By Dave Hynes
Everyone loves to root for the bad guy. In movies, the bad guys usually get the best lines and the best scenes. Whether they are terrifying, hilarious, charismatic, complex, or plain morbid- villainy enthrals in a way heroism doesn’t. There’s something majestically fallible and intriguing about villains, personifying our fantasies on-screen and revealing our inner monsters. Sometimes though the bad guys aren’t even bad guys at all; they’re the good guys. Scotcampus takes a look at ten of the most evil….and funniest.
Don Logan (Ben Kingsley)
The cockney sage took an average gangster movie and made it brilliant. In every scene he is indescribably unlikeable and brutally funny. He hates everybody. Everybody hates him. Especially the Spanish and ginger airline stewards. His opening lines establish his character well: “I’ve gotta change my shirt, it’s sticking to me like a c*nt”. Charming.
Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson)
A Few Good Men
“You can’t handle the truth!” screamed the commanding officer of a giant military cock up. Instigator of the notorious ‘Code Red’ Jessup ordered the killing of an officer. He wasn’t exactly apologetic either. Ambushing Tom Cruise in every scene with vicious put-downs like: “I’m gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull!” certainly endeared him to audiences who weren’t sold on the Cruiser.
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem)
No Country For Old Men
The fate-driven, coin-flipping Texan sociopath seems to echo the emptiness of the Lone State’s countryside as he travels through silent highways in search of his stolen money. Memorable for more than just his handy propane gun and a haircut from 1867 Anton offs poor Woody Harrelson and delivers some often mesmeric lines: “That’s the best deal you’re gonna get. I won’t tell you you can save yourself, because you can’t.”
The Joker (Heath Ledger)
The Dark Knight
Made tragic for the untimely demise of the actor behind the smeared red smile, the Joker has been portrayed well by Jack Nicholson but brilliantly by Ledger. With his cackled laugh, his ever more inventive ways of terrorising Gotham City and his oh-so-special way of snarling ‘Baaaatmaaaaaan’ the joker is one of the outstanding villains in cinematic history. “Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick’.
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale)
Batemen is so psychotic we’re left at the end of the film unsure of exactly what, if anything, he has perpetrated. Still, the exercise-mad, axe-wielding, music-loving nutter steals the show. His description of his moisturising routine is eternal, religiously applying exact quantities of lotions each day with relish as he plots the massacre of his colleagues for having better business cards: ‘I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.”
Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz)
The Jew Hunter is terrifying mostly because he’s polite, courteous, deviously intelligent and somehow very calm. So ambitious he wasn’t even a true Nazi. The man loved his milk too. The multi-lingual madman could smell resistance like Hitler could rant about . . . well anything. If you were ever to meet him you’d be praying that you’d learnt enough from your Italian Rosetta Stone.
Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
Silence of the Lambs
There’s nothing more sinister than a Welshman silencing his lambs. An obvious one but also a classic. He’s done more for Italian wine and straitjackets than nearly anyone I can think of. Every villain needs a mojo and Hannibal’s was his cannibalism. That immortal line? “I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner.”
Sgt. Hartman (Lee Ermey)
Full Metal Jacket
Perhaps the funniest villain of all time, if villain is the proper description at all. He has every repellent expletive you could possibly think of at the ready and in the exercise yard he really comes into his own. Avoid him at all costs if you’re lazy, slow, overweight and happen to be cursed with the nickname Pyle. “Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle!” Hell, we’d love to see his fitness DVD …
‘Chopper’ (Eric Bana)
The Aussie nutball is as lovable as he is nuts. Most villains should probably chop their ears of at some point. The film leads us to believe ‘Chop Chop’ yearns for his villainous reputation, and he ensures he gets it through dishing out regular beatings to his chum Neville Bartoss. Brutal from start to finish, you still can’t help but raise a smile at some of his antics.
Big Joe (John Joyce)
Unknown to many, unless you have watched the excellent Knuckle documentary (you should) or the countless Youtube videos of the self proclaimed ‘King of the Travellers’. Joyce runs a dynasty of pugilists who adore their feuds with rival families. A proper lunatic, Joyce douses his hands in petrol everyday and has a face like a saucepan. Still though he claims (and we believe him) that he’s taken down every challenger in 40 years.