The Vile Villains of Cinema

We bring you (some of) the best evil doers of the big screen

As most movie fans will know by now, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a delicious brand of evil in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. To celebrate the dark side of Cumberbatch, we took a look back at some of the greatest movie villains…

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in THOR
THOR not only brought us the charming story of the Greek god of Thunder, but also introduced us to his adopted brother Loki. In Norse mythology, Loki is the God of Mischief and, although he begins the film as Thor’s whiny younger brother, Loki soon reveals himself to be a rather formidable and wicked villain. Tom Hiddleston’s performance was the highlight of the film for many, and his return in MARVEL’S AVENGERS ASSEMBLE was to the delight of fans.

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Although Anthony Hopkins was not the first actor to play Dr. Lecter in the big screen, he is by far the most memorable. Less of a villain in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS than an anti-hero, his consistent toying with rookie Agent Clarice Starling drips malice and it is clear that Hannibal takes pleasure in watching her squirm. Hopkins stepped up his game in HANNIBAL as he outwitted Mason Verger and played even more games with Clarice Starling.

Ursula the Sea Witch in THE LITTLE MERMAID
Not only does Ursula take the one thing that Prince Eric knows of Ariel – her voice – as payment for turning her human, Ursula then turns herself human to steal Eric’s affection and win the kingdom of the sea from Ariel’s father, King Triton. Voiced by Pat Carroll, Ursula is big and bold and uses Ariel to forward her own wicked plan. Disney villains are a particularly great brand of evil and Ursula is great from looks to script.

Gary Oldman as Stansfield in LÉON: THE PROFESSIONAL
Before he turned his hand to playing Harry Potter’s beloved godfather, Gary Oldman made a name for himself playing the bad guy, and no guy was badder than Stansfield. Drug addict cop with a corrupt sreak, Stansfield also has a tendency for violence and, in a drug raid, murders Mathilda’s (Natalie Portman) entire family. Mathilda may get her own back in the end, but she certainly had a fight on her hands.

Kevin Spacey as John Doe in SE7EN
The spectre of John Doe looms large over the entirety of SE7EN, and the audience never gets to see the fabled villain in action until his inspired speech in the final act. Kevin Spacey created one of his most famous roles as John Doe and on watching the film for the second (third and fourth) times the genius of the character and Spacey’s performance becomes obvious. We also like Brad Pitt’s rather comic obsession with his hair.

Honourable mentions to… David Prowse as Darth Vader, Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, Kevin Spacey as Keyser Soze, Heath Ledger as The Joker, Louise Fletcher as Nurse Rached, the shark in JAWS, Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of the West, Jeremy Irons as Scar and Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth.

There are so many wonderfully evil characters in cinema. Who is yours? Let us know in the comments below.

Words: Brogen Hayes