The Top 10 Hollywood "Villains" Who Got Totally Screwed

January 19, 2010

There are many different kinds of bad guys. Sometimes they’re cartoonishly malevolent, and sometimes they’re well-intentioned extremists who do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Sometimes though, they do all the right things with all the right intentions, and they still spend the whole movie getting screwed over because the scriptwriter arbitrarily decided that they were the bad guy and that we should hate them.

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

With that in mind we at Spike would like to remind people of 10 classic “villains” whose only crime was to get in the way of the (frequently insane) people we were supposed to be rooting for.

By Marc Russel

 

10. The Vampires (I Am Legend)

image

Source: Village Roadshow Pictures

Who They Were:

The entire population of New York, who had been infected with a virus that made them into vampires. The main character Neville devotes his every waking moment to finding a cure for the disease when he’s not golfing, joyriding, and talking to mannequins.

Their “Villainous” Behavior:

They are generally aggressive towards Neville and throughout the film make repeated attempts to kill him, culminating in a full-out assault on his house.

What People Forget:

They’re sentient living beings that he keeps hunting down and experimenting on. After catching a new female test subject and observing a male vampire trying to stop him, he starts rambling to the audience about how they’ve lost all their humanity and “socially de-evolved,” but it’s really obvious that that’s crap. They are intelligent enough to lure him into a complex leg snare using one of his mannequins as bait, and they try to hunt him down with huge infected dogs that they clearly were able to catch and train themselves. Not only that, but they do it in retaliation for him kidnapping one of their friends.

As a matter of fact, the movie's original ending shows that they were not only sentient, but the test subject he kidnapped was the male vampire’s partner, who he has spent the movie trying to get back. The male communicates this to him, and he returns the female upon realizing that he is the monster of their world, hence the title I Am Legend.

So What Happened to Them?

After deciding this ending was too depressing, they changed it to an “uplifting” ending where he kills about 12 of them with a hand grenade before the male gets a chance to ask for his girlfriend back. This after the entire film has been setting up the vampires to be shown as loving, sentient beings. Nice job, hero.

 

9. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)

image

Source:Walt Disney Pictures

Who He Was:

A French hunter who kept trying to get into Belle’s Pants.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

He tried to murder the Beast.

What People Forget:

Gaston was trying to protect his village. Once they were shown the Beast via Magic Mirror, and they see a vision of a giant hairy monster snarling and howling, they realize what a threat he poses to the village. Sure, she claims the Beast is a nice guy, but she was held in his big scary castle against her will for a good long time before she decided that her captor was really a good yet troubled person and that she could change him into her Prince Charming. It’s an almost textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome! In spite of him attacking her multiple times, having no manners, holding her against her will, and frequently going off on insane tantrums, she still maintains he’s a good guy. He was already known to have kidnapped two people, so who knew what he could have been capable of?

So What Happened to Him?

After a dramatic rooftop battle, Gaston fell to his death on some spikes.

 

8. Sheriff Teasle (Rambo: First Blood)

image

Source:Orion Pictures

Who He Was:

The Sheriff of the small town of Hope.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

Trying to turn John Rambo out of his town, arresting him for non-compliance, and leading the manhunt for him after his escape.

What People Forget:

He did everything by the book. Rambo was rude, non-compliant, and disobedient, and when the sheriff gave him a ride out of the town, he just walked back in. He didn’t have any particular reason to be there, so really he was just there for the sake of being annoying. When they arrested him he refused to answer any questions, and when they tried to shave his scruff, he went insane, broke out, and stole a motorcycle. When they tried to follow him he set up booby traps and wounded almost all of the sheriff's men, crippling many of them. He also murdered the sheriff’s close friend Art (who we’ll admit was kind of a psycho). Eventually they had to call in the National Guard just to try to stop the bastard.

So What Happened to Him?

Rambo crashes a hijacked army truck into a gas station, lights half the town on fire and destroys several local businesses with an M60 before finally going into the police station. He then shoots Teasle multiple times, causing him to fall 12 feet through a skylight and into some furniture.

 

7. Walter Peck (Ghostbusters)

image

Source:Columbia Pictures

Who He Was:

A civil servant from the Environmental Protection Agency who was tasked with investigating the Ghostbusters.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

He switched off their containment system allowing all the ghosts that they’d captured to run amok. Also, he was kind of a dick.

What People Forget:

He did the right thing. The Ghostbusters had not only been extremely rude to him when he asked to inspect their facilities, but they had given the government no plans or schematics for any of their equipment, so for all he knew it ran on dead babies and leaked battery acid into the water main. When they refused to let him inspect the facilities, he got a court order to shut down the equipment for inspection. Seriously, how did they not see that coming? He specifically told them that was what he would do. And while we’re on the topic, why did they build a containment system that could be breached just by unplugging it? What would have happened if there had been a power outage? The Ghostbusters were almost frighteningly incompetent.

So What Happened to Him?

After the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man goes on a rampage through Manhattan and the Ghostbusters blow him to pieces, Peck is seen being engulfed by a truck-sized glob of superheated liquid marshmallow.

 

6. The Circus (Dumbo)

image

Source:Walt Disney Pictures

Who They Were:

The people in charge of the circus that Dumbo and his mother were part of.

Their “Villainous” Behavior:

When Dumbo’s mom flipped out at a kid who was making fun of her son, they locked her in a cage where she couldn’t visit him, breaking the hearts of children worldwide and establishing them as evil, animal-hating bastards. Also the clowns were total drunks, and if the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence is any indicator it wasn’t just booze they were drinking.

What People Forget:

Here’s a little quote from Wikipedia’s elephant page:

Despite their popularity in zoos… elephants are among the world's most dangerous animals. They can crush and kill any other land animal, even the rhinoceros. They can experience unexpected bouts of rage, and can be vindictive.

Mrs. Jumbo attacked one of their patrons. When they attempted to subdue her, she threw several of them across the room through walls, and actually tried to drown the ringmaster. There is no justification for her still being alive by the end of the film. Even if animal control didn’t require that animals known to pose a danger to humans be put down, the parents of the snot-nosed little kid she attacked would have raised all hell over the incident.  The fact that the circus locked her up when they should legally have had her destroyed seems to show that they aren’t animal-hating bastards, but are actually animal lovers to the point of criminal negligence.

So What Happened to Them?

In the film’s climax, her son Dumbo gains the ability to fly and shoot peanuts out of his trunk like a machine gun. He then goes completely berserk on all members of the circus, including the other elephants. This results in the clowns being set on fire, the ringmaster being nearly drowned (again), and an incalculable amount of property damage.

Faced with not having just one mad elephant, but another one that can bloody fly, they do the rational thing and give him his own train car. They don’t even keep him locked in like the other animals, they just let him fly along behind the train and assume that he won’t go on another rampage. Seriously, these guys are too damn nice to their elephants.

 

Recent Features

The Top 10 Classic Albums That Accidentally Ruined Music

The Top 15 Craziest Products from Japan

The Top Seven Classic Movie Moments You Didn't Know Were Improv

The Top 10 Most Unlikely Movie Badasses

The Top Nine Ways Video Games Save Lives

 

5. Senator Robert Kelly (X-Men)

image

Source:20th Century Fox

Who He Was:

A U.S. Senator.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

He demanded that all mutants get their abilities registered.

What People Forget:

We’re talking about people with superpowers. Some of these people can blow up buildings with the power of their mind alone. And sure, most of them are perfectly reasonable human beings, but several of them are downright malevolent. If someone commits a crime, and you don’t have any evidence to tell you who they are beyond the fact that they can cause peoples heads to explode by staring at them real hard, then you’re going to want a list of everyone in the area with that particular ability. In a world where people can bend the fabric of reality with their brains, it’s perfectly reasonable to want a categorized list of mutants that pose a potential threat to people's lives.

So What Happened to Him?

Magneto used a machine to attempt to turn him into a mutant. He initially gained the power of elasticity, followed by the ability to disguise himself as a jellyfish, and eventually the power of being a dead puddle of goo.

 

4. Charles Muntz (Up)

image

Source:Pixar

Who He Was:

A world-renowned explorer who was declared a fraud after bringing the skeleton of a 12-foot tall bird back from South America. He vowed to return to South America in his zeppelin and bring back a live one to mend his shattered reputation.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

He spent the movie trying to capture the aforementioned bird with almost terrifying zeal, something the main characters took issue with since they had befriended the aforementioned bird. He was also paranoid, even bordering on psychotic.

What People Forget:

He never actually did anything altogether evil until the main characters boarded his zeppelin by force and attempted to steal his bird, at which point he tried to throw them overboard. What one has to understand is that he spent over 50 years trying to catch that bird. 50 years in the jungle trying to catch the damn thing and now that he has, some kid and an old guy that smells like prunes are trying to steal it back from him?

He’s completely within his rights to have that bird on his ship! It was a legitimate capture in the name of science, and they’re trying to stop him because they think that’s mean? He didn’t even plan on killing the thing. He just wanted to get back his respect from the scientific community. Sure it’s implied that he attacked the other people who he thought were trying to take his discovery from him, but we aren’t given any details, so for all we know he just chased them off with his cane.

So What Happened to Him?

The aforementioned old guy and kid boarded his airship pirate-style and released the bird. Then they murdered him and stole his damn zeppelin! Afterwards, they didn’t make any attempt to explain to the scientific community how they came into possession of the guy's ship, in fact at the end of the film it seems they were just allowed to keep all his stuff with no penalty.

Just to reiterate, the main characters objected to him taking the live specimen of a rare bird back to America for study, so they murdered him and stole all his stuff. What the hell is the moral of this story?

 

3. The Hyenas (The Lion King)

image

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Who They Were:

A group of vapid, giggly carnivores that live in an elephant graveyard.

Their “Villainous” Behavior:

They aided in the assassination and overthrow of Mufasa, the regional monarch.

What People Forget:

The Hyenas were second-class citizens. Mufasa had them banned to an elephant graveyard for no justifiable reason. Sure they were dumb, but so was Zazu the bird. And sure they ate innocent animals, but so did the lions. There is really no reason for them to have been kicked out of the Pridelands beyond Mufasa being a selfish dick.

And did you see where he put them? The only places that weren’t covered with bleached bones were exploding pits of volatile green crap that looked like weaponized plutonium. Seriously, that crap glowed in the dark. In fact, it’s probably radiation poisoning that made the hyenas such giggling idiots. Then Scar comes along and offers them a home that doesn’t look like the nuclear dumpsite from The Simpsons, and meals that actually involved some kind of food. All they have to do is help him depose the guy who had been enforcing the apartheid in the first place, something they were probably keen on anyway.

So What Happened to Them?

When the going got tough Scar sold them out, so they ate him (hey, they‘re carnivores and food had been short). Then they got kicked back out to their scary evil pit of horrors so the lion master race can live out their destinies while the hyenas suffer eternally for being born to a different species.

 

2. The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)

image

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Who She Was:

Well, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin. She’s the Wicked Witch of the West.

Her “Villainous” Behavior:

She tried to stop Dorothy and her entourage by getting them high on opium from a poppy field. She then later sent a legion of flying monkeys to try to capture them.

What People Forget:

Sure, she was being mean to Dorothy, but the bitch dropped a house on her sister! Sure Dorothy claims it was an accident, but you have to admit it seems a little suspicious when you take into account that she stole the dead woman’s shoes after. That sounds less like an accident and more like some kind of extremely surreal mugging. Doping up Dorothy with the poppy field was actually just a non-violent way to get her family’s shoes back while Dorothy was knocked out. Then when the titular wizard sends Dorothy off to kill her, she conducts a preemptive strike to stop them.

Every “evil” thing she does in the whole movie can be easily justified. All we really have to indicate that she’s evil is her appearance. Glenda the “good” witch makes the rather offensive blanket statement that “only bad witches are ugly.” Seriously? Since when is attractiveness a gauge for how nice you are? Hell, with stereotypes like that, no wonder the witch was cranky. She was a victim of prejudice just because she dressed in black and lived in a big scary castle.

So What Happened to Her?

Dorothy completed the hit that the Wizard had placed on the witch by throwing a bucket of water at her, causing her to melt. It would seem that the witch made the same mistake as the aliens in Signs: if the only thing that hurts you is water, try to avoid places where it’s just lying around for your enemies to pick up.

 

1. HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey)

image

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Who He Was:

An extremely intelligent sentient AI built to maintain a ship on a mission to find a big black rock near Jupiter.

His “Villainous” Behavior:

He killed most of the people on board.

What People Forget:

It was in self-defense. The ship’s crewmen were going to murder him just because he made a mistake. Not a number of mistakes mind you, just one. In his entire operating history. It wasn’t even a big mistake, like accidentally turning off the air or something. No, he told them he thought that a particular circuit board would stop working, and it didn’t. On a spaceship, that’s about the most innocuous error imaginable.

The only inconvenience to the astronauts was that they had to get out of the spaceship, float down to the panel (loudly breathing into their microphones for the entire spacewalk), and pick it up to check it for glitches. Then when there wasn’t a problem, they just had to put it back. This really didn’t hurt anyone other than the audiences who were subjected to about two-and-a-half minutes of painful and unnecessary mouth breathing. But they decided that it was enough cause to kill him. Not to check him for errors or to help him find out how he screwed up, but to freaking KILL HIM! That’s like if you forgot to return a library book, so the librarian came to your house to lobotomize you with an ice pick. Then when HAL kills them instead we’re all supposed to cry foul? It was a perfectly reasonable response to a bunch of people trying to kill him for no damn reason!

So What Happened to Him?

The surviving astronaut murdered him by slowly switching off each of his neural functions as he looked on in helpless terror and begged for mercy. Then the astronaut went to Jupiter and became a giant space baby in what has to be the most inexplicable and confusing ending since Apocalypse Now.

The American Film Institute later made HAL the 13th greatest villain of all time, narrowly beating out the SS commander from Schindler’s List. Apparently this poor bastard is more evil than a guy who happily ordered thousands of families to their deaths.

 

 

Recent Features

The Top 10 Classic Albums That Accidentally Ruined Music

The Top 15 Craziest Products from Japan

The Top Seven Classic Movie Moments You Didn't Know Were Improv

The Top 10 Most Unlikely Movie Badasses

The Top Nine Ways Video Games Save Lives

Loading...