“They all float down here!”
With exception of John Wayne Gacy, Pennywise wins the award for scaring children and adults alike out of their wits. I’m willing to wager a good portion of today’s clown fear is directly related to the creepy evil that was Tim Curry. Absolutely malevolent and terrifying as the sadistic clown that lured children to their deaths. Manical and devilish Pennywise is a haunt that young or old you just don’t forget.
19. Mickey and Mallory
Natural Born Killers
Mickey: I love you, Mal.Mallory: I know you do baby, and I’ve loved you since the day we met.
18. John Doe
“Innocent? Is that supposed to be funny? An obese man… a disgusting man who could barely stand up; a man who if you saw him on the street, you’d point him out to your friends so that they could join you in mocking him; a man, who if you saw him while you were eating, you wouldn’t be able to finish your meal. After him, I picked the lawyer and I know you both must have been secretly thanking me for that one. This is a man who dedicated his life to making money by lying with every breath that he could muster to keeping murderers and rapists on the streets!”
Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan
He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!
Ricardo Montalban gave the performance of his career as Khan Noonien Singh, James T. Kirks greatest adversary ever. He was maniacal, methodical, and somehow all the same charming. He becomes the bane of the Enterprises existence as he hunts Kirk down in a twisted desire for vengeance. He grabs the screen each time he’s on it and makes The Wrath Of Khan by far the best Star Trek film of all time.
16. Darth Maul
Star Wars-Episode One: The Phantom Menace
One of the most formidable foes ever created was spawned in Darth Maul. By execution and the pure mystery of his elusive character was one of the most dangerous and exciting villains ever onscreen. Ray Park’s amazing athletic and martial arts talents, along with frightening makeup made Darth Maul possibly the most exciting aspect of The Phantom Menace and certainly one of the most memorable villains of all time.
15. Lord Of Darkness
Tim Curry makes the list again as yet another terrifying creature. Legend is a film I find vastly underrated and part of it’s appeal is the villain the “Lord Of Darkness” played by Curry. His voice was loathsome and would send chills up your spine. If his persona and defeating voice isn’t enough to strike fear into the hearts of his audience his physical being is a nightmare to look at. Some horrid twist of bull and man with a plan to rule the world in his utter darkness while forcing a beautiful innocent to be his slave: *shudders*. He is frightening.
14. The Wicked Witch
The Wizard Of Oz
“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too! HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE”
Judy Garland was a huge part of what made The Wizard Of Oz so important, but The Wicked Witch Of The West was the other half. Margaret Hamilton was sinister, calculating, and divinely wicked. She made the Wicked Witch absolutely terrifying, but also intriguing and enigmatic. The book “Wicked” and “Son Of A Witch” probably wouldn’t have been written without her powerful performance. She was the perfect villain.
13. The Joker (Ledger and Nicholson)
“Batman… Batman… Can somebody tell me what kind of a world we live in, where a man dressed up as a *bat* gets all of my press? This town needs an enema!”
When you look back and actually read the lines the Joker has in this film, it’s not sensational writing, but Nicholson’s performance made each and every delivery of those lines into something more. The Joker was larger than life, but Nicholson’s interpretation walked that fine line between being a cartoon and something completely different. He was sadistic and homicidal, but also charismatic and hilarious. Nicholson’s Joker is one of the best character interpretations ever onscreen. However, I wouldn’t dare compare his Joker to Ledger’s. Each carry a genius that is very separate from one another, and the likeness only remains in the name. Nicholson managed to make the movie called Batman more about the Joker. That’s talent.
“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”
Heath Ledger’s Joker is the best male performance of 2008 hands down. His maniacal depiction of The Joker as a twisted sociopath with no real intention or motivation behind his actions makes him a vicious foe who craves nothing more than chaos, danger, and destruction. The most interesting aspect of the performance was the layers behind the Joker’s seemingly mindless behavior. Even as gruesome as the Joker was, there was something sadistically charming about him. It was Ledger’s truly owning and living the character that made the Joker something so much more profound than a silly comic villain. I found myself breathless during each scene he was in, and unable to move. I can’t speak more highly of what he achieved, and to rise above the expectations I had, I literally find myself dumbfounded. His demonic portrayal of the classic villain is staggering.
12. The T-800/Model 101
“I’ll be back.”
Schwarzenegger is a cyborg and initially programed as an assassin and military infiltration unit. In the 1984 first film the T-800 has been sent back in time by Skynet to kill Sarah Connor. In this film Arnie is the coldest of the cold, the meanest of the mean. His dead pan deliveries with one liners that are still adored today made this character scary with a cruel sense of comedy. In the context of the stories, this plot device provides a certain continuity for the human characters, by exploiting their emotional familiarity with a particular “human” visage. What is more scary than an indestructible machine that looks like a human and ABSOLUTELY will not stop until you are DEAD!
11. The Predator
How can you not fear this triumphant villain who inspired not only sequels but a new collaboration of films (though the quality unfortunately dissipates with each sequel) involving the Aliens series. The original Predator is clearly one of the most frightening villains of all time. We learn immediately what tough guys are sent to the jungle. They are the baddest of the bad but also ripe for the picking of this evil foe who sees them as nothing more than a jungle safari. The tension is excruciating and the terrifying alien revealed at the end only adds to the nightmare of this film. The Predator is a true villain, and the second film only offers more greatness from this. Get ready for Predators this summer.