My All Time Favorite Bad Guys:

You can’t have a Hero without a great villain.  Your Protagonist needs an awesome Antagonist if he or she is going to be awesome.   I like a good Bad Guy.  Someone that really leaves a mark.   Here’s a short list of my all time favorite bad guys.

Bill Cutting “The Butcher” – Gangs of New York.

What makes Bill the Butcher so awesome is his grand sense of patriotism and American Exceptionalism… in the form of himself as the most Exceptional American.   America is Great, because He is American… and he’s going to keep it that way.  His City.  His State. His Nation.  We’re just living in it.  And he’s got a great sense of style… And honestly, who else other than Slash can pull off a Top Hat like that?  And that Mustache is Ultra Boss.

Hans Gruber – Die Hard.
Hans is cold and calculating… He’s planned things out. He knows what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen.  This gives him confidence in his success, and when he needs to, he changes his accent and character so he can reposition.  Very smooth, Hans.  His team is well trained, well skilled, and well equipped… and he personally carries an HK P7… Good Taste.  Great taste.  Hans has his own sense of style that no one else can really replicate.

Roy Batty – Blade Runner
Roy’s goals are simple and pure… He just wants to live longer.  He’s strong.  Powerfully built.  And smart.  He is brutal when it comes to getting what he wants, and enjoys toying with the good guys.  And like The Terminator – He will not stop.  What makes him so bad?  He smiles.  He makes jokes.  And then he kills you, brutally, painfully… because he likes too.  That’s what makes him scary.  He doesn’t even know it… but he likes hurting and killing.  In his own, childlike and almost innocent way.  His backstory alone would make an epic movie.

Archibald Cunningham – Rob Roy
rob-roy-tim roth

You really get to hate Archibald.  He is evil in a most unique way… And aristocratic fop who is all about whoring and drinking and spending money, and taking advantage over everyone around him… and he’s very very good with a sword.  You Really Get To Hate him.  In fact, you hate him so much – it takes you time to get over seeing Tim Roth in other roles because the knee-jerk reaction is to hate those characters too.  He is unforgettable, and unforgivable… and he has one of the best deaths in film history.

The Sheriff of Nottingham – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

Robin Hood is an old story told many times in film and in literature… but if you do a Google Image Search – there is only one Sheriff of Nottingham, and that’s the one played by Alan Rickman.  Yes, the same Hans Gruber Alan Rickman.  He’s the only Sheriff that not only cancelled Christmas, but also ordered a one wench to his bedchambers, and then ordered another one to come an hour later… and to bring a friend.  You can argue who did the best Robin Hood – but no one…. No One…. Can touch The Sheriff of Nottingham.

Handsome Jack – Borderlands 2
Handsome Jack might not be well known… But he’s my #1 favorite Bad Guy.  He’s funny.  He goes about everything he does with a sense of humor only matched by his sense of self entitlement.  He didn’t start out that way though… He started out as a hero.  But that’s another story… We first meet Jack in the video game “Borderlands 2” where he mocks you and taunts you – constantly – and hilariously.  And he has a diamond pony named after you… “Butt Stallion”.

21 thoughts on “My All Time Favorite Bad Guys:”

  1. Nurse Ratched. That is pure evil in a softer voice.
    Dr. Szell (Marathon Man) did not help me get over dentistry.
    Bruce Willis in The Jackal and Miami Vice’s episode “No Exit.”

    1. From Deadwood? I know of him – and I love that Actor. But I just couldn’t get into Deadwood. Weird, I know… You would think that would be my kind of show.
      But it just isn’t. I do no like excessive cussing, and the term “Cocksucker” amongst others were punctuation marks.
      If there was a cleaned up version of the series – I’d probably try watching it again.

      1. Yep, the bad guy boss from Deadwood.
        He’s completely incorrigible.
        I understand about the language. I just don’t pay attention to it.
        Interestingly, David Milch addresses that in an interview on one of the DVD’s.

  2. What, no Hannibal Lector? Silence of the Lambs absolutely scared the crap out of me, even knowing it was a movie, because, there really are truly evil people like that out there.

  3. I think Gruber carried a 13 round version of the P7…but I agree he was one of the best bad guys I ever saw, he made that movie.

  4. my vote goes to tom berenger as sgt. barnes in platoon.
    when the protagonist, taylor, oversees him tearing up after losing men to the booby trap/ied- suddenly the villain had depth. this guy just wants to win the war and get his men home.
    he just wants it too much. it touched a nerve…

  5. Jason Patric as Max in “The Losers” is a lot of fun too:
    “What do you believe in Wade? I’m guessing: shotguns and big titties. “

  6. Henry Fonda’s ‘Frank’, ” Once Upon a Time in the West”.
    “Mr. Blonde”
    Gregory Peck’s ‘ Joseph Mengele’, “The Boys from Brazil”
    Powers Boothe, in “Extreme Prejudice” & Tombstone.
    Oddly enough, I’vealways thought of Roy Batty as a sort of a good guy…

    1. Those are of course, great badguys. But this isn’t a list of great bad guys. This is a list if my personal favorites.
      I could easily do a Top 100 of great badguys.

  7. +1 to Handsome Jack. His attitude and wisecracks help make Borderlands 2 such an entertaining game, and all the more satisfying to finally kill him in the end.

  8. Excellent choices, though I wonder at the omission of Dr. Lecter. Tim Roth was waspishly malevolent as Archie, and there was a reason for Rickman’s typecasting as a villain over here. Going way, way back, I didn’t know who Robert Duvall was until I looked into “who is that guy who played Lucky Ned Pepper?” in the original True Grit.

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