I now present to you a list of the top bad guys ever to grace the screen. Now, this list does not include horror movie icons, and please do keep a relative mind, because when considering the evil deeds of say, mass puppy-murdering Cruella DeVil, to corporate ice queen Miranda Priestly, they’re really not in the same playing field (except for in the greatest hair-dos category).
And so, without further ado, and in no particular order other than greatness of character and portrayal, I give to you the breakdown of evil incarnate.
1. Hilly Holbrook from The Help. This woman is like your bitchy sorority fake friend, only with more power. She’s all about the gossip, all about appearances, and she is all about ruining your faith in mankind. Emma Stone’s protagonist character ends up taking her down a few notches, but not without the help of some trusty sidekicks: Octavia Spencer’s outspoken Minnie (here’s a fun tidbit about Spencer, she played the Three Minute Death Cage sign-in woman in the Tobey McGuire Spiderman, whose line “The so-and-so corporation is not responsible for any injuries you may, and probably will sustain while fighting?” is one of the best moments in the movie), and Jessica Chastain’s bubbly, out of place, blonde bombshell housewife is just a delight.
2. The Duke from Moulin Rouge. The Duke is what happens when obsession becomes your reality, and with him, it is a scary thing. He does not understand the whole, true love has to be true for both parties involved, and because of him, the entire male population of Paris loses its highest form of entertainment, a wonderfully historic landmark is closed and abandoned, hundreds of people are out of jobs, and the girl dies. Nice going, Duke.
3. Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. She’s not happy unless everyone around her is wringing their hair out in anxious stressful unhappiness, which is the worst kind. Considering that she’s the Editor in Chief of the biggest fashion magazine in the world, that’s a lot of people she’s making unhappy. The fact that she doesn’t care, but then makes you ok with it by not wearing makeup in one scene, and proving that you're an idiot if you think fashion doesn't apply to you, is a true work of evil genius. That's all.
4. Hopper from A Bug’s Life. Now here is a bug who just doesn’t have an ounce of happiness, a heart, or a sound means of survival. I mean, basing your food supply on some cute little ants with big eyes? That’s just poor planning. But there’s a reason the ants provide the food every year; Hopper, through the voice of Kevin Spacey, is purely terrifying. By his scheming, he turns the entire ant colony against one of their own (who in turn ends up saving them in the end), is nothing but ungrateful to his own brother, and makes really scary bug-bone-squeaking noises when he moves.
5. Angel Eyes from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Just watch this scene, where he shoots a guy after eating his food for breakfast.
And this one, where he tortures the lovable Tuco.
Still not convinced? Here’s the cherry on top, the best scene of the entire movie, the final epic shootout.
6. Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York. This guy is the original Crime Lord, just look at that entourage that follows him everywhere. He’s got an entire city in his back pocket. Politicians, policemen, petty thief’s, and store owners would all do anything for him. Even the son of his sworn enemy that he laid rest many years before in front of said son’s eyes, who is bent on killing him for revenge, steps in front of a bullet for him. Now there’s a complicated mess. He runs the city, and makes everyone’s decisions for them, just ask. This guy’s not just doing it for the fame or the money though, he’s doing it because in his mind, he knows its right, it’s the only way, and having someone with his morals and beliefs, with every single person who should be above such things playing a pawn to his king, that’s scary. If that’s not convincing you, his slicked-back, oily hair is enough to give you nightmares. He does wear some really great clothes though.
7. John Doe from Seven. Now I’ve never even seen this movie, but this guy is really a genius. A murdering genius. A murdering psychopath genius using the Bible and The Seven Deadly Sins as a motive, who’s also played by Kevin Spacey (his voice, mannerisms, and eloquent speech patterns really lend themselves to bad guys. See also, Verbal Kint from Usual Suspects). He orchestrates a year-long build-up (greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, and pride) to a masterful climax (envy and wrath), knowing it was going to happen before it does, fulfilling all seven sins. Now I don’t know about you, but a murderer who plans on someone being murdered without even having to do the murdering is pretty evil in my book.
8. Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmations. She wants to kill and skin hundreds of innocent little puppies all in the name of vanity. A person with real moral motives, even if you don’t agree with them is dangerous, but a person whose motive is so flippant is even more scary, because they are spontaneous. Imagine what she would be like if she were in Bill the Butcher’s, or John Doe’s shoes. Her last name is devil for crying out loud! She also wins the best theme song award.
9. The Joker from The Dark Knight. How terrifying is someone who’s just messing with the city just to see what happens? Really freaking terrifying. This someone also happens to wear clown paint on his face (and makes one of the greatest entrances ever by pulling of a clown mask only to reveal another), smash people’s faces onto pencils to make a point, hides explosives inside somebody’s stomach, burns mountains of money because money doesn’t matter, all for the sake of pure chaos. If there’s anything more unsettling than an individual, it’s the chaos and aftermath that he creates. It’s his ability to make others like him. To spread like a disease.
10. Darth Vader from Star Wars. The ultimate pawn with a tragic beginning (that was tragically presented as Star Wars Episodes I-III). Darth Vader is more machine than man, lives in a space station that's no moon and has a laser that can destroy an entire planet, and doesn’t even have to be near you to choke the last few breaths of life from your lungs. He’s the best lightsaber-weilder since, well, anyone (except for maybe Yoda and his uncharacteristic agility in Episode II, one of the few redeeming qualities of that series), he is content with killing his own son because, well, orders, and his voice is intertwined with that ominous heavy breathing that very well might be the last thing you hear.
(photos collected from molempire, fanpop, jimmychoosonthetreadmill, happilyeverafterwiththem, googleimages, miramax, filmaffinity, cablecarcouture, digitaltrends, and acomicvine)