Table of Contents

Part X

5. Michael Corleone (The Godfather)

[Michael Corleone]

Why I Like Him: It is with a great reverance that I approach the last 5 choices on my countdown. These people may not have been as great, or as powerful, or as far reaching as some of the other choices on this list, but they undoubtably had an impact to make them forever significant. Michael Corleone, for any who have ever seen the Godfather, is without a question one of the most significant villains of all time, and a great example of a character that keeps people watching a film over and over again.

Many would argue that this man is a tragic hero, one who if circumstances were different would have led his family to become legitimate and upstanding. Would've, should've, could've, but he didn't. Michael Corleone, from the instant he put himself in the midst of the family business, was as cold blooded a bastard as Mr. Blonde, as calculating in his plans and schemes as Emperor Palpatine, and as merciless to foe and family member alike as John Herod. In fact, even though those are defining traits for most of those characters, Michael went one step beyond each of them in my opinion, because to act in the world he had to was far more treacherous territory then any of the others had to deal with.

To go on and on about Michael is unnecessary, as his place here nearly needs no explanation. The culmination of his plans in Part I and Part II of the Godfather speak volumes for his villainy, and to watch those plans in action is like watching a virtuoso at work. Few can compare to a villain of this caliber.

"I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies."Michael Corleone

"I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart."Michael Corleone

"If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."Michael Corleone

Senator Pat Geary: I despise the way you pose yourself. You and your whole fucking family.
Michael Corleone: We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator, but never think it applies to my family.

Don Corleone: I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life—I don't apologize—to take care of my family, and I refused to be a fool, dancing on the string held by all those bigshots. I don't apologize - that's my life - but I thought that, that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the string. Senator Corleone; Governor Corleone. Well, it wasn't enough time, Michael. It wasn't enough time.
Michael Corleone: We'll get there, pop. We'll get there.

4. Dracula (Bram Stoker's Dracula)


Why I Like Him: Why not the mummy? Or Frankenstein? Why Dracula, over all the horror villains over the years, why choose him? The very essence of Dracula is the allure he holds as one of the first vampires, and Dracula would lay down the stereotypical mold that almost all others would follow for years to come with regards to these creatures of the night. He has terrorized audiences for years in literature, and as soon as he came to the movies in the early 1900s he began terrorizing theatrical audiences as well, the early pictures (cheesy though they are now) being scary as all hell to the audiences of the time period.

Historically, the name "Dracula" is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (king of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor) to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Vlad II Dracul, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward, Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol. Either because the people believed the dragon to represent the devil, or of the fact that the Romanian archaic word for dragon was "drac" (see Dacian Draco), his subjects called him Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Devil). In archaic Romanian the ending -ulea meant "the son of". Vlad III thus became Vlad Draculea, "The Son of the Devil" (or "of the Dragon") .

This "Son of the Devil" managed to capture the minds of many writers of the 20th and 21st century, and almost every single vampire novel or movie has its influences drawn from Dracula. I find this one of the most difficult descriptions to he deserves so much, but we already know him so well he's almost cliche. Don't let that make you think he is cliche, however, because he is truly one of the original, one of the greatest villains of all time.

"I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome..."Dracula

"The blood is life... and it shall be mine."Dracula

"There are far worse things awaiting man than death."Dracula

"She lives beyond the grace of God, a wanderer in the outer darkness. She is 'vampyr', 'nosferatu'. These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but instead grow strong and become immortal once infected by another nosferatu. So, my friends we fight not one beast but legions that go on age after age after age, feeding on the blood of the living."Van Helsing

"My revenge has just begun! I spread it over centuries and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine – my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed."Dracula

3. Darth Vader (The Star Wars Trilogy)

[Darth Vader]

Why I Like Him: The face of evil, the true name that comes to mind whenever villain is thought of. Vader manages to encompass all that is villainous. His attire, his manner of speech, his deeds, his plans, everything about Vader oozes evil. There have been many attempts to copy him, many attempts at remaking him, but nothing compares with the man who steps onto the rebel ship at the beginning of A New Hope and instantly establishes himself as an extreme badass.

I'm not going to go on at length about Vader, because he is well known and the entirety of the Star Wars Saga pretty much places his background and life story out there. I will say this though: when I made this list, when I debated about laying out all those I idolized and looked up too, Vader was the first name to come to mind and I think he would be for almost anyone doing the same.

"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."Darth Vader

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."Darth Vader

Darth Vader: I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I met you I was but the learner. Now, *I* am the master.
Obi-Wan: Only a master of evil, Darth.

"Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me."Darth Vader

2. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)

[Dr. Hannibal Lecter]

Why I Like Him: The most brilliant on the countdown, and arguably the most evil, Hannibal Lecter is a monster the likes of which the world has truly never seen.

Lecter, while under psychological study for years while incarcerated, managed to demonstrate a variety of different symptoms of psychosis in an effort to confuse and confound the psychiatrists who attempted to analyze him. Even after all the movies and books it is still unclear to what extent Lecter is insane. When questioned by Clarice Starling his own synopsis of his condition is that he is evil, and he feels that psychiatry is wrong to categorize different kinds of evil as different behavioral conditions. He goes on to elaborate that the inconsistencies in his behavior are traits of pure evil, and that he does not possess a behavioral abnormality.

Lecter's MO is unique when compared to other fictional serial killers, because he is known to kill based on retribution, discourtesy and poetic justice along with necessity.

Most of Lecter's murders were carried out for revenge and retribution. This characteristic of his MO started early on, his first murder (Paul Momund) had insulted Lecter's aunt and Lecter then murdered him. The most relevant series of murders based on revenge was when he murdered all the members of the group of men that killed his sister Mischa. He is then seen neglectfully torturing Mason Verger for retribution of raping Margot Verger. He is then seen murdering Paul Krendler for disgracing Clarice Starling.

Lecter is most widely known to kill because of discourtesy and rudeness. This is first discovered in Silence of the Lambs when he drove Miggs to suicide after Miggs had thrown semen at Agent Starling as she walked by his cell. Lecter told Starling that discourtesy was "unspeakably ugly" to him. This is seen again in Hannibal when he kills Paul Krendler whom offends him.

However, Lecter's signature style is poetic justice, placing his victim's bodies in positions that imitate the positions of figures in historical documents, art, and medical books. His most referenced poetic justice style murder was with his sixth American victim, who was laced to a pegboard in the position of Wound Man. The next person we see this with is Pazzi during Hannibal, Lecter hanged him at the same location and in the same manner as Pazzi's ancestor. Lecter then mutilates Paul Krendler by performing a cranionomy on him, a medical tradition of the ancient Egyptians. When he kills the bow hunter, he places him in a position of an ancient Norse execution method, the Blood Eagle.

A true artist when it comes to killing, Lecter's style and charm have made him an icon that many have tried to duplicate, in real life and in fiction, and none could ever rival. Well, almost none...

Murray: Is it true what they're sayin', he's some kinda vampire?
Clarice Starling: They don't have a name for what he is.

"You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition's given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you've tried so desperately to shed: pure West Virginia. What is your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you... all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars... while you could only dream of getting out... getting anywhere... getting all the way to the F-B-I."Dr. Hannibal Lecter

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."Dr. Hannibal Lecter

"I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner."Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter: Amputate a man's leg and he can still feel it tickling. Tell me, mum, when your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you?
Senator Ruth Martin: Take this... *thing* back to Baltimore!
Hannibal Lecter: Five foot ten, strongly built, about a hundred and eighty pounds; hair blonde, eyes pale blue. He'd be about thirty-five now. He said he lived in Philadelphia, but he may have lied. That's all I can remember, mum, but if I think of any more, I will let you know. Oh, and Senator, just one more thing: love your suit!

Hannibal Lecter: Would you ever say to me "Stop. If you love me, stop?"Clarice Starling: Not in a thousand years.Hannibal Lecter: "Not in a thousand years"... That's my girl.

"Dear Clarice,

"I have followed with enthusiasm the course of your disgrace and public shaming. My own never bothered me except for the inconvenience of being incarcerated, but you may lack perspective. In our discussions down in the dungeon it was apparent to me that your father, the dead night watchman, figures largely in your value system. I think your success in putting an end to Jame Gumb's career as a couturier pleased you most because you could imagine your father being pleased. But now, alas, you're in bad odour with the FBI. Do you imagine your daddy being shamed by your disgrace? Do you see him in his plain pine box crushed by your failure; a sorry, petty end of a promising career? What is worst about this humiliation Clarice? Is it how your failure will reflect on your mommy and daddy? Is your worst fear that people will now and forever believe they were indeed just good old trailer camp tornado bait white trash and that perhaps you are too? By the way I couldn't help noticing on the FBI's rather dull public website that I have been hoisted from the Bureau's archives of the common criminal and elevated to the more prestigious 10 Most Wanted list. Is this coincidence, or are you back on the case? If so, goody goody, cause I need to come out of retirement and return to public life. I imagine you sitting in a dark basement room bent over papers and computer screens. Is that accurate? Please tell me truly, Special Agent Starling.

"Regards,Your old pal Hannibal Lecter, M.D.

"P.S. Clearly this new assignment is not your choice rather I suppose it is a part of the bargain but you accepted it Clarice. Your job is to craft my doom. So I am not sure how well I should wish you but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun.