I feel like the classic movie villains all have their fans and a richly deserved share of the pop culture pie, from old standards like Dracula to relative newbies on the scene like Freddy Kreuger, who’ve proven their staying power through many, many sequels and remakes. I was thinking today of some memorable villains of the screen who I feel haven’t been appreciated enough, and what makes them so viciously evil.
My two nominees:
**Bob Wolverton from Freeway (1996)
In this modern update of the Little Red Riding Hood story, runaway Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon) has finally made it to her grandmother’s trailer, only to enter and find that serial killer Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland) has murdered her grandmother.
Vanessa: You fucker! You killed my grandma!
Bob Wolverton: That’s not all I did to grandma. :eek:
Kiefer Sutherland has played a lot of bad guys, but there’s something gleefully sadistic in Wolverton’s delivery of this line that has stayed with me for years after I saw this movie. Rarely has a serial killer so richly deserved the brutal beatdown that ensues.
Pinhead from the Hellraiser franchise
Now this one might seem as an odd choice, as Pinhead (Doug Bradley) isn’t exactly obscure, and he’s been in a lot of sequels of varying quality. Certainly his brilliant design is unnerving, and he and the other Cenobites have, at least in the first couple of movies, perhaps the most interesting motives and themes of the horror monsters of the same general time period. Pain as ultimate pleasure… demons to some, angels to others… that’s *intriguing *if you’re of a certain bent.
But what I feel seperates Pinhead from the other horror icons such as Jason and Michael Myers (who are silent) and Freddy (who is always ready with a cheesy one-liner) is the elegant and almost detached way he goes about his business. He is the high pope of Hell. He will have eternity to know your flesh. And he plays poker against Lemmy from Motörhead in the *Hellraiser *video.
Pinhead: Go on… but trick us again child, and your suffering will be legendary even in Hell!
That’s a badass threat. But what’s most badass about it is that it’s delivered by a villain who is fully capable of delivering on his promise.