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#486528 - 02/15/13 06:48 PM Villains
Emilio Largo Offline

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Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 122
Most of us here, I suspect, hold a special place in our hearts for the villains of print and screen. One commonality among us, probably, is that we often find ourselves rooting for the bad guy. We want the arch enemy not only to win, but to find happiness in doing so, and get the girl or guy besides, if there's one to be gotten. Perverse? Perhaps. Or maybe - Satanic.

In this thread, please draw attention to some villain, of either gender, of any species if the genre is sci-fi or fantasy, and of any medium, even video games.

I will give a shout out to Sylar of the much maligned Heroes TV show, the first season of which held my attention very well, probably because in that season Sylar was allowed to be unambiguously bad, driven, and dangerous. What I love about him is his quiet nature, his soft way of speaking, his stillness, his deceptive gentleness. He's like a kitten. A kitten with a dragon's bite and appetite.

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#486530 - 02/15/13 06:56 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Lust Offline


Registered: 11/02/05
Posts: 4214
I enjoyed Gerard Butler's performance as, Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen.
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�Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.�
Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible

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#486532 - 02/15/13 07:24 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Delta Offline
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Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 6754
Loc: Nar
Only one? One? That's villainy in and of itself. I'll try putting aside Giger's Alien, Al Pacino's Devil, Javier Bardem's recent follow-up to your namesake, GLaDOS and HAL, Darth Vader and Senator Palpatine, Voldemort, Ursula the sea witch, Lord Summerisle, the politicians of Salo and about 50 other amazing villains for now. If I have to choose just one-

Iago

Iago is closer to pure evil than most depictions of Satan himself. He's not a beauty that was cast out seeking revenge, he's not motivated by any attempt to make the world better or even to seize it for his own greed, not a thief or animalistic monster, he's just evil. Pure, cruel, horrible evil.

He uses the most vicious, saddening means to hurt an innocent man as badly as he can and it's gruesome to watch, making Othello even more cruel than Titus Andronicus or Macbeth. More sickening than any modern bad guy who does something horrible for the greater good (A motive used too often these days), more sadistic than DeSade himself.

I've not yet seen an actor do him justice in a movie, even Brannagh or MacLiammir. I would love to have seen Andy Serkis play him at the Manchester Royal Exchange but can't find any footage.
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#486533 - 02/15/13 07:42 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Shade Offline
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Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Hannibal Lecter. Because manners matter.
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"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

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#486534 - 02/15/13 08:09 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Zaftig Offline
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Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3409
Every hot wicked bitch in every soap opera. The Susan Lucci's that steal husbands, get rich, and always look great doing it.

There are so many wonderful villains. I am currently obsessed with Netflix's House of Cards, a most Satanic of shows, and its main character, Frank Underwood. He schemes and lies and manipulates to get what he wants.

At a moment of tension, when he's standing in a church, he addresses both god and the devil, ultimately dismissing them both, and then declares:

"I pray to myself, for myself."

He's a lying, cheating bastard. And you root for him. It's amazing.


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#486539 - 02/15/13 08:54 PM Re: Villains [Re: Zaftig]
Emilio Largo Offline

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Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 122
Witch Zaftig, I think we root for a villain like Frank Underwood at least partly because he's so honest with himself, so untainted by hypocrisy, so true to what he knows he wants and is, so uncompromised - so pure. How strange to the outsider it must seem, probably, that what many a Satanist longs for, deeply - is purity. And where the Satanist finds it, sometimes, is in the literary or cinematic bad guy or gal, if the character is presented as demonic. For what is the demonic, but evil purged of impurities?

Here is a villain very different from Sylar of Heroes. Since I waxed adoring of Sylar's quiet nature, some might be tempted to ask me why I see this other villain as so different, since he's presented as silent. Ah, but as anyone who really appreciates the genre well knows, the silent movie is misnamed, for it is anything but silent. The music! The music is this villain's voice, and he roars.

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Elite because we smell the bullshit and do not deign to wallow in it.

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#486540 - 02/15/13 09:09 PM Re: Villains [Re: Delta]
Emilio Largo Offline

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Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 122
Delta, what do you think of this Iago? I find it reptilian, and I think the actor selected the right species.

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Elite because we smell the bullshit and do not deign to wallow in it.

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#486541 - 02/15/13 09:43 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Delta Offline
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Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 6754
Loc: Nar
Not bad at all but more understated than my taste would be. Fiennes nailed it with Coriolanus, you could feel the hatred dripping off of him like sweat even in his most subdued scenes. Rather than full cold and calculating, though he is both, I imagine Iago at an almost Patrick Bateman level when it comes to rage under the surface. Or maybe a less restrained Daniel Plainview at his worst, though I don't consider Plainview to be a villain.

Coriolanus and Bateman also belong in this thread somewhere, this could also very easily turn into a great performances thread...
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#486542 - 02/15/13 11:15 PM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
John Prophet Offline

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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: Emilio Largo
One commonality among us, probably, is that we often find ourselves rooting for the bad guy. We want the arch enemy not only to win, but to find happiness in doing so

This is most definitely a sentiment that I can relate to .

I agree that Sylar was awesome in the first season of Heroes, a real joy to watch.

I'd also like to point out that despite those differences, Nosferatu was actually the inspiration for certain elements of Sylar-

http://heroeswiki.com/Nosferatu#.07.25

Here are a couple of things that I have written before on some of my favorite anime villains and business villains . These are two of my favorite categories of villainy.

Delta already mentioned Bateman, who should be included in any good thread about choice villains.

I'm going to offer one of my favorite anime villains that I didn't feature in the article that I linked to above; Muraki from Descendants of Darkness. He's an angelic looking mad doctor clad in white, with a homosexual obsession with the series protagonist, various occult powers and who does some serial killing on the side. He's also secretly keeping his brother's head alive in a jar so that he can eventually revive him, just so that he can kill him again later.


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#486543 - 02/16/13 01:21 AM Re: Villains [Re: John Prophet]
TheDegenerate Offline
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Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 3567
Loc: Cowtown
Wolf Larsen from The Sea Wolf, hands down.

From his misanthropic worldview to his immense strength and self taught knowledge, he is truly a Satanic superhero, and a foe so adherent to his Darwinian thinking that, even in the midst of blindness and on his deathbed, he still manages to be a terror to his admired antagonist, the soft hearted writer, Humphrey Van Weyden.

I could write a novel about this character. From the mistreatment of his crew on the Ghost, to his philosophical lessons, he alone makes The Sea Wolf worth multiple read throughs. It's a bit of an unfortunate book in the fact that the latter half is largely concerned with a blooming romance, and the building tension between Wolf and Van Weyden fizzles for awhile after the halfway point. But I felt the ending of it was satisfying just in the fact that, true to Wolf's idea of "eat or be eaten", he refuses to let another man get the best of him, at it is ultimately nature that ends up being the tool of his demise.

Cruel, cunning, heartless, and brutally terrifying in his power, Wolf is one of the most compelling antagonists I have ever seen, and a true villain in that sense. I find him to be personally very sympathetic in the fact that he seems to have some glimmer of envy for the life of the ignorant masses, not because he wants what they have, but because he is simple incapable of relating to them on their level. His innate intelligence and curiosity, his exposure to all kinds of literature and the sciences have essentially opened the floodgates for him, which can never be closed again. He is a true outsider in that respect, one who really is on the outside of the box looking in.

I love that book and character so much, I up until recently had two copies of it; one I would write in, and another very nice hardcover edition with illustrations. The book was also free and came installed on my eReader which is where I was first exposed to it a couple of Christmases ago. I just noticed recently that Doktor LaVey mentions the film as an influence in Speak of the Devil, and Magister James D. Sass refers to the book in Essays in Satanism as well.

But yeah, it is hard to name only one; villains are the best part of many stories. Wolf Larsen tops them all in my opinion for being such a well rounded character with such a well extrapolated worldview, one that I relate very closely too in some ways.

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#486548 - 02/16/13 03:15 AM Re: Villains [Re: John Prophet]
John Prophet Offline

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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
As was just pointed out to me, Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film Wall Street is another character that definitely deserves mention here.

His ambition and Darwinist view of the world are definitely Satanic traits in my opinion. And his infamous "Greed is good" speech has caused him to often be associated with that particular and delightful "sin". He's also a blatant materialist and it is implied in the film that he is a self made man.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about him is that he is an unapologetic financial predator. He embraces what he is and does not deny his own nature. Gekko is pragmatic, and has a hard nosed understanding of the realities of the world and of humanity. Of course there's also something to be said for the character's success and opulent lifestyle, and in some ways he has become a symbol of that as well.

Oliver Stone once said that anyone who thinks that the message of the film is "greed is good" didn't get the point and he lamented how many people idolized the character of Gordon Gekko and wanted to be like him. But that's what you get when you create such a compelling villain. It can be argued that John Milton made the same mistake. coopdevil

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#486551 - 02/16/13 04:50 AM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
MagdaGraham Offline
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Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Scotland
Shakespeares Richard III
In real life Richard III was a good king, but the history of the vanquished is written by the victor. Shakespeare would have risked death if he had told the truth. However, the genius dramatist refused to toe the Tudor party line. Richard III had to be portrayed as a villain therefore Shakespeare made him the most magnificent villain who ever strode across a stage.

http://www.criterion.com/films/366-richard-iii

"Oh I can smile and murder whiles I smile"
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#486553 - 02/16/13 05:32 AM Re: Villains [Re: John Prophet]
Emilio Largo Offline

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Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 122
John Prophet, your reference to Oliver Stone with regard to Gordon Gekko's popularity draws our attention to the seductive attractiveness of villainny. In line with my previous comment to this thread, I will argue that what attracts us is not corruption, but rather purity. The artistically successful antagonist, literary or cinematic, will typically be uncompromising in his or her pursuits. It is in fact humanity's proclivity for compromise that constitutes the true corruption in this world. Wherein lies the root of compromise, most often? In the realm of suffering.

The hero and the villain, in my mind, divide precisely at the question of suffering. The bad guy inflicts misery on others for the sake of self. The good guy endures the misery of self for the sake of others. A story that doesn't depict some form of torture, physical or mental, cannot be said to have depicted heroism or villainny at all.

The suffering hero can be seductive in his or her own way. I'm sure there are many (perhaps not among us, but out there somewhere) who have fallen head over heels in love with the tortured protagonist who presses on through pain and anguish toward an altruistic end. This, after all, is the story of Jesus, and hopefully it won't surprise anyone to read that yes, for many Christian women (and, I presume, gay men) their alleged Savior is the object of full blown Eros.

But this is a thread about the bad, not the good, and since, incidentally, I've noted thus far a preponderance of masculine references, here's a little something to get us thinking about the female side of the equation, and, for me at least, provide another reminder of the seductive attractiveness of our subject.

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Elite because we smell the bullshit and do not deign to wallow in it.

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#486557 - 02/16/13 07:59 AM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Shade Offline
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Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
No Ilsa? shocked

I didn't think Buffy was bad, per se, but honestly how could she compete with the bunny butcher herself, the Marquise de Merteuil? Similar to what you said about purity, it was her conviction that impressed me. And no one fucks with Glenn Close.

_________________________
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

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#486561 - 02/16/13 09:10 AM Re: Villains [Re: Emilio Largo]
Ins Offline


Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 77
Loc: Germany/Spain
My favourite female villain has always been Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. She is regal, elegant, beautiful and wicked. I am always amazed at how well her movements were drawn, especially her hands. She is one of those old-school animated evil ones that doesn't have an ounce of ridicule or is softened down in any way. She has the best voice a villain should have and the music underlines her darkness. Plus she turns into a dragon, that is always a good thing. wink

My favourite male villain is King Haggard from the Last Unicorn. Another regal bad guy, but older and a tad nostalgic. To me it is Christopher Lee's voice that makes this character stand out. You grow to feel sympathy for his longing/obsession even though you can tell that there is a very deep darkness within him. I love how he gets killed off, tumbling with his decaying castle into the ocean.

But better then these two and at the top of my list is always going to be this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3J91bPrW9A

Tim Curry is one creepy sonofa, no matter what he is acting in. The voice, the stance, bodylanguage, his entire performance as Darkness is absolutely perfect in this film.
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