As a lover of stories, either in books or on the silver screen, I agree with Inkheart’s Fenoglio’s view of the villain being the essential part of the story. Without the villain, we wouldn’t have any conflict, a story, or even a hero. Here’s a snapshot of some of my favorite villains.
Masterfully performed by Hugo Weaving, this monkey-suited, shade wearing entity with a snake like voice could break spines. He lurked with a presence that made my heart skip a beat in every appearance of the Matrix trilogy.
The Joker, DC Comics
Face it. When we think of “arch enemies,” we immediately envision Batman facing off with the grinning Clown Prince of Crime. He’s been vividly drawn by various artists, brought to life by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger, and brilliantly voiced by Mark Hamill over decades. The Joker turns Gotham City into a demented circus, in which he is the unrelentless ringmaster whose maniacal laugh echoes in our dreams. And we love it. The Joker will forever be my epitome of a comic book villain.
Lovely High Queen of the Visitors who claimed, “We come in peace…always.” I loved to hate this lizard woman who used her beauty to charm us earthlings. She is a literal cold blooded killer. In nearly every V episode, I hoped the humans would blast her out of the sky, or that 5th Column V’s would skin her in her sleep.
A busty, curvy, tentacly, sea witch with a throaty and booming alto voice, Ursula is undoubtedly one of Disney’s best villains. In fact, The Little Mermaid would be nothing without her. Ursula is charismatic and punkishly alluring with her smashing red lips and silver spikey hair. I almost mourn her defeat in the end. I don’t think the sea would be as interesting with her gone.
In both Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale and Disney’s fun musical, the tiger lord of the Indian jungle is a menacing force not to be reckoned with. Feared by all inhabitants as a skilled predator, he established himself at the top of the food chain. In Disney’s film, Sher Khan is graceful, debonair, charming, and “delightful.” He takes on the other top predator, Ka the python with a confident ease. I always secretly cheered for him, hoping he’d prevail and dine of the whiny, toothpick of a man cub.
Basta, Inkeart by Cornelia Flunke
The knife yielding skillful carver of human skin overshadowed Inkheart’s main villain, Capricorn. Basta’s superstitious ways made him one of the most colorful characters I’ve ever read. His unmerciful deeds are so masterfully written that I could hear him whispering threats in my ear and feel his breath on the back of my neck as I read about him. Unfortunately, Basta was not this deliciously malicious on the big screen……
Cloaked completely in black, this tattooed Sith with glowing yellow eyes sneaked onto a planet and put the smack down on a skilled Jedi Master. He fought with the coolest light saber of the whole Star Wars and blindly followed his master. I groaned when Obi Wan Kenobi sliced Darth Maul in half. He showed me what the Sith could truthfully be and made the Darkside tempting.
Darth Vader, Star Wars
Darth Vader is simply the most epic villain ever.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Though envisioned by many directors and portrayed by various actors, nothing compares to the original Dracula. The novel paints a horrific picture through the eyes of many characters. He begins as a beastly mass murderer that left an entire ship’s crew in bloody pieces. A devlish nightmare to the gypsies. A mysterious killer of best friends and stealer of husbands and wives. But overall, Dracula is an ageless monster who lives by feasting upon our blood.