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?