The most diabolically clever thing an evil character ever did

So what’s the greatest stroke of twisted genius an evil character ever had? Specifically I’m thinking of something “wonderfull awful” that works precisely because few non-psychotic people could ever have imagined it beforehand. An excellent example would be how Hannibal Lector managed to disguise himself and escape in Silence of the Lambs: he cut off the face of a guard he killed, and wore it like a mask. Responders see what looks like a guard they know with severe lacerations to the face. Of course they immediately call an ambulance and evac him.

Jeff Bridges’ character in The Vanishing decides to bury a woman alive. He tests to see if any of his neighbors might hear screaming by capturing hundreds of spiders and putting them in an ice chest and then having his daughter get him a soda. She screams her head off and later he asks a neighbor if he heard screaming.

Well, I’m not sure those really qualify. What are the rules on this? Both the earlier examples are weird and revolting, but not exactly genius. Lector’s plan in particular is utterly ludicrous and would never really worked. It was a “clever” thing because the writers thought it was.

I won’t limit the discussion to just this, but what I was thinking of was something that ONLY an appallingly evil character would think of. Another one that I can’t quite remember was from an issue of Spawn: Violator was for some reason stuck in his Evil Clown persona without access to his demonic powers, and thus temporarily limited to only what a short fat psychotic human could do. Someone was after him and I know he got out of it by doing something… counterintuitive with a corpse, but I don’t remember what now.

I always thought Goldfinger’s plan in Goldfinger (the movie, not the book) was pretty clever. Bond finds out he’s going to break into Fort Knox, and tells him it would be impossible to haul that much gold away. (I think he overstates it somewhat.) For once, the bad guy really does have a plan worth bragging about. He’s not going to take it, he’s going to use an atomic bomb to blow it up, and increase the value of the gold he already has. Gert Fröbe is great in the scene where he’s explaining it.

(There is one problem. Goldfinger says that he loves gold itself (“its brilliance, its divine heaviness”), not the things he can buy with it. Just increasing the value of his gold would be pointless to him.)

Well, there was only one writer. It was in the original novel.

The Star Trek Generations character Soran who wanted to alter the orbit of a planet so it would pass in front of a quantum string thingy so he blows up a star that destoys all the planets

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.

Some time back I noted the particular evilocity of the dark fairy Maleficent’s plan in Sleeping Beauty.

In Braveheart, King Edward Longshanks (my direct ascendant, eww) pulled all sorts of brilliant-yet-diabolical maneuvers, including when

after the princess returns empty-handed from her diplomatic mission to William Wallace, King Edward reveals his “Plan B” – to gather several legions of soldiers and launch a surprise attack deep behind enemy lines. The prince claims there’s not enough time, saying, “Even if you dispatch them now, it will take weeks for them to prepare.” To which Longshanks replies, “I’ve already dispatched them, before I sent your darling wife to meet Wallace!”

The antagonist’s revenge in the Korean movie Oldboy. I won’t post the spoiler here because if you’ve seen the movie you know what he did. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it.

Watchmen: “I did it thirty five minutes ago.”

Beat me to it. Talk about a fate worse than death.

If Longshanks ever starts acting all friendly and seeking your counsel, and you happen to notice he’s put his arm around you and is steering you toward the nearest window . . .

Yup. I don’t know if he’s evil, but it’s a brilliant move.

Everything the Jigsaw killer did in the Saw films, particularly the end of the first movie.

Well, I’d imagine that if you really love something, you’d want that thing to have as high monetary value as possible, purely from a psychological standpoint. It’s wonderful and pretty and it’s worth a lot of money. Makes it seem all that more wonderful.

I can’t believe that the Joker’s pencil trick wasn’t in the first three posts.

What was diabolical about it?

I would think that the Joker’s use of chemicals and gas on Gotham to make its citizens laugh to death with a hideous grin was a lot more diabolical.