The thing that often makes or breaks a story is how interesting the villain is. Do his actions make sense? Can we understand him at a certain level? Or are his methods so screwed up they’re simply impossible to understand? While we all want to see the good guy succeed in the end, it’s often much more entertaining to watch how the villain stays one step ahead.
Whether it’s because the villain is highly three-dimensional and complex or the villain is just plain brutal and insane, some of the best movies and TV shows have featured iconic crazy bastards. They’re also often the guy that gets the best actor Oscar instead of the protagonist, so it might be worth your while to play a villain if you’re trying to get into acting. Don’t do it in real life though, be nice to people.
Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic bastards we’ve had the pleasure of seeing.
10. Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
He axe-murders someone while dancing along to It’s Hip to be Square. He’s also a textbook narcissist. There’s pretty much no redeeming quality about this guy, apart from the apparent ease with which he can manipulate people. Wonderful portrayal by Christian Bale.
9. Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
This guy fed someone his own brain. Let me explain that more clearly: he cuts a part of someone’s brain out, then cooks it, then serves it on a nice plate and makes that person eat it. And that person enjoyed the f#%! out of that brain, since Hannibal Lecter is a top tier cook.
8. Ramsey Bolton (Game of Thrones)
He’s kept someone up all night by blowing a horn, flayed people alive, make his prisoner believe he was his savior, castrated someone and made him believe he was eating his male parts, fed people to his hounds, … Not a cool guy to have at a party.
7. Jack Torrance (The Shining)
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And an axe-wielding psychopath murderer that attempts to kill his family because they distract him from writing his novel. Wonderfully written by the great Stephen King, wonderfully portrayed by the great Jack Nicholson.
6. The Joker (Batman)
Jack Nicholson again? Ofcourse. At least this guy killed people. Jack’s Joker killed 50 people (in 126 minutes), where Heath Ledger’s only killed 23 (in 152 minutes). Jack wins this one.
5. Pinhead (Hellraiser)
Any guy that seems to get off on tormenting peoples’ souls for hundreds of years on end, is a seriously disturbed individual. I should also mention he has like a bazillion nails jammed into his head.
4. Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street)
Killing people at the one time they feel safest – when they’re asleep. And he has razor claws on his right hand. You don’t want to mess with this guy. One, two, Freddy’s coming for you …
3. John Doe (Se7en)
Killing people to illustrate the seven sins? Check. Giving yourself in although the cops aren’t on to you at all? Check. While in custody, mailing someone his wife’s head? That’s f#@!ed up.
2. Sylar (Heroes)
He understood how everything worked. And since he understood it, he knew which part of the brain stored “special” abilities. And that’s how he could take other abilities for himself. And even if you have superpowers, getting your brain sliced open is a surefire way to get dead.
1. Jigsaw (Saw)
You want to play a game? Not with this guy, you don’t! A master of psychology and a master of making sure people die horribly painful deaths, this is one guy you don’t want to piss off.