Which movie hero was actually the villain?

The 10 biggest villains and villains in the movie

What would Luke Skywalker, Batman and Harry Potter be without their opponents Darth Vader, Joker and Lord Voldemort? Often it is the villains who turn a film into a complete success and the good guys into shining heroes. Evil has a particularly fascinating effect on us viewers, so that many of the dark film characters leave a lasting impression. Reason enough to introduce the 10 biggest villains and villains in the movie. Some of them even have a real role model.

Without light there is no shadow and a real film hero always needs a strong antagonist so that he can really shine and win the hearts of the audience. The villains make a film exciting and scary, because they enable us to cheer for the hero. In fact, some movie villains are so intriguing that their virtuous counterparts almost pale a bit next to them. The villains below may have failed on screen with their mean intentions, but they are nonetheless some of the most successful movie characters of all time.


Darth Vader

Darth Vader, dressed in a black mask, represents the dark side of power in the legendary Star Wars universe and is one of the most famous film villains. In addition to the imposing charisma, the complex personality development is what makes the character so successful: the last traces of humanity are hidden beneath his mechanical armor. Before his transformation into a cyborg, which took place after a lost fight against his former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader was none other than Anakin Skywalker - the father of the hero Luke Skywalker. So much fuel for exciting entanglements that have led to numerous series episodes and movies. The character was embodied by actors David Prowse, Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen, among others.



A characteristically difficult role to play, for which Heath Ledger won an Oscar posthumously. Jaquin Phoenix was nominated for his role as Joker this year.

Batman's antagonist is a murderous psychopath who is made up like an evil clown and usually leaves a joker card at the scene of his crimes. Since 1940, the character has appeared not only in films, but also in series, novels, video games and comics. Over time, the character became so popular that Hollywood even dedicated its own film to the Joker, in which he is portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. Here the viewer learns that the Joker only became the crazy villain he is today through tragic circumstances and bullying. The worldwide success of the film dedicated to him should contribute to the fact that the Joker will also have many bizarre cinema appearances in the future.


Al Capone

Al Capone, the godfather of all godparents and one of the most notorious criminals of all time, amassed a fortune through gambling, prostitution, racketeering and alcohol trafficking. The archetype of the classic American gang boss was himself addicted to the game, but was considered unlucky. After Scarface, his nickname, had been the king of the Chicago underworld for a few years, he was convicted of tax evasion in 1931 and was put behind bars for a long time. However, the Capone myth is still alive today, to which numerous gangster films have made a significant contribution.

Two of them are “Capone” from 1975, in which Sylvester Stallone made one of his first appearances, and “Gangsterland” from 2017, in which Milo Gibson plays the mob boss.


Hannibal Lecter

Stories about serial killers have long fascinated people in films and novels. The superstar among serial killers is undoubtedly the cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, who is a fictional character from the book series by Thomas Harris. Lecter became world famous through the actor Anthony Hopkins, who played him in the films "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal". The combination of brilliant intelligence, cultured demeanor and high charisma on the one hand and absolute unscrupulousness and callousness on the other hand is what makes the character so appealing.


Lord Voldemort

Lord Voldemort is the greatest black magician in the Harry Potter series of novels by Joanne K. Rowling. On the big screen, the actor Ralph Fiennes gave the adversary of the sympathetic sorcerer's apprentice a face: With creepy make-up in the style of a snake, the power-hungry and hateful leader of the so-called "Death Eaters" causes a lot of fear and horror in the magical world. There he is so feared that most magicians do not dare to pronounce his name and just call him "You-know-who".



In 1979 the film "Alien", produced by Ridley Scott, was released in cinemas and scared the audience. While movie monsters always had an involuntary comedy attached to them, the Alien created by HR Giger impressed with an impressive look that earned the Swiss artist an Oscar. A convincing script, the oppressive atmosphere on the strange planet, on which the crew of a spaceship has to make an emergency landing and the threat of extraterrestrial beings, and the brilliant acting of Sigourney Weaver made "Alien" a blockbuster. The monster of the same name became the prototype of the terrifying extraterrestrial and was up to mischief in numerous other films. In some films, the alien was also unleashed against the Predator, another gruesome movie villain.



By characters like Pennywise some were inspired to roam the streets themselves and scare people as "horror clowns".

Pennywise with the orange hair made the fear of clowns a widespread phenomenon for which there is even a technical term: coulrophobia. The horror clown is the main manifestation of the deeply evil creature "ES" from the novel of the same name by Stephen King, which brought the writer worldwide fame. Although the book was published in the mid-1980s and immediately stormed the bestseller lists in many countries, it took around thirty years until the first theatrical adaptation in 2017. This was all the more impressive: With his sadistic nature Pennywise, who was played by the Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard, made many viewers shudder. In Germany and several other countries, the film climbed to number 1 on the cinema charts. In September 2019, the sequel "Es Kapitel 2" was released.


Norman Bates

In 1960 none other than shock master Alfred Hitchcock directed the film "Psycho", which is based on the novel of the same name by Roman Bloch. The starring figure of Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, should not be missing in the list of our film villains. The scene in which Bates, suffering from a multiple personality disorder, commits a brutal knife murder in the shower to the unmistakable shrill film music (iek-iek-iek), went down in cinema history. What many don't know, however, is that the character of Norman Bates was inspired by the real-life murderer Ed Gein, who killed at least two women in the mid-1950s. Particularly scary: Gein severed the heads of his victims and used them as bowls from which to feed his pets. "Psycho" is Hitchcock's greatest work and made society aware that there really are insane serial killers.


Michael Myers

Merciless, terrifying and profoundly evil - Michael Myers, the serial killer with the white mask from the “Halloween” film series, sends shivers down the spine of film viewers every year. The series, of which there are now eleven films, is of course often watched, especially on Halloween. Michael Myers, who committed his first murder at the tender age of six, is notable for the fact that he moves very slowly and never speaks. He kills with merciless determination and seems to be immortal, after all he "dies" various "deaths" in the course of the series, only to reappear after all. The pure viciousness with which Myers commits his horrific deeds leaves one shuddering for a long time.



Speaking of pure viciousness: Leatherface, the infantile Texan giant with the changing masks made of human flesh, who prefers to portion his victims with a chainsaw, is in no way inferior to his colleague Myers. The director Tobe Hooper released this monster for the first time in 1974 in "Blood Court in Texas" as a member of a cannibal family that hunted down several young people. The brutality on display brought Hooper censorship trouble in many countries, but it certainly contributed to the film's popularity. Leatherface was up to mischief in three sequels and two prequels.