Darth Vader. Hannibal Lecter. Frank Booth. Hans Landa. You remember your favourite film villains because they make it so difficult to hate them despite the bad that they do. They are complex with very slight signs of sympathy; even someone like Frank Booth has a candid moment with his lipstick-coated monologue that sends people straight to hell. Like all other character types, villains need to have complexity, clear motives, and a knack that can only make you appreciate them.
The following 10 villains do not tick off any of these boxes. If they have layers, it’s because they have levels of annoying qualities. If they have motives, they are clumsy and nonsensical. The only agreement we will have on these films is that these baddies are just simply bad characters. The following 10 offenders were disappointments if they were based off of previous creations (like games and comic books), or were just plain stupid. Here are the 10 worst villains of all time.
10. Koga Shuko (Double Dragon)
Robert Patrick’s evil Vanilla Ice is excruciating. He is about as suave as stubbing your toe in front of a girl you’re trying to impress. He curls every word he says with the biggest sneers. His eyebrows match the smarm his voice emits as well, as he is forever raising one eyebrow like he is an emoji. If that wasn’t painful enough, most of what he says is half-assed in delivery, or wasn’t worth the delivery in the first place (he likes to make bad jokes, kind of like the writer of this article). He often stands still pathetically and stares as others do his dirty work, so he is non-threatening by the time the film’s climax comes around.
In a film based off of a video game that features nonstop fighting, Patrick’s Koga Shuko tries to win the day through bribery and the threat from his lawyers – how anti-climactic for an already lousy film. Koga Shuko isn’t just stupid, he’s a case of double douchebag.
9. Druid Creedence Leonore Gielgud (Troll 2)
“Troll 2” is a so-bad-it’s-good kind of film. One of the villains of the film, excluding the director Drake Floyd, is the gothic Druid Creedence Leonore Gielgud. The entire performance is as though Deborah Reed channeled Tim Curry from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and the witch from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” while on lithium. Her overacting is the kind of stuff your grade school teachers exhibited while reading picture books to you.
There’s actually something lovably awful about this performance, because she may end up being your favourite person in the film (outside of the reason why you watched the film in the first place: a certain bloke that screams “Oh my God” really loudly).
As a character, she is quite silly conceptually. She turns people into plants so they become dinner for creatures that are anything but trolls. Nothing will send shivers down your spine like people being turned into flowers. She lures her prey with baked goods to really seal the deal. With all of that said, raise your hand if you want to see this gaudy performance on repeat for hours!
8. King Koopa (Super Mario Bros.)
Why, Dennis Hopper? Why? You were one of the all time greatest villains in “Blue Velvet” and are a stellar actor. The only glaring performance I can think of within the legend’s mostly-timeless legacy is his turn as, well, King Koopa in the Super Mario Bros. film.
When Frank talked, you were glued to every inflection he gave no matter what he said. In this monstrosity of a video game adaptation (that basically didn’t adapt anything from the original games at all), he is a dinosaur (again, since when was Bowser a dinosaur?) humanoid that looks more like a dude with a shell stuck on his head. He screams “goomba” about as often as a kid who’s frustrated with playing the video game for the first time.
There’s also a running joke where he wants to get a pizza delivered (time to confuse the demon overlord for another reptile; this time it’s a ninja turtle) that is about as pointless as this film was altogether. Most of all, King Koopa was the only time I’ve been annoyed with Dennis Hopper as an actor, and that’s the kind of blasphemy that is unforgivable. This performance, and the film as well, feel like a player that takes the wrong paths in world 7-4: never-ending.
7. Profion (Dungeons and Dragons)
I’ll admit that I have never played the tabletop game of the same name, but I do know that characters do get created in order to play. Whichever person in their friend’s garage that came up with Profion is an evil, evil player. Profion is devilishly played by Jeremy Irons, whose gritty snarls only make this villain lovable for the wrong reasons. Almost every line is screamed at the top of his lungs (or he grunts needlessly). He twirls his hand around like he is an airbender, while yelling “hut-ta-ta-ta-ta” for no rhyme or reason. He seems as capable of taking over the world as much as he is capable taking out the laundry (not highly).
Whatever diabolical plans he announces are blocked out by the laughs you will be howling just by witnessing this extravagant performance. The overacting is so bad that the poorly-rendered CGI dragons seem more naturalistic. Just wait until the final onslaught at the end of the film if you want to have a really good time, because it is virtually impossible to not laugh at this scene. Well, as least this awful performance made the terrible film slightly better.
6. Any of the zombies (Plan 9 from Outer Space)
This is a bit of a generic entry (another will come later), but anyone that turns into the undead in Ed Wood’s classic clunker “Plan 9 from Outer Space” deserves to be here. They really do seem lifeless, but it’s because of the performances being bad instead of good. Every zombie stutters toward their target at a pace that is even slower than most zombies (pick up the pace, we’ve got quotas to meet). They lurch forward in the least menacing way; their mouths are agape as though they’ve seen an apparition as opposed to being the threat themselves. They clunk their hands onto their victims like they’re swatting flies. Even the iconic monster goddess Vampira is awkward as one of the creatures she previously championed.
The zombies make no sense within their context (just what exactly is the connection between aliens and the undead, logically, anyway?), and they are lousy at being scary. They’re one of the many ingredients to this film where everything gloriously sucks.