Friday, March 20, 2009

Top Five Villains

We all love a good hero but let’s face it—no hero is a hero with a great villain. The following is my top five villains of all-time, whether that be from film, screen, or literature. Make sure you let me know who I’ve forgotten!

5 – Biff Tannen – Okay, so he’s not the scariest villain in the history of the world, mostly because we get to see him earn his comeuppance at the end of the first “Back to the Future” movie. But at the heart of the character is a serious prick. Maybe I’ve just got a thing for bullies, but the way he treated the McFly clan was downright dastardly.

Nastiest Deed – Future Biff from “Back to the Future II” was just about as bad as a dude can get. He made his money gambling (cheating with a results book from the future), then started a toxic waste company. He married Lorraine, Marty’s mom, and was extremely abusive to her and her kids, left behind when Biff shot their father, George. The guy was a butthead, through and through.

Did You Know – Daniel Stern, of “Sticky Bandits” fame, was originally offered the roel as Biff, but he turned it down.

4 – The Joker – What makes this guy so scary is the fact that he’s absolutely insane. Jack Nicholson did a damn fine Joker, and Heath Ledger’s was probably even better. But the heart of the character from the Batman comic books is even loonier. He’s killed literally thousands of people—not just adults, but children too—and always escapes jail because the juries find him insane. The guy can’t escape out of jail, but nuthouses are a little easier. Get a clue, American justice system!

Nastiest Deed – Some combination of paralyzing Batgirl or killing Robin. Or, of course, it could be one of his many sociopathic mass murders.

Did You Know – The Joker was created in the 1930s when the artist saw actor Conrad Veidt wearing makeup for the silent film, “The Man Who Laughs,” which was based on a Victor Hugo novel.

3 – Eric Cartman – Everything about this kid is wrong. He’s always trying to manipulate people to take their money or get in a good joke. His goal in life is to be rich and powerful and have everybody worship the ground he walks on. The means he takes towards these end are almost always invariably evil.

Nastiest Deed – Getting so pissed off at Scott Tenorman for stealing his $16.12 (there’s a more graphic and inappropriate story that goes along with that) that he gets his favorite band Radiohead to humiliate him publicly—all the precursor to Cartman feeding Scott Tenorman his ground up parents in a bowl of chili.

Did You Know – Carman is based largely on Archie Bunker. The co-creators of South Park had fun creating a fat, angry little version of Archie to toss into their show. He’s also partially based on the creators’ real-life friend, Matt Karpman, who I guess not only has a similar name but was a similar kid. Minus the murderous chili, obviously.

2 – Wicked Witch of the West – If she wasn’t scary enough in the movies, the depth of her evil became a lot more clear in the novel—NOT the musical—“Wicked.” Her reasons for being the sort of horrible person she is become much more clear there, because in order to be a great villain you’ve got to have a believable origin. Why is this person doing the things she does? Read the book—NOT the musical—and find out for yourself!

Nastiest Deed – She never actually kills anyone in the movie or the musical, but she sort of does in “Wicked” the novel. She goes to her old school to kill a nasty professor there named Madame Morrible, but when she arrives Morrible has literally just passed away of natural causes. Out of frustration, the Witch destroys the corpse by bashing it with a heavy trophy and takes credit for her murder.

Did You Know – In the original L. Frank Baum “Oz” books, the Witch is described as having three pigtails and wears an eyepatch. She’s also afraid of the dark.

1 – Hannibal Lecter – There is no fictional villainous character in the history of fictional villainous characters quite as awful and complex as Hannibal Lecter, made famous in “Silence of the Lambs.” Not only is among the world’s most intelligent and cultured individuals, but he’s also among the world’s most ruthless. He’s eaten people after brutally murdering them, walking away humming some classical tune. The guy is creepy, and so badass. There’s no better villain in the business.

Nastiest Deed – Trying to think of something worse than killing somebody and eating them…

Did You Know – Lecter is not based off of any real-life serial killer and actually was created NOT to fit a profile, which is part of what makes him so unique. But Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs” is based off of serial killer Ed Gein, who did some similarly nasty things human skin.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Norman Bates – “Pyscho” is a classic, and Bates will always be nuts.

Darth Vader – Never scared me personally, but there are too many “Star Wars” fans out there that have my head if I didn’t at least mention him.

Cruella DeVil – Between her and The Queen from “Snow White,” it’s hard to decide which is Disney’s worst all-time bad-gal.

Freddy Kruger – The guy can infiltrate your dreams, so you literally can’t go to sleep. Horrible for kids watching that stuff right before bed.

The Chick from “Misery” – This movie made my jaw drop the first time I saw it. That chick (Annie, is it?) is on par with the craziest of them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This article fails for lack of the following:

Noah Cross - Chinatown
Manny Fraker -Death Wish 3
Bennett - Commando
Gen. Mapache - The Wild Bunch
Ferris Bueller -Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Signed,
The Guy Who Made The Torch Worth Reading (Temporally).