5 Movie and Television Villains Who Deserve More Recognition
We all love movie villains. The really important ones are forever ingrained into our minds thanks to their clever schemes and wicked aggression. But there are a few who don’t get talked about as often who have nonetheless left their mark on pop culture.
Let’s recognize five classic cinematic villains for what they truly are: awesome bad guys that keep our eyes glued to the screen.
Just about everyone has heard of Darth Vader. He’s the face of Star Wars and arguably the best movie villain of all time. But what if I told you that there’s another villain from another outer space franchise who could go toe to toe with Vader in terms of sheer brutality?
That villain is Gul Dukat from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Granted, most fans don’t think he’s actually cooler or stronger than Vader is, but he’s still quite twisted and entertaining.
Dukat was a ruthless military leader. He was a member of a brutal species known as the Cardassians, a race that occupied the planet Bajor for half a century. The Cardassians herded the Bajorans into camps and subjected them to all forms of torture and humiliation.
As Prefect of Bajor, Dukat grew to loathe the Bajorans he was abusing as inferior vermin, and he fell in love with the power brought by his dominance. But what’s worse is the fact that, in his mind, he was righteous, and he occasionally even showed compassion and empathy, but usually only for Bajoran women he fell in “love” with.
Eventually, the Bajorans drove the Cardassians away, and Dukat’s new enemy became Bajor’s staunchest human defender, Captain Benjamin Sisko. Dukat’s power struggle with Sisko is the stuff of legend, and the whole series ends up feeling like a well-told myth about gods and heroes. At one point, Dukat even sides with the Pah-Wraiths, the demons of Bajor, and he becomes fully possessed by the evil that was already growing within his heart.
What makes Dukat a great villain is the performance by Marc Alaimo, who brings a very sophisticated personality to the character. His back and forth between good and evil is highly entertaining, and he remains one of the most complex villains in TV history.
The Skeksis are puppets. Not the characters of course, but the props used to portray them. To some, that may sound silly and unrealistic, but in truth, the special effects of The Dark Crystal are some of the most amazing ever created. That, coupled with their character and dialogue, is why the Skeksis are fantastic villains.
First appearing in the original Dark Crystal of 1982, the Skeksis are a strange race of vulture-people who are obsessed with immortality and strength. They will do anything to achieve their goals, including stepping on the backs of the Gelflings. These Gelflings are a race that serves the Skeksis in Age of Resistance prequel series before becoming all but wiped out by the events of the original film.
Each Skeksis was portrayed by multiple people – one person did the voice while several others operated the puppetry. The movements, sounds, and creepiness of the puppets is a testament to the skill of each of these performers.
But if we had to pick one Skeksis to stand above the others, it would definitely be the Chamberlain, a backstabbing, smooth-talking baddie who wouldn’t hesitate to throw his own brethren under the bus.
There are almost too many Godzilla monsters to count (except for die-hard fans of course). Almost every film featured the King Lizard fighting against a new, unique enemy, and most of these creatures are a sight to behold – they are wonderful representations of diversity and creativity.
Nowhere is that more apparent than with Gigan, a cybernetic Frankenstein monster of sorts composed of many different design ideas.
Traditionally an alien being, Gigan is an amalgamation of bird, reptile, bug, and robot. Instead of eyes, he has something like a red visor that can shoot out laser beams (in Godzilla: Final Wars), and his hooked claws can deal a lot of damage. But his best feature is the chainsaw on his belly, which can make Godzilla bleed by the tons. In Final Wars, Gigan even sports chainsaws on his arms after he’s rebuilt by his Xilien masters.
First appearing in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1971), Gigan may not be as well known today as Ghidorah or Rodan, but he certainly deserves to be.
Released in 1992, Candyman is actually rather popular, hovering over the line between well-known and obscure. Most of the people who have seen it were kids flipping through channels in the 90s and hoping their parents wouldn’t catch them watching a horror flick.
The reason Candyman deserves all the love it gets is precisely because of the villain. Candyman is the ghost of an African-American man who was murdered in the 19th century for having a love affair with a white woman. Similar to the Bloody Mary urban legend, he will appear to people if they chant his name five times in front of a mirror. He can also appear to those who doubt his existence, as he never wants to be forgotten or seen as a simple fairy tale.
Elements of Candyman’s murder have transferred to the ghost. He was lynched by a mob, who cut off his hand and covered his body with honey, leading to a torturous death in which bees continually stung him. Because of the way he died, he has a hook for a hand and his body is a home for honeybees.
Children of the Corn was just awesome – the first one, anyway. Good acting, a solid story, disturbing scenes, and memorable characters make the film a true cult classic.
After the evil “He who Walks Behind the Rows” convinces the children of Gatlin to murder all the adults, the supernatural being uses a young boy named Isaac as his instrument. This child is definitely the creepiest thing about the film. We never see what he was like before being evil, but he was probably still very creepy.
Piercing eyes, an old fashioned hat, and clothes belonging to a past century all give Isaac a very unsettling look. And his voice is even more disturbing, a testament to the great acting skills of John Franklin.
Which underrated pop culture villains do you think deserve more recognition? Let Your Geek Sideshow and let us know in the comments below!