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What makes a great villain?

 
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What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 4:15:56 PM   
sanctumest

 

Posts: 41
Joined: 27/1/2012
Following a discussion about Loki (Avengers) in another thread, I'm interested to see what other people like/dislike in their films bad chaps. I searched for similar topics, but if I've missed one, my apologies.

Using the Loki example, I find him too sly and weak to hold his own against The Avengers, and would like to see him more as the architect of trouble than the 'leader/king' character, unless his bitterness has unhinged him completely.

As a more human example, Gene Hackman in unforgiven was actually the towns protector, but his ruthlessness and refusal to compromise meant that his end was welcomed by me. A really rounded and well written villain.
Post #: 1
RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 4:32:28 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9928
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For me what makes a great villian is their ability to convince you that they are going to come out victorious and that there's a real chance the 'hero' is going to lose/die/whatever. There's nothing worse than watching a film and just waiting to see how the hero will win like they always do.


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RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 4:34:20 PM   
anakin solo


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A good villian is a one that knows the hero better, and knows how to torment him by executing loved ones or holding them to ransom.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 5:10:42 PM   
Swoz_MK


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Whatever the opposite of Eric Bogosian is.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 5:27:44 PM   
Timon


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RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 6:53:15 PM   
Ironfistedmonk

 

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Awesomely cheesy henchmen

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 16/3/2012 7:08:20 PM   
Sutty


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From: the front row
Alan Rickman - Die Hard

Alan Rickman - Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

Alan Rickman - The Harry Potter movies (kind of!)

Basically Alan Rickman makes a great villian. Would have loved to see him play General Zod!

"Kneel before...............Zod."

Oh yeah!

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/3/2012 1:00:58 AM   
sanctumest

 

Posts: 41
Joined: 27/1/2012
But why are they great? I want examples and drunken reasoning goddammit!

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/3/2012 3:36:08 AM   
boaby

 

Posts: 2808
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From: Aberdeenshire
They're bad, they know it, they don't care. They're comfy with it. Happy in their own skin. Revel in it.

"I was born to do this. Now gimme all your stuff. I want it."

Gruber. Nottingham. Palpatine. Goldfinger. Swearengen. Lector.

Justification? Who needs it? Weak people, that's who.

Know thyself.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 8:58:18 AM   
Rebel scum


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The best kinds of villains usually fall into two categories:

The Suave Bastard, where you know they're evil, and they do terrible things, but they've got a level of charm and coolness to them that means that secretly you want them to succeed.There will probably be a scene where the hero does something to hinder their plans and the villain admires their persistence. Alan Rickman usually falls into this category, as does Hannibal Lecter.

The Utter Bastard, which is something of a "love to hate" thing, where they are just so horribly evil that it's impossible not to root for the heroes and hope for the villain's downfall. For example, Mrs Carmody in The Mist, or Professor Umbridge.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 9:16:55 AM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

The best kinds of villains usually fall into two categories:

The Suave Bastard, where you know they're evil, and they do terrible things, but they've got a level of charm and coolness to them that means that secretly you want them to succeed.There will probably be a scene where the hero does something to hinder their plans and the villain admires their persistence. Alan Rickman usually falls into this category, as does Hannibal Lecter.


I would say the second category would be the villain who doesn't know they're the villain. They would be the hero in their own movies, As far as they are concernered, they are doing the right thing. And Mrs Carmody in The Mist would fall into that category


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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 10:00:31 AM   
st3veebee


Posts: 2353
Joined: 3/9/2006
From: 9303 Lyon Drive
The best villain is one who can convince you that she/he truly belives his/her plan/mindset is right.  Or that she/he is cuckoo for cocopops.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 10:04:46 AM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

The best kinds of villains usually fall into two categories:

The Suave Bastard, where you know they're evil, and they do terrible things, but they've got a level of charm and coolness to them that means that secretly you want them to succeed.There will probably be a scene where the hero does something to hinder their plans and the villain admires their persistence. Alan Rickman usually falls into this category, as does Hannibal Lecter.


I would say the second category would be the villain who doesn't know they're the villain. They would be the hero in their own movies, As far as they are concernered, they are doing the right thing. And Mrs Carmody in The Mist would fall into that category




Good point, those kinds of villains are usually effective too. Thing is, they can come under either one of the categories I mentioned. So someone like George Sanders in Rebecca, who fits your definition, is a Suave Bastard, while Mrs Carmody is an Utter Bastard. But I agree, usually you can tell how good the writing is by how aware the villain is that they're the villain.

< Message edited by Rebel scum -- 17/4/2012 10:05:23 AM >


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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 6:33:16 PM   
Spiked


Posts: 257
Joined: 27/4/2009
Hard to define. On one hand - I LOVE some villains. Does this mean the actor is giving a shit performance for not making me want to hate him/her? Then I seem to HATE some people on screen, but am I hating them for the wrong reasons? Good debate to be had here.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 6:52:29 PM   
Super Hans


Posts: 2399
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Watford

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

A British or German accent.






I was going to say, Alan Rickman always springs to mind in these kind of threads!

I think for me, the best villains are the real ruthless bastards, as well as intelligent and genuinely threatening.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 17/4/2012 7:00:45 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

Good point, those kinds of villains are usually effective too. Thing is, they can come under either one of the categories I mentioned. So someone like George Sanders in Rebecca, who fits your definition, is a Suave Bastard, while Mrs Carmody is an Utter Bastard. But I agree, usually you can tell how good the writing is by how aware the villain is that they're the villain.


Fair enough but there are many villains who don't actually know they are the villain so I thought it was really worth mentioning it. I think those are the best ones. The ones who believe they are doing the right thing (and in some cases they actually may be) rather than just being mustache-twirling evil. So, I would say there are 3 types of villain. The Suave Bastard, the Utter Bastard and the Bastard who doesn't know they're a Bastard......

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 18/4/2012 9:33:20 AM   
grucl

 

Posts: 2489
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A moustache?

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 18/4/2012 9:44:49 AM   
Russ Whitfield

 

Posts: 425
Joined: 10/4/2012
Definitely the villain-as-hero works.

Of course all about motivation... but its also fun when the baddie is just bad for the sake of it (Zod springs to mind. He had no idea that the Son of Jor-El was on earth before he decided to make himself Ruler and inform us that our lands, our possessions and very lives be sacrificed to him... General Zod... etc etc). So he really had no motivation to rule Planet Houston at the beginning.

Maybe the most memorable villains are the over-the-top ones like Zod and (in a different style of movie) the ones you can relate to?



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RE: What makes a great villain? - 18/4/2012 9:14:53 PM   
TolkenHobbitGuy


Posts: 47
Joined: 2/3/2012
If talking about truly scary villains, to me the ones who you don't why they are evil, are the scariest.
Some say that, that isn't scary but to me it is. I guess for me the true villains are the sort, who
don't make me go 'what a cool character, despite all the evilness' though that doesn't mean
i don't enjoy cool and slick baddies.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 19/4/2012 3:54:09 PM   
st3veebee


Posts: 2353
Joined: 3/9/2006
From: 9303 Lyon Drive
 1. Fear

2. Surprise

3. Ruthless efficiency

4. An almost fanatical devotion to the Pope

5. Nice red uniforms

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 19/4/2012 5:22:14 PM   
shool


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From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
The killing of those who fail you.



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RE: What makes a great villain? - 19/4/2012 7:41:29 PM   
boaby

 

Posts: 2808
Joined: 29/12/2006
From: Aberdeenshire
'cept he didn't kill that minion. Tarkin - the leash holder - called him off.

Villains canna get called off. That'd involve doing what someone told them. Proper villains have none of that nonsense.

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 19/4/2012 10:39:51 PM   
DazDaMan


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From: Penicuik - a right shithole
The best villains are surely the ones with no reasoning? No remorse? No compassion? Seemingly unstoppable?



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RE: What makes a great villain? - 20/4/2012 1:42:37 PM   
ripperman


Posts: 145
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Spectacles...



And a penchant for cop killing!

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RE: What makes a great villain? - 20/4/2012 1:47:11 PM   
OPEN YOUR EYES

 

Posts: 4403
Joined: 5/2/2012

quote:

ORIGINAL: DazDaMan

The best villains are surely the ones with no reasoning? No remorse? No compassion? Seemingly unstoppable?




I was going to post this guy a couple of days ago.
And I cant go into the sea because of this fecking character.

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