him, even as he went way over the edge.

Magneto from the X-Men movies: Although he was completely ruthless when it came to human beings, his attitude made perfect sense given how mutants were treated in the movies and his experience as a child whose parents were ripped away from him in the Holocaust. Sure, he was evil, but you understood why he was evil given the situation he was in.

The Operative from Serenity: He was a fascinating bad guy because he Randian, ruthless, and even admitted that he was a monster. Here was a man who believed in doing evil — and he was evil — for what he thought was the benefit of others. He was a great villain.

Gabriel Shear from Swordfish: Here was another man evil because he wanted to wage a private war against America’s enemies. While you couldn’t root for the guy to kill people during a bank heist, at the end of movie, when he’s heading out to assassinate terrorists, you almost can’t help but think, “I’m glad the guy is out there killing those people.”

The Terminator (original): The unstoppable, utterly ruthless, killing machine. You couldn’t reason with him, you couldn’t stop him, and he never quit coming.

Jack Torrance from the Shining: Nicholson made this characters descent into madness and attempt to murder his family into something amazing. If a lesser actor had played Torrance, he probably wouldn’t have been that exceptional.

Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies: Obviously, Vader is a classic villain. Unfortunately, the new Star Wars movies, which were fairly lame, made him seem less imposing, especially after he found out the ridiculous circumstances under which he became Vader.

Herbert West from the Re-Animator movies: An incredibly brilliant, egomaniacal, perverse charismatic, ethically challenged man of science who was determined to defeat death itself. The ultimate mad scientist.

Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House: The archetype for overbearing, uptight, jerks at colleges who are trying to ruin the fun of the good guys.

Update #1: Here are a couple I missed in the original list that I think deserve to be on there; Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs & Bill “the Butcher” from Gangs of New York.

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