Top 10 Sociopathic Film Villains
#10 Brick Top – Snatch
Brick Top (Alan Ford) is calm cool and collected at all times. Getting his kicks from pain and gore his main income is from dog fights and bare knuckle boxing. Brutal and self-preserving, Brick Top seems like any mob boss in London and that is why he is included. He is not a super villain; he is just a man who has found a way to make money out of pain and will not let anybody get in his way.
Best Brick Top Quote
“Do you know what “nemesis” means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an ‘orrible c*nt… me.”
#9 Guy Woodhouse – Rosemary’s Baby
Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) move into a new apartment block. Guy, a normal guy, starts to spend a lot of time with the peculiar neighbours and suddenly lands important roles.
In exchange for success Guy has allowed the occult neighbours use the innocent body of his wife to bring the spawn of Satan into the world; Guy has essentially made her into the Black Virgin Mary. Polanski did not depend on shock tactics; it was the innate realism of the movie and its characters that made it so very creepy.
Best Guy Woodhouse Quote:
Rosemary: I dreamed someone was raping me. I think it was someone inhuman.
Guy: Thanks a lot.
#8 Agent Smith – The Matrix
Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is made particularly terrifying because of the realism with which the Wachowski brothers (do we still refer to them as brothers?) surrounded The Matrix. It’s very possible we are in The Matrix right now! Aside from my inherent paranoia, Agent Smith paints one nemesis it would be near impossible to overcome.
He is an AI programme tasked with keeping order, i.e. terminating anything that would disrupt the stability of the simulated reality. Therefore he can bend the rules slightly; taking over human avatars, disregarding gravity, he is even able to punch through concrete with his bare hands. To top it all off Smith abhors the human race; seeing us as a virus. This is not an agent you mess with.
Best Agent Smith Quote:
“I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can’t stand it any longer. It’s the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it.”
#7 Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
Bateman (Christian Bale) is a heartless serial killer. He does not have a preferred victim or method he just likes to murder people. He seems to kill women for sadistic sexual pleasure, men get the chop when they annoy him or make him feel inadequate (usually by having better taste than him) and he even took the life of a child simply to see if he would enjoy it (he didn’t).
What is most disturbing about Bateman’s character is that even when he actively searches out some form of redemption through confession people are either not listening or laugh it off as a joke. Bateman is a truly reprehensible character for a truly reprehensible decade.
Best Patrick Bateman Quote:
“You’re a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.”
#6 Annie Wilkes – Misery
In the special edition DVD forensic psychologist Reid Meloy said Wilkes’ personality is a “virtual catalogue of everything that can go wrong in a person.” Initially Annie (Kathy Bates) comes across as the most repressed person on the face of the planet; her hatred of profanity means she speaks like a child and her obsession with romance novels is a little bit worrying. She suffers from wild unpredictable mood swings, which can be dealt with, but it’s the murdering we have a problem with; killing babies when she worked as a maternity nurse and killing a state trooper with the legendary combination of cross and lawnmower as well as many more (she keeps a fricken scrapbook).
A completely broken human; the most petrifying thing about Wilkes is that she does not realise what she is doing is wrong.
Best Annie Wilkes Quote
“And don’t even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. ‘Cause I never called them. Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die, you die.”
#5 Jack Torrance – The Shining
What is scary about Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is that he starts as a relatively normal man; he is a recovering alcoholic who is hell bent on starting his career as a writer and getting his family back on track. But the hotel has other plans for Jacky boy. A mix of cabin fever and the spirits of the hotel’s former occupants sees Jack descend into complete insanity. He suffers from a level of psychosis there is no talking to; he no longer sees reality for what it is. Instead he is driven by an unmerited need to kill his family, the family he came up the Colorado hills to save. There is no explanation; just madness.
Best Jack Torrance Quote:
#4 Woo-jin Lee – Oldboy
In one word: asshole. He spent his life planning and going through with the most elaborate torture plan ever conceived. Woo-jin Lee (Yu Ji-Tae) locks up Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) for fifteen years, releases him with no explanation, gives him five days to find out the reason behind his imprisonment, tricks him into falling in love with his own daughter… and makes him crawl around on his knees, bark like a dog and cut off his own tongue with blunt scissors. Asshole! Why? Oh, Dae-su caught Woo-jin Lee getting intimate with his own sister in high school and told some friends. Wow.
Best Woo-jin Lee Quote:
“Your tongue got my sister pregnant! It wasn’t Woo-jin Lee’s dick; it was Oh Dae-su’s tongue!”
#3 HAL 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
HAL (Douglas Rain) is a good creature, with the ability to recreate emotion a little bit too convincingly, but he was ultimately corrupted by humanity. Orders from the National Security Council stated that HAL should complete the mission autonomously should the astronauts be incapable. They burdened him with the full information of the mission resulting in HAL getting locked in a Hofstadter-Mobius loop; he did not know how to lie about the details of the mission therefore he did not know how to function resulting in paranoia. Paranoia from an all-powerful computer is a scary thing and again the fear of this villain comes from the premise being steeped in reality!
Best HAL 9000 Quote:
“I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.”
#2 Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Words fail to describe the depths of this woman’s ability to be a dick. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) has absolute power over her patients and it has corrupted her beyond all salvation. Her passive-aggressive ways exacerbate the numbness the patients are experiencing. By controlling the medication the patients are taking she reduces many of them to vegetables just to keep order, her therapy sessions consist of systematic humiliation; she is the embodiment of how power corrupts. (SPOILER ALERT) She scares young Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif) so much that he commits suicide. The extent that this woman, if you can even call her that, will go to just to hold onto her tiny bit of control is unimaginable.
Best Nurse Ratched Quote:
“If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.”
#1 Hannibal Lector – The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal
Hannibal (Anthony Hopkins) is an endearing character in a way; he is well presented, intelligent and interesting; drawing you in. He shows vulnerability in his relationship with Clarice (Jodie Foster) giving him a human quality. But he has patience, waiting for the moment you make one wrong move to pounce. Hannibal is a cannibalistic serial killer. He maintains a placid expression most of the time and you can feel him analyse you. He is cold, calm and calculated; exactly the attributes you do not want in a murderer.
Best Hannibal Lector Quote
“On a similar note I must confess to you, I’m giving very serious thought… to eating your wife.”