Nothing is as satisfying as a despicable baddie on the big screen. It causes us to question our own morals when we relish in those juicily evil antagonists being extra villainy.
Hannibal Lecter – Silence of the Lambs (1991)
With his icy, piercing stare that burns frostbitten holes straight into the souls of the mere mortals before him, Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal is one hell of an enjoyable character. He also offers up some pretty controversial culinary ideas (liver with fava beans and a niiiiiice Chianti).
Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Christoph Waltz is the notorious Jew Hunter. He is an incredibly entertaining character to watch as he pursues his role with such dedication and psychotic disregard for the humans he seeks. Waltz is one of those actors who can craft his dialogue in such a way to evoke the right emotional response from an audience, be it on-the-edge-of-your seat intensity, extreme fear, guilty humour or even pity.
Bellatrix Lestrange – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
This pure-blood witch is about as evil as they come. She’ll kill anyone and anything in the name of Voldemort. However, I can’t help but love her. Some fans were understandably feeling very disappointed that the crazed and cruel character didn’t get more screen time in the movies. She is very entertaining to watch!
Darth Vader – Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1981)
This is the darkest of antagonists in one of the world’s hugest movie franchises. Voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones, his deep, bellowing tones match his unquestionably threatening persona. He’s an extremely tall guy, dressed in an all black military-like suit, with his cape swooping behind him as he takes his long, purposeful strides. I defy anyone to think of Darth Vader without that incredibly villainesque musical score imprinting in your mind.
Stansfield – Leon: The Professional (1994)
Gary Oldman has such a wealth of unforgettable acting performances in his career, and this is one of my favourites. Stansfield runs a corrupt drug trade in the underbelly of New York, and he’s quite content doing what he does best; mercilessly killing people who cross him. Oldman perfects this role as a despicable baddie that is ever so enjoyable. He is as flamboyant as he is unpredictable, and as psychotic as he is sadistic. What a character!
Who’s your favourite baddie in the movies?