Tossin’ It Out There: Who do YOU think is the greatest Villain of all time?

“If only you knew the power of the Dark Side…”

Ok, folks. This is a big one. Who is it? Who you got?

After last week’s “Heroes” discussion, this one couldn’t be far behind… Who do YOU think is the greatest villain of all time?

The villains are the show stealers, the true stars. We love to hate ‘em, we love to see them fooled. At times we actually root for them. However you slice it, they’re an enormous part of movies… sometimes even the best part.

So who’s YOUR favorite? WHY? AFI says Hannibal Lecter, but right near the top they also have Darth Vader, Norman Bates and the Wicked Witch of the West. All great candidates. But there’s many, many, many to choose from. How about the hulking inevitability that IS Anton Chigurh? Or the Joker? Do you prefer the manic lunacy of Nicholson, or the psychotic intensity of Ledger?

I could go on and on and on… but that’s not the point with these, these are YOUR posts. So let us hear it, who do YOU think is the greatest villain of all time?!

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134 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Who do YOU think is the greatest Villain of all time?

  1. I will give you one of the greatest villains wrapped up in one of the greatest hero’s ever seen in film. Im talking Golem, such that his treachery that as the hideous beast he was he killed his brother out of the gate got so close to his target the he even won Frodo’s trust, then after biting off his finger for ‘precious’ capered into a river of lava to destroy it.

    Give me anyone else in movies that touches that. Even John Doe (Kevin Spacey) from Seven (which is at the top of my list) only manages a distant second.

    • Noooooo… cmon. I mean, ok, Gollum’s a good pick and a fun choice.

      But you cant pass it off as a superior choice of villains, and here’s why. Any villain that other villains could literally kick out of the way like a dog (I dont kick dogs but villains would)… that villain cant be number one. LOL

  2. For me, the best villains have the best lines. It’s the reason why the Phantom Menace failed so badly IMO. Darth Maul had the potential to be great, but he never uttered a sinister line of dialog. That’s the reason I rule out Bruce (Jaws), Michael Myers, Leather Face, the Alien or Jason. The monster who is simply the unstoppable force isn’t nearly as frightening to me as the sinister mad genius. Hannibal Lector, Kaiser Soze, Darth Vader, Pinhead, John Doe (Se7en), Saruman, Freddy Kruger … these are some scary villains in my book.

    So who is the worst of the worst? The Scariest of the scary?
    Heeeeeeeeeeeere’s JOHNNY! Jack Nicholson, not as Joker but as Jack Torrence who loses his soul and becomes evil incarnate.

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

  3. I just saw The Fifth Element last night. Zorg was a fascinating villain, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to label him the best, because he didn’t actually do much.

    • I dont really recall that one too well… been a long time since I’ve seen it. All I recall is that it was Oldman. I dont really know if he was chewing scenery or what, LOL

  4. Since most of my true favs have been mentioned, and I haven’t seen the movie mentioned on FMR in a while… I’m going with

    O’Bannion. Can you believe he failed, just so he could get to be a dick, two years in a row?

    • I’m just laughing to myself thinking of O’Bannion getting beaten on by some of these other villains.. Darth Vader force choking him, Hannibal Lecter giving him the baton beating… LOL.

      “You are an embarrassment to the game of *pool *and should be glad I ev– geh. Gak. Uchck. ahhh…”

      “Your lack of faith disturbs me…”

  5. Have to go with The Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The guy scared the hell out of me when I was younger.

    • Wow. My first “confession time” of the week.

      Never seen it. Can you believe that one? I have so many movies I need to “Circle back on” that this one falls by the wayside cause its so… kid friendly I guess. I dont know, I dont have a good excuse. :(

  6. I’m going to go with an obvious pick and say Heath Ledger’s The Joker. You completely forget that Heath Ledger is under all that makeup while watching it. He really is The Joker.

    As for a great villain that hasn’t come up yet, I will happily recommend Mrs. Iselin, Angela Lansbury’s character in the original Manchurian Candidate. There have been many evil mother characters before and since in film, but I don’t think any of them have come close to this one and Lansbury is so good in the role.

    • Oooh. Well first off, Obvious doesnt equate to bad for me. I mean, Ledger was just… pffft. Ridiculous, you know?

      But you did compensate nicely (if such a thing had been needed) with a GREAT pick that no one would have come up with. For sure. She was wicked in that movie. Great pick. :D

  7. Many of my first choices are represented–Heath Ledger’s Joker–Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber–Vader and Hannibal,etc etc. Yeah…many great villains…so…I am going old school for one of my all time favs– Lionel Barrymore’s Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life. Mr. Potter is rotten to the core–there are NO redeeming qualities in this character! Mr. Barrymore is fantastic–he oozes slim!

    “Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me a warped, frustrated, old man! What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help.”

  8. I’ve been racking my brain to think of a really badass villain in a somewhat obscure movie, but couldn’t come up with a good one. I was pretty impressed with Darkness from Legend. Oh, and I absolutely loved Shiwan Khan from the Shadow with his odd mix of high refinement and barbarism combined with telepathic powers and megalomania and you’ve got a great villain going for you.

    A more popular runner up from me is John Doe from Seven, especially since he won in the end.

  9. WordPress.

    Nah, more seriously… I’m going to have to go with Darth Vader. There are a lot of good villains out there, but Vader just has so much presence in the original Star Wars trilogy. He dominates much more than most villains do.

  10. Kathy Bates from Misery. Cuz bitches be crazy! Plus, I’m sure there are people just like her….frightening thought, uh? She is not my number one favorite, but my top three was already taken.

  11. How about Ricardo Montalban as Kahn in Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn? Maybe not the best ever, but very committed to the role. “Revenge is a dish best served cold”

      • *waiting for Fogs to post the Shatner pic*

        “I don’t know you. But you? I never forget a face, Mr…. Chekov!”

        Khan was such a baddass that he had the power to recognize people that weren’t actually in the TV episode in which he previously appeared.

  12. From childhood, I have always held on to Maleficent as the greatest Disney villain. Absolutely no reason to be evil, she… just was, much like the villains in the majority of eighties cartoons I watched when I was younger (I’m looking at you, Captain Planet, with all your antagonists with zero motivation. “Let’s dowse this pristine water source with oil!” “Why?” “Shut up, that’s why!”). There’s something bizarrely chilling about unmitigated pure evil. Maleficent, as I recall, didn’t have much motivation, she just wanted to stir the pot. Plus, she turns into a freaking FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON at the end.

    On a “this couldn’t really happen (maybe!) but it still freaked me out” note: the Blair Witch. As far as writing a villain, this was genius. You never see her, you never hear her, you only see what might be evidence of her. Since the title of the movie is dedicated to her, the fear is all hearsay and speculation. The scares might all be in the minds of the idiotic protagonists, kids so involved in a town legend they believe it real, whether or not it’s actually true. A great villain in that her presence is never shown or heard, but her power permeates. Who knows, she may not exist beyond your own imagination. That’s some Freddy Kruger ish right there. (He’s an honorable mention for me, by the way.)

    • What do you think of Angelina Jolie playing her live action then Meric? I can see it… dont know how enthused I am or anything, but still.

      I’m with you on the Blair Witch. It’s a divisive flick, but I’m a big fan. That was scary shit. The sequel though? Ooooofh.

  13. Hmm..kind of hard to decide on one…I would say, Dennis Hopper’s character Howard Payne in Speed. He was really crazy (but then he did kind of have his reasons…maybe not enough to blow everyone up). Jack Nicholson’s Joker, now that guy was totally nuts. And just to throw in a Disney villain, would be Cruella De Vil.

  14. You know, I’m tempted to go with either Darth Vader, Heath Ledger’s Joker, or any of the Bond villains…

    … but in the end, I’m gonna have to settle on Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Why? That fine moustache, that gentlemanly veneer that hides the sadist underneath, the menacing presence, those sweet duds … and, most of all, that nickname. Angel Eyes. A great nickname, I think, has to feel initially non threatening (“Pfff… what’s so scary about an angel?”), but when he gets to business, you suddenly realize that angels are the sort of supernatural creatures you see after you die. If his name was, say, the Grim Reaper, that would be too, too obvious. Also, he has guns and a posse. And the only way to beat him? By cheating.

  15. I’m going to have to be really obvious but Ledger’s Joker, without a doubt. Not just because of his perfomance but becasue he’s as close to the Joker that is in the comics and the Joker from the comics is the ultimate villain! Just soooo much darker than you’d ever expect.

    As a kid T1000 used to scare the bejeezes out of me though. It was just the fact that he never stopped!

    • That’s a frontrunning choice… but that’s because its such a good one. He was incredible in the role. Just mind boggling. There are times when I still cant fully fathom it. I would have NEVER guessed he was that good an actor…. to bad we lost him so quickly. Just a shame.

      Nice pick Ben!

  16. Out of all the great villains, I gotta go with something a little of beat and that would be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. Sure he only makes a slight appearance at the end, but in the world of darkness something silly has to get the edge.

  17. The Boulder from 127 Hours! LOL ;) John Lithgow as the Liberty Bell Strangler from Blow Out! Or any badguy John Lithgow plays haha. Of course I have to say out Anton Chigurh, since he’s in m favorite film of all time. :D

    • Dude. I know I’m on record with the love for No Country.

      That is one of the greatest films ever made. Superior on every level.

      I’ve never watched 127 hours, is it worth it? I figured I already knew how it ended, so why? LOL

      • I would say its worth watching at least once. The ending is pretty magnificent but it won’t be as effective unless you see the whole film imo. The sound effects when he cuts his nerves are INSANE! lol. I’ll never forget that sound -_-

  18. I found villians more scary as a child. So I still would vote for Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, and the Wicked Witch of the West. Or maybe those dang flying monkeys of hers. Hannibal Lector also creeped me out. Freddie Krugger didn’t scar me when I watched the movies, but I sure had trouble sleeping after. I was already prone to bad dreams and nightmares. I guess the idea of a killer from the dream world was the scary part of that and not the character himself.

    • You just gave me a great idea for another topic! :D

      “Best Henchmen”!! :D Seriously, that’s a winner, right?

      Those are all good stuff, I think Lecter and the Witch are two of the greatest ever. Krueger’s ok, but you know, if I wound up in some kind of villain debate, here’s my thinking – he got watered down by all the comedy. The latter Krueger movies were just comedies. TThe original of course, wasnt but… you know what I’m saying.

      Still. Monkeys. :D When Tossin’ It out There: Best Henchmen hits, you know that’s all you!

  19. For AI villians, my favorite for sheer evilness is AM. But it was never in a film. The short story was turned into a computer game. Does that count?

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