RR Movies: Villains

If only there were films (and an RR topic) about lovely white rainbows but no, the news continues to taunt us with the nasty men in, and oozing into, power. The Turkish government’s attempt to legalise child rape seems to have failed but the Donald is gathering his favourite slime around him and the dogma is starting to take shape (Remove any trade arrangement or regulation that may prevent me making money! Fuck the rest of the world!)…..

Villains, then. Plenty of the Bond variety, some seriously bad, some ambiguous, some even comic. Like those in Sightseers: gentle caravanners with a sideline in energetic sex and casual violence.

What villainous films would you recommend?

27 thoughts on “RR Movies: Villains

  1. Interesting topic. Films are littered with all kinds of villains and baddies, it is often the entire raison d’etre for many films in the first place.

    The interesting thing, or should i say the spine-chilling and unsettling thing about the very worst villains is their sheer ordinariness and invisibility, what Gita Sereny called the banality of evil (although she was referring to the Third Reich).

    One film that I have always found deeply distressing is 10 Rillington Place, about the serial killer John Christie, who is played superbly by Richard Attenborough, in what is probably the best performance of his career. The clammy claustrophobia of the film is enhanced by the general seediness and decrepitude of post-war London.

  2. Obviously spoiled rotten for choice here. But i’ll take this opportunity to get in one of my favorite films and nominate Queen Margot. Virna Lisi’s Catherine de Medici was as unambiguous a villain as they come.

  3. I think you would be hard put to find a nastier piece of work than Javier Bardem’s character, Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men.

    The scene where he very quietly terrorizes the guy in the Texaco store was horrible to watch. Even though nothing really, actually happens.

      • Because I’m blackhearted, I wouldn’t be shocked if Trump had some plutonium slipped into his tea in the not too distant future.

      • If he’s offed before the inauguration, do you get a re-run or do you get Pence, amy? Devil? Deep blue sea?

        Have you seen Black Mass, with Johnny Depp playing Bulger? Suitably menacing (although Cumberbum’s unconvincing politician rather spoils it, imho).

      • I don’t think we get a rerun. Probably we would get Pence. Unless we could pin the plutonium on him doing the bidding of the Russkies. Honestly i’m not sure how it would work, the fine points of constitutional law are well above my pay grade.

        No, haven’t seen Black Mass and not really itching to either. Wasn’t Nicholson in The Departed based on Bulger?

      • The Departed was a remake of a Chinese film, Infernal Affairs, transplanted to Boston. All similarity to Bulger was, I’m sure, entirely deliberate.

      • Definitely Silence of the Lambs, good call. For The Departed, I’d (unsurprisingly) make our government even more the villain than Jack or Matt. Whitey Bulgur ran his gang from my tiny town here. And then there’s Bernard Law and company as well.

  4. Never heard of Sightseers – on the list it goes!

    Films watched this week include:
    Doubt (recommended by someone at work – great!)
    Hell or High Water (loved it!)
    I Saw the Light (a bit boring TBH)
    Miles Ahead (brilliant!)
    A Prophet (last week’s recommendation – hard hitting, engrossing, amazingly-acted – incredible!)

  5. Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard”. Or indeed, as the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (“Locksley. I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon.”)

  6. I’m quite big on hitmen with my baddies.

    Man Bites Dog
    and particularly
    spring to mind. Gary Oldman is particularly unhinged in the latter.

  7. Two of the most memorable villains of recent years appear in the same film, namely Don Logan (Ben Kingsley, his best role since Gandhi) and Teddy Bess (Ian McShane) in 2003’s Sexy Beast. They both probably qualify as psychopaths although Bess is subtler in his maniacal behaviour. Going back a few years the Robert Mitchum character (Rev Harry Powell) in Night of the Hunter is a classic villain who exudes evil as he tries to find the money his step children are hiding having murdered their mother. And a villain who is maybe less explicitly evil but still has the ability to become a cold blooded murderer is William Munny (Clint Eastwood) in the film Unforgiven. The final scene where he kills 5 men in a saloon is a classic.

  8. Tempted to go for The Long Good Friday but I saw You’ve Been Trumped a few years ago and couldn’t find a more vindictive, evil bastard.

      • Not seen that but there’s a bit where he’s in the car looking at the house and basically says get rid of it and I don’t care how. And the lies. And his response to the wind farm. And the destruction of that pristine environment to satisfy his fucking whim…. Shit. .

    • It should have been a warning, shouldn’t it? He comes in with his fake grin, promising jobs, money and to make everything great, then gets to work destroying anyone who opposed him (nastily) while he rakes in the cash and provides virtually no jobs at all….

      • Absolutely, should’ve been required viewing…

        But people will fall for those promises time and again because they just don’t want to believe the evidence and they want the fantasy.Trump just dismisses someone criticising him as “nasty” and it’s swallowed.

        But the there’s a section where businessmen on golfing holiday somewhere else are being interviewed and they’re laughing at Trump and his business ways but not giving too much away. The elite knew exactly who he was and Trump knew how to play them against those sick of the elite.

        And look at that government he’s forming. Elite.

        The shape of the UK and US governments are causing me great despair

      • Should have also noted his utter disregard for Nature, destroying (with Alex Salmond’s blessing!) areas of outstanding natural beauty in pursuit of profit….

        I think I want the bandages removed ASAP so we can see the extent of the damage and figure out if survival is possible. This drip-feeding of half-formed ‘policies’ and knee-jerk rants is making the despair worse, imho. He’s not going to put the wall in jail, it seems, but might put little Barron in charge of invading/nuking Iran…..

  9. Villians? what about the entire world arms trade?

    Micmacs is a 2009 French comedy film by French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet – a “satire on the world arms trade”

    Bazil hears gunfire and cars outside, opens the door of his shop, and is hit in the head by a stray bullet. A surgical team discusses whether or not to remove the bullet from his brain. Removing the bullet will risk damaging his brain further, while leaving it in will leave Bazil mostly healthy with the risk of dying suddenly at any moment. The head surgeon flips a coin and decides not to remove the bullet.

    While scavenging for trash, Bazil discovers two office buildings and factories on opposite sides of a street. One is the arms manufacturer who built the land mine that killed Bazil’s father, and the other is the manufacturer who made the bullet that lodged in Bazil’s brain. Bazil decides to go inside, flips a coin, and chooses one of the offices.

    It is an excellent film!

    • I remember being very entertained by the oddity of Micmacs (see also Delicatessen and City Of Lost Children) but I’m not sure I got – or at least remember getting – the arms trade thing.

      • Probably easier to remembered as a fairly visual surreal comedy – his movie always include very ‘stage managed’ visual set ups.
        But this plot WAS a satirical dig at the arms trade – maybe you needed to know before watching to get the references, can’t remember either.
        The set up of the surgeon flipping the coin, for him to end up at the offices of the land mine company (his dads death) or bullet making company (his injury), to flip the coin himself, WAS the major plot device (possibly only plot device) – back of Gitanes script writing for the actors lines I feel. But who needs that when it’s such a feast for the eyes?
        I thought, at the time, it was a very clever attack on the villianous industry, but as I knew that was the idea, I may well have read more into it. Could be time for me to have a re-watch.

        I like this series – makes me re-think some of my favorite movies.

      • I’m glad you’re getting something from this, shane. Although it was started as simply an add-on to Shoey’s thing, I have nurtured hope that it would provide somewhere for people to recommend films that others haven’t seen (which you have done fairly consistently!) I’ve been wondering whether or not we’re settling into the oft-encountered Spill problem of a sub-set of the usual suspects talking to each other but it’s easy enough to throw together each week (and it gives me the opportunity for a little public rant/dig at the world), so I’ll carry on for a while.
        Hope you’re doing OK in the life-carries-on process.

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