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My Favorite Disney Villains

A couple years ago, I listed some of those villains that get underneath my skin, the most insidious, hateable ones in the last 20 years. Now let’s take a trip down Memory Lane of everyone’s favorite distributor of those evil bastards, Disney. Because if they’re good at one thing, it’s making you love to hate these jerks. Buckle up and get ready to throw popcorn at your screen. These are my favorite Disney villains.

Jafar (Aladdin)

I have to admit the nefarious Jafar was a villain I needed to mature in order to truly appreciate. When I was a kid, I knew I hated the smug S.O.B but a couple years ago, Aladdin was running on cable and I actually sat down and watched the film instead of just singing the songs.


Jafar was awful.

But in a good way.

As in, “wow, I am really impressed at what a horrible human being you are,” not in a gross “I dig this guy” kind of way. Think about it. Not only does Jafar have a very vibrant, memorable personality, but he has a highly specific skillset and a master plan to get what he wants, and he’s not afraid to manipulate every single main character in order to obtain his goal. I also like that weirdly enough, his relationship with Iago is not only hilarious, but perplexing in a way. They argue non-stop, but then you can kind of tell he enjoys having him around as a henchman and so they can both bond over being unapologetically evil. I especially love little bits of dialogue like “So…how did it go?” or when they’re musing about beheadings (“Ewwwww!”) or after they’re discovered and Iago’s trying to pack up his stuff but stops to go, “And what do you think about this picture? I don’t know. I think I’m making a weird face in it.” Stuff like that you miss as a kid and then you get older and find it much funnier that Jafar and Iago actually have a rapport going the entire time and it’s hilarious.

What I also noticed upon my adult viewing was that his voice actor, Jonathan Freeman, truly did a phenomenal job. Jafar’s voice is just…epic. I’m in awe of how Freeman managed to make slime and venom just drip from every word out of his mouth. Special mention goes to the perverted moment at the end where Jafar wishes for Jasmine—who, mind you, is sixteen—to fall desperately in love with him out of sheer spite that she refused to comply. I mean, it’s liable to give you some kind of venereal disease when those words come out of his mouth. I always shudder in disgust when he goes, “Now, pussycat, tell me more about…myself.” Brr, now that’s good evil. Hell, his voice acting is so badass that even though the second Aladdin straight-to-DVD sequel Return of Jafar is complete garbage, his musical number in it is outstanding and I still listen to it to this very day.

Plus, Jafar is one of those villains who wasn’t afraid to have some flair about him. He did everything in style, down to taunting Aladdin in the final fight with a hurricane of puns while attempting to kill the poor kid. Say what you will about plotholes (seriously, yes, I can admit that Jafar obviously should have just killed the royal family and taken over instead of trying to do it the hard way; I mean, he had mind control powers, for goodness sake), but Jafar ages like a fine, evil wine, if you ask me. If you haven’t taken a gander at him in recent times, please do. I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at what a colorful character he is.

Hades (Hercules)

Have I mentioned that I have a thing for snarky villains? Because I have a thing for snarky villains and for that reason, Hades is easily in my Top 10 favorite Disney villains list, even though these are in no particular order.

Like Jafar, Hades in my opinion gets better with age. And since James Woods is apparently a large garbage fire in real life (*rimshot*), it’s all the more important that I love this character while violently ignoring who voiced him, much like John Smith from Pocahontas (side note: please tell me I’m not alone in my massive crush on John Smith, mm, he’s exquisite).

Hades is a riot. Not only is he funny as hell (*second rimshot*), but his hatred for Zeus and the other gods is pretty legitimate, as they live in a shiny utopia and he’s stuck downstairs with the dead. Now, keep in mind, I have a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit, and so yes, I am very aware that this harmless little Disney movie in no way is accurately portraying Greek mythology. I’m one of those people who can honestly roll with the punches, and Hercules is one of my favorite Disney films, so I can forgive that they weren’t trying to adapt the myths as they appear in real life.

I like that Hades has a good reason for hating Zeus, and that he wants to screw him over any way possible and take the throne, and that he is actually a flawed villain. Sometimes you get villains who get away with everything all the time and it can be kind of tedious, but Hades was the right balance of conniving and evil, but he still screwed up on a regular basis. Plus, like Jafar, I love that Hades has minions that he bounces amazing dialogue off of, particularly my girl Meg. (I love her, in case you can’t tell.) I really love the relationship they have, where she unwillingly serves him and sasses him outright to his face pretty much 24/7. She even stands up to him in spite of having zero power when he asks her to turn on poor sweet Hercules. Even after everything goes tits up, Hades was still trying to bring home the win when Hercules bargained for Meg’s soul, and you’ve got to admire the guy for trying.

Besides, out of all the Disney villains, he’s probably got the best inventory of reaction .gifs. You just can’t resist using them. All hail Hades.


Mother Gothel (Tangled)

You have to admit that it takes one cold, empty, vain bitch to kidnap someone’s child and raise them as your own and pretend to love them just for eternal youth.

And that’s why Mother Gothel rocks my socks.

I mean, wow. The level of cold-blooded could qualify her to be Mr. Freeze’s wife, for heaven’s sake. We’ve seen plenty of villains do unbelievable things in the name of vanity and greed, but raising a daughter just so you can siphon off her energy for beauty? That’s the lowest of the low. If you recall, Mother Gothel was on my Most Hateable Villain list as well because of how sociopathic she was, but that’s why I find myself loving her too. She does all the classic awful things that bad mothers do, like manipulating Rapunzel by lying to her about the real world, picking at her self-esteem, and then just isolating the poor child for her entire life for her own gain.

I also think that her voice actor, Donna Murphy, got robbed in the Oscar season because while “I See the Light” was adorable and lovely, her vocals for “Mother Knows Best (Reprise)” sends chills down my spine. ICYMI, Donna Murphy is actually a trained Tony Award winning actress and that’s pretty obvious from her stellar performance. I love that Mother Gothel is so delightfully over the top and yet she can switch to bone-chillingly threatening in a heartbeat. It’s not often that Disney has the villain outright stab the hero in the gut on screen and watch him die with a sick satisfaction. She’s definitely an underrated lady and not to be trifled with in the least, and I have to respect her for that.

Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)

First of all, can I get a round of applause for whatever brilliant casting director hired the amazing Keith David for the part of Dr. Facilier? I mean, bravo. Both for his acting and that killer singing voice.

I adored The Princess and the Frog for so many reasons, and Dr. Facilier is definitely one of a kind and helped make the film what it was. Much like Hades, I liked that he carried a grudge for a good reason. He couldn’t use the voodoo on himself, and being a supposedly impoverished black man during that time period gave him a serious ax to grind against the upper class, both black and white. He was a slippery, cunning bastard who knew just what thing to whisper in your ear to get you to fall for his scheme. I loved that what he offered Tiana in the end wasn’t some awful, evil deal, but something she truly wanted with all her heart and so she wavered for just a second thinking about it. Some of the best villains ensnare the heroes that way, after all, playing on their aspirations.

The magical aspects surrounding him were also interesting, as we don’t see enough of the kind of male witch-doctor angle from villains in children’s movies. He had a particular kind of charming threat to him, and it was believable that so many people in New Orleans got caught in his traps. I truly enjoyed how unnerving his shadow minions were and the stunning visuals in his amazing villain song “Friends on the Other Side” that a lot of people cited as the best song in the movie’s soundtrack (I can argue for and against it, as almost all the songs hit me right where I live).

And I can’t leave without mentioning how freaking terrifying the way he meets his end was. I’m an adult and I still find it chilling. Kudos, Disney.

Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

I have a slight confession to make here: I don’t care for The Little Mermaid, and I didn’t even when I was a kid. I think even as a little six or seven year old kid, I thought it was stupid that Ariel ditched her entire family and life for a hot guy. Now, as I got older I can also apply the reasoning that she also wanted to explore the human world, which is better, but I still never bonded with Ariel.

But Ursula?

Yeah, we can hang.

Ursula’s complete over-the-topness is probably what I remember most fondly about The Little Mermaid, aside from the absurd “Les Poissons” Big Lipped Alligator Moment song. She’s so delightful because she’s petty, vindictive, and manipulative. Most of the time when you see the Top 10 Disney Villain Songs lists, Ursula’s “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is near the top. It’s not only an incredible song but an incredible performance. Like Jafar, the voice actress Pat Carroll sold that performance to the umpteenth degree. She makes your skin crawl, but at the same time, she’s so damned entertaining that you can’t help but smile a little. One of my favorite lines is when she called Ariel a “trollop” because she actually was getting Eric to fall in love with her even though she couldn’t talk (side note: hmm, that might be another reason I subconsciously didn’t care for this movie; granted, Ariel’s adorable behavior was what Eric was falling in love with, but you can probably still make the case that this is pretty shallow) I mean, wow, that’s pretty salty to call the little dear a “trollop” and I found it endlessly hilarious as an adult.

Plus, Ursula’s transformation at the end was beyond epic. She was legitimately terrifying and there wasn’t any manipulation to be had—she straight up tried to murder everyone involved and rule over the ocean as a titan. You gotta respect the lady’s goals. She does nothing half-assed. She even meets her end in a spectacular fashion. I tip my hat to you, Ursula, as one of the baddest girls of them all.

Scar (The Lion King)

By now, we’ve all pretty much cited that The Lion King is Hamlet But with Lions, and in spite of that, it’s still just a well told, well executed Disney film. We come back to it all the time for its powerful relationships and beautiful score and stunning visuals.

Then, on top of that, we get Scar.

Oh, Scar. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Scar is such a phenomenal villain that aside from Simon Gruber, Jeremy Irons never found another role as good as that one. He’s another that usually tops the Disney Villains lists for just being so terribly entertaining and maniacal. One of the things I find compelling about Scar is that he has more than just one of the seven deadly sins as a hubris, he has quite a few: envy, pride, wrath, and gluttony, most prominently. He’s envious of Mufasa, he’s so prideful that he thinks he can lead the pride (*rimshot*) even though he has no leadership skills, he murdered his own brother in cold blood and then tried to murder his nephew as well, and he let the hyenas literally eat the entire pridelands into famine. Wow. Aside from Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he might be one of the only villains to check off so many sins all at once.

Scar’s personality on top of all that evil is also why he usually tops lists. He openly snarks at everything, friend or foe, and he’s not afraid to drop the pretense of being Amicably Evil and just be flat out evil. Even after Simba finally catches up to him, he tries to manipulate him and the pride. He’s cruel, but he makes you laugh. He’s evil, but he does it with flair. He’s ineffectual in a fight, but he knows how to turn the tide in his favor when it comes down to it. He even meets his end trying to manipulate the hyenas once again. Scar is unforgettable and fascinating and we need more villains like him in future flicks.

Gaston (The Beauty and the Beast)

If there’s one villain on this list that I love to hate, it’s Gaston.

At first, I wasn’t going to add him, but then I took a deeper look at my opinion of the man, and that’s what changed my mind. Anyone who knows me knows I am a feminist—a real feminist, not the kind who are just man-hating SJWs—as in I want men and women to have the same amount of rights and treatment and live in harmony without either side dealing with unfair bullshit.

Gaston is the ultimate sexist, misogynistic pig. He’s my worst nightmare. Just looking at him makes me want to put my fist through the screen.

And that’s why he sticks with us.

For example, I have recently likened the character Grant Ward from Agents of SHIELD to Gaston, simply because a portion of the AoS fandom has become those three little blonde girls you see in the background of Gaston’s incredible musical number. Unfortunately, in real life and in other forms of fiction, Gaston exists. There is always a handsome guy whose actions are utterly reprehensible, but he’s charming and good-looking, so people are willing to overlook his monstrous actions. Ward’s fangirls have locked themselves in the Denial closet because they find him attractive, so he gets a pass even though he is literally a Neo-Nazi murdering psychopath. But I digress.

Gaston fascinates me, in a way, because of his vanity and his ego, and how far he is willing to go just to satisfy them both. It would be different if he had just been manipulating Belle to get in her pants, but as the movie continues and he later uses her father to get her to cooperate, it becomes more than that. Then, it’s about Gaston trying control Belle. She told him no. He doesn’t want to hear no. It’s no longer about sex at that point. It’s about a woman with her own mind and her own desires and they don’t line up with a typical “man’s man” alpha male and it drives him crazy, since he thinks a woman is just a thing to own. It escalates brilliantly once he finds out about the Beast and he incites a full on lynch mob before proceeding to straight up murder the Beast over the woman who 100% rejected him multiple times. Honestly, you could write an essay unpacking the layers to Gaston and Belle’s antagonistic relationship. It’s pretty incredible to examine.

Besides all the deep stuff, Gaston is wonderfully over-the-top. You can’t take your eyes off the man. He’s such a relentlessly awful douche, down to being presumptuous and assembling a wedding reception before proposing to Belle, as he’s just that sure she was going to say yes. Wow. Just wow.

There isn’t a day that can come around when I’m not willing to totally belt out the lyrics to “Gaston” because it’s one of Disney’s most singable songs. Complete with ridiculous flourishing and strutting about like the man himself. Because, really, Gaston is the best and the rest is all drips.

Hopper (A Bug’s Life)

Funnily enough, when I went through both the Disney Animated Canon and Disney/Pixar lists, I didn’t find myself really thinking any of the Disney/Pixar villains were the kind I loved. For example, I put Lotso from Toy Story 3 on my Most Hateable List (the damned bear made me curse in a theater full of children, for God’s sake!) but I had to really think about if any of the Pixar villains left an impression on me this way. Well, a couple years ago, they were running A Bug’s Life on the Disney channel, and I thought about the fact that I hadn’t seen it as an adult, so I gave it a shot.


Hopper is an incredible villain.

Granted, I shouldn’t be surprised, as it’s Kevin freaking Spacey doing the voice, and even when Spacey’s at his most over-the-top, he’s phenomenal. However, Hopper is one of a kind and deserves more attention, but most of the time he gets overlooked since A Bug’s Life is a slightly underwhelming film overall. It’s a case of an outstanding villain inside of a mediocre film.

Hopper figured out that all he really needed to do was devalue the ants and make it seem like they didn’t have a choice in the matter. His tall stature and intimidating voice did half the work for him, and it was all downhill from there once the ants were afraid to stand up for themselves. What I found most interesting was after the grasshoppers were back at their place and saying they didn’t need to go back for food, as we’re shown they had plenty, and Hopper kills the two who spoke up, because it’s not about the food. It was never about the food. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hopper wanted the ants to stay subservient and it didn’t matter how he accomplished that goal, down to killing the queen and her poor little granddaughter if necessary. The level of cruelty Hopper displays as a dictator is pretty chilling, even in a movie that’s plenty bright and colorful. What I found most chilling was when Flik finally stood up to him and he gets slapped around for his trouble before Hopper seriously is about to crush Flik’s skull in front of the entire ant colony. Wow. Public execution in a kids’ movie. Who knew Pixar had it in them?

Basically, I’m pretty happy Hopper was tiny and fictional, because that kind of person can destroy entire nations with that mentality and personality and the will to get it done. He was easily able to fool the ants into being afraid because he knew the right pressure points. I think it was an important lesson for kids to take away from the film, even if it probably went over their heads and stuck more with the adults. It’s a good reflection of how men like that rise to power, by making the masses believe that they don’t have a choice, and that their voices don’t count. (*side-eyes America*)

So kudos to you, Hopper. You made a pretty damned legitimate threat in a movie about circus bugs.

Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)

The Great Mouse Detective deserves a thousand times more love than it gets. However, this tends to happen a lot with the films before the Disney Renaissance. A lot of them weren’t heavily circulated on TV or DVD, and so people tend to forget they’re there. This is an example of a film that didn’t talk down to children. It gave them a challenging, scary caper to follow and provided us with a wild ride that is honestly pretty damn great, all things considered.

In case you missed out on it, The Great Mouse Detective is exactly what it says on the tin: a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes. We follow along as Detective Basil of Baker Street is given the task of finding a kidnapped scientist, as the scientist’s little daughter has hired him and his right hand man Dawson to find her father. Like in Sherlock Holmes, Basil has an archnemesis: Ratigan. Literally a huge rat who is just as brilliant as Basil, but he hates being called a rat.

Oh, did I mention Ratigan is voiced by the late great Vincent Price?

Are you ordering the DVD on Amazon yet? You are? Great. You’re welcome. Please enjoy.

I mean, you had me at hello right there. Vincent Price is the master of the macabre, and it’s nowhere better seen than in his performance of Ratigan. He’s your classic villain, where he constantly leaves little messages to Basil and thwarts the detective’s attempts to stop him, taunting him constantly, nearly breaking his spirit in one instance.

Ratigan is one of my favorites for being so very, very devious. I mean, for the crime of one drunk mouse calling him a rat (seriously, the mouse is blatantly drunk, and there’s also a freaking strip tease routine later, so how can you not appreciate this movie?) he feeds said drunk mouse to his enormous fat cat that he somehow owns. A rat that has the balls to own his own natural enemy. That’s Ratigan.

What truly seals things is that Ratigan gets angry if anyone calls him a rat because he considers himself to be a criminal genius and has enormous social stature, but then when his plan is foiled, he literally goes completely feral and attacks Basil in one of the scariest final sequences in Disney history. I’m not kidding. It’s downright unnerving. Even if you don’t see the film after my recommendation, do me a favor and look at this fight sequence. If a little chill doesn’t go down your spine, you’re crazy or in denial.

Percival C. McLeach (Rescuers Down Under)

Like some of the other Disney films on this list, Rescuers Down Under is one of the Disney films that gets overlooked a lot simply for being earlier era Disney, but it’s actually one of those rare sequels that is largely hailed as better than the original. Not only is the animation absolutely gorgeous, it’s a thrilling ride with lots of humor and colorful characters that will capture your heart pretty much instantaneously. Rescuers Down Under is also one of the movies that I decided to rewatch as an adult since I didn’t recall much from my childhood other than really liking John Candy’s role as the goofy seagull.

Well, one thing that also left a lasting impression on my rewatch is Mr. Percival C. McLeach.

Now, a lot of you are probably squinting right now going, “Wow, that was really the bad guy’s full name in this movie?” I’m with you on that one. I actually forgot his name too until I Googled it. However, look at his picture and I’m sure it’ll immediately snap into your mind what a greasy, insidious piece of evil crap this guy was.

For those who might have missed the movie, Rescuers Down Under is about a sweet little Australian boy named Cody who stumbles across an incredibly rare, beautiful, huge golden eagle and befriends it, but there’s a poacher on the loose who is dead set on catching the eagle and he doesn’t care who or what gets in his way. The Rescuers are sent in to help the lost boy find his way home and protect him and the eagle from McLeach.

Oh, did I mention McLeach is voiced by the late great George C. Scott?

You’re buying the DVD on Amazon right now, aren’t you?

Once again, the reference will probably go over the kids’ heads, but anyone my age and older knows that you can’t resist that smoke-and-venom laced voice of George C. Scott, and his talents are on full display in this movie. McLeach is exactly like his namesake—a bloodthirsty parasite. You’d think that as a full grown man, he’d just let the kid go and take the eagle, but no. McLeach considers the kid to be a threat because the kid knows that poaching is illegal and could rat him out, so not only does he kidnap the kid, he uses the kid as bait for crocodiles. Yes. This man used a small child as live crocodile bait. I mean…no wonder this movie is better than the original. Who has the balls to be that damned evil?

Plus, like Jafar and Iago, McLeach’s relationship with his creepy little lizard Joanna is hysterical. The lizard has a lust for eggs and so a couple hilarious segments devoted to the lizard getting at them like any annoying pet would. I highly recommend the sequence of the lizard getting the dozen eggs McLeach was trying to eat for lunch out of his lunchbox. It is Tom and Jerry levels of hilarious shenanigans. I know Disney overuses animal sidekicks, but that scene truly deserves a lot of credit for comedic timing and visuals.

Give this film a try. I think you’ll honestly find yourself impressed with how well it stands up, and how truly beautiful the animation style is. You get an excellent feel for the outback and a great story with vibrant characters to boot.

Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)

Man, sometimes Disney just knocks it out of the park with casting, and the Emperor’s New Groove is no exception. It’s one of those Disney movies that is irresistible from start to finish. No matter when it’s on and no matter what platform, I will watch this movie and laugh myself silly every time.

Once again, we have a villainess who is just so over-the-top phenomenal that I can’t help but sing the casting director’s praises. We are treated to none other than the glorious late Eartha Kitt as Yzma, the emperor’s evil advisor who is responsible for the plot to kill him, which thankfully went awry. Eartha Kitt is a legend for a reason. Yzma is just as funny and snarky as Hades, and I honestly think it would have been amazing for these two villains to meet and have a Snark Off.

I love Yzma’s constant cantankerous nature on top of her clear vanity and ego. It’s one of the personality types that often is given to male characters, and so it’s all the more interesting and fun to see it portrayed via Eartha Kitt’s amazing voice acting. She’s wonderful because she feels like the kind of person who would be in power over Kuzco’s empire while he’s running around being a selfish brat. I love how fashionable she is and how she just rolls with the ridiculous things she’s forced to endure while trying to catch Kuzco. Her deadpan alone will bring tears to your eyes. “Are you talking to that squirrel?

Plus, Yzma and Kronk might be my all-time favorite Disney villain duo if only because they’re relationship is pure genius. Despite how the partnership ends up, it’s pretty funny that they both seem to know each other well and get along on some superficial level. Pretty much everything Kronk does is amazing and I want to put him in my pocket, so it’s easy to see that Yzma hadn’t gotten rid of him yet even though he was driving her crazy. Special mention goes to the jump rope moment where she is discussing her evil plan while actually jumping rope and playing patty-cake with Kronk. It’s priceless. You can’t not love this duo. Even after Yzma loses, she and Kronk are still hanging out and it’s brilliant.

If there’s one company that knows how good it feels to be evil this October Halloween season, it’s Disney.

My Favorite Awesomely Bad Disaster Movies

Let’s keep the month of October going with my favorite disaster movies! Disaster movies usually get their own category since they are so prevalent and pop up every handful of years using the same tropes, but I still think people tend to forget that they are technically horror films, even if they can lean more towards the action-adventure side than the scary side. I still think they’re worth taking a look at as we count down the days to Halloween, so let’s go.

Volcano (1997)

First off, are you noticing the trend yet? The 1990’s were just offering up terrible monster and disaster movies left and right, and I can’t thank them enough for it. Volcano is slightly more obscure than your average blockbuster movie like Twister or Armageddon, and for good reason. Like Anaconda on my movie monster list, it had the fatal flaw of taking itself completely seriously, and thus failed on every single level imaginable. It’s probably possible to make a horror movie about a volcano—not probable, but possible—but this is the exact way not to do it. But that also leads to big unintentional laughs for a sensible person like you and me.

Volcano is about an earthquake that basically awakens a volcano that was somehow lurking underneath the streets of Los Angeles.

I’ve already lost you, haven’t I?

Wait, come back. Just go with me on this one for a minute.

Tommy Lee Jones plays a city official trying to help with the disaster relief and Anne Heche plays a scientist (Sit down! Stop trying to leave while I’m talking to you!) advising him on what to do. And yes, it is a ludicrous as you think it is.

For me, the faulty science is what makes this movie noteworthy. I mean, wow. It gets so many things wrong and the fact that they’re trying to make a true blue disaster film out of incredibly slow moving lava is just comical. As I mentioned above, there might be a way to make this a horror film, but not in these circumstances. What you’d want to do is write about an island where a volcano erupts and let’s say the eruption takes out all the boats, so your survivors have to carefully navigate the island and get to a safe zone as they wait for help to arrive, and even then, you still can’t make the volcano the main villain. You’d probably need a secondary antagonist, like a selfish, cowardly member of the group who lets people die or tries to sabotage the survivors to ensure that he gets out alive.

Volcano fails on a stunning level to deliver thrills and chills because it’s just so stupid, but at the same time, it’s pretty spectacular in its failings. Tommy Lee looks generally annoyed by everything he sees and it’s enjoyable as hell. There’s stupid subplot about race relations that has one of the corniest pay offs I have ever seen. There is a scene where they knock over a bus to help “direct” the lava down another part of the street, and if you can’t find that funny, you need your head examined. It may kill a few of your brain cells, but I still think Volcano is worth a watch.

The Core (2003)

Speaking of awkwardly cast movies with terrible science and woefully miscast actors, The Core!

Let me tell you the ways of this facepalm-inducing attempt at a disaster movie.

As a result of unusual sun activity, the earth’s core stops spinning. Apparently, this causes catastrophic side effects, like a literal hole opening up in the ozone layer that proceeds to melt the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of opening some tequila and drinking to the end of the world, a group of scientists and the government decide that rather than accepting our inevitable demise, they should drill to the center of the earth and drop nukes in order to get the planet’s core spinning again.

You can’t make this shit up, man.

To be frank, The Core is a pretty blatant rip off of Armageddon. It’s incredibly obvious not only by concept alone, but by the hodge-podge “misfit team” the movie cobbles together. The strangest part is that the movie casts some damned great actors even though overall it’s a colossal failure at using them, including Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Bruce Greenwood, Stanley Tucci, Alfre Woodard, and Delroy Lindo. I am convinced that the writers’ room and director just hyped this movie (and its imaginary box office dollars) up so much that all these credible actors decided to say yes to such a rancid script. The dialogue is atrocious. Almost no one fits in their roles properly. Most of these actors are character actors who deliver excellent performances in dramas or sharp-witted comedies, and here they are generic rogue scientists trying to save the world.

As a whole, the movie is awkward, uninspired, and relies heavily on clichés. However, it’s another one where it’s so unbelievable that it has to be witnessed. It seems to misunderstand the movie it’s trying to emulate on its most basic level. Say what you want about Armageddon (I personally argue it is the only “good” film I’ve seen in Michael Bay’s inventory; I like Bad Boys and the first Transformers as well, but neither movie is “good,” merely entertaining), but it knew what it was going for: a misfit team of roughnecks saving the world from a terrifying threat. The actors in Armageddon were cast well and each of them fit in their roles and you genuinely cared about them. This group can be killed off or interchanged without consequence, but to be fair, the only person who seems to actually be trying is Stanley Tucci. Tucci’s snarky comments and uptight pretentiousness is by far the most entertaining thing aside from all the laughable science. He is 2000% done with everyone and everything in the movie and it actually brightens the film quite a bit.

The Core is a masterful train wreck of ineptitude, but I think it’s worth a watch if only because it just botches everything it attempts and is a lesson on what not to do in a disaster movie.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

The Day After Tomorrow puts the ‘disaster’ in ‘disaster movie.’

To be completely honest, I almost left it off the list because it greatly annoys me—now, granted, not as much as Emmerich’s other failure 2012, but TDAT has a reputation for its awfulness that cannot be ignored. For example, most of the time when movies do big budget blockbusters of this caliber, they ask for help. Michael Bay consulted with actual NASA for Armageddon, even though his premise was forced and not the correct way it would have been handled. It had enough basis in reality that NASA happily agreed.

The Day After Tomorrow is so scientifically false that NASA refused to consult with the film.

Yeah. It’s that bad.

The Day After Tomorrow is about the earth reaching its breaking point because of climate change and basically a chain reaction of cataclysmic events begin happening as a result, from hail the size of basketballs to tidal waves that put New York underwater. Dennis Quaid is a scientist trying to insist to the government that they need to take action to protect people, but he is summarily ignored as a crackpot until it starts happening. He finds out his son is trapped at the New York Library and sets out in the killer cold to rescue him and whoever else he can find that survived the tidal wave and ensuing blizzard.

To be frank, you’ll probably go comatose from all your brain cells exploding at once if you try to watch the movie without the help of Rifftrax. That’s the only way I can stomach it. The movie beats you over the head with its environmental message, even to the point of inserting a Dick Cheney look alike to scoff about climate change while the brave and noble Dennis Quaid proves him wrong. The sanctimonious tone of it all is insufferable, and then adding the bad science on top just makes it an exercise in going crazy.

However, there’s plenty to laugh at, from the miscast Jake Gyllenhaal (who is supposed to be a high school kid, but looks like a thirty year old with 90’s scruffy hair) to the hilarious scene of them literally out-running freezing cold air. Yes. Cold. Air. Is. The. Villain.

It’s almost hard to look away from this movie because it’s so staggeringly ignorant and it relies on some of Emmerich’s most tiring clichés, from the absentee father to the dumb self sacrifice to the cheesy redemption arc for the main lead. Everyone is sleep-walking through their performances and every weather-related catastrophe is done wrong. Even the title clues you in to how uninspired it is. Hell, there’s really not that much action when you put it together as a whole. They even had to shove in an improbable chase scenes with CGI wolves aboard an abandoned ship. Yes, you read that correctly. The movie is just spinning its wheels mostly, but at the same time, it makes it a lot of fun to riff and takes shots for. Just make sure you’re drinking the good stuff, or you’re liable to fall asleep.

The Happening (2008)

Remember when we talked about Lady in the Water being absolutely phenomenal because it’s the most bullshit horror story ever played completely straight?

Meet yet another one of M. Night Shyamalan’s mesmerizing pieces of crap that is played totally straight as a horror film and yet is the furthest thing from it.

The Happening is about a “mysterious” event occurring all over the United States where people start randomly killing themselves en masse, which is preceded by talking strangely and walking backwards. The whole country starts freaking out, and one of the people in the middle of the fray is Mark Wahlberg, who for some reason is playing a school teacher. He and his girlfriend Alma, played abysmally by the walking zombie cupie doll Zooey Deschanel, try to escape the path of the event and survive.

Oh, and the thing that’s killing everyone?

It’s plants.


Freaking. Plants.

Congratulations. That is the lamest villain of all time.

However, The Happening is overstuffed with bizarre things, much like Lady in the Water, so much so that it’s become a cult classic over the years because it does everything so wrong. Mark Wahlberg seems to have been given zero direction, so he’s basically mouth-breathing and panicked and clueless the entire time, whereas Zooey just stares blankly ahead like a bushbaby and emotes about as well as a sock puppet without a hand in it. The deaths are over the top and come across as silly rather than scary, and like most of his bad films, the side characters all consist of people with weirdly alien quirks that make no sense and don’t endear you to them. It’s like someone asked a Martian to write a script for a disaster movie. No one acts like a normal person would in the middle of a disaster. There are entire conversations that happen for no reason and characters come to idiotic conclusions with almost no evidence or prompting. For God’s sake, there is a scene where Mark Wahlberg tries to reason with a house plant that turns out to be made of plastic. This movie should be framed in the Smithsonian for a crowning achievement in failure to be a disaster movie, in that it is a complete disaster from start to finish.

But I guess that means it lived up to its genre, if only in the literal sense.

Birdemic (2010)

If you’re a nerd and you’ve already seen Birdemic, you’re probably giggling madly right now, and you’re not the only one, trust me.

For the non-nerds out there, let me introduce you to a movie that is so poorly done that most people don’t think it’s actually a real movie.

On the sunny non-descript streets of California, a software salesman falls in love with a newly hired Victoria’s Secret supermodel and then the city gets attacked by birds.

Again, I would like to repeat that I am not joking and I did not make this up.

I wish I could help you understand how incredible Birdemic is without visuals, but it’s hardly possible. By now, you might have heard of the infamous movie The Room by Tommy Wiseau, which is often hailed as one of the worst movies ever made.

Well, take The Room and multiply it by five, and you get Birdemic.

Birdemic was shot on a handheld camera, but not in the way that found-footage movies are shot. I mean the budget for this film is so nonexistent that filming was done by hand or on a tripod. The film also doesn’t have a sound editor, as there are huge audio spikes heard throughout the film as well as background wind noise that are inconsistent. The titular birds are not real birds, nor are they props.

They are literally graphic sprite .gifs of eagles flapping their wings.

And the eagles make seagull noises.

Oh, it gets better, friends.

The eagles dive bomb buildings and explode like kamikaze pilots. With plane sounds.

Think I’m done? No, friends.

The main actor in the movie is so bad that a case can be made that he is the first lobotomized actor.

The actor is so bad that he can’t even walk in a straight line like a human.

I’m not joking.

He literally even walks wrong.

Then add in the fact that lines are misread, repeated, or accidentally cut short due to the film’s lack of a professional editor, so you even get to enjoy movie mistakes as they happen in the film that were left in due to overall incompetence.

I know you’re thinking I’m crazy and I made this up, but look! Look! It’s real! It’s a real thing that exists!

Birdemic is beyond definition. Most people at first glance think it’s a parody, but I assure you, the “director” was dead serious and thought he made a real movie, much like Tommy Wiseau. The worst part is he was apparently “inspired” by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, even to the point of trying to get Tippi Hedren to cameo, but she understandably refused to accept the invitation.

And if you want to get your money’s worth, once more, I highly recommend the Rifftrax for it. It’s simply amazing. Either way, you need to witness the Birdemic. You will find yourself forever changed.

My Favorite Awesomely Bad Monster Movies

Guys! It’s October! Yay! Time to break out the pumpkin-flavored everything, sweater dresses, leggings, boots, and of course, horror movies of every size and kind!

Now, to be perfectly honest with you, I am a chicken. I can’t watch horror movies because I have an overactive imagination that manifests itself into vivid nightmares or insomnia if I watch them. However, I do admit that I like monster movies quite a lot. In celebration of the month of October, as we creep towards Halloween, I’ve decided to make a list of not just monsters movies that I like–terrible monster movies that I happen to like. Because, hey, it’s more fun that way. So kick back and enjoy!

Lake Placid (1999)

Don’t talk to me if you don’t like Lake Placid. It is by far one of the greatest blends of horror-comedies to ever exist and no one can ever convince me otherwise. I have to say I really appreciate movies that understand the tropes they’re using and not only use them well, but have fun along the way. Self-awareness, when done properly on film, can result in some of the most priceless moments possible, and Lake Placid is an excellent example.

In case you missed it, Lake Placid is about an insanely huge crocodile that is discovered in the titular lake. A team is sent out to confirm the sighting after someone was killed by it and after it’s discovered, the race is on to capture it before it munches everyone and everything on that lake.

Lake Placid could have been some dry attempt at making crocodiles scary, and to be fair they already are and don’t need any help from horror movies, but instead they decided to adopt a tongue-in-cheek tone that just sells the movie so much better than a straight horror film ever could. Easily, the movie’s best characters are Oliver Platt and Brendan Gleeson, who both enter into a gut-busting snark off contest for the entirety of the movie. Brendan Gleeson plays the straight-laced, grumpy, Harvey Bullock-style cop and Oliver Platt is a rich, crazy crocodile expert called in to consult. The two immediately hate each other and it’s comedy gold listening to them insult each other at every available moment in spite of the fact that they are hunting a literal killer croc. Plus, the movie is actually pretty creative and engrossing with its action sequences of hunting the crocodile, and there are not one but two genuinely awesome twists before it’s over. The fact that the characters are so aware of how ridiculous everything around them is makes it an absolute joy to watch. Special mention goes to Betty White, who knocks it out of the park in her small bit part of the foul-mouthed granny whose fault this pretty much all is.

Lake Placid is always in rotation on cable channels, and if you haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favor and enjoy it this Halloween season. Ignore the sequels, though. Those aren’t awesomely bad, those are just bad bad.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep Blue Sea is an unforgettable experience, as it is somehow a mashup of like twelve different kinds of horror melded into one brainless mess of pure brilliance.

Deep Blue Sea tells the tale of a scientist who has been trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease using a protein that grows in the brain stem of the Mako shark. Her project hasn’t turned in results and is about to get axed, so she convinces the benefactor to visit the facility and see that she can produce the protein. She can’t grow enough protein by the 48-hour deadline, so she illegally tampers with the sharks and grows their brains twice the size to produce more, which makes the sharks smarter, and so the super smart sharks decide to kill everybody and destroy the compound so they can get out into the open water.

If you’re not laughing by the end of my description, there is something wrong with you.

Deep Blue Sea, like Lake Placid, is mostly a precious jewel of a movie because of the fact that the characters are aware of how ridiculous the premise is and so they make the experience unforgettable. The main credit goes to LL Cool J, who is the Lampshade Hanger of the movie, and snarks it up being one of the only two black men in a sinking compound overrun with super smart killer sharks. He delivers lines that will have you howling the entire time. The movie also has the audacity to give you some truly comical moments of failed science. Everything from sharks swimming backwards, which is physically impossible, to sharks figuring out what cameras are enough to take them out like they’re in a slasher movie, as well as appliances that shouldn’t be functioning in five feet of standing water and lighters being conjured out of literal nothingness to deliver improbable deaths to said super smart killer sharks.

While some of you might know the film for the infamous Samuel L. Jackson moment, the rest of the film really does warrant a watch. It’s mostly self aware, but there are other things to giggle at where the movie tried to Do a Thing and failed miserably, like trying to make Thomas Jane seem like a stoic badass except they didn’t write him any badass lines, nor did they have him do anything badass, nor did the director direct the poor actor to do anything other than “stare blankly ahead and say everything in monotone.” Plus, once you’re done, look up the unbelievable trivia about the movie’s re-written ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but it is quite satisfying, trust me.

Deep Rising (1998)

Several months ago, I was at my parents’ house hanging out for the day, and my clever thumbs scrolled past Deep Rising. I frowned as I saw the title, as it sounded vaguely familiar, and so I turned it on.

It was the best decision I made that weekend.

When I was a kid, I recall that there was some kind of awful D-list movie about a ship with people trapped inside being attacked by disgusting tentacles. At the time, I was repulsed by gore, and so decades went by before I ever recalled the movie again.

In short, Deep Rising is a movie about a luxury ship that gets attacked by a mutant octopus with sentient tentacles.

I am dead serious.

Complete with cheesy effects for when you finally see said mutant octopus in the flesh altogether.

Where do I even start?

First of all, it bears mentioning that this is a Stephen Sommers film, and so there is a certain amount of self aware campiness to the film, much like his far superior Mummy films (excluding the non-existent third one). However, for the most part, you’re actually supposed to be afraid of the somehow-sentient tentacles that illogically creep around the ship eating passengers and “mercenaries” (I say that because they are some of the stupidest people ever conceived on the silver screen.)

Second of all, the casting is dreadful. There’s just a random assortment of actors miscast in these roles, like Famke Janssen and Djimon Hounsou. My parents and I were sitting on the couch choking on our salad with laughter at the utterly moronic scenarios played completely straight, like a mercenary shooting up an empty room and then turning his back so that the tentacle gobbles him up when he turns around even though he had fair warning as the other people ran away from it. My personal favorite moment where I erupted into peals of laughter was part of the finale with the “hero” and Famke riding a wave runner through the ship running away from the tentacles while firing Endless Magazines at it and executing perfect hairpin turns through the ship’s hallways at about eighty miles per hour. Or the guy that gets shot out of one of the tentacles somehow standing up and trying to talk despite most of his body being digested already.

Deep Rising is often cited as a poorly executed Alien ripoff, and that’s probably true, but it’s so absurd that it begs to be watched. Your jaw will hang open in disbelief the entire time and there is no way you don’t end up with stomach cramps laughing at the cheesy late 90’s effects, the awful gore, and the corny dialogue.

Anaconda (1997)

Back when I was a youngster, I was one of those freaky kids who actually liked snakes and thought they were absurdly cool animals. I still do, actually. At the time it came out, I was pretty young and so Anaconda seemed a little scary to me even though I liked snakes.

Then I became an adult and the wonderful fellas at Rifftrax decided to do a live riff of Anaconda. I attended. And I have never been happier that I did.

Unlike the other films on my list, Anaconda is a poor, blessed little movie that actually takes itself seriously somehow. I mean, where do I even start describing where things go wrong? It was pretty much doomed from the very start trying to turn an animal like an anaconda into a giant killer monster that is so sadistic that it vomits up prey it just killed in order to try and eat more prey. The movie is even stupid enough to put that as a prelude at the beginning of the movie. Who is dumb enough to put a completely false fact in front of their horror movie? These folks, apparently.

Anaconda tells the baffling tale of a photographer and crew going on an expedition to film on a river. They are joined by a completely psychotic “snake expert” who derails the entire trip and essentially takes the crew hostage to go hunt a monster anaconda so he can capture it alive (somehow he thought he could fit that 40 foot snake on that tiny boat, but it is never directly discussed) and presumably sell it for a lot of money. This Card Carrying Villain is played unapologetically by Jon Voight, who for some reason puts on the worst “South African” accent to ever be committed to film. He’s so obviously evil that he just mugs the camera with an evil sneer and does things to this crew of morons that should have clued them in to the fact that he was a remorseless murdering fiend the second they laid eyes on him.

But Voight’s awful performance is pretty much the only other thing that sells this stupid movie.

Voight is just hamming it up to the point of absurdity, but the crew he’s terrorizing is so lacking in brain cells that you’re kind of fine with him sacrificing them to lure the anaconda into his clutches. There is even a scene where his big, fat, old butt gets into a fight with then-young Ice Cube (who is so woefully miscast I cannot to this day figure out who said yes to him and why unless he just donated a whole bunch of cash for production contingent on starring in the film, because the man can’t act his way out of a wet paper bag filled with live snakes) and Voight somehow wins. Yes. Jon Voight out-fights Ice Cube. Oh Lord. It’s just the most idiotic thing ever, but you can’t look away because it’s like a train wreck.

Voight aside, the other reason you need to witness Anaconda is the laugh-worthy anaconda itself. First of all, the CG will send you into hysterics. It hasn’t aged well, and even the practical effects can make you burst into giggles, particularly with two scenes: the “fight” between the anaconda and a jaguar, where the jaguar is so obviously a stuffed prop that it might as well have been a kid holding one of those rubber snakes and wrapping it around a Beanie Baby, and the scene where the anaconda literally breaks through the wooden hull of the boat’s main deck like the freaking Kool-Aid Man. Oh, and did I mention that the snake screams? Not hissing. Screaming. Like, shrieking screaming, when it attacks. I have no words for how hysterical it is, because snakes can’t make noises other than hissing, so the dummies in the editing room made it shriek and it’s so funny I can’t do it justice. Plus, the snake does other things that snakes can’t do like climbing up ladders at the speed of sound, busting through planks of wood, surviving being exploded and lit on fire, and even gunshots. The snake’s behavior is even more absurd, as they assert that this particular anaconda is some kind of reptilian serial killer that murders for the fun of it, and anyone who knows anything about reptiles can already tell you that’s a load of crock. (*rimshot*)

It’s an awful, awful movie that can provide you with an insane amount of entertainment because of its lack of self-awareness. It’s one of those times where they were trying so hard to make a horror flick that they ended up making a comedy instead.

Godzilla (1998)

Let me start by disclaiming something—I don’t like Roland Emmerich. In my entire life, I have liked exactly two of his movies: Independence Day and this. ID4 is pretty much self-explanatory, but I know I’m definitely one of the only people in the world who likes Godzilla ‘98. It’s partially because of my nostalgia goggles, as this was one of the big action films that my family and I really bonded with. I personally think this movie is hilarious. Whether it’s unintentional humor or pretty much all of Hank Azaria and Jean Reno’s lines, I have such a great time watching this idiotic and yet fascinating film.

Godzilla ’98 doesn’t appear to really be trying to remake or adapt any of Godzilla’s direct canon films in Japan, at least as far as I know. It’s sort of just cobbling together enough story for why the big thing is on our side of the pond. Blah blah blah, government experimentation with nuclear power created basically an iguana that walks on its hind legs and is the size of the Chrysler building. Matthew Broderick is a scientist advising the government because he’s an expert in genetic mutation, or some kind of science gobbledy-gook. Hank Azaria and White Bitch (I refuse to use her name, because she was a conniving, useless trifling bitch) are trying to report on the story and get caught in the crossfire, while Jean Reno is leading a covert team trying to wrap everything up and prevent people from learning the truth about who is responsible for Godzilla’s creation.

Godzilla’s mixture of humor interspersed with, come on, be honest, some pretty excellent chase and destruction sequences, are why I always have to recommend it for your monster movie viewings. It’s more action-adventure than horror, but they do add some horror moments in there towards the end. It blatantly rips off Jurassic Park in the final act—down to stealing actual iconic shots, for heaven’s sake—but the movie is another where it is clearly intended as tongue-in-cheek and can be enjoyed as a brainless popcorn flick because of it. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously, aside from maybe slipping in an environmentalist line here or there and then the “man is the real monster” moment in the last scene.

I know it’s a crime against humanity in some circles, but I liked the design of the Godzilla creature. I thought it was very interesting and it had such a massive scope because of the cinematography. He felt huge and dangerous and scary. And yes, I did see the 2014 Godzilla remake that was so dreadfully boring and only had a total of 11 minutes of Godzilla in it, and frankly, you can eat my shorts. I thought the 2014 Godzilla movie was a huge flop, with nothing but a boring, blank-faced Aaron Johnson and I’d take my cheesy ’98 Godzilla over it every single time. If nothing else, it had the balls to destroy Manhattan and show the big reptile the entire movie through, not for 11 freaking minutes. Say what you will, but if you came for a monster, you got a monster from start to finish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a gritty, “realistic” tone doesn’t immediately make your remake better than its counterpart. Write that down, Hollywood.

I say grab some popcorn and enjoy the cornball idiocy of ’98 Godzilla.

Lady in the Water (2006)

Wait, wait, don’t get up and leave! I promise I will justify the inclusion of one of M. Night Shyamalan’s many bombs as an awesomely bad monster movie.

Many people were fortunate enough to have skipped M. Night’s misguided, kooky, bizarre foray into the rare horror-fantasy genre, and the fact that it was universally panned by critics didn’t help matters. I mean, you have to have a pretty massive ego to take a “bedtime story” you allegedly told your children and turn it into a feature length film, but keep in mind that by this point critics had been telling M. Night he was the next Spielberg, so his ego was at maximum inflation at the time, despite the fact that his previous film The Village flopped. Well, it went about as good as you thought it would as a feature length movie about a stupid “fairytale” with made up names and badly told, nonsensical mythos.

Lady in the Water is about a water nymph called…are you ready for this…a narf (*cue 10,000 The Pinky and the Brain jokes*) that stumbles her way onto land via a pool in an apartment complex that is run by Paul “what in God’s name did they pay him to star in this farce” Giamatti. He finds her and takes her in and shortly after he is going to take her somewhere to get help, a grass-monster that looks like a wolf called a Scrunt (*barely suppressed laughter*) attacks them, so he takes her back to his place and starts to try to figure out how to get her back to her people. One of the tenants apparently knows the “story” of the nymph’s origin and tells him he basically has to identify a bunch of people with foretold roles that will help get her home.

Are you laughing yet? You should be laughing by now.

But let me get to the point. Lady in the Water technically counts as a monster movie because the Scrunt is in fact stalking the nymph the entire time and terrorizing the people in the apartment complex, even killing one of them by the end of the film. All of it is filmed completely seriously as a horror film, and so we’re going to treat it as such.

Why is it worth watching?

Because it is certifiably insane.

Not only do you have to listen to the word “narf” a bunch of times, you are expected to do so with a straight face. There are just so many things in this movie that make no sense and will have you rolling around on your couch with laughter because the entire thing from start to finish is played completely straight as if it’s some kind of amazing horror-fairytale fusion. I hate to break it to you, movie. You ain’t that. I’m not going to spoil all the truly insane moments in the film, but let me at least say this: there is a real, actual scene in this movie where a small child predicts the future…by reading cereal box labels.

I am dead serious.

It’s that kind of movie.

Plus, you need to witness the incredible pretentious metaphorical-handjob M. Night gives himself as he writes himself into the movie as a writer who is prophesized to write a book that will help elect a man president and said president ends up basically saving the world, but the writer’s “radical ideas” get him killed before that happens, so he is presented with the choice of not writing the book and living, or writing the book and sacrificing himself to save the world. Yes. I am not exaggerating any of that. It happens in the damn movie, and M. Night plays that character.

But let me add one drawback: most of it is long, boring talking with almost no musical score. If you have a short attention span, instead direct yourself to the Nostalgia Critic’s review of the film and he’ll give you all the gut-busting highlights of the movie in less than half the time. Hell, even if you do watch the movie, I still recommend that review because it is spot on describing what an unforgettable mess the film is. You’ve got to give it a go this October. You deserve it.

And what’s next week’s October list? Why, it’s my favorite awesomely bad disaster movies!

Kyoko’s Top 18 Most Hateable Villains (Part 3)

Welcome back to the final installment of my Top 18 Most Hateable Movie Villains in the last 20 years. Who will top the list of the most evil fiction baddies? Time to find out. Massive spoilers ahead, as always.

6. R.I.F.T from Transcendence (2014)

Various actors

Various actors

Did you see Transcendence, aka that Johnny Depp movie no one cared about? No? Good. Unfortunately, my father and I are both suckers for a seemingly decent hard sci-fi film and we sat through it. Lo and behold, while the movie was pretty lousy, it yielded one of the most hateable villain groups I’ve seen in the last twenty years.

Here’s the low down on the plot: a researcher named Will Caster (Johnny Depp), his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and their best friend/colleague Max (Paul Bettany) are on the eve of creating the first true Artificial Intelligence. However, an anti-technology terrorist group called R.I.F.T believes that the A.I. will destroy the world and either kill everyone or turn them into slaves. They then proceed to poison an entire team of researchers associated with the project and shoot Will Caster with an irradiated bullet, dooming him to die slowly from radiation poisoning. Evelyn and Max use the last few months of Will’s life to attempt to transfer his consciousness along with the prototype of his A.I. into a singular being. They are successful, but R.I.F.T closes in and kidnaps Max while Evelyn and A.I. Will go on the run. Max is held prisoner for some amount of time and the R.I.F.T members proceed to lecture him with his own papers insisting that Will is going to take over the world and that Max should help them get rid of A.I. Will.

I don’t even know where to start with how much I hate this terrorist group, or describe which part of their “message” I hate the most. First of all, the fact that they thought they had the right to slaughter innocent people who were trying to create a technology that could help the less fortunate pisses me off. Second of all, the fact that they didn’t have the nerve to simply assassinate Will Caster in anything resembling a humane way. Dying from radiation is slow and agonizing. We watched that poor man waste away in a bed for months until his body deteriorated and he died, passing his mind into the machine Evelyn made for him. Third of all, kidnapping Max, beating him up, and then insisting that he help them stop Will, who at that point had not done one single thing to them or anyone else. Fourth of all, for having unsubstantiated claims to justify terrorism and violence and yet still being high horse about it as if it was unshakable evidence that the A.I. would turn evil. If that’s not enough, let me drop what made this movie universally panned by critics: A.I. Will’s ultimate plan? To use nanites to regrow forests, clean polluted water, and heal the sick.

I’m not joking.

Will’s master plan was to save humanity.

Not once in the entire film does A.I. Will commit an act of wrongdoing. The most sinful thing he does is after a man is robbed and beaten to death, he injects the nanites, heals all the man’s wounds, and temporarily takes over the man’s consciousness in order to speak to his wife. The people Will heals have him in their system and he can control them, and while that is morally objectionable, he doesn’t try to take ANYTHING over nor does he try to kill a single person, not even when the army teams up with R.I.F.T and shoots Evelyn (which she dies from sustained wounds thanks to these assholes) and when R.I.F.T turns on Max YET AGAIN and tells A.I. Will to either shut himself down or they kill his best friend.

The cherry on top?

R.I.F.T. doesn’t stop A.I. Will.

He surrenders because of his wife, who lies dying in his arms.

So R.I.F.T is not only a pack of murderers, they are a pack of ineffective murderers.

The final insult is that the film implies that this is a good thing, that their blind anti-tech nonsense is valid and should be argued against in the future. It leaves the most disgusting taste in my mouth. I absolutely cannot stand the way they get away scot-free with killing so many people for a result that was inconclusive and they did so to an entity that never made an attack on anyone. If that’s not evil, then I don’t know what is.


5. William Stryker from X-Men 2 (2003)

Played by Brian Cox

Played by Brian Cox

I think there is a special seat in hell for people who betray their own flesh and blood, and that’s probably why Mr. Stryker is so high up on my list. You all know this story by now, even if fanboys seem to prefer the preboot-quel X-Men films these days. William Stryker is a government official whose sole mission is to control or eliminate mutants, with preference to the latter.

What burns me up so much with William Stryker is that he was not only okay with eradicating an entire race of people—y’know, genocide, because that’s always a good idea—but the fact that (1) he was okay with forcing the man who fought hardest for mutant rights, Charles Xavier, to commit the actual act (2) was okay with manipulating his own mutant son into doing it (3) thought he was completely justified in his actions because of isolated incidents. I guess no one ever told him the “one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch” thing as a child.

Don’t get me wrong—I hate me some Magneto. I considered placing him on my list for his actions in all three of the original X-Men films, but I think Stryker made me angrier for mind-controlling mutants and for treating his own son like an animal. He made it personal. Magneto has seen some of the worst parts of humanity and while he’s not justified, he does have a good excuse. Stryker had the power to make a difference in a good way and chose to be an evil son of a bitch instead. He’d kill millions of innocent lives all for the one that he lost, and that’s unbelievably selfish and cowardly and utterly reprehensible.

4. Lots-O-Huggin’ Bear from Toy Story 3 (2010)

Played by Ned Beatty

Played by Ned Beatty

Alright, I admit it: Lotso was the first villain to ever make me swear out loud in a children’s movie. In the theater, no less.

I couldn’t help it, and I can’t possibly be the only one to think that Lotso is by far the most evil Pixar villain ever. What a son of a bitch. Only Pixar has the power to make me despise a teddy bear to the point of shouting obscenities during the movie’s premiere. Seriously, I don’t believe in talking in a movie theater, but Lotso got me so worked up that I couldn’t stop myself.

It’s bad enough that he created a prison out of the daycare center and manipulated an innocent baby toy and took away the chance for happiness from his own friends, but Lotso goes much deeper than that. He’s just a rejected plaything who thinks everyone else deserves to be treated like they are worthless, which is exactly the way he felt when Daisy got a new bear. He’s damaged goods and he’s taking it out on the world.

Look, I get it, that would jack me up too if my little girl’s parents replaced me, but that isn’t the biggest of Lotso’s crimes. He and the other toys could have found a new owner to love them and play with them, but he made the choice to become the warden of his own sick little prison. You have to be pretty bent to inflict that kind of pain on others who have done nothing wrong, especially when it’s all they have. Toys are made to be played with and to make children happy. Sucking the joy out of their sole purpose takes a new brand of evil.

And finally, we come to The Scene. You know the one. Where after Woody sacrifices time and effort to save Lotso’s sorry ass, what does he do? Not hit the button and doom our beloved toys—our childhood memories, for Christ’s sake—to die just for ruining his plan. I can’t even describe how much I hated him in that one scene, and the fact of the matter is that he got off easy for his crime. I worked at a Toys R Us for two years and we had real-sized Lotso bears in our store for a period of time and when no one was around, I kicked one of them just to make myself feel better. Petty, but true.

If there is a Toy Hell, I hope Lotso gets Lots-O-Huggings from Toy Satan.


3. The Other Mother from Coraline (2009)

Played by Teri Hatcher

Played by Teri Hatcher

Coraline is one of the best non-Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar films ever made, hands down. Not surprising, as the book was written by Neil Gaiman. It’s just a fantastic story with thrills and chills and stunning visuals and excellent characters. Too excellent, actually, because the Other Mother is one of the scariest and most hateable villains in the history of anything, regardless of the medium.

In case you missed it somehow, Coraline is the story of a young girl and her parents who move to a house called the Pink Palace. Late at night, Coraline finds a portal to an alternate reality where she meets the Other Mother—a creature who looks and sounds exactly like Coraline’s mother, but instead of being grumpy and impatient, the Other Mother is sweet and fun. And she has buttons for eyes. (Which is why I am utterly terrified of Lalaloopsy dolls, consequently) Her world is magical and Coraline falls in love with the beautiful sights and exciting things to do there, but she later discovers that it’s all secretly a trap. The Other Mother tries to get Coraline to stay in her world and sew buttons into her eyes, but Coraline refuses and manages to escape home. Then it all goes to hell when the Other Mother kidnaps Coraline’s parents and she has to return to the other reality to get them back.

The Other Mother’s full backstory is never given, but the bits we do get are so scary that it’s why I would consider this film to be for young adults. She’s no one’s mother. She’s a giant spider-demon thing that lures in children, “loves them” for a period of time, and then eats them.

Yes. You read that correctly.

She. Freaking. Eats. Children.

As if that weren’t horrifying enough, Coraline meets the ghosts of the first three victims, who warn her and give her advice on how to escape. Ghosts, people. OF THE CHILDREN THE OTHER MOTHER MURDERED. I mean, do I really need to say anything more?

The Other Mother is just terrifying, even before we see her final true form in the finale, and believe me when I say it’s worth a watch. I showed Coraline to my older brother and his wife and they were both curled up in the loveseat clutching each other in horror during the final confrontation of Coraline and the Other Mother. She’s a sickening fiend and you will be impressed with how ruthless and violent and awful she turns out to be by the end of the film. You think of the classic film villains like Darth Vader or the Terminator and they ain’t got nuthin’ on the Other Mother. She gives evil a fresh coat of paint and that’s why I highly recommend that people add Coraline into their traditional Halloween moviethons. Trust me, you’ll be cheering right along for Coraline to defeat her by the end.

(P.S. I’ve heard she’s even scarier in the book. Good Lord, now that’s something to keep you awake at night.)


2. Stephen from Django Unchained (2012)


Played by Samuel L. "Motherf*cking" Jackson

Played by Samuel L. “Motherf*cking” Jackson

I admit I was a middlegrade Quentin Tarantino fan until I saw Django Unchained. It completely changed my appreciation for the man as a director. For me, everything in Django just lined up perfectly—the dialogue, the setting, the characters, the music, the action, the tone, the underlying message, all of it. I’ve watched it a dozen times by now and it’s by far my favorite Tarantino film, even over Pulp Fiction. A large part of that has to do with the fact that Django pulls an amazing Bait-and-Switch Villain trope in the final third of the film.

Stephen is one of the most sadistic bastards in film history, forget the last 20 years. As I said before, villains who make things personal truly get beneath my skin, and Stephen was a true blue snake –in-the-grass kind of villain. Calvin Candie is the over-the-top slimeball racist and you love him for it. (Leo was snubbed so hard for not being nominated for this role and I will never get over it.) Stephen, however, lies low until he finds the perfect opportunity to strike and ruin everything for Django and Hildy. What really sells it is those underhanded ways that Stephen tries to bring Django as low as he can, like after Django says he gives up and Stephen says, “I can’t hear you, ni**a!” or before Django is sent off to the Le Quint Dickie mining company to work until he dies and he rubs it in his face, saying, “That will be the story of you.”

What’s so brilliantly hateable about Stephen, for me, is two things: (1) that Django brings up how a black slaver is lower than the head of the house and (2) how his role reflects how the Number One killer of black men in America is other black men. Remember that serious Stink Eye Stephen gave Django when he rode up? He knew from the second he laid eyes on him that he was going to find a way to destroy him, regardless of who he was or how he got there. He saw Django’s choice to do that with his freedom and thought that he didn’t deserve it, so he’d take it away anyway he could.

Then there’s his true role over all that surpasses the time and the setting and becomes relevant now. Sure, racism is still going strong and has a long way to go before it’s better for people of color, but trust me nobody hates black people like other freakin’ black people. Stephen is the perfect representation of a “hater”, not the stupid shallow people rappers complain about in their lyrics. A true hater is someone who wants what you have or hates that you have a purpose or quality about yourself that they don’t and makes it their personal mission to bring you down by any means necessary. Stephen is the worst kind of betrayer to his own race during the absolute worst time in our collective history, and that’s why his comeuppance is pure gold. Tarantino’s best, if you ask me.

And my personal number one most hateable movie villain in the last twenty years is…

King Stefan from Maleficent (2014)

Played by Sharlto Copley

Played by Sharlto Copley

Unexpected, huh? Well, maybe after I explain you’ll get why this mo’fo tops my list.

I love Maleficent, and I love it more because I didn’t expect to love it. I had just seen Godzilla, which was highly disappointing, and so I went into Maleficent with low expectations, especially since Snow White and the Huntsman was of a similar tone and it was also a huge letdown despite the premise and the awesomeness of Charlize Theron. Then I watched it and instantly fell in love with the story and the gorgeous visuals and the three-dimensional Maleficent in both the protagonist and antagonist role throughout the film. It was an absolute delight and everything I wanted in a fairytale re-telling, especially since I am a dork for a good fantasy film.

But man.

I hate Stefan.

I hate him so much.

Think about it. Maleficent, as an innocent child, very kindly stopped her fellow creatures from smashing little Stefan into paste and built a friendship with a lowly boy who had nothing. She even fell in love with him. How many effing beautiful Angelina Jolie fairies fall in love with short, stumpy little farmboys? He should have worshiped the ground she floated over. But what does he do instead?

He lures her out, drugs her, and is too much of an effing coward to kill her, so he instead steals her wings. Her identity. The things that make her the way she is. Her most prized, precious attributes.

Remember how I mentioned screaming curse words at Lotso during Toy Story 3’s dramatic climax? I didn’t do that with Maleficent.

I slumped down in my chair, glaring at the screen as I watched that coward cut off her wings, and continuously  furiously muttered, “You suck. You suck. You suck. YOU F**KING SUCK!”

I’d have rather Stefan killed her than let her live with the pain of being without her wings and of knowing that the man she fell in love with, the man she gave her heart to, the man who lied and told her that he gave her True Love’s kiss, stole her wings and left her so that he could become king.

I swear, that is a betrayal on a level that is just unreal.

Look, I know the villains on my past two lists have done much worse, but as a woman, I could not help but understand completely why Maleficent did what she did and could not appreciate her more if I tried for later becoming a good person again by the end of the film. Because if it were me? Sheeeeeiiiiit.

Stefan’s ass would be scattered across the damn landscape of his own kingdom.

Some of you have had bad break ups before, male or female, so you might understand why Stefan’s at the top of my list. Nothing is worse than loving someone and then having them betray you, or throw you away as if your entire relationship meant nothing. That’s happened to me before and so Maleficent’s soul-wrenching wail after she woke up without her wings spoke to me on the deepest levels. I’ve made that sound before when someone broke my heart, and that’s why Stefan is without a doubt the lowest creature in the last twenty years’ of films that I’ve watched. No one deserves what Maleficent got. No one should go through something like that, especially not someone so kind and brave.

And I did actually get so worked up at the end of the movie that I suggested Maleficent rip out Stefan’s throat and shove it up his ass.

But you know, that’s just me.

…gee, maybe I’m the greatest villain of all.

Oh well.

Happy Halloween! Don’t forget that She Who Fights Monsters is FREE all day long on Amazon. If you spread the word, take a screenshot and you’ll be added to my mailing list to receive a free e-Book copy of The Holy Dark when it comes out in the spring. Email the screenshot to, or if you tweet it, tag me at @misskyokom.


Kyoko’s Top 18 Most Hateable Villains (Part 2)

Welcome back to the Kyoko’s Top 18 Most Hateable Movie Villains of the last 20 years! We have more insidious bastards underway, so let’s keep going! Spoilers ahead, as always.

12. Clayton from Tarzan (1999)

Played by Brian Blessed

Played by Brian Blessed

If there’s one thing Disney understands, it’s dastardly villains, and Clayton—while certainly not the worst villain of their Rogues Gallery—is by far one of the easiest villains to hate. What’s so brilliant about Clayton is his escalation from selfish prick to a violent psychopath. He starts off as seeming like a single-minded, pompous a-hole escorting Jane and her father around so he can capture gorillas. For a while, he seems like just an afterthought, but then he slowly creeps his way into the antagonist role by trying to get Tarzan to give him what he wants. Then, he steps completely into the villain position when he manipulates Tarzan’s feelings for Jane in order to find the gorilla’s nest, and by the time Tarzan breaks out of prison to save his family, Clayton is long gone and there’s nothing but a monster left.

The brilliant thing about Clayton is the role reversal. He sees Tarzan and his family as nothing more than savages when in fact, Clayton’s behavior in the climax is the most animalistic thing in the entire film. The best part by far is the fact that he is responsible for his own death by allowing that inhuman rage to take over until it claimed his life.

What makes him hit my hateable villain list is that he so knowingly tricked Tarzan into getting his entire family sold into slavery, or killed, and didn’t give a damn. What’s more is that he rubbed it in Tarzan’s face, saying, “Couldn’t have done it without you.” How petty and nasty do you have to be to slaughter someone’s entire family for money and then have the nerve to laugh about it? Clayton was threatening, imposing, and just plain slimy. People really do not give this movie the credit it deserves and if anything, Clayton demands credit where credit is due if only for being one of the most smug, ruthless villains in all of Disney history.


11. Drew from Meet Joe Black (1998)

Played by Jake Weber

Played by Jake Weber

Well, we have another obscure choice here, but I promise I won’t go full Nostalgia Critic on you. Meet Joe Black is a film loosely based on ‘Death Takes a Holiday’ (1934) where Death embodies the body of a handsome young man (Brad Pitt) and shadows Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins), a wealthy communications mogul, in exchange for allowing him to live through his 65th birthday. Bill was scheduled to die, but since Bill has lived such a lavish, wonderful life, Death tells him he can stay alive as long as he guides him through the various things in life that are completely alien to him. Bill gives Death the name ‘Joe Black’, as he has sworn not to reveal Death’s identity to his family, and he begins accidentally upsetting things all over Bill’s life with his curious presence. Consequently, Joe takes a liking to Bill’s daughter Susan (Claire Forlani) and she reciprocates, which pisses off her boyfriend Drew, who just happens to be part of the board of directors at her father’s company and is unknowingly a mole trying to steal it right out from under the old man.

What makes Drew so insidious is the fact that he’s sleeping with Bill’s daughter while knowing he’s a few steps away from stealing the old man’s company and leaving him with nothing. Since the story starts in media res, we’re never told if Drew started dating Susan to get close to Bill or if he just happened to like her, and it’s that much more distasteful without knowing. He’s such an arrogant little shit when you consider Bill treated him with respect and took him in as one of them and all Drew could think about was dismantling Bill’s company and selling it.

Furthermore, Drew placed high on this list because he also used another member of Bill’s family to bring him down: Quince (Jeffrey Tambor), who is married to Bill’s eldest daughter, Allison (Marcia Gay Harden). Quince mistakenly thinks that Joe is making decisions for Bill, which is against a code of conduct with the company, and accidentally tells Drew, which gives Drew the perfect opportunity to vote Bill out as CEO, meaning Drew now has the power to sell Parrish Communications. Wow. That’s two family members he’s screwed over with no regard for how it will affect them, not to mention Bill himself.

Drew is one of the best embodiments of greed that I’ve seen in years. He has one end goal and he will tear through as many people as he can to get it. Honestly, I was kind of wishing Joe broke protocol and just sent his weasel ass to hell, but since Drew does get some pretty great comeuppance, I can live with it.


 10. Mike from Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

Played by Richard T. Jones

Played by Richard T. Jones

Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of Tyler Perry. I think he has exactly two good movies and that’s it (Diary of a Mad Black Woman and The Family That Preys, if you’re curious). To his credit, the plays he made before he got famous were also pretty damn good, but now he’s just a victim of selling out. Selling out doesn’t mean making money; it means trading in your talent for making a quick buck. There has been no effort put into the man’s work in the last 5-7 years, and I think Why Did I Get Married was the first step down his path to failure.

For those who are fortunate enough to sidestep Tyler Perry films, Why Did I Get Married is a film about four couples who get together once every year to reevaluate and work on their marriages during a couples’ retreat. Mike is married to Sheila (Jill Scott) and has been cheating on her for God-knows how long, but she refuses to see it because she thinks his mistreatment of her is due to her obesity.

I do admit that part of Mike’s hateability stems from bad writing. We are introduced to him and soon find out there is literally nothing to like about this man. He is a complete and total asshole. He insults Sheila in front of anyone within hearing range. For instance, when she is told she can’t fly with him to the retreat due to her size/weight, he tells her to rent a car and drive there and just flies without her. Oh, and did I mention the girl he’s cheating on Sheila with (a) is also going on the retreat with him and (b) is Sheila’s “best friend”? Yep. Class act, that Mike.

What truly tears it for me is two scenes: (1) when Sheila goes shopping and finds a lovely silk gown to wear for Mike and he literally laughs in her face after she shows it to him and then goes to bed (2) when he finally reveals he’s been cheating on her after all this time and cops an attitude when she is speechless. Nothing gets my goat like a bad husband in movies, especially one who constantly dumps on a sweet naïve woman like Sheila. I do blame her for being in denial about it and for marrying a guy who seriously never shows one single positive quality from introduction to the end of the film, but the thing is that there are so many women who let themselves be bullied by guys like Mike. I can understand falling out of love with someone, but Mike is so hateable because he was a coward for not simply divorcing her and starting a new relationship. Even if he was worried about money or whatever, he had no excuse not to just leave her instead of sticking around to poke holes in her confidence and put her down constantly. That kind of guy, fictional or not, is the kind of guy who needs an honest-to-God no-holds-barred beatdown. Preferably by someone the size of The Rock. Curb-stomp his ass, for all I care. Mike is easily one of the worst fictional husbands the silver screen has ever seen, and any man like him deserves nothing short of getting their ass kicked.


9. Professor James Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Prof Moriarty A Game of Shadows

Played by Jared Harris

Yes, the game is afoot. I love the RDJ-Jude Law-Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes from 2009. It had impeccable style, excellent music, glorious action, kick ass cinematography, and fresh spins on the characters we’ve known for decades. But that’s the first movie. The sequel? Eh. Less so.

Moriarty has been played by plenty of men since he first waltzed into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, but Jared Harris definitely did a good job making you despise this man to his absolute core. There are just so many reasons to hate him. He is arrogant, smug, has no regard for human life, vicious, conniving, and self-worshiping. Holmes may be an obsessive jerk at times, but he is nothing short of an angel in comparison to Moriarty. This man would doom entire countries for his own glory and he practically revels in the misery he causes others.

Normally, this would just make him your garden-variety villain, but there is one thing that separates Moriarty from someone like Lord Blackwood from the first film.

He kills Irene Adler.

You know, the literal best thing about the first movie.

That’s right, folks. The best female character I’ve seen in years gets Stuffed Into a Fridge thanks to Professor frickin’ Moriarty, and that’s why I hate him so much.

Irene Adler gave me air. I loved Holmes and Watson running around snarking up a storm and kicking ass, but Irene did all of that and she looked fabulous doing it. She was gutsy and smart and effective and powerful and relevant. You don’t know how rare that is for a male-centric film like Sherlock Holmes, and Moriarty just kills her like she was nothing. Screw that, and screw him. I was rooting for Holmes to throw his ass off that balcony for the fact that he took that great of a female character away from me.

Call me biased, but I call it like I see it. Destroy all of Britain if you want, but you take Irene away and it’s on.


 8. William Johns from Pitch Black (2000)

Played by Cole Hauser

Played by Cole Hauser

Pitch Black is one of the best thriller sci-fi horror films ever, hands down. It reinvented the survivor alien flick the way that Alien helped the entire genre find its footing. No one does it like Pitch Black, not even that sorry-ass sequel from 2013 that no one talks about because we pretend it doesn’t exist.

If for some reason you live in a cave and didn’t see it, Pitch Black is Vin Diesel’s claim to fame about a transport vessel that gets caught in a meteor storm and crashlands on a hostile alien planet. Said aliens are a race of bloodthirsty creatures that can only survive in the dark, and the planet just so happens to have an eclipse on the way, so the race is on to get the ship repaired and get off planet before the eclipse. There’s just one hitch. One of the crew members is an acclaimed serial killer named Riddick and he might pick them all off or simply take the ship and leave them to die.

Johns is the bounty hunter who captured Riddick and was taking him to a maximum security prison before they crash-land, so tensions are high. His character is easily one of the best written villains in the genre because he starts out much like your typical alpha male hero, but then you peel back some layers and you find the monster within. For instance, right after the ship crashes, one of the crew members is impaled through the chest with a piece of metal and when Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) tries to find the morphine to ease his pain before he dies, Johns pretends like he doesn’t know what happened to it. We find out later Johns is a morphine-addict and couldn’t even spare one vial—that he had dozens of, mind you—to allow that poor man a peaceful death. After that, we find out he’s not as brave and commanding as he wants us to believe, picking a fight with Carolyn before they leave in the dark to get to the ship and once they’re out in the dark and they lose more survivors.

The final point-of-no-return for Johns is when he suggests they need bait to keep the killer aliens off their backs, so he conspires with Riddick to kill one of them and drag their body behind them to keep the aliens occupied. One of the survivors is Jack, a young girl pretending to be a boy, and Johns tells Riddick to kill her. Riddick takes exception to that, to say the least.

Johns is so very easy to hate, but the cleverness of his character is that he is such a good foil for Riddick. The entire film builds up Riddick’s reputation and you are led to believe he’s nothing more than a ruthless murderer, but then you see that he’s actually more of a survivor, not a killer. Johns is the reason they didn’t get the ship ready in time. Johns is the reason so many of the crew members died. Johns is the real killer here, but he puts on an air of righteousness because Riddick is a criminal and they have a past. He’s nothing more than a coward with a big gun, and what’s more hateable than that?


7. Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Played by Tony Jay

Played by Tony Jay

It’s kind of impossible to pick a favorite animated Disney film, but gun to my head I’d say Hunchback of Notre Dame might be mine. It’s so fantastic, and most of that has to do with the fact that it’s so not a kids’ movie. This movie is deep. It deals with the kinds of issues that children don’t start understanding until they hit the double-digits, and that’s perhaps why it’s not one of the more popular Disney films, especially considering the deadly serious source material.

People often make lists of the most evil Disney villains, and for me personally, Frollo always wins. I mean, let me lay it out on paper for you (so to speak). Here you have a corrupt minister who has been viciously chasing down a gypsy woman and when he finally catches her and kills her (ON SCREEN, PEOPLE—HE KICKS HER IN THE FACE, AND SHE FALLS AND BREAKS HER NECK HOLY CRAP), then he turns his hatred on an innocent misshapen baby. Whom he then decides to drown until the archdeacon changes his mind. Oh, so maybe he finally grows a conscience and reforms as he raises the child—NOPE. He then gives the baby a name that means “half-formed”, and turns him into his personal slave, all the while filling the boy’s head with lies that he is a monster and no one will ever love him so he has to stay locked away forever serving his master.

Okay, so he’s not father of the year, maybe he has other qualities—oh, what’s that? The beautiful gypsy girl you want for your own stands up to you? Order her to be arrested and given to you or you’ll burn her at the stake? Then find out she has a secret place for her people and smoke them out and threaten to kill them all if she doesn’t come forward? Then when you do find her, you burn her at the stake claiming she’s a witch? Then you try to murder her and the poor boy you turned into a slave with your sword?

No, that’s perfectly understandable, Frollo. Who wouldn’t do all of that?

Seriously, people, Frollo is by far the most evil Disney villain of all time. I mean, come on. He’s just the most posturing, sadistic sick freak to ever be animated by that company. No matter how bad our other villains have been, you have a member of the church who full-on advocates genocide and then has the nerve to lust after one of the women of the race he is actively trying to eliminate. There isn’t enough room in Hell for all that evil. Frollo is hands-down always going to be the most evil person in all of Disney, and I think they are hard-pressed to create someone as horrid again.

Just like they’d be hard-pressed to make another villain song that damn scary-good.

Who will top the charts? Find out in Part 3!

Kyoko’s Top 18 Most Hateable Villains (Part 1)


Halloween is a celebration of all kinds of things, but what most of us focus on other than stuffing our faces with candy is remembering all the creeps, ghouls, goblins, and nasties that are associated with this holiday. While people like the Nostalgia Critic are out there naming their favorite Halloween classics, I actually want to use our beloved holiday to discuss a different type of evil. For this year, I want to focus on the most hateable movie villains in the last 20 years.

Now, my definition of “most hateable” isn’t the same as “best villains in the last 20 years.” I’m not talking about the overall effectiveness of the villain or how well they were written. This list is for the 18 villains from my favorite movies who just made me want to reach my hands into the television and strangle them to death. I’m talking about villains who wormed their way under my skin and made it personal instead of just being an obstacle for our heroes. It’s time to salute those bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings this Halloween, so let’s get started. Spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

18. Alice Ward from The Fighter (2010)


Played by Melissa Leo

Played by Melissa Leo

A lot of Oscar Bait films get a reputation they don’t deserve, but for once, The Fighter is actually worth the hype. It’s a damn good movie. I’d argue it’s Mark Wahlberg’s best performance to date, and it’s also Christian Bale’s most compelling performance put to film. That being said, there’s a reason both Christian Bale AND Melissa Leo won Oscars for these roles.

Alice Ward is Micky’s overbearing mother, and that’s the simplified version. You would think in a film about a struggling small town boxer with a drug addict brother would cast other boxers as the main antagonists, but no. This film was brilliant in that the most formidable opponent Micky faces is not the boxers, but his hellbitch of a mother. She does all the classic bad mother things, but then amps them up to ridiculous heights.

She’s petty, selfish, manipulative, poisonous, and just plain nasty, but she also puts on this façade of motherly affection in order to get what she wants. It’s incredible. Micky has been living in his brother’s shadow his entire life thanks to the famous fight where Dicky allegedly knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard, and his mother is just as responsible for Micky’s troubles as his crackhead brother. She is constantly shoving him aside to give Dicky the attention and completely overlooks Micky’s needs in order to get what she wants. She dumps the responsibility for their entire clan on Micky and expects him to just be fine with it because he’s “family.” She’s a piece of work in epic proportions.

However, she’s low on the list because we find out that deep down, she really does love both of her sons but she is just so wrapped up in her control freak role that she can’t show them the motherly affection they both need and deserve. It’s one hell of a performance and you shouldn’t miss it.

 17. Don Rafael Montero from The Mask of Zorro (1998)


Played by Stuart Wilson

Played by Stuart Wilson

The Mask of Zorro is one of my all-time favorite films. Ask my brother and my parents. I can’t stop watching it. I’ve seen it a thousand times. Hell, it taught me how to write sexual tension and witty banter and I still love it to this very day. It’s got everything you need—humor, romance, swashbuckling action, a killer soundtrack, and one of the best ensemble casts to date. Plus, people of color! Nothing makes me happier than a phenomenal film with a majority diverse cast.

Don Rafael Montero is Diego de la Vega’s archnemesis for a reason. At first, he seems like your typical slimy, corrupt politician, but in reality, he is so much more than that. If you missed out on the story, he was a cruel bastard ruling over the peasant folk and Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) sought to drive him out of California forever. Don Rafael figures out Diego is Zorro, and it also turns out that he has designs on Diego’s beautiful wife, Esperanza. They fight to the death, and one of Don Rafael’s soldier’s mistakenly shoots Esperanza, killing her. They apprehend Diego and send him to jail, but Rafael takes custody of Diego’s infant daughter, Elena, and raises her as his own.

It’s amazing how arrogant a man can be to insist that a woman should be with him when she has no love for him at all, and that he has the nerve to kidnap the child of his most hated enemy and raise her as his own. That’s staggering. What’s worse is that this sick man actually did seem to genuinely love Elena even though he lied to her and tried to kill her real father so she would never know the truth. It takes a special kind of villain to twist all that misery into something else, and it’s why Montero left a lasting impression on me from my childhood to now.

16. Chris D’Amico from Kick-Ass 2 (2013)


Played by Christopher-Mintz Plasse

Played by Christopher-Mintz Plasse

Disclaimer: I love the first Kick Ass movie. It was fun, funny, irreverent, and the perfect satire for our superhero film revolution.

The second one? Not so much.

It was forgettable, except for one singular factor. That factor is Chris D’Amico.

If ever I could shoot a teenager in the face and get away with it, I’d shoot Chris with a shotgun point blank and sleep like a baby that night.

My God. Not only was he an immature jackass with no talent, too much money, and mouth that wouldn’t close, but he was as ineffectual as any villain can be, and that’s why he’s so hateable. Good villains have backstory and weight to their characters. They have flair. They have that x-factor that makes them formidable against our heroes. Chris D’Amico was nothing more than a spoiled, ignorant little brat, and even though he gets his comeuppance in the end, it’s not enough. There is nothing worse than a pathetic villain who just makes the hero’s life hell for a singular, paper-thin reason. Sure, Kick Ass killed his father, but guess what? His father was an evil bastard and was in the process of trying to murder a child whose father he also murdered. Not a big loss there, kiddo.

What’s more is with all that money and power, Chris could’ve chosen to do all kinds of things instead of get revenge, but he decided it would be better to become a murdering psychopath instead. For that and so many other reasons, I hate his freaking guts.


15. Eddie Martel from The Replacements (2001)


Played by Brett Cullen

Played by Brett Cullen

This villain is a bit more obscure, so bear with me, but I love The Replacements. It’s this delightfully off-beat football movie with an all-star cast of misfits, plenty of hard hits, and a plethora of laughs. It’s like if you took The Longest Yard and Community and put them in a blender. It’s great.

Martel, for me, made it onto the list for the single reason of just being a bully. An exceptional bully. I was blown away by the fact that this grown ass man—this professional athlete—was so incredibly petty and arrogant despite the life he’d been given. First, for going on the strike for more money considering the millions he was already getting paid; second, for bullying Shane Falco for no reason other than to just be an asshole; third, for ragging on a deaf guy for being deaf (yes, he really did that and thank God, got his ass kicked immediately afterward); and finally, for being a lousy player and all around jackass during the most important game of the Sentinels’ career.

There’s just nothing quite like an honest-to-God bully. They do things that make your mind implode because they think they have earned the right to treat people like crap. What troubles me about villains like Martel is that a lot of them are based on true stories, like this one, and they don’t get as much comeuppance as they should. Martel and those like him are a class act and make you wish you were a 300 lb. sumo wrestler so you could teach them some manners.


14. Mother Gothel from Tangled (2010)


Played by Donna Murphy

Played by Donna Murphy

I could rave about Tangled for hours, if you let me. It’s easily one of Disney’s best and certainly the best thing they’ve put out in the current decade. There are all kinds of reasons why I love it, and I have to admit Mother Gothel is one of them, which is why it was so hard to decide if she should be on my list or not.

The reason I almost didn’t put her on this list is because Mother Gothel is such an effective force of evil. She’s an amazing villain, one of Disney’s best, in my opinion. For that reason, I almost don’t hate her because she’s so good at being a devious, selfish monster, but she made it onto the list for that very reason.

How sick do you have to be to steal someone’s daughter and raise them as your own just so you can remain beautiful? Vanity. The deepest, cruelest, most awful kind of vanity is how. At first glance, Mother Gothel seems horrible, but when you consider she spent 18 years pretending to love Rapunzel just to use her hair, it reaches an entirely new level of evil. The fact that she could look Rapunzel in the eyes and say she loves her and not mean it is unspeakable. What a heartless witch. Then Mother Gothel murders the love of Rapunzel’s life right in front of her before forcing her into a life of slavery? Are you kidding me? There are black holes in space right now that aren’t that bloody cold and empty. She is one of the foulest villains ever spawned in fiction and as much as I adore that lovely singing voice, I was rooting for her to bite the big one by the end.


13. General Ross from The Incredible Hulk (2008)


Played by William Hurt

Played by William Hurt

I think this Marvel Cinematic Universe film doesn’t get enough love. Sure, it’s no Iron Man or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but I still think it was a damn fine movie in and of itself. It had solid acting, great action, and tied in nicely with the building Marvel continuity. I thought Edward Norton was so easy to love and root for, and that’s in part due to the epic douchebaggery of General Ross.

General Ross is yet another villain whose arrogance simply astounds me. How can you look at something as destructive and uncontrollable as the Hulk and say to yourself, “Yes, I should not only own this power, but be able to use it against my enemies.” Are you smoking crack, General? I understand that science has come a long way, but you are so out of your league that it’s not even funny.

If for a second I could forget about his epic bad idea of wanting to replicate the Hulk for the U.S. government, then there’s the fact that he’s so nasty and vindictive about capturing Bruce, who did nothing wrong but be a victim of a freak accident. It’s even worse that he alienated his only daughter Betty for hunting down the love of her life and didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass that he ruined both their lives and chances for happiness. A single-track mind like that just needs an epic punch to the ‘nads, if you ask me. Of the Marvel villains, he’s one of my most hated because he just doesn’t care about anything except power and he uses everything he can get his hands on to take it.

Here is Part 2 and Part 3!

Also, I’m officially announcing that She Who Fights Monsters is having a Halloween sale. It will be FREE all day October 31, 2014. I’ll add a link for it in my third and final installment of my most hateable villains post that Friday.