My favorite villains of all time…

A few weeks ago, I presented a workshop at the Silken Sands Writers’ Conference–it was on crafting killers (making villains to chill and thrill!). I loved doing this workshop because it let me explore some very dark characters–and it also gave me a chance to share a great deal of information that I’d gathered regarding serial killers.

But, a fun aspect of the workshop…I was able to talk about some of my favorite villains. Those bad guys that just grab hold of you and don’t let go.  You know the bad guys I’m talking about. The ones we love to hate.  😉

It turns out that the American Film Institute made a top 50 list of the best villains out there (well, villains in films, anyway).  Here are the top five that made their list:

1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter

2. Norman Bates

3. Darth Vader

4. The Wicked Witch of the West

5. Nurse Ratched

From this top 5 list, I’ll say that I totally agree with Hannibal Lecter being #1. I mean, wow–that guy was scary. But, he was actually more than just scary. His character developed and transformed and became a serious anti-hero by the time Hannibal was released, and when Hannibal Rising came out, folks in the theater were actually cheering Lecter on as he killed.

I also am a big fan of Darth Vader. Come on–talk about your backstory power!  This guy went from good to bad to good. He lost his mother, his wife, his children. He was wicked. He was feared.  And he sacrificed his life for Luke in the end. I love me some Vader. 😉

But my top 5 list wouldn’t include the other 3 folks. (Sorry, AFI!).  Here’s what my top five list would look like:

1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter

2. Darth Vader

3. Freddy Kreuger (Yes, he was burned and flat-out crazy, but he was a killer with a sense of humor, and, big for me–he had a great backstory)

4.  The Mummy (From all the Mummy flicks with Brendan Fraser).  Sure, the guy was bad, but he was bad for love.  And a villain that fights death for love–definitely going to rank on my favorite list.

5.  Annie Wilkes (Misery) – I couldn’t let the guys have all the fun. Women can make for some wonderfully dark and complex villains, too.  And being locked up as someone broke your ankles and forced you to write–um, yes, that is kind of a writer’s nightmare.

But what about you?  What characters would make your top five list of the best villains out there?  And why?


About Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden writes paranormal romances and romantic suspense novels. Her publishers include Kensington Brava and Harlequin Intrigue. More information about her work may be found at:

Posted on March 27, 2012, in Cynthia Eden and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I agree with your fist 3 but also Michael from Halloween is there, I could never watch those movies. He was plain crazy!!!

  2. Hannibal Lecter is a certainty. Annie Wilkes, defnitely. And I’m with Diane. Michael from Halloween because it didn’t where you hid, how fast your ran, how many times you shot him, or how far away you moved. He. Was. Going. To. Find. You.

  3. I agree, Darth Vader is probably my favorite. I don’t know that I have 5 favorite. I love scary movies, but they are alluding me right now. Let me think…
    Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre ~ SCARY!

    Just to name a few. 🙂

    • Candyman! I’m so glad you mentioned that one–he’s one of my faves, too! 😉

      • He used to really freak me out, because it is along the same lines as Bloody Mary. I had a bad experience when I was about 4 or 5. My older brother said that he wanted to call Bloody Mary so he could see her. I was very afraid but he told me that he would be there with me so I had nothing to worry about. We were in the bathroom with the light off, so he said her name 3 times, ran out and locked me in. Obviously nothing happened, but it traumatized me for several years. Lol.

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