In this weeks Fatal Fourway, our egotistic editors fight it out over who is the greatest movie villian
Hans Gruber – Die Hard
There are few bad guys that make you want to back them over the protagonist. There is only one bad guy who makes you want to back him when the protagonist is Bruce Willis. Played by the king of the brilliant baddie actors Alan Rickman, Hans Gruber is the epitome of cool evil.
Hans Gruber is the head of gang pretending to be a terrorist group to disguise their real goal: a heist. Gruber tricks everyone around him into letting him access the vault of Nakatomi Towers so he can steal the $640 million in bearer bonds stored there. And this was in the ‘80s, so think how much money that was then. While his motivations are standard theft, he does it with a swagger and style that far outstrips Willis’ McClane.
His plan is faultless, down to planning for the SWAT team to cut the power to the building to disable the final lock on the vault, all while producing the coolest lines. After the company boss Mr Tagaki refused to tell him the vault code, Gruber shoots him in the head and informs the employees: “I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”
Die Hard is one of the best action films ever made, and has a lot of great elements, but nothing compares to the effortless cool of the villain, Hans Gruber.
By Emer Sugrue
Unborn spawn of Satan – Rosemary’s Baby
Who would like to be impregnated by Satan? Answer: No one. Why? Because the unborn spawn of Satan is terrifying. Mia Farrow’s prenatal foetus in Roman Polanski’s masterpiece, Rosemary’s Baby, is one of the most horrifying and disturbing figures of cinematic history.
At least when it comes to other evil characters, there’s somewhere to run and hide; with the spawn of Satan there is nowhere to escape because he is inside Mia Farrow’s uterus.
This is the child of Satan, i.e. it is pure evil in every way. It is so evil in fact, that it manages to destroy Mia Farrow’s life, turning her into some deranged lunatic, before it is even born. Not only that but it also presents the prospect of perhaps the most painful childbirth of all time.
The notion that Voldemort, a character that wimpy Daniel Radcliffe of all people can kill, is somehow more evil than Satan’s unborn spawn is laughable. I’m not even going to compare Voldemort and Satan’s spawn because it’s insulting to Satan’s spawn. It’s impossible to watch this movie without a lingering sense of perturbation throughout and there are countless moments of pure terror.
Could this be read as the perils of embarking on a relationship with Farrow’s then boyfriend, Woody Allen? Perhaps. The spawn of Woody Allen is maybe the only thing that could seem slightly more terrifying.
By Anna Burzlaff
Christof – The Truman Show
While all of my fellow Fourway-ers are going the obvious route of picking evil characters that are actually evil, I think you’ll find the more sinister type is one who thinks he’s the good guy.
Such is the case with Christof, the creator of the Truman Show in the film The Truman Show (surprisingly). He controls ever aspect of the fake town Truman lives in, watching over him constantly. His God complex, his paternal instinct for Truman and the fact that he can control every single aspect of a whole feckin’ city makes him the most terrifying character in fiction.
It’s more sinister because he’s convinced he’s doing a nice thing, providing him with a lovely little fake world to live in. He can’t understand why Truman wouldn’t want to live there, why he’d be ungrateful. So when Truman tries to escape on a boat Christof replies “Hell no, mofo” (that may not be the exact dialogue) and proceeds to manipulate the weather in an effort to murder him. Let me repeat that, he uses the weather as a weapon.
It’s the equivalent of a slasher film where the main character’s been hunted down by an axe wielding maniac, but instead of an axe Christof controls everything Truman has ever interacted with. Hell, he could probably just tell his hired minions to kick Truman’s ass. And he doesn’t even have to leave his chair. Terrifying.
By Conor Barry
Voldemort – Harry Potter
Emerging victorious from the last Fourway, with my happy-go-lucky break up film in 500 Days of Summer, I’m now here to show you how versatile and awesome my tastes are. Who cares about yer man from Die Hard, the crazy guy who created a fake world for one man, or Satan’s spawn, when there’s Voldemort. When you think that mankind cannot bear to say a person’s name for fear of he’ll do to them, you get a sense of the ultimate terror this man causes.
Where do you even begin when trying to encapsulate all of Voldemort’s evil? Well, when you consider the fact that the destruction of the wizarding world truly began when Voldemort tried to kill a tiny baby, having already killed its parents in front of its eyes, there’s really very little need to take it further.
I mean, you could almost understand all the genocide and mass murders of pregnant mothers and annoying teenagers, but Harry Potter was a poor defenceless baby, just standing in his crib, wondering if Voldemort was going to play Peek-a-boo with him.
Not only that, but when the worst killing curse didn’t kill Harry, Voldemort made it his life’s mission to spring up in every form possible, each more innocuous than the last, from reptiles to diaries, to the back of teacher’s heads, and try again and again to murder him. All Harry was trying to do was get a wizarding education and into Ginny’s pants.
To top it all off, Voldemort doesn’t even have a nose. Clearly the epitome of all-evil.
By Aoife Valentine