For this week’s #thereisnospoonfriday, I am taking a reader request. From my Top 5 posts about movies http://bit.ly/1FAwBSV and music http://bit.ly/1QPtnzq and other randomly dorky topics, there was certainly a lot of suggestions of what to do next for your Friday distraction reading pleasure. With Avengers: Age of Ultron about to give us a new movie villain, this reader suggested a Top 5 Movie Villains of all time list. The thought of this list got me a bit nervous. After all, the villains are what make any movie great – especially in sci-fi, horror and superhero genres (all of which are my favorites). As with all my lists, let’s keep this as broad as possible – so the only rule is the villain had to have been in a movie – that’s it. In advance of the haters and angry comments – this is according to me – so critics and consensus lists be damned. Let’s do this thing.
1. Darth Vader (Star Wars Trilogy) – Duh. The iconic bad guy with the even badder voice (and breathing). Awesome powers, better villainous dialogue (“I find your lack of faith disturbing” while force choking an imperial officer – classic) and the iconic mask. Part man, part machine and 100% Dark Lord of the Sith, this was one bad dude. I like to pretend the prequel movies (Episodes I, II and II) didn’t feature Hayden Christensen as Vader (man that guy sucked) and that young Anakin Skywalker really wasn’t such a whiny wuss. The character is on anyone’s top 5 movie villain list and with good reason – you loved him and you hated him and you definitely feared him. Favorite line: “Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.”
2. Johnny Lawrence (The Karate Kid) – He’s that kid in high school who was such an asshole that we all knew at some point in our lives. Billy Zabka played this part to sheer perfection. The quintessential movie bully, he made Daniel Larusso’s life a living hell. A disciple of the evil sensei John Kreese, he took the whole “No Mercy” thing to a whole new level in tormenting Daniel every chance he could. Whether pushing him over a cliff on his bike to beating him up with his fellow cronies in the iconic skeleton costumes, Daniel was looking over his shoulder every second of every day. You LOVED to hate this guy. The fact that he went on to do two more classic 80s villain roles in “Just One of the Guys” and “Back to School” only cements his legacy in my eyes. Favorite Line: “You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you, little twerp? No, you had to push it. Well, now you’re gonna pay!”
3. General Zod (Superman II) – growing up, this was THE villain for me and my brothers. I am a huge Superman fan, but when we would play Superman in our basement, I ALWAYS wanted to be General Zod. While the Superman films of the Christopher Reeve era were definitely more lighthearted than today’s Snyder version of the Man of Steel, this version of Zod stands out as my favorite villain of any superhero movie, before or after. He was the ultimate megalomaniac. His battles with Superman throughout the film are epic, and his discovering his powers when coming to earth and then setting out to fulfill his destiny “to rule” and to get revenge on the “son of his jailor” was totally awesome. I am dorking out right now just writing about it. He has, to this day, some of my favorite dialogue by any character – good guy or bad guy, and his delivery was epic. Favorite Line: “I am General Zod. Your ruler. Yes, today begins a new order. Your lands, your possessions, your very lives, will gladly be given in tribute to me, General Zod! In return for your obedience you will enjoy my generous protection. In other words you will be allowed to live.”
4. Biff Tannen (Back to The Future Trilogy) – More of a doofus type bad guy than your classic teen movie bully villain like Johnny Lawrence, his flat out idiocy makes him that much more hateable. His journey as a dick goes from 1950s villain type stuff like getting George to do his homework and trying to bully Marty to Old man Biff stealing the Sports Almanac and creating a scary future Biff as a rich and ultra-asshole/George murdering dick to an Old West Biff trying to kill Marty in a showdown as your classic black hat bad dude cowboy. Whichever version you prefer, you cannot deny you hated his guts. Classic villain indeed. Favorite Line: “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!”
5. Agent Smith (The Matrix Trilogy) – If you are on my site you clearly know I am a massive Matrix fan. Yes – the story was awesome, the effects groundbreaking and the arc of Neo most triumphant. But if I am being honest, the main reason I love these movies is Agent Smith. A computer program gone wild, he is cold, calculating and most definitely evil. His dialogue is some of the best any villain has ever had in any move – period. Played amazingly by Hugo Weaving (“V for Vendetta”, “Lord of The Rings” and much more) he represents technology run amok, in the coolest way possible. Yes, Neo is bad-ass and gets the gnarly powers, but Smith gives him everything he can handle and then some. Favorite Line: “You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson…”
Man – such a tough list to pick a Top 5 and I really gave this one a lot of thought. Honorable (and tough to leave off) mentions go to: Jack Torrance (The Shining), Ivan Drago (Rocky IV), Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon – watch this movie, very underrated), Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas), Jason (Friday the 13th), Michael Meyers (Halloween), The Emperor (Star Wars Trilogy), Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon), The Joker (Dark Knight and Batman Nicholson version too), Hans Gruber (Die Hard), Hans Landa (Inglorious Basterds), Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), Dr. Evil (Austin Powers), Clubber Lang (Rocky III), Keyser Soze (The Usual Suspects) and Tony Montana (Scarface).
What’s your Top 5 Movie Villains? Reply or leave a comment below! Until next week, remember – there is no spoon.