Hollywood and network television have introduced many criminally insane and completely evil men to the public. From Captain Hook to Hannibal Lecter, audiences have been terrified by a multifarious group of indiscriminate gangsters, thieves, and killers. Villains hurt people and destroy lives, but more so, they terrify their victims, which in turn, scares and disgusts their audience. Great villains carry the storyline of great movies, and the perfect villain could be pieced together by taking the best parts of great villains.
1. The Intellect and Habits of Dr. Hannibal Lecter – Hannibal Lecter was so perceptive, brilliant, and sociopathic that he coerced other inmates into suicide and epileptic seizures by simply talking to them. He profiled several of the doctors and FBI agents that were supposed to be profiling him, and insulted and confused them for fun. He also was a cannibal. He killed then ate some victims and severed pieces of the others and ate them while they were still alive. He orchestrated his murders, leading his victims to where he wanted them before killing them. This man was calculated, meticulous, and batshit crazy. He had a taste for fine culture and a flare for the dramatic. He gutted and hung a prefect officer in the same manner that one of his famous ancestors was persecuted. Dr. Lecter ate pieces of a man’s brain and fed them to him while they sat at the dinner table. Nothing is more horrifying to a person than the realization that they are about to be eaten by another human being, and very few things are more terrifying than a man like Hannibal Lecter.
2. The Knowledge of Killing of Bill the Butcher – Billing the Butcher cultivated his talents in the meat shops of the Five Points neighborhood in New York City. He knew the difference between a murderous wound and an injuring blow. He could deliver instant death or a gradual, painful one. Bill was adept in hand to hand combat and could throw any bladed weapon with pinpoint accuracy up to fifteen feet. He was a killing machine and more so, he enjoyed killing.
3. The Mystery and Drive of the Joker – The most alarming character trait of the joker of the Dark Knight series of movies, is his genuine love of chaos and destruction. He had no normal motives like money, love, or drugs. His only motivation was to bring pain and confusion. He was completely unreasonable because he used no reason. The Joker killed mercilessly to create panic throughout Gotham City which is why his motivation (or lack thereof) are perfect for a true villain.
4. The Indifference of Little Bill – Though Little Bill became the Sheriff of his town, he started as an outlaw. And, he brought the same heavy-handed oppression that he used with his criminal posse to the townspeople of his precinct. If someone stole from him, he shot them. If they questioned his authority, he shot them. If any person did anything that Little Bill did not like, Little Bill shot them. He even killed his own son in a shooting contest because he challenged him. Bill was feared within his town because killed without provocation, and that ability to be indiscriminate with force and punishment shapes the perfect bad guy.
5. The Focus and Pure Insanity of Annie Wilkes – Annie Wilkes loved reading the books of her favorite author. She loved it so much that she forced him to finish writing the sequel to one of his other novels in her attic. When he tried to escape she broke his ankles with a two-by-four and a sledgehammer. She was so determined to read that novel that she kidnapped and crippled a man. Her obsession with his literature blinded her to her loss of normality, and she committed atrocious acts because of it.
6. The Hatred and Random Acts of Terror of Amon Goeth – Goeth was a scarier character than the rest of the villains because he was a real person. He had the same indifference about murder as Little Bill, but coupled that with a stern, militarized disposition and a genuine disdain for Jewish people. He would randomly shoot workers for infractions or sometimes just because he needed a target on which he could test the accuracy of his rifle.
7. The Will of Keyser Soze – Keyser Soze was a devious and calculated killer. He came home to find his wife and children raped and beaten by rival drug dealers. Instead of attacking the men there, Soze shot each member of his family in the head as the drug dealers watched and let them leave peaceably. He then hunted down each one of them, killed them, killed their families, and killed anyone connected with them. In order to finish a different drug deal, Soze impersonated a crippled man, and orchestrated a coup that gave him millions of dollars and left no witnesses.
8. The Creepy Ritual of Dexter – Though Dexter is the protagonist of his self-titled television series, he is also a serial killer. And, he ritually kills his victims by taping them to a table, cutting them with a scalpel and collecting a sample of their blood, stabbing them in the chest cavity, and finally, sawing them into pieces to dispose of their bodies. Displaying the ritualistic behavior of a villain exposes the deviance and compulsion of the killer.