A villain is defined as a character whose wickedness of mind, selfishness of character and will to power are sometimes masked by beauty and nobility, while others unmask rage. They can be either horribly evil or grandiosely funny, but are ultimately tragic. But we have to keep in mind that without antagonists, there would be no protagonists. Without sinister evil doers, there would be no heroes. Without dark there is no light. History whether in reality or on the big screen, shows us that a decent, believable bad guy makes our tough-guy lead much more desirable. Who would Beowulf have proven himself with if there had not been a Grendel?
Here are the top 5 diabolical characters:
5. Max Cady
Originally portrayed by Robert Mitchum, Max Cady in Cape Fear was a brutal, relentless beast who would stop at nothing to torture a desperate family. Later, Robert DeNiro took the reigns, but something about the first performance stuck with everyone and made his name a classic in the annals of movie bad guys.
Evil without ever coming into personal contact with his victims is pure genius. Jigsaw lets his diabolical torture devises do all the work for him as he watches hapless victims struggle for their very lives attempting to undo, by equally torturous methods, the predicament they’ve found themselves in. Surviving three movies, and appearing in flashbacks in a fourth with a fifth doubtless in the works, Jigsaw has become a master of his craft.
3. The Joker
Tormenting Batman for a half century, The Joker has been one of the most prominent figures in bad-guy lore. Having killed Bruce Wayne’s parents, then systematically murdering everyone Wayne tried to get close to, and eventually Robin himself, the Joker is a sadistic lunatic bent on nothing more than vindictive malice. Sure, Batman jails him as often as not, but the Joker always finds a way to get back to work. Learn about his latest appearance in The Dark Knight (2008).
2. The Emperor/Darth Vader
Though bent on locating his son and stopping at nothing to do so, Darth Vader was not, unfortunately, the brains behind his evil. No that job falls straight on the shoulders of Emperor Palpatine: his very creator. Yes, Vader helped extinguish thousands of Jedi throughout several years, and Vader used his Force powers to firmly place him atop the upper echelon of Dark Lords, it was always The Emperor pulling the strings. Until, that is, monster turned on master.
1. Hannibal Lecter
Dr. Hannibal Lecter EATS people. And in his movies, he ate a lot of people. I remember specific scenes of this movie, especially the one wherein he cut a person’s head open and ate his brain! The very fact that this person eats human beings is enough for him to be at the top of this list.
Article by: Ceirwen Bennett
Ceinwen Bennett was born in Los Angeles on September 21, 1980. She is a college dropout who decided to pursue her career in acting and theater. She initially entered an economics course in college but realized that her heart was not into it and immediately started auditioning for parts in plays, musicals, commercials and movies. She currently assists in children’s dramatic workshops.