Movie baddies come in all shapes and sizes.
Most of them are terrifying psychopaths with mummy issues who cause us to be genuinely afraid of the dark, even in our twenties.
Some, on the other hand, are actually so hilarious that you root for them through the entire film and even entertain the idea that they’d actually be great to go for a couple of pints with.
Hannibal Lecter – The Silence Of The Lambs
When it first came out in 1990, The Silence of the Lambs was probably a genuinely disturbing psychological thriller, populated with lecherous predators on both sides of the law – with cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter being the worst.
On re-watch, though, Hannibal is a strutting, quip-making joke machine relishing his chance to troll the FBI, either by recounting the people he’s eaten or simply by looking all weird and malevolent.
Jack Torrance – The Shining
This is genuinely one of my favourite Jack Nicholson performances – purely because for the entire film it seems like he’s just acting like he’s the dog’s bollocks and having a laugh – no mean feat when being directed by the notoriously finicky Stanley Kubrick.
Watch out for that slight grin and glint in his eye as he tells Wendy he just wants to bash her brains in. It’s a parody of itself!
If this guy came after you with an axe you’d probably just look at the grin on his face and think, ‘Tell us the joke man?’
Pennywise The Clown – It
This is another baddie who loses his power to scare when you re-watch the film out of childhood.
Back then, Pennywise was literally the scariest thing on the planet, next to talking to girls or having them talk at you, but now you just watch aghast at how balls to the wall mental and hilarious Tim Curry’s performance is.
It’s that rapacious smile of his…
Anton Chigurh – No Country For Old Men
“What’s the most you ever lost in a coin toss?”
This is the immortal line muttered by bolt-pistol wielding nutjob Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men, plainly for the purpose of putting the shits up civilians.
He’s hilarious – like Tom Green, except more murderous.
He’s got only half of his hair cut and his second name is pronounced ‘sugar’ – he’s more like a weird thought experiment on the nature of chance than a killer.
Hans Gruber – Die Hard
I don’t think anyone in the history of cinema has enjoyed playing a bad guy more than the late, great Alan Rickman.
His portrayal of the dilettante European mercenary Hans Gruber in Die Hard is funnier than every run-of-the-mill Kevin Hart comedy ever made.
There were quip-making dastardly villains before Hans, but none quite as charming.
Mr. Joshua – Lethal Weapon
Why is he funny? His silly name, his silly hair and the weird little look he gets in his eyes in that bit where he burns himself with a lighter.
Even him thinking that burning himself slightly with a lighter is some kind of proof of ultimate badassery is laughable.
The fact that Gary Busey is a total fucking oddball in real life also helps make him about as menacing as a baby with an inflatable hammer.
The Sheriff Of Nottingham – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Alan Rickman again!
Seriously, when actors worry about being typecast after playing one kind of role amazingly well, I always wonder why. After all, Alan Rickman is probably one of the best movie bad guys of all time and will be remembered as such.
Robert De Niro on the other hand will stay in our memories as that formerly great actor who now stars in comedy-by-numbers rom-com travesties alongside Zac fucking Efron.
Mr. Freeze – Batman & Robin
Okay, it’s a hammy film, played for kitsch laughs but, still, Arnie should stick to playing bad guys who don’t open their mouths.
Mr. Freeze is just a laughable shambles from beginning to end. The only menace he offers is the unsettling feeling you get watching it and knowing that Arnie’s career is basically over.