With Man of Steel out this weekend and the talented Michael Shannon cast as the supervillain General Zod, we’re highlighting some of our best movie villains and want you to rate them too. Labeling someone as a villain might be a perspective thing but generally speaking, the villain is the ‘bad guy’ in the film that is typically at odds with the hero. See, according to Shannon’s perspective, General Zod might not fit that description.
He’s not a villain any more than any other General fighting to protect his people. He doesn’t like to just hurt people and steal diamonds; he’s focused on being successful at his job. I think the way Terrence Stamp [General Zod 1978] approached it – and this isn’t any kind if criticism of his performance – there was something kind of detached about it. Pure hatred, rage, whatever… I think this [characterisation] is more ambiguous.
Audiences love to hate the villain. They are usually much more interesting and 3-dimensional than the good ‘guy’ and they have magnetic, compelling psychological profiles to latch on to. Here are a few of our favorites and remember to take our poll and tell us who you love to hate.
No Country for Old Men’s Anton Chigurh has made many lists of ‘best villains of all time’. Is it his creepy hairdo? His emotionally detached personality? Oh wait, it’s because he’s a calculated hunter that uses a captive bolt pistol to kill his victims without remorse.
Daniel Plainview is not only the protagonist of There Will Be Blood, he’s also the villain. He’s a greedy, cold-hearted man that will do anything for money and oil he will humiliate, ruin, maim, or murder anyone to gather as much of it to himself as he can. Not convinced? Read this detailed breakdown from Shadowlocked that lays out a convincing argument that Plainview is the most evil of all.
DDL’s Bill the Butcher in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York is based on the real ‘butcher’, William Poole. In the film, he’s depicted as an extremely violent and dangerous native member and leader of the Bowery Boys gang. He had no interest in pistols, only hand-to-hand combat, using his butcher tools as knives and axes.
I mean, this is a villain. There’s good, there’s bad and then there’s immensely evil. Michael Myers has been a fear factor symbol since first appearing in 1978. After decades of Halloween storytelling – there’s still no getting rid of MM. Here’s a clip from Halloween: H20
This is a man who aimed to kill a pregnant woman on her wedding day. Bill, The Bride’s former master and the man who ordered her execution says it himself, “I’m a killer, a murdering bastard…” His menacing voice and instructions in Vol: One evolved into a calm but undeniably creepy presence in Vol: Two.
Ghostface is out to kill Sydney and anyone else that get’s in his way. What makes this villain so scary is that we know it’s the movie’s antagonists dressed up in a costume that anyone in the Scream movie world can buy. He slaughters his victims in usual gruesome horror genre style and moves unusually fast for a killer. See Michael Myers again then compare with the clip from the original Scream below.
At first look mesmerizing…but not so fast. From Dusk Till Dawn’s Santanico Pandemonium and her vampire gang are deadly and out for blood.
Li’l Zé runs a large Brazilian slum and is wildly unpredictable. He is the cause of horrible violence and murder in a place crying out for peace.