Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Top 10: Movie Villains - Part 1

With the release of The Dark Knight imminent, and Heath Ledger’s Joker finally unleashed, it’s a good time to take stock and look back at some of cinema’s greatest villains. Robert Duffin has trawled through the evil, the camp, and the sinister to bring to you his top ten movie villains. The countdown begins today…

10. Khan (Ricardo Montalban) - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
“From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

A Star Trek character that manages to out-ham William Shatner? Well that’s can only be Khan. A genetically engineered super-soldier with a penchant for quoting classic literature while sporting pseudo-S&M clobber, flanked by a gang of ex-Chippendales (in real life), Khan is unique in more ways than one. The most important one however is that his maniacal nature does not produce bland desires for ‘world domination’; instead he just really wants to hurt Mr. Shatner. Fair enough.

9. Maleficent (Voiced by Eleanor Audley) - Sleeping Beauty (1959)
“Now you shall deal with ME, o Prince - and all the powers of HELL!”

With Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother, and Disney’s greatest bitch Maleficent under her belt, perhaps this place should really go to the demonic vocal chords of Eleanor Audley. Unlike many of Disney’s villains there’s nothing goofy about Maleficent, and like Khan she isn’t driven by the usual villain causes. She doesn’t want to make her daughter Queen, nor is she governed by a murderous sense of vanity. What incurred the unstoppable wrath of Maleficent? She didn’t get invited to a party. Think about that next time you’re making up your invite list.

8. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) - The Terminator (1984)
“Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

Before it learned Spanish slang and became a 12-year-old boys best friend, The Terminator was ripping out hearts, shooting old ladies and taking names. Well, just one name – Sarah Conner. The dead eyed, blank faced killing machine was the perfect role for the similarly attributed Schwarzenegger before he began to think he could actually act. Personally, having watched Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) first, returning to the original and seeing Ah-nuld as the bad guy produced an even greater impact.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2, and in the meantime, use the comment box to discuss the choices so far and show support for your favourite movie villains.

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