In most stories there is a protagonist and an antagonist, and a good guy is only as “good” as his counterpart is “bad”. There are many popular and widely acclaimed villains in cinema history, such as Darth Vadar, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Lex Luthor, Cruella De Ville, and so on and on. However, there are many villains from not-so-popular film that are deserving of more notoriety than they receive. Listed below are 10 of the most underrated villains in movies. The list tells a bit about them and why they are included, some you may have heard of while others will only be known to the most avid movie fans.
10. SIMON PHOENIX : Wesley Snipes took on the role of Simon Phoenix for the 1993 action film Demolition man. Simon is a cryogenic frozen prisoner who gets thawed out in the future where the violent times of the past have seemingly been replaced with total peace and harmony. In classic ultra-villain fashion the charismatic and fun to watch Phoenix uses his fighting skills and lack of morals to quickly take over. The character goes to show the absurdness behind society ever being able to subdue all violence and achieve complete peace. “Simon says, Bleed.”
9. The “Puppets” of Puppet Master : The “puppets” are basically dolls that were brought to life by their creator via an old Egyptian formula. The original film was released in 1989 and inspired a long line of sequels, which remain a bit obscure to most movie watchers. These creations are deserving of this list do to the fun nature in each of their special abilities. Not merely toys these murderous creations each have a specialized method of killing that gives them personalities and something of interest for almost any horror fan. From the original film there is: Blade: the leader with a hook and knife in place of hands, Leech Woman: who emits leeches to suck the blood of her victims, Pinhead: he may have a tiny head, but his body is that of weight-lifting champion, Jester: a spinning head that shows his evilness, and Tunneler who has a drill on top of his head for gruesome fun.
8. GHOULIES: The Ghoulies are featured in a 1985 movie of the same name which spawned 3 sequels. As thee sequels progressed so did the silliness of the creatures, however in the original these little monsters show their serious dark side. Ghoulies are ancient demon-like creatures that were summoned via a Satanic ritual. The films, eventually becoming slapstick comedies, market the Ghoulies in a humorous manner that helps one to let their guard down. Back in the 80’s kids seeing the picture of a Ghoulie coming out of the toilet on the movie cover were drawn to them as some new wacky mascot; albeit a slightly threatening looking one. However, if and when they saw the film they were subject to being traumatized by the true personalities of the things. Ghoulies come in several different forms, but are mainly short fellows one might chuckle out, but “They’ll Get You In the End!”
7. CRITTERS: the space alien fur balls that shoot poisonous spikes and most awfully consume flesh at an astonishing rate make quite formidable opponents when facing off against small towns. CRITTERS is a 1986 movie about the fore mentioned villains who come to Earth to eat its inhabitants. Non-stop eating machines the critters are to be taken seriously when they ball up together and steam roll over citizens in the sequels, their snapping little jaws stripping all human flesh from bone.
6. THE PENGUIN: The Penguin is probably the most well-known on this list, however the fat man tends to get overshadowed by The Joker from the predecessor to the film of his starring Batman Returns. Danny Devito took on the role of the umbrella loving freak and the reason he should receive more notoriety in the Batman franchise when compared to others from the movie is the fact that not only was he able to turn the town against Batman, but also was getting them to vote him into being the mayor. His character is cunning to have been able to use his deformities as an advantage in society, yet also he is sinister in such a dark way with his plot involving the murders of the city’s children. “You got to admit I’ve played this stinking city like a harp from hell.”
5. RAY SAWYER (aka Mr. Jangles): Rick Cramer brought this role to life in the straight to DVD film Venom released in 2005. Ray is considered a rude town outcasts of the intimidating creepy sorts, however when he comes through to help a voodoo lady, in an accident caused by some teens, he is bitten by snakes possessed with the souls of sinners. Naturally, in horror movie fashion Ray comes back to life to start killing and proves to be an almost unstoppable evil force. The intensity found in the movie with the way Ray is portrayed is surprising for a title that seemingly went unnoticed in the DVD market. The creators were looking to start a new villain that could be likened to the grand achievements of Jason or Michael from Friday the 13th and Halloween. They truly succeeded in making an interesting new villain and the movie indeed deserves its own line of sequels. The story for the movie is based on a video also in development with similar circumstances and the character of Ray is also referred to as “Mr. Jangles”.
4. S.I.D. 6.7 -S.I.D. 6.7 hails from the movie Virtuosity with Russell Crowe playing the role. S.I.D. stands for: Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous and was created as a training program for cops in the future. As a virtual reality tool S.I.D. was comprised out of the personalities of 150 serial killers. During testing of the project on an ex-cop turned prisoner, played by Denzel Washington, S.I.D. is able to escape the virtual reality world to cause havoc. S.I.D. was chosen for this list do to the genetics behind his creation. The sheer evil captured in the cultivated 150 personalities of serial killers is an fairly unimaginable terror. Just check out what sort of “thing” he is from this quote: “Just because I’m carrying the joy of killing your family inside me doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.” The film Virtuosity was released in 1995.
3. THE WISHMASTER: The Wishmaster comes from a film of the same name and is an evil djinn or in layman’s terms: a genie. The Wishmaster series of films never reached mass popularity, with the first one coming out in 1997. However, the villain at the center of these films is an intriguing and fun premise for a killer. He has the ability to grant your every wish, only in a twisted sort of manner. Hell-bent on taking over the world and releasing other evil djinns the Wishmaster is always finding new diabolical ways to teach humans the lesson: “Be careful what you wish for.”
2. MR. GLASS aka (Elijah Price): Samuel L. Jackson took on the role of Mr. Glass in the M. Night Shyamalan movie from the year 2000: Unbreakable. He is a man who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a genetic condition that weakens the bones and causes them to be easily breakable. Working in a comic art gallery Mr. Glass is inspired by his condition to seek out his genetic opposite as played by Bruce Willis. The reason he has made the list is because there are very few villains that are as well developed in terms of origin or purpose. Mr. Glass spends his time cultivating the Willis character into being a superhero and committed himself to various terrorist acts of murder in order to study and actually find the hero counterpart. Mr. Glass is so well developed and humanized that one would not realize he is actually a arch villain until the end of the film when all is revealed and he is placed in a prison for the criminally insane. An excellent character, excellent acting, and an excellent story set the environment of Mr. Glass apart. “Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I’m not a mistake.”
1. PUMPKINHEAD: Pumpkinhead was first shown in film in 1989 as demon conjured up to exact revenge in a tragic situation. The demon once brought to life will kill everyone involved with the “wrong” perpetrated upon the one seeking vengeance and will not stop until they are all dead; those who get in his way are also subject to a horrible demise. The creature in the original film is surrounded by a spooky vibe, having risen from the “pumpkin patch” graveyard and he has a very sinister and cruel personality when exacting the retribution murders. It is his personality that comes through in the original film that sets him aside form other villains or creatures he may resemble. Pumpkinhead not only represents a terrifying beast from the world of the paranormal, but also the dark vigilante side of humanity. He is a killing machine of pure evil, but only kills on behalf of a human demanding such. Pumpkinhead is stopped in the first film when the man who conjured him has a change of heart and realizes if he hurts himself it in turn hurts the demon. The first sequel to Pumpkinhead reduced the character to a more straight forward and dinosaur-like rampaging monster, however in the original he stands tall as one truly creepy villain.