15. Hans Landa – Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds – Landa was sadistic, calculated, and cruel. He was engaging and charming, but capable of emotionless violence at any moment.
14. The Joker – Jack Nicholson, Batman – The Joker was always a hoodlum. As a young man, he robbed and killed Bruce Wayne’s parents in the streets. He was responsible for the birth of Batman. Fittingly, Batman was partially responsible for the Joker being born. He was accidentally dropped into a vat of chemicals by Batman. The scarring of his face, did psychological damage and he became a caricature of himself.
14. Roger “Verbal” Kint – Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects – The self-deprecating physically handicapped loser was the mastermind behind it all. Pure genius.
13. Lil’ Bill – Gene Hackman Daggett, Unforgiven – Little Bill could and would kill any man at any time, all under the pretext of a lawman. He switched from judge to executioner in split seconds. And almost no one was a faster draw than him.
12. Commodus – Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator – Commodus was the over-privileged, overly-indulgent, cowardly son of a king. He seized opportunity and his dying father’s last breath upon being told that he would not inherit the kingdom, and that it would be bestowed upon his father’s general, a more honorable man. His avarice for wealth and hunger for power led him to destroy the lives of the general and his family in an attempt to usurp his fame and glory.
11. Mr. Blonde – Michael Madsen, Reservoir Dogs – Mr. Blonde is psychopathic, but loyal. He is always up for a fight and relishes torturing the police.
10. Alex Forrest – Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction – Forrest is the woman that every man wants. She was beautiful, attractive, successful, and sexually aggressive. She was also broken emotionally and vindictive.
9. T-800 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator – This movie had quite a few cheesy one-liners, but it introduced the public to one the most memorable villains in movie history. The Terminator was a relentless and efficient killing machine that on a higher level represented the detriment of man due to technology. Once the Terminator had you in its sights, you were going to be killed.
8. Agent Smith – Hugo Weaving, The Matrix – Agent Smith was a metaphor to the darkness in all of us. He represented the smallest, innermost, self-destructive part of our psyche that scares us. He was ever-present, and always offered an alternative to living life in reality. He was an agent for darkness.
7. The Joker – Heath Ledger, The Dark Night - The Joker was funny, engaging, and completely deranged. He killed for a purpose sometimes, and with absolutely no direction or thought the next time. He held people for ransom, not because he wanted money, but because he wanted chaos. One of his best quotes from the movie is, “I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught it. You know, I just do things.”
6. Jack Torrance – Jack Nicholson, The Shining – “Red rum” will never be the same.
5. Bill Cutty – Daniel Day Lewis, Gangs of New York – Bill the Butcher expressed depth of character by honoring his fallen enemy yearly. He stood for principles of loyalty and patriotism. And if anyone crossed him, he dealt out pain and death mercilessly. Unfortunately, a lot of people crossed him.
4. Annie Wilkes – Kathy Bates, Misery – Annie Wilkes is one of the most frightening women in cinema history. She was warm and polite. Wilkes was completely unassuming until she finally trapped her favorite author in her house. Then, she showed her true delusion and scared everyone.
3. John Doe – Kevin Spacey, Se7en – John Doe was mysterious, meticulous, and sadistic. He picked victims according to their sins and summarily turned those indiscretions against them. He manipulated the police force, leading them with carefully placed clues and ultimately finished his masterpiece by condemning them as victims in his plot.
2. Darth Vader – James Earl Jones, Star Wars – Darth Vader is the original bad guy. He represented the most evil man in the universe. With a deep, hollow echoing voice, he spread fear and chaos throughout the galaxy. Vader was willing to do whatever it took to destroy the Force, including but not limited to killing his own son.
1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter – Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs – Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter could drive people to insanity with just a few small observances of them and a few utterances in his dry, even tone. Hannibal was completely intellectual and analytical. He was a forensic psychiatrist and according to the doctor of the maximum security prison where he was retained, he was “a pure sociopath.” Lecter became one of the most devious and dangerous serial killers in film. He deliberately toyed with most of his victims before devoured some carefully selected part of their body. He feed a particularly arrogant police officer pieces of his brain at a dinner table. Hannibal’s parents were killed in Lithunia, and he witnessed his sister being murdered and eaten as a child. This launched him into becoming one of the most devious criminal minds and biggest villains in movie history.