5 Bizarre Movie Villains
Darth Vader, Anton Chigurh, The Joker–these are classic movie villains. They have the ability to strike fear (and a twisted sense of admiration) into even the bravest of hearts. As villains go, they make sense. Clown-faced mad men, stoic coin-flipping killers and evil overlords are a kind of scary moviegoers can understand.
But there are some movie villains that are just downright bizarre. I blame the ’50s and its endless parade of drive-in friendly B-movies touting the horrors of killer tomatoes and blobs of goo. As a result, film history is littered with misfit villains, the kind that would never be invited to sit at the cool kids’ lunch table with Freddy Krueger.
That’s not to say some of the villainous weirdos on this list aren’t scary, it’s just that they have to work so much harder at it than their more evilly-inclined cohorts.
This movie had me at “evil tire.” Poor Robert, he’s so misunderstood. It can’t be easy being a sentient tire with psychic powers. Is it any wonder he goes around blowing people up with his mind? It is best not to spend too much time dwelling on why Robert came to life or became instantly bloodthirsty, as Rubber makes its stance on the subject clear right from the start: there’s no reason.
It’s better just to roll with it (horrible pun intended) and enjoy the quite literally senseless mayhem Robert wreaks on his journey through the desert. He even gets an unrequited love story along the way. He may not be the most terrifying villain, but you have to give writer/director Quentin Dupieux points for originality.
Being an M. Night Shyamalan fan is often hard, but in the case of The Happening it was downright embarrassing. The film is occasionally effective, as long as you don’t listen to the dialogue, but any good will garnered by the undeniable creep factor of watching dozens of people hurl themselves off the top of a building is quickly undone by the revelation that the reason humanity has developed an itchy trigger finger is because Earth’s greenery has had enough of us.
Well, I guess it was bound to happen eventually, but I can’t help but think Mark Wahlberg could have called Captain Planet in to smooth things out and saved us all two hours of our lives in the process.
Rhoda appears to be a sweet little girl, replete with blonde pigtails, not exactly the image of a cold-hearted killer. But a killer she is, one who offs a classmate for a penmanship award no less. As played by Patty McCormack, Rhoda comes across as believably unhinged. There is a whole pantheon of creepy kids in pop culture, but Rhoda is particularly frightening because aside from the whole serial killer thing, she’s just a normal little girl.
She’s so creepy one viewing will have you side-eyeing every “innocent” kid you know for at least a week.
Those words never failed to terrify a younger version of me. For some reason, my parents decided it would be okay to let their impressionable young child watch a movie about a blood-thirsty plant with Broadway-worthy vocals. It was the opposite of okay though, it was traumatic. As weird villains go, a singing, people-eating plant from another planet ranks pretty high up there, but somehow Audrey II manages to be every bit as scary as he is campy.
Spiderman 3 had more villains than a supervillain convention. It had the Sandman, the New Goblin and two versions of the gooey alien symbiote, Venom. Black goo that binds with your body and alters your personality is fairly freaksome, but I can’t help but think Sam Raimi and company squandered the idea in their execution.
Either Venom spent too much time psychically bonding with a Broadway star before it made its way to Peter Parker, or Peter just doesn’t get any darker than channeling members of the dancing street gangs that made up the cast of West Side Story. I don’t know about you, but watching someone dance their way down the streets of New York City doesn’t exactly leave me trembling in fear.
By the time it bonded with Tobey Maguire look-alike Topher Grace, Venom had squandered all of its supervillain street cred. Somehow I expected more from a clingy goo monster.
Those are just five villains in a long line of strange movie antagonists. Which villains would make your list?
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