Written by Vanitas
Since Tom and Jerry there have been people like me that wished the bad guy would win at least once. I am sure you have rooted for a bad guy more than once, haven’t you? Does that make us twisted? Nah, it’s normal to hope that a well-constructed character wins even if that means the world’s destruction! SO, here’s a list of bad guys! Some of them kill, some of them manipulate, some of them just lie but every single one of the people on my list is an evil motherfucker.
HEAVY spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen these movies just skip this list.
Number 10: Christof (The Truman Show)
You all know that the great corporations in the film industry or in the television industry (or in any industry for that matter) are pretty capitalistic which sometimes leads to immoral choices, making them appear evil. But how far would they go for the perfect television show? Christof, the director of Truman’s prison definitely has no bounds. He manipulates Truman’s life to make a profit out of it, raising a baby inside a fake world while filming him 24/7. His neighbours are actors, his friends are actors, his love interest is an actor and his whole city is a big stage. It sure as hell worked and helped Christof make tons of money. When you think of evil guys, you probably won’t think of Christof, even I, the guy making the list, had to google his name. But you can’t deny that this man who cared only for profit and would even kill his own protagonist in order to keep him secluded, trapped in the “snow ball” he created for him. There’s definitely evil there.
Motive: Money and fame.
Number 9: John Kramer (Saw series)
It seems that this list has more than one manipulative psychos in it and that’s where John comes in. Mostly known as Jigsaw, John is a man with a really twisted sense of justice. Some would deny that he is evil altogether and I really was conflicted about his place in this list.
But anyway here we are now. John’s backstory is kinda tragic. Wife lost a baby, he got cancer and he got sad. That’s when he decided that life is worth living and what would any normal human being do in his shoes? Of course kidnap people who seem to waste their lives in order to put them through tests/tortures causing either horrible deaths or painful victories and all that to make people appreciate life. But that’s not where it all stops. John Kramer is a genius, a manipulative man that plotted everything days, even years before they happened. He kept killing people even from the grave for 4 films. You gotta hand it to the guy, he is a man with a plan. But there’s definitely evil when there’s a heavy body count.
Motive: Make people appreciate life.
Number 8: Colonel Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds)
Ruthless, sadistic and definitely evil; the “amazing” traits of a nazi shine in Tarantino’s Film Inglourious Basterds through Colonel Landa. He is nicknamed “The Jew Hunter” for his ability to sniff out Jews hiding throughout occupied France. But what hides behind Hans’ motives is his self-interest and nothing more. He is highly intelligent and charismatic and pretty much sides with Hitler only because he is winning. You learn to love to hate him during the film and you damn well should. The cold blooded fucker has a blast doing what he does best and that’s spotting and murdering Jews. By the end of the film he simply betrays Hitler and tries to get a deal out of his former enemies to live in peace. Thank the gods of Justice, Lt. Aldo Raine won’t let that happen so easily.
Number 7: Roger Kint (Usual Suspects)
Roger Kint is a disabled con artist who has been granted immunity from prosecution in order to assist the police department in finding out everything about the murders on a freighter ship and about Keyser Soze, a legendary criminal that could very well be a myth. The story of Keyser starts in Turkey where Soze lived with his family. Hungarians enter his house, rape his wife and hold the children hostages. When Soze arrives, one of the children is executed. Keyser in a burst of fury murders his family and all the Hungarians but one, who will go back to his bosses and tell what happened, something that Keyser wants. The story continues with a description of the plan to get to the freighter ship and pretty much what happened all together. After his story, Kint is released and leaves the police department moments before a fax with Soze’s face arrives resembling Roger Kint. The officer realizes that Kint’s story was fabricated and has now lost one of the greatest criminals alive from his hands. He is evil and he is a goddamn genius. Keyser Soze, killed whoever opposed him and the only man who could identify him.
Motive: Revenge and self-preservation.
Number 6: Amon Goeth (Schindler’s List)
This list is NOT done with Nazis and why should it? After all they were real-life bad guys. Their fucking symbol was a skull. They knew that they were the bad guys, like some kind of a no-depth movie where the bad guys are just evil to be evil and try to take over the world. Even though some could compare Hans Landa to Amon Goeth I would have you reconsider. Apart from the charismatic/psychotic/sadistic traits they share, Amon is loyal to the grave. He is never tempted to join the good side of history but that does not mean that he is a one-dimensional character. Even though no one can doubt his allegiance to Hitler, he lusts after Helen, his Jewish maid and when she doesn’t react to his affection she is blamed and beaten. Amon still has a twisted kind of love for her. When Schindler offers to buy Helen, he refuses categorically and “assures” Schindler that he will protect her even by putting a bullet through her skull instead of handing her over to Auschwitz. Even in the end, moments before Amon Goeth dies, he fixes his hair and salutes Hitler. If this is not an evil bastard then…who is?
Number 5: Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)
Bane is the epitome of a mastermind. During the film he manages to snatch a doctor from the hands of CIA, infiltrate Bruce Wayne’s personal life, bankrupt Wayne Enterprises, a multi-billion dollar company, defeat the Batman, completely take over Gotham City and arm a nuclear time bomb to eradicate Gotham from the map. He is a bad guy and there’s no other way around it. He promises everyone of safety if they comply with his absurd demands but there’s no safety since the bomb will go off and kill everyone. He manipulates EVERYONE, including Batman, a world-known genius. He surpassed the protector of Gotham both in intelligence and in strength. One of the most dangerous situations the Dark Knight has ever been into, Bane is relentless and smart, a true rival of Batman.
Number 4: Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)
Anton Chigurh is a hired hitman and the story begins with him, hired to retrieve a satchel with $2.4 million from the scene of a drug deal gone wrong. Unfortunately for pretty much everyone involved in the film, a police officer arrives first and snatches the money. Chigurh goes on a killing spree following the officer’s trail to retrieve the money. No remorse, no second-thought, traits of a true cold-blooded killer, he ravages the land to get to Moss, the police officer. A coin flips decides the fate of his victims and it’s usually a dark one. That’s how badass Anton Chigurh is. But he does nothing without deliberation. He doesn’t just kill random people. He is a hand of fate, an instrument that alters the future of those around him, passing judgment and filling towns with blood. Definitely a character that deserves a spot here.
Number 3: Woo-Jin Lee (Oldboy)
He locked a man up in a room for 15 years, seemingly let him go free and then manipulated him to his liking until the very end of the movie and all that because he got bullied in high school. Woo-Jin Lee plays no games. It all started when he and the protagonist were young and the protagonist spread rumours about Woo-Jin and his sister having a relationship. It seems that this made Woo-Jin go down the path of revenge and dedicate his life in order to make Dae-su suffer. But let’s explain his plan from the start. Dae-su is kidnapped one day to spend the rest of a 15 year period inside what looks like a hotel room. He is kept alive in there slowly driving him mad. When he is freed by his captors he tries to take revenge on the one who seemingly, for no reason, kidnapped him. In the process he falls in love with a girl who helps him find the one at fault. He finds him, confronts him and then finds out why all this happened. But Woo-Jin’s revenge is not yet over. The girl Dae-su fell in love is his own daughter and Woo-Jin brainwashed Dae-su all these years in order to fall in love with her, have sex with her eventually making him feel the embarrassment Woo-Jin felt in high school. Damn these Asian people; don’t mess with them and their honour. If that isn’t evil, I really do not know what is.
Number 2: John Doe (Se7en)
You have seen motives about money, business, revenge, loyalty and now it’s time to talk about more sensitive things. Fame. A serial killer goes around killing people in a bible-fashion, resembling the 7 deadly sins. From an obese man who’s stomach is ruptured from overfeeding to a defense attorney who died from bloodletting and the removal of flesh to a man tied on a bed for over a year, the sins of gluttony, greed, sloth, lust and pride are completed. Doe is then captured and everyone thinks they have stopped him but he reveals that there are two more victims and he will take the detectives to them. It is later revealed that one of the victims is the pregnant wife of one of the detectives who was killed by envy and the puzzle ends with the final victim giving in to wrath. John Doe’s life work is now complete as he rests dead, a masterplan with an amazing dedication carried out by a single man, 7 murders for the 7 deadly sins, John Doe is a criminal that will definitely survive in time as one of the worst of them all and even though the motives seem religious, I don’t take John Doe as a religious man so I will go with whatever moves most serial killers.
Number 1: Palpatine (Star Wars saga)
I am a fan of Star Wars but not a die-hard fan. Some would argue that Emperor Palpatine at the top of this list is incorrect but I will now explain to you why Emperor Palpatine is, in my opinion THE most evil bad guy that ever existed. Palpatine started from nowhere and built his way up to become Emperor of the Universe. He corrupted the young Anakin Skywalker’s mind, a Jedi that was dedicated to the Jedi Knight’s cause by manipulating him and his wife’s death making him one of the most feared men in the universe, Darth Vader. He killed almost every Jedi in that existed just to ensure his position, including underage, defenseless children but he missed the son of Anakin, Luke Skywalker and that was Palpatine’s ultimate demise. A bad guy that managed to enslave the known universe and manipulate everyone around him, none of the above in this list managed to do what Darth Sidious did so effectively or in that scale.
Motive: World Domination.
Special Spot: The Joker (The Dark Knight)
The Joker was not included in my list for several reasons. Even though I respect him as a psychopath and a villain, I feel that a Joker is, as a clown should be, improvising. He has a plan, sure, but there’s no end goal. He just plays the bad guy until Batman catches him and as you all know Batman does not kill (we do not talk about BvS and we are talking about the original Batman Universe) so this is all a vicious circle. Plus I wanted to include one character per franchise and I decided to include Bane, just for the impact he had which was much greater than The Joker’s.
Did I miss anything? Did your favourite bad guy not make it in the list? Well life’s cruel, get over it.