The Best of the Badasses.

I like to watch just about anything, with the exception of musicals. Saturdays and Sundays are old movie days, and I generally watch something from 20 years back. It’s nostalgia for me, watching old Clint Eastwood flicks, Richard Burton, Robert Shaw, Richard Harris, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds, Chuck Norris, and so on. It’s also something of a character study for me, and helps me envision what I want my villains to be. What makes them so bad, why do I dislike them, what do they do they that’s evil, etc.  So, anyway, I got to thinking about villains. Favorite villains that really summons up dread or a sense of “what is he/she gonna do…? unease when said characters appears on the screen. Today’s villains are much darker I think, compared to the bad guys of old. Perhaps it’s because of the acting styles, I don’t know. I‘m sure this has been done before. Anyway, I thought of about starting a poll, based on movies from the last 40 years or so, and thought of just about every notable villain out there. It was just me having fun and doing the thinking, so you are welcome to compose your own list. I graded each of these bad asses on screen presence, intimidation, reputation, strength, intellect, ruthlessness, weasel factor, craziness, and all round oomph.  Here were my results… from 10 (still respectable) to the number one baddie. There were some ties, noted by the /.

10.       Colonel Nathan R Jessup (A Few Good Men)

John Doe (Seven).

The Devil (The Exorcist)

Eric Qualan (Cliffhanger)

9.         Mr. White (Reservoir Dogs)

Jimmy Serrano (Midnight Run)

Dracula (Frank Langella’s Dracula from 1978 (?))

8.         Jaws (The Spy That Loved Me/Moonraker)

Brick Top (Snatch).

7.          Jaws (Jaws)

Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th)

Freddy Kruger (Original Nightmare on Elm Street)

The Mervingian (Matrix Reloaded)

6.        The Kurgan (Highlander)

T-1000 (Terminator 2)

5.         Alien (Alien/Aliens)

T-800 (Terminator)

Anton Chigurh (No Country For Old Men)

4.          Hans Gruber (Die Hard)

Agent Smith (The Matrix)

3.         The Joker (The Dark Knight)

2.         Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs)

1.         Darth Vader

(Star Wars Episode IV/ The Empire Strikes Back–or… perhaps you think you are being treated unfairly…?)

Now there were almost 50 memorable (for me, anyway) villains in total that made my list, so while you might not see a favorite up there, I probably got him/her on my list somewhere (but then again, I know I didn’t remember them all). King LongShanks from Braveheart just missed it, as did the Killer from Dirty Harry. There were some villains that I thought would place higher (Barlow from Salem’s Lot), but they were overshadowed by the nasties above.  There were even villains I thought were really cool, (Ghost Twins (Matrix Reloaded)/ Lt. Coffey (The Abyss) but came up short. Some baddies were also in books originally and transferred to the big screen, and were infinitely worse in the books. Anyway, agree or disagree, but I hope you enjoyed and reminisced.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’d have to add Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

    Darth Vader? A clear number one.

    Just got a Kindle – will load up on your books as soon as I sit down and turn it on.

    John

  2. I actually forgot about Norman Bates. There was another person who mentioned a character that wasn’t on the list. I considered 50 film characters, but would Norman crack the top ten (which is really more like 20)? He would score high in the crazy category.
    I have to get a Kindle when I get home.

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