Table of Contents

Part VII

20. Randall Flagg (Stephen King Mythos)

[Randall Flagg]

Why I Like Him: Flagg, for the world Stephen King created, is the personification of evil whose swathe of chaos and destruction cut across a multitude of different stories, books, poems, and movies.

"He looks like anybody you see on the street. But when he grins, birds fall dead off telephone lines. When he looks at you a certain way, your prostate goes bad and your urine burns. The grass yellows up and dies where he spits. He's always outside. He came out of time. He doesn't know himself. He has the name of a thousand demons. Jesus knocked him into a herd of pigs once. His name is Legion. He's afraid of us. We're inside. He knows magic. He can call the wolves and live in the crows. He's the king of nowhere. But he's afraid of us. He's afraid of . . . inside."Tom Cullen

It was in The Stand and in the Dark Tower series that he is identified as the demon Legion (also known as the Gadarene Demon), from the Bible. Jesus traveled to Gadarene and met a man possessed by Legion. There are varying accounts of the story within different books of the Bible, but most hold the following: Legion was apparently aware of the power within Jesus, and begged to be spared the trip back to hell. As a result Jesus cast him into a herd of pigs, and the pigs subsequently drowned themselves in the Sea of Galilee.

Flagg goes by many names in the novels. He is first identified as The Dark Man from the poem of the same name. He goes by Randall Flagg in The Stand, where he is also identified as the demon Legion. Simply going by Flagg at other times, typically if someone has the initials RF it is most likely Flagg (Raymond Fiegler would be a good example of this). In the Dark Tower series he appears as The Man in Black and Walter O'Dim, but is eventually identified for who he really is.

Contrary to what Kojiro would tell you there are villains that have appeared in more books then Flagg, but few represent the true evil and villainy that Flagg perpetrates throughout his long tenure in King's universe. I won't spoil the Dark Tower for those who have not read it yet, however, the ending of the story is the reason why Flagg is not further up on the countdown then he appears.

Randall Flagg: Pleased to meet you, Lloyd. Hope you guessed my name.

Lloyd Henreid: Huh?

Randall Flagg: Oh. Nothing. Just a little classical reference.

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed' —Opening line of The Dark Tower

Flagg: Shall we tell the truth then, you and I? No more lies?

Roland: I thought we had been.

Flagg: Shall there be truth between us, as two men? Not as friends, but as equals? There is an offer you will get rarely, Roland. Only equals speak the truth, that's my thought on't. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard. How tiresome!

"Yet suppose further. Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...

"You dare not."Flagg

19. John Herod (The Quick and the Dead)

[John Herod]

Why I Like Him: The true upset of the countdown, and probably one of the last surprises. Perhaps alot of folks would disagree with Herod being so high on the countdown, and I can't say I completely disagree with that notion. Whenever I entertained the idea of placing him lower, though, I kept coming back to the same fact...the man shoots and kills his only son. Say what you will about Herod, say what you will about a number of villains on this list, not many are guilty of such a thing.

This guy, while appearing cultured and civilized, is in a reality a sadistic animal. He kills his own son, his wife, has a sheriff's own daughter shoot her daddy in the head, and tortures a man who simply tries to turn over a new leaf by becoming a man of God. He does all this, but don't mistake him for a coward who picks on the weak and the helpless. He's not one to back down from a fight, and he personally kills a good number of people who would be a formidable challenge to any gunslinger.

Gene Hackman is one of my favorite actors almost soley for this role. He does a bang up job, and portrays a really memorable character, at least in my opinion. Herod may be a flash in the pan compared to some of the villains on this list, who have endured for years/decades, but he's one of those villains that keeps me watching his movie over and over again.

Like I always say - put a fox in the henhouse and you'll have chicken for dinner every time. - John Herod

Blind Boy: John Herod owns that house. He gets fifty cents of every dollar in this town.

Ellen: What's the town get?

Blind Boy: Huh... they gets to live.

"This is my town! If you live to see the dawn, it's because I allow it. I'm in charge of everything! I decide who lives or who dies!"John Herod

18. Lestat de Lioncourt (Vampire Chronicles)

[Lestat de Lioncourt]

Why I Like Him: Style, class, sophistication, Lestat brings a charm to this countdown that has yet to appear, and may not be rivaled in the remainder of the countdown. He was very well portrayed in the movie adaptation of Interview with a Vampire, but it was in The Vampire Lestat where he truly shined.

A little background, Lestat is the seventh son of the marquis d'Auvergne and was born in 1760, in Auvergne, France in a castle belonging to his ancestors. Despite his apparent highborn background he grew up in relative poverty; his ancestors squandered the family riches. As the youngest in the family, Lestat stood to inherit nothing.

Perhaps the most pivotal moment in his mortal life was when he was nearly killed by a pack of wolves he was hunting in mountains surrounding Auvergne. He returned home a different person, determined to follow his own path.

He goes into a deep depression about his encounter with the wolves and the meaning of life, and with a friend, Nicolas, he leaves Auvergne and heads for Paris, intending to become an actor. During a performance, he attracted the attention of an ancient vampire named Magnus, who abducted and held him prisoner.

That was mostly from the Wikipedia on him, if you want more I'd recommend it as it details him quite nicely. I won't spoil the rest of his life story for those who haven't read it, but it is quite a good read.

Lestat kills remorselessly and without mercy, committing acts of blasphemy and abomination not only upon the human race, but his fellow vampires as well. Throughout the ages he has undoubtably committed every sin and broken every law we have written words for, and he seems to have enjoyed doing it immensely. Lestat, truly a despicable bastard.

"Maybe I'll obey the rules. Some of them, anyway. What are you going to do if I don't by the way, and haven't I asked you this before?"Lestat

Marius: You are the damnedest creature! You make me think of the old story about Alexander the Great. He wept when there were no more worlds to conquer. Will you weep when there are no more rules to break?

Lestat: Ah, but there are always rules to break.

Louis: You're a perfect devil, Lestat!" "That's what you are! You are the devil himself!

Lestat: Yes, I know. And I love to hear you say it, Louis. I need to hear you say it. I don't think anyone will ever say it quite like you do. Come on, say it again. I'm a perfect devil. Tell me how bad I am. It makes me feel so good!

"I can't help being a gorgeous fiend. It's just the card I drew."Lestat

17. Mr. Blonde (Reservoir Dogs)

[Mr. Blonde]

Why I Like Him: When I said Herod may be the last surprise in the countdown I may not have been counting on Blonde being a huge shocker, but some may see it as such. I knew Blonde would probably be a hard sell for this low in the countdown, but his evil is undeniable, and his style is remarkable. Let's take a look at Mr. Blonde for just a moment.

Disliked even amongst scoundrels, Blonde murders a room full of people for what he deems a justifiable reason. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers for those that haven't seen the movie) Now you may say that Blonde being a murder is nothing compared to some of the acts perpetrated by his contemporaries listed in this countdown, however, I post to you the following evidence:

The Infamous Ear Cutting Scene

Never has torture been so enjoyable! Not only is the man a grade A psychopath, but he's a helluva entertainer to boot. Tarantino had this to say in the commentary of Reservoir Dogs:

"I defy anyone to watch Michael Madsen do that dance and not enjoy it...whenever someone would describe the dance they'd kinda do it a little bit. He cuts the guy's face and aaaargh. But you know what, fuck you, you were enjoying it. Up until that moment you were enjoying it. So thus you were a co-conspirator somewhat."Quentin Tarantino

Mr. Blonde is actually "Toothpick" Vic Vega, one of the Vega brothers from Tarantino's sort of reality he created in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. I've read that there is another movie in the works, not in production yet, but featuring both Vega Brothers with Michael Madsen and John Travolta coming back to play their respective roles. I sincerely hope it happens, cause between those two and the characters they've developed I'd certainly expect it to be a great movie.

"Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?"Mr. Blonde

"Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I've heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain't gonna get."Mr. Blonde

"Hey what's goin' on? Can you hear that?"Mr. Blonde

"Was that as good for you as it was for me?"Mr. Blonde

16. Hans Gruber (Die Hard)

[Hans Gruber]

Why I Like Him: In AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains I always felt Gruber was greatly mistreated being placed so low on their list. He deserves much higher then 46, and certainly deserves higher ranking (in my opinion at least) then half the people they rated. Oh well, Hans Gruber is without a doubt one of the greatest villains ever, and at least they recognized it to some extent.

Alan Rickman is great, I love most all his work. When the producers for Die Hard saw him star in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses it's said they knew they had exactly the person to play Gruber. (Rickman won a Tony for Best Actor in that role) Rickman took the role very seriously, and had this to say about it:

"When Bruce and I first met we thought that if Hans and McClane could oddly enough develop a relationship while communicating over the CB, it would serve the final conflict rather well. We wanted to steer away from stereotypical hero and villain types of behavior and try to be as normal as possible on the surface."Alan Rickman

Gruber is cool, calm, collected, and very business like. He says what he's going to do, and then does it, eliminating anyone and everyone that gets between him and his goal to the best of his ability. Wearing the hats of a robber, a murderer, and a terrorist Gruber shows no mercy or pity as executes his master plan. Truly a man after my own heart, a role model for villains everywhere.

"Nice suit. John Phillips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it that Arafat buys his there."Hans Gruber

"Mr. Takagi, I could talk about industrialization and men's fashion all day but I'm afraid work must intrude, and my associate Theo has some questions for you. Sort of fill-in-the-blank questions..."Hans Gruber

"I wanted this to be professional. Efficient. Adult. Cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... So he won't be joining us for the rest of his life."Hans Gruber

"'When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.' Benefits of a classical education."Hans Gruber

"I have comrades in arms around the world languishing in prison. The American State Department enjoys rattling its sabre for its own ends. Now it can rattle it for me. The following people are to be released from their captors. In Northern Ireland, the seven members of the New Provo Front. In Canada, the five imprisoned leaders of Liberté de Quebec. In Sri Lanka, the nine members of the Asian Dawn movement... (Karl mouths "Asian Dawn?" questioningly) (Hans turns off radio and shrugs) I read about them in Time Magazine."Hans Gruber