Continuing with the movie villain thread, another one of my personal favorites was Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus from Gladiator. In love with his own sister and having killed his father to obtain his title, he wanted to squelch Russell Crowe’s character Maximus so he could be in complete control of Rome. Joaquin definitely deserved his Oscar nod for this villainous performance (and he looked good while pulling it off!).
Not all the villains listed on Entertainment Weekly’s top 50 were human. There were four animated villains – Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, and Scar from The Lion King which all made the top 50 list.
Some new fangled villains made the list as well. Javier Bardem’s cold hearted killer Anton Chigurh (who was such a bad guy he even had bad hair) from No Country for Old Men and Daniel Day-Lewis’ milkshake drinking Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood. These two bad guys both won Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood, but Javier was both evil and occasionally humorous as Chigurh, just a killer looking for his drug money.
One of the best examples of on screen Good vs. Evil was written by Oliver Stone when he pitted Army Sergeants Elias Grodin (good) and Bob Barnes (bad) against each other in Platoon. For his performance, which was so convincing I was sure the long scar on his face was real, Tom Berenger won a spot on the villain list. By the way, Willem Defoe played the good Sergeant Elias Grodin. Both receive Oscar nominations, but many believed they canceled each other out since it was in the same category (Best Supporting Actor).
The star of countless movies and even a television show, it was only natural that Robert Englund’s child murdering Freddy Krueger, with his bladed glove, of the Nightmare on Elm Street films would make the list. Another classic horror character, Damien (played by Harvey Stephens) from the Omen movies was also named to the list. Well, would you expect any less from the spawn of Satan?
Be sure to check out my next Villains blog to see who else made Entertainment Weekly’s the top 50 list!