Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who's the best...Movie Super-Villain?










































36 comments:

Anonymous said...

From left field: Auric Goldfinger. "Operation: Grandslam" was actually quite ingenious.

J.A. Morris said...

Zod for one-shot villain, Magneto for recurring threat.

And when I say Zod, you know I mean Terrence Stamp.

Matt Celis said...

4-way tie between Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, and Penguin from the Adam West Batman movie.

Edo Bosnar said...

I agree with J.A. on both counts: Zod as interpreted by Terrance Stamp is absolutely the best movie rendition of a super-villain. He was so perfectly cold, arrogant and malevolent.
Ian McKellan was also perfectly cast as Magneto (as was Stewart as Prof. X - they were among the few things I thought were done right in the X-movies).

Anonymous said...

I really liked Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. I remember thinking that Doc Ock was a villain that could be really botched in a live-action movie but I thought he was done very well - the character, the tentacles, the whole bit.

I was afraid he'd come off like he did in the Superman vs. Spiderman 70's treasury edition. In that book, he was bumbling fool to Luthor's mastermind. I was embarrassed for Marvel that they allowed him to be portrayed so badly.

Tom

Colin Jones said...

Zod was definitely the nastiest one. I know movies take liberties but in Spider Man 2 Doc Ock only has 4 mechanical arms, in the comics he's called Doctor Octopus because his 6 metal arms plus his own 2 arms equals 8 arms. In the Spidey movie he was more like Doctor Sixtopus.

david_b said...

Hmmm, I'd go with Zod (and Luthor) from the 2nd Supes film, Loki from the Avengers movie, and probably Frank Gorshin from the '66 Batman flick (STILL wish Julie would have been available to do the movie..).

And to have fun, add Dr Evil from the Austin Powers flicks. He's a trip.

Edo Bosnar said...

Colin, hate to break it to you, but Doc Ock only has four mechanical arms in the comics as well - at least in all the ones I read. Basically, with the four mechanical arms, plus his arms and legs, he has eight limbs, just like an octopus.

Doug said...

I, too, am not aware of Doc Ock having six metal arms. Could be a new innovation?

Heath Ledger's Joker really made me uncomfortable as few comics renditions ever have. His Joker truly was evil and unpredictable.

Darth Vader (first three releases), anyone?

Doug

mr. oyola said...

I think Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was the only good thing about ANY of the Batman movies of the from 1989 to 2012. Those movies are all terrible or terribler.

I like Mr. Glass from Unbreakable. He might get might vote, but Zod (Terrance Stamp) is a good choice - and while Darth Vader is an interesting possibility, I don't think of him as a SUPER villain - as he is already in power, as opposed to trying to take over the world or what-have-you.

david_b said...

I'm TOTALLY the opposite on Ledger. He was a great actor, but his Joker was alright ~ I didn't like the 'urban thugness' style he brought forth.

I'd take Jack Nicholson (or non-movie, Hamill's TAS version) any day.

Colin Jones said...

Edo and Doug, you're right - my mind must be going, I'm only 47, help !

Matt Celis said...

Cesar Romero had panache and has it all over any other Joker in my book. He was having such a blast!

david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

Totally agreed on Romero, he always specialized in taunting Batman, his representation was a more colorful portrayal with lots of gravitas and style.

(I'm talkin' more the overall series than the '66 movie now..)

Actually I felt all the villains were weakened by teaming up. They were still a hoot to watch and share screen time, but I typically prefer the basic 1 protagonist/1 antagonist, team-ups typically muddle the conflict dynamics (hightening tension, etc) in story-telling.

Superman II seemed to be an exception, since they all seemed perfectly synched as a sole threat.

Matt Celis said...

Too many villains does tend to dilute more than enhance, but for the Batman '66 movie it was clearly meant to be an extravaganza with all the best villains. Too bad Julie Newmar wasn't available, but Lee Meriwether did a good job in Julie's stead.

For other films, I never understand why they feel compelled to add villains. One is plenty if done right. And if you choose the right villain. No idea who/what"Bane" is supposed to be but to me he looked like a sub-WWF wrestler with a cheesy Hannibal Lecter gimmick. They really couldn't come up with a Riddler or Mr. Freeze story? Or Catwoman? Oh well, I console myself by remembering that the Nolan films aren't really Batman anyway. You could swap in James Bond or Jason Bourne and not much would change.

mr. oyola said...

I take it back.

Prince's soundtrack from the first Burton film is the other "only" good thing. :)

Pat Henry said...

Zod: "Why do you say this to me, when you know I will kill you for it?"

Kind of the opposite of your average super-villain man-splaining monologue, but quite icy and threatening.

In recent movies, I like the portrayal of the Red Skull. Thuggish and malevolent, but not excessively over the top.

And, yeah, I recall only four mecha arms on Ock.

William Preston said...

McKellan's Magneto is thoughtful and purposeful.

Ledger is scary as The Joker.

And, yeah, Stamp's Zod is terrific, a necessary balance to the silliness of Hackman's Luthor.

Faora-Ul was the stronger villain in Man of Steel, bringing a firmer presence; Shannon was, as usual, nuts.

Matt Celis said...

I dunno about Ledger Joker. Good acting but silly film where Joker could've been taken out dozens of times with ease yet no one bothered to even after knowing he was on a killing spree. I'd say Batman and Gotham PD are scarier due to their ineptitude.

Matt Celis said...

Batdance just doesn't do it for me...!

Humanbelly said...

There really are SO MANY. Those villain roles have understandably attracted some darned fine actors who clearly reveled in creating that unique sort of life onscreen.

I loved Willem Dafoe in the first Spider-man film. The fact that he did SO MUCH of the physical stuff himself was hugely in his favor. And his acting was ludicrously over the top--- but he COMMITS to it, and believes it himself, which totally sucked me in. That whole mirror sequence w/ himself? Ha! A hammy actor's dream!

Geeze, and Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in the first Matrix film? An almost sympathetic figure (even as we despised him) simply because he had all-but unknowingly been infected with individual sentience and personal self-awareness. . . and had unwittingly grown some all-too-human problems w/ obsession and anger.

Alfred Molina owned Doc Ock. I mean. . . you could "get" how tragically got to the place he was.

Caeser Romero was the best villain in that '66 film, by far. Certainly the most believable, and oddly enough, the most "sane". And I do say this as a BIG Buzz Meredith fan.

Ledger? Well, it wasn't really the Joker in any recognizable sense, but it was one HE$$ of a scary, riveting performance, regardless.

Yeah, and Hiddleston as Loki is first-tier on just about any list. His pain and his personal damage are so evident, and he manages to be charismatic and almost sympathetic even as he's slime-oozing evil in what he does. And plus he's quite, quite funny.

HB

Fred W. Hill said...

Can't say I have one particular favorite, but a few actors who I think did great jobs in their villainous roles are Heath Ledger for his horrific Joker; Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus -- he somehow managed to make me feel sympathetic for the good man the dangerous Doc Ock used to be; and Tom Hiddleston and Ian McKellen are outstanding as Loki & Magneto, respectively.

Matt Celis said...

how 'bout Christopher Lee as Mr. Midnight in the Return of Captain Invincible? Everyone sing now: "If you don't name your poison/I'll have to get the boys in!"

Anonymous said...

Choices, choices!

Gotta wimp out and agree with most choices here - Heath Ledger as Joker, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, Ian McKellen as Magneto, Terrence Stamp as Zod and Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

Funny thing is, according to most accounts, all the above gentlemen are some of the friendliest, most agreeable people you could meet! Why is it some of the nicest people in real life make the nastiest movie villains?


- Mike 'hey it woulda been cool if Doc Ock had 6 tentacles - he'd be Dr Squid!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Karen said...

Ugh...it was a very, very long day. Thank goodness I get to read all your comments. I got a laugh out of the "Was it 6 arms or only 4?" (Say it like you're Dirty Harry) debate.

Personally I really admire both Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender as Magneto -they invested the character with a great deal of personality. As did Tom Hiddleston as Loki, a villain I never cared for in the comics but really enjoy watching in the films. In the first Thor movie, you could almost see him writhing under his skin, fighting with himself, wanting to be accepted and yet filled with so much anger and resentment. I was also surprised by how much I liked Doc Ock. I was disappointed when I heard he would be the villain in Spider-Man 2, but they made him into a very complex character, and I thought Molina gave an excellent performance.

William said...

I'd have to go with Nicholson as the Joker. I think he was the best thing about any of the seven awful live-action Batman movies that have been released. He had some great lines in that flick. Like "Wait'll they get a load of me." and "Never run another man's rhubarb." I can still watch that movie to this day just for his performance alone.

Heath Ledger's Joker was scary and menacing and all that, but he seemed more of an uncouth thug, than a criminal mastermind. Plus, that whole damn movie was so over the top depressing it was actually hard to watch.

I concur with everyone's pick for Terrance Stamp as Zod. He did such a memorable job, that I've been quoting his lines from that movie since I was 15.

I also thought that Gene Hackman did a great job as Lex Luthor.

Lastly, I have to give props to at least one Spider-Man villain. I thought that Thomas Haden Church was the most comic accurate looking villain that's pretty much ever appeared in any superhero movie. Although that movie sucked pretty bad.

Rip Jagger said...

I'm late to this one as usual,but here's my choice...

Heath Ledger's Joker!

I adore Caesar Romero's outstanding portrayal, and Nicholson's is typically over-the-top, but you simply cannot take your eyes off Ledger's Joker. He's malignant.

Rip Off

Humanbelly said...

Seconding William's shout-out for Thomas Haden Church. Hated the way he was egregiously shoe-horned into the Uncle Ben sequence-- but the look, and the out-of-his-moral-depth portrayal of the character, were strong elements in a very uneven movie. (I didn't hate it nearly as much as most folks.) I wanted to see so much more of his Sandman, and so much less (or none!) of that version of Venom. . .

Matt Celis said...

8 Batman movies...

Matt Celis said...

Malignant, but was he the Joker? Wipe off the face paint and hair dye and what about that character is the Joker?

Pat Henry said...

One name I don't see here... Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom. What the heck were they thinking? Simply awful. Awful.

The guy they cast in Corman's film was better.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree w/Pat Henry! What the hell did they do to Dr. Doom in the (horrible) FF movies? Personally, he's always been my favorite comic book villainous, and they completely ruined him in those films. My vote gets split 3-ways between. Loki, Magneto and the Red Skull. The movies got the characters right, as did the actors' portrayals of them.

David from Wisconsin

Karen said...

it's interesting that the Iron Man films have been immensely popular and yet have not produced a remarkable villain.

Teresa said...

Hans Gruber, the main bad guy from Die Hard 1. He was so over the top comic book mastermind. Loved it.

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