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Thread: The most repugnant villain role in film

  1. #1
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    The most repugnant villain role in film

    I give it to Oliver Reed as Father Urbain Grandier in Ken Russell's "The Devils".
    He absolutely drips evil.

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    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    For me it's Vera (played by Ann Savage) in Detour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWIuKcyuesg

    The clip doesn't begin to show how vicious and vile this woman is.
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  4. #4
    Angela Lansbury in the original The Manchurian Candidate .
    John Yerkes Iselin won in 2016.

  5. #5
    I'll go for a villain who is repugnant partly because neither he nor most audients actually realize that he is the villain: Dr. Henry Frankenstein, as portrayed by Colin Clive.
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  6. #6
    Not film, but Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill in the Sharpe TV series has absolutely no redeeming features.

    The man shooting the little girl at the start of 'Assault on Precinct 13' is probably high on the list.

    Scorpio from 'Dirty Harry'.

    and, of course (this being PE), whoever gets to play Phil Collins if they ever make 'The Genesis Story'...

  7. #7
    If you exclude the obvious weight of large-scale political perpetrators (nazis/commies/imperialists et al.):

    Without question Max Cady in Cape Fear or Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. Having encountered extremely violent sociopaths on several occasions myself, Cady's varnish of apparent "allround" charm is almost unbeatably convincing, while Chigurh's overall meta-function as harbinger of fate/death - and not least how even this symbol is indeed itself prone to "victimization" in the realm of hubris against imagined omnipotence - makes the most of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    If you exclude the obvious weight of large-scale political perpetrators (nazis/commies/imperialists et al.):

    Without question Max Cady in Cape Fear or Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. Having encountered extremely violent sociopaths on several occasions myself, Cady's varnish of apparent "allround" charm is almost unbeatably convincing, while Chigurh's overall meta-function as harbinger of fate/death - and not least how even this symbol is indeed itself prone to "victimization" in the realm of hubris against imagined omnipotence - makes the most of it.
    Agree, those are two of the best.

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    Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
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  10. #10
    Although he/she/it appears only very short in the movie the dwarf in the red coat in Don't Look Now scared the hell out of me. (Spoiler!)


  11. #11
    ^ One of my fave films of all time (and - for those who remember - I actually used to claim the dwarf image as my own avatar in here at some point nearly 10 years back), but I'd argue that it's not the character itself but the very principal context which makes for the ultimate disturbance. And while not intending to criticize you, it's a bit of a pity to see that scene set apart from the rest of the movie. Not only does it lose effect, but the complete artistic brilliance of its execution and narrative function is lost on the "casual" viewer.

    I saw that movie with my mum when I was only 12 years old, her being a formidable fan of Julie Christie and not having seen this before. I knew nothing of either the infamous love scene between Christie/Sutherland, about the movie's overall reputation or Nicolas Roeg's standing in film history, but then again the latter's genius was by and far explained and cemented firstly during the 90s. Together with Lindsay Anderson I regard him as the greatest UK filmmaker of his generation.
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    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #12
    A few that come to mind....

    Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes) in Schindler's List
    Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in Gladiator
    Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
    Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth) in Rob Roy
    Magua (Wes Studi) in Last of the Mohicans
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  13. #13
    Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) from Colossal.
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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Hey, no Hannibal Lector yet! Definitley a prime candidate.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    Hey, no Hannibal Lector yet! Definitley a prime candidate.
    You know...Lector's almost a borderline antihero at times.
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    John Doe (Kevin Spacey) in 7even
    SS officer Hans Landa (Cristoph Waltz) in Inglourious Basterds
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    Have you seen the Netflix series "Ratched"? It is her backstory. Only one season so far. It is not great, but pretty good with a good cast. Nurse Rached is played by Sara Paulson from American Horror Story.

  19. #19
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    Any SS Nazi in any WWII film

  20. #20
    Hmm... My first thought was Captain Vidal, from Pan's Labyrinth. A thoroughly despicable human being; some of his scenes were difficult to watch.

    There have been some great choices listed already in this thread though.

  21. #21
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Keyser Söze ? Low hanging fruit.
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Hmm... My first thought was Captain Vidal, from Pan's Labyrinth.
    Within the narrative logic of that film as parable, his character is intended as a paradigmatic conjunction of cultural history in modern Spain. I won't go further into it.

    Needless to say, one of the truly fantastic movies created during the last 20 years in Europe. I'll never forget attending cinema to see that tale come alive.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbassdrum View Post
    John Doe (Kevin Spacey) in 7even
    He was the first to come to mind for me. But is he really "repugnant?" Or does he kind of have a point? This is what I've always struggled with in this film, and why it's among my very favorites of all time. It raises truly challenging questions, and the extent of the repugnance of the villain is very much an part of that!



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  24. #24
    Frank (Henry Fonda) in Once Upon A Time In The West is up there when it comes to inspiring visceral loathing.

    Keyser Soze and Anton Chigurh seem to me to be in a slightly different category, as they aren’t really intended as naturalistic portrayals of human beings so much as they are embodiments of an idea. Hannibal Lecter as played by Mads Mikkelson (the definitive portrayal) is a little similar in this respect.
    Last edited by Mascodagama; 12-31-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Within the narrative logic of that film as parable, his character is intended as a paradigmatic conjunction of cultural history in modern Spain. I won't go further into it.

    Needless to say, one of the truly fantastic movies created during the last 20 years in Europe. I'll never forget attending cinema to see that tale come alive.
    Interesting... Great movie for sure, and incredibly acted; it stuck with me for days afterward. I can only imagine what it must have been like seeing it in the theater. Besides being visually stunning (and sometimes disturbing), the human aspect of the story was deeply moving. I've had discussions with family/friends whose interpretation of the movie -- especially its ending -- was quite different from mine.

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