Villains are incredibly important to the films they are in. A good villain can cement your movie as an instant classic and almost guarantees a franchise, a ridiculous villain is basically the kiss of death. Sure, you might still squeeze out a couple of sequels, but instead of movie goers taking actual delight in what is on the screen, it becomes a source of mockery and a thing watched ironically. But how exactly can a villain be ridiculous? This can happen in a few ways: by not posing any sort of threat to the hero of the movie, having no endgame or goal, and by just straight up being hilarious rather than frightening. So, without any further preamble, here are ten movie villains who I found to be incredibly ridiculous.
10. Gingerdead Man – The Gingerdead Man
Oh Gary Busey, poor, Oscar nominated Gary Busey, a man who had so much promise reduced to playing a piece of food. Watching this movie is like having a fever dream; you are never quite sure what is going on and, by the end of it, you feel completely disorientated and slightly sick. Gary Busey plays the Gingerdead Man, the soul of a serial killer stuck in the inanimate body of a gingerbread man. He goes on a quest for vengeance against the woman who sent him to the electric chair. The Gingerdead man, a real-life cookie monster if you will, is about a couple of feet tall and incredibly easy to stop. Pick him up, bend him in half, spill some milk on him and then go about your day-to-day business. Sadly, this movie spawned a sequel, where the Gingerdead man travels back in time to the seventies and murders people in a disco setting.
9. Lisa Sheridan – Obsessed
Subtlety was not this movie’s forte. In Obsessed, Ali Larter plays Lisa Sheridan, a woman who becomes ‘obsessed’ with Derek (Idris Elba), and all kinds of crazy shenanigans ensue. The problem with Lisa Sheridan as a villain is that moviegoers have seen this unhinged, obsessive character before, and done way better: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Single White Female, Fatal Attraction. Rather than underhandedly trying to create a rift between Derek and his wife Sharon (played by BeyoncÃ©) and build some actual tension into the movie, Lisa basically goes from flirting with Idris to kidnapping his baby in what feels like a grand total of three minutes. It doesn’t help that Larter somehow plays her overly dramatic in some scenes and almost catatonic the next.
8. Zombies – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
I know it was a different time, a time where viewers weren’t desensitized to horror movie tropes and archetypes. Everything was new and exciting, but I just can’t imagine a universe where I am filled with fear at the sight of zombies which I can push and casually walk past. Even when these zombies are standing together in a cannibalistic group, a human being on crutches would still be able to maneuver past their clutching hands. All the zombies do is moan and stand around. As long as you don’t draw too much attention to yourself, it would be a walk in the park to survive this zombie apocalypse.
7. Elliot Carver – Tomorrow Never Dies
I was initially weary about adding Elliot Carver to this list, as just about every list of terrible movie villains includes him. But then I realised there was a very strong reason why he should be included: just look at him. Can you ever imagine being intimated by this man? Furthermore, can you imagine theÂ debonair super spy that is James Bond being intimated by this man? Not only does this discount version of Rupert Murdoch have, like most bond villains, a convoluted and nonsensical plan for world domination, but when something doesn’t go his way he stands around pouting and reminding everyone of how much power he has. He simply isn’t scary or threatening, and for a movie villain that is an unforgivable sin.
6. The Penguin – Batman Returns
“My name is not Oswald, it’s Penguin. I am not a human being, I am an animal, cold blooded. Crank the AC.” The Penguin backstory from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns is actually incredibly sad and traumatic. Abandoned in the sewers by his parents due to his appearance (and for attacking the family cat), The Penguin joined the circus and the pseudonym The Aquatic Bird Boy was given. Upon his return to Gotham, he forms a hideout in the city’s sewers where he and his gang, The Red Triangle, wait and plot. On paper The Penguin seems like a successful villain, but if you were to transport The Penguin to our modern times he would just be the moderator of an otherkin Tumblr page and be on the news next to the teenager who thinks he is a wolf and goes down to the docks and howls at incoming boats. All of The Penguin’s intimidation tactics would fly out the window the second you realise he believes he is actually a penguin.
5. Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz
I always thought that Earth and the Land of Oz to be nearly identical. Sure, one world has fantastical adventures and magic in it and the other is covered in a drab sepia tone, but in regards to atmosphere and the like, I assumed that Earth and Oz were made up of the same things (I base this off the fact that Dorothy can still breathe and doesn’t die instantly upon entering Oz). The earth is made up of approximately 71% water and the human body is made up of about 60% water, so why in the world would the wicked witch of the west’s weakness be water? Assuming that Earth and Oz are somewhat similar, wouldn’t every living moment of the witch’s life be sheer agony? More importantly, wouldn’t she be dying of thirst?
4. Lucius Malfoy – The Harry Potter Franchise
Since our introduction to Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, the Edgar Winter/ Judith Light lookalike is supposed to be a figure of fear, a look into the darker side of the wizarding community. Willing to sacrifice the lives of children to meet his own ends, Malfoy is a ruthless and cruel man who uses his blood status and wealth to intimidate and manipulates others. In The Chamber of Secrets, Malfoy plants Tom Riddle’s Diary inside Ginny Weasley’s cauldron as part of a plot to disgrace Dumbledore and remove him as headmaster at Hogwarts. Throughout the films Malfoy’s loyalty to returning Voldemort to power never falters, until Voldemort actually returns to power and Malfoy meekly sits at his side thinking, I’ve made a huge mistake. It’s hard to respect and fear a villain who is so easily bamboozled by a twelve year old and one who completely flip flops when he finally gets what he always wanted.
3. Twisters – Twister
“How can weather be evil?” I hear you ask. Well, I have no idea how a natural occurrence can be evil, but that is exactly what the movie Twister set out to prove. If you haven’t seen the seminal classic that is Twister, it is about a group of tornado chasers, with leads played by Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, and there’s also a romantic sub plot wherein Paxton’s Bill is trying to divorce Hunt’s Jo so he can marry his new girlfriend. As a child, Jo’s father was killed during a tornado, rather than chalking this up to a terrible accident, Twister instead chooses to portray the tornado as almost actively seeking out families rather than being an impartial force of nature. The tagline for the movie should have been, Twister is back…and it’s still personal.
2. Christine – Christine
Now, like any sane person, I fear the eventual robot uprising which will begin the robocalypse and the death of all of humanity, but even with that fear living over me the eponymous Christine from the film Christine is still a completely underwhelming villain. If you haven’t heard of Christine, the movie follows a car that becomes a sentient being, bewitches the owner of the car and takes revenge on all those who have wronged her. A car with a murderous personality sounds terrifying, until you remember that the outside world has staircases and buildings and basically a whole host of places which are inaccessible to cars.
1. Dinosaurs – Jurassic Park 3
Can animals be evil? The answer is no, animals can’t be evil. Then why on earth did the team behind Jurassic Park 3 deem it necessary to turn every dinosaur into an evil killing machine. In the original Jurassic Park the dinosaurs were just like any other carnivorous animal, they killed when they needed food or when they felt threatened. The velociraptors were incredibly intelligent, but their actions didn’t seem to be part of an evil master plan to eliminate every other living thing on earth. Fast forward to Jurassic Park 3, you know, the Jurassic Park movie where national treasure Sam Neil dreams of talking dinosaurs and the velociraptors are cartoonishly evil rather than dangerous predators. Rather than killing because they need to eat, these velociraptors kill purely because they want to see you suffer. Setting literal death traps all over the island, the velociraptors might as well twirl their moustaches as they work as a team, making sure that your corpse suffers maximum humiliation whilst your friends watch helplessly in a nearby tree.