Halloween 1978 and little-known director John Carpenter terrifies thousands of impressionable horror fans with the introduction of ‘The Shape’. Jamie Lee Curtis becomes the new ‘scream queen’ and all is well in the world of the slasher genre.
Fast-forward to 2009 and Rob Zombie directs the sequel to his reasonably successful remake of Halloween, but it was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. Why? Well Zombie’s grungy, rock-anthem vibe didn’t really sit too well with Michael Myers and the result was a distasteful and messy outing that set the franchise back nearly 10 years.
Of course, in between 1978 and 2009, the series was ripped apart, put back together again until it was a shadow of its former self. Anyone remember Busta Rhymes doing a vague impression of a karate master in Halloween: Resurrection? Best forget about that. Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again when ghosts and ghouls come out of the shadows and terrorise your local neighbourhood – or that just have been me last night at a friend’s Halloween party.
The annual event that is slowly becoming as popular here in the UK as it is in the US brings out the creative in us as well as terrifying.
To celebrate one of my favourite holidays of the year, I’m taking a look back through the franchise that epitomises the night of terror, Halloween. The series has long been my favourite in the genre, even making it into my top 10 influential films. But which five films in this long running franchise are worth a watch? Read on to find out. Continue reading →
After a lovely, family orientated MM Top 5 last time, I decided that something a little more gritty would be suitable as our next topic of conversation. It was a tough choice, there are so many different categories to choose from and I look forward to them being the subjects of debate over the coming weeks, but for now let’s focus on this fortnight’s MM Top 5, which is, Movie Bad Guys.
5. Michael Myers: Halloween
Michael Myers: 5
You can’t have a bad guy list without having a horror franchise included in it, and with so many to choose from it was always going to be a difficult decision as to which one would make the cut. Here we have Michael Myers, perhaps the most feared serial killer in film ever. His iconic stare, lack of vocal ability and of course that hideous mask have made him somewhat of a movie icon over the years.
He has become, unfortunately, a bit of a hack and slash maniac after several outings of the series that failed to amount to anything other than sheer popcorn fodder, but let’s not forget his humble beginnings as a normal suburban boy who killed his sister and his parents.
The directors may have changed over the years, but one thing hasn’t – Michael. That’s why this bloodthirsty psychopath, described by the late Donald Pleasance as ‘Pure evil’ makes it to number 5 on my list.
4. Scar: The Lion King
The only animated villain to make the list is as cold as he is camp. Scar featured in the original Lion King series and was the cause of many a tear from children across the globe. Murder was certainly not beyond him as the much beloved Mufasa found out as he was pushed off a cliff and into a stampeding herd of wildebeest.
Unbelievably, Mufasa was Scar’s younger brother, so killing family wasn’t even beyond him. The themes that ran throughout the film were widely criticised for being too adult for the young audience it was trying attract and in no scene was that more apparent than a certain musical number with a few hundred hyenas.
The chilling quote ‘Run away and never return’ was a highlight of Scar’s tyrannical personality and the wonderful voice work by Jeremy Irons meant that it stayed with many for a long time after the final credits rolled.
That is why, Scar, the campest villain in cinema history rightly takes 4th place in this list.
3. Lord Voldemort: Harry Potter
Lord Voldemort: 3
Children across the globe dreamt of travelling to Hogwarts with their own animal, wand and a suitably feisty array of school supplies, but I can’t imagine any of them would have wanted to come up against the fearsome Lord Voldemort like Harry Potter did throughout the series.
J.K Rowling started the whole process of creating a villain long before she published the first book back in 1997, but it wasn’t until the 4th film in the series, Goblet of Fire, released in 2005, that he truly came to life.
Whilst some of the elements of him could be considered rip-offs from other similar titles, it is the sterling performance by Ralph Fiennes, virtually unrecognisable in truly terrifying make-up, that made Voldemort one of the most original bad guys seen on the big screen.
The hatred Voldemort or ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’ or even ‘The Dark Lord’ had for Harry Potter finally came to a head in the 8th and final film of the series, Deathly Hallows: Part 2, when a battle of epic proportions took place. In the end, Voldemort came off a little worse for wear but his legacy would still live on, within the confines of Hogwarts and the minds of children who have grown up with series and still love it to this day.
Never has a bad guy had so many names, Voldemort fully deserves the bronze medal in this list.
2. Xenomorphs: Alien
I know what you’re thinking, the creatures (Xenomorphs) from the Alien series aren’t technically bad ‘guys’ but how can you possibly look at that face, and mouths, and not include them in this list?
First seen on the big screen in 1979, Alien revolutionised special-effects, without the use of costly, and in those days practically unheard of CGI, it made people believe these creatures were alive, murderous and unforgiving. Unbelievably, most of this was achieved with a simple costume which a stuntman would climb into each day to film the scenes with the Xenomorphs in.
Towering over their human prey, they were truly terrifying and now not only have a cult following with fans of the series and newcomers alike, but they cemented Alien as one of the best sci-fi action films of all time.
Heck, if Sigourney Weaver is petrified by them, so am I, and that’s why they deserve a very prestigious silver medal in this fortnight’s MM Top 5.
1. Darth Vader: Star Wars
Darth Vader: 1
Ah, the number one spot, the gold medal, the rosette – you get the picture.
Perhaps most of you will be a little disappointed with the outcome here as it is entirely predictable, but is there really any other bad guy who deserved this coveted spot more than our winner? If so, please leave a comment in the box below this article, I’d love to hear from you.
Darth Vader, voiced by the brilliant James Earl Jones made cinema goers sit up and take note of Star Wars and I believe it is this masked villain which we should thank for the series’ continuing success. After all, when the first you see of someone is a silhouette appearing from a wall of smoke, you know something bad is going to go down.
Mr. Vader had the whole package, he had the lust of death down to a tee, but he also had a pretty awesome cape, a brilliant helmet and sense of mystery surrounding him that wasn’t spoilt until Episode 5 of the franchise – we all know what happened there.
George Lucas knew that Vader was the biggest villain of all time and tried to recreate him numerous times as the series progressed, Darth Maul being the closest to a success he got, but ultimately the red faced menace looked a little clownish alongside his black-cloaked counterpart.
Many would say that Darth Vader was simply a puppet, used by the Empire to conduct their evil schemes, but there is no denying that he remains, to this day, a force to be reckoned with – in film at least.
As always, some bad guys (and gals) simply can’t make the cut, but they do feature in my ‘An Honourable Mention’ list, which is below:
T-Rex: Jurassic Park
Freddie Krueger: Nightmare on Elm Street
Mrs. Bates: Psycho
Hannibal Lecter: Silence of the Lambs
What are your thoughts on this fortnight’s topic? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment in the box below, I reply to them all.