“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.”
Talk about delusions of evil and ideas of grandeur. Patrick Bateman is the ultimate sociopath. His ability to blend so efficiently in society yet be so detached is the most compelling aspect of Patrick Bateman to endure. His fixation with Huey Lewis and Phil Collins showed an obsession with details and things, but an indifference to people and life. Obsessing over his business card and the best restaurant in town becomes an anxiety driven focus. His apathy towards the people that he was supposedly engaged with in friendships, relationships, or sexual partners with has moments of pure and utter amusement, but only because we are perceiving the situations from Bateman’s perspective. The impassive perspective of his vision of the world is strange and darkly enchanting. Even in his most grave moments of violence and reality being distorted, there is something gruesomely delightful about it all, but I guess that’s the point.
“I am your number one fan. There is nothing to worry about. You are going to be just fine. I am your number one fan.”
Nobody can write original horror like Stephen King or could have created the character Annie Wilkes. But no one could have played the character like Kathy Bates. Since Misery came out the phrase, “I’m your number one fan” has a new sinister connotation. Annie Wilkes, almost the reluctant villain coined the phrase and showed the world what true psychotic obsession really was. The inner battle she faced between her unhealthy adoration of Paul and the novel character he created named Misery with her own strange moral code regarding politeness and etiquette, and conflicted with the necessity of keeping Paul there to “help” him was how she kept a balance. The paradox of who she was and her ultimate reaction to Paul’s rejection makes her one of the most memorable characters ever devised and executed.
Harry Potter Series
“Don’t you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I want you to look at me when I kill you! I want to see the light leave your eyes!”
Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle, ‘You-Know-Who’, or ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’, is the incarnate of evil and sworn enemy of Harry Potter. Even with his presence only occasionally visible, Voldemort is terrifying even in his absence. The history of who he was and the crimes he committed is enough to frighten anyone, but Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort is proof that the rumors in fact understated his wicked evil. His character is so dark and so thick with malice that he cannot even fathom the idea of love, let alone understand it. His nonchalant demeanor sprinkled with a cold brutality, intolerance for good, and his obsession with Harry is enough to frighten anyone, making the melodramatic Voldemort a formidable and terrifying monster.
Nightmare On Elm Street Series
“When I was alive, I might have been a little naughty… but after they killed me, I became something much, much worse… the stuff nightmares are made of.”
Freddy Krueger is the ultimate horror classic villain. With the perfect casting of Robert Englund as Frederick Charles Krueger who was the product of the violent rape of the nun Amanda Krueger by one hundred maniacs. A tormented child, he may be biggest bad of the big bad horror villains, but his back story and motivations and reasons for going all maniacal are actually empathetic. The deep and twisted history and who he was and what he became makes him all the more fearsome, but also tangible. His twisted and masochistic back round coupled with his choice of victims and the way he haunts them, makes him top of the list of scary and definitely the best of the horror film bad guys.
Alan Rickman makes the list once again as yet another evil character, but what is so scary and delightfully wicked about Hans Gruber is his cold and calculated plan to achieve his goal. His character is dense with intellect, violence, and a cunning beyond most static bad guys in this genre, and Rickman only furthers his pizazz with one of his best roles, and by the stars, that’s really saying something when ones talking about Alan Rickman. Bruce Willis was the man in Die Hard, but Die Hard would have been half the movie without Hans Gruber.
The Silence Of The Lambs
“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
The Queen Xenomorph and Ripley have a duel of all duels at the end of “Aliens”. From one pissed off Mama to another, these chicks throw down both in vengeance and plain and simple rage. The smaller, less elaborate looking Xenomorphs, have an intellect about their violence, but this angry Queen is cunning beyond the capacity of her vicious fledglings. Terror and an sense of an adrenaline rush is the simplest way the describe the emotion you feeling when the viewer finally sees “who was laying all those eggs”. Her acid dripping mouth, coupled with a double set of chomping jaws, makes this Mammoth Mama one of cinemas most frightening and exciting villains ever and something far greater than an alien prop.
“You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?”
There have been few gangsters or merciless killers have come close to measuring up to the deviant bravado of Tommy Devito. His blatant disregard for any that pose a threat to him, the cruel demeanor in which he confronts others, and his sense of of entitlement is complemented by a harsh sense of humor, that others go along with simply out of fear. Tommy may not have the maniacal or psychological issues some of the others on the list here have, because he has a learned violence instilled to his very core, embraced and encouraged by those who surround him. In our world, Tommy is a monster, but in his world he is a hero among the nastiest and cruelest of the cruel. As bad as Tommy is, you just can’t help but love him, just a little, though you should never laugh at him.
Dying. Dying savagely. Dying in a strange realm that we humans are not native to. Dying as food, food to a creature big enough to bite you in half. The veil of carnage the Shark is able to inflict on it’s prey is detailed slowly, piece by piece. First the poor naked girl by the buoy. Then the people by the beach, and finally the crew of the Orca. By the time the shark is revealed, Jabber Jaw could have emerged from the water and we’d still wet our pants. By that time, every viewer has integrated their own personal fears so deep into the Shark that it could have been green with blue spots. The Shark, and the violent death it represents becomes a subconscious tattoo on our psyche after seeing this film that never quite goes away, ever. -Marc R. Luce
Star Wars Series
“The force is with you young Skywalker, but you’re not a Jedi yet.”
Darth Vader is probably one of the most recognizable characters in the history of film, and for good reason. He’s the ultimate villain of villains. The dark warrior who on a whim may feel the urge to force choke the life out of you. Maybe you glanced sideways at him. Maybe he doesn’t like your hair. Maybe he was just stretching and you got in the way. Either way, Vader is the biggest bad of the big bads. Perhaps Lord Vader was an instrument of the Emperor, but he was the most deadly weapon to ever wander the galaxy. Evil, maniacal, and cold to the very bone, Vader gives the impression that he is beyond humanity until The Empire Strikes Back and suddenly his obsession with finding Luke Skywalker goes beyond a mission for his master. It was the search for a lost son. There is no explanation in the original series as to why or how Luke grew up with his aunt and uncle, but the truth that the films hero, all good in the force, was the son of the most evil being in the entire galaxy is a staggering moment in the tale of Vader. The story Obi-Wan told of Vader once being Anakin Skywalker and being turned by the dark side of the force complicates his character even more and gains serious relevance at this point. The two sides of Vader slowly reveal themselves, and by the end of Return Of The Jedi when he tells Luke, “It’s too late for me” it has a resounding and powerful impact. It doesn’t get much better than Darth Vader.
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