Also, Welcome!

Given this is the first October Coffee Chat, I thought it would be fun to switch from "school days" "ghoul days."     I won't say every chat this month will be a scary theme, but this seemed like a good start:  sharing our favourite villains.

Hmmm, though, where to start?

Nearly every list I Googled had Mr. Chianti and fava beans as the #1 Villain.  And perhaps rightly so.  Of course there is the usual round of bloody good scary psychos too:  Jason, Michael, Freddie, Leatherface and Jigsaw.  But I prefer to go with the less obvious.   The character study of the quiet loner whom no one suspected.  The revelation of their true self is the frightening twist that has us gasping and jumping in our theatre seats; and scared to say hello to our quiet neighbour the next morning.

But first, my top 20 of the usual film suspects (click to enlarge):

(Joaquin Phoenix - Gladiator, Rutger Hauer - The Hitcher, Nurse Ratched (Fletcher) - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Old Man Potter (Lionel Barrymore) - It's A Wonderful Life, Mr. Bates (Perkins) - Psycho, The Wicked Witch of the West - The Wizard of Oz,  Spacey - 7,  Kiefer Sutherland - The Lost Boys {also, in Eye for an Eye}, McDowell - A Clockwork Orange, Hans Gruber (Rickman) - Die Hard, "Bill the Butcher" (Day-Lewis) - Gangs of New York, Jack Nicholson - The Shining, Darth Vader, Oldman - Air Force One, Patrick Bateman (Bale) - American Psycho, Olivier - Marathon Man, Oldman - Leon, the Professional,  The Joker (the late Heath Ledger) - The Dark Knight, and front and center:  Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) - The Silence of the Lambs)

Yes - Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman appear twice.
Yes - this is totally deserved.   Especially in Oldman's case.   I lurv him so much when he's bad!
He can do no wrong, and if you argue -- we cannot be friends.
If you want to see his Top 10 Best - Go Here.

 In the interest of length/time, clearly I will not elaborate on my reasons for the Top 20 baddies above.  You'll just have to check them out and judge for yourself.   Also, this is based on films I have actually seen - not merely heard so-and-so was so scary bad in such-and-such.   I do realize that there are many, many more.

Ah - who am I kidding.   I'm a complete chicken.   I have trouble watching horror movies.  And since I worked in a male prison that had a psych ward for the criminally insane:  I don't particularly like any psycho movie.   I've seen the dark, hollow, empty eyes up close and personal already.

As I already mentioned, it is that quiet, solitary individual that scares me the most.  The one people might have whispered, "there's something not quite right about him" as he passes by.   Or, his manipulation and deception is so masterful; we might actually be rooting for him.

So yes, the Jasons, Johnny's and Hannibal's scare me, but this was my most shocking and frightening moment in cinema.   Based solely on the fact I never saw it coming.  I liked this stammering, stuttering guy.    I felt sorry for him.   I wanted to hug him, poor thing.    I mean, I could know him in real life.    Oh.....he so easily slipped under my radar.   The wicked, sinister mind behind it all though.

**Exit the kiddos from the room or ear-muffs folks.  I couldn't edit the language out, and I do apologize, but this is brilliant acting.  Just so darn brilliant.**

Holy crap.....someone hold me!!
Can you believe - Oscar denied?!!    Inconceivable.

And then gets rough:

Oh dear readers, it gets worse.  Much, much worse.   You will not believe the ending, and I certainly will not ruin it here.   But all I can say is "clap, clap, clap"  well played Edward Norton, well played.

So who has you covering your ears, slouching in your seat, and hiding under the covers with all the lights left on?

You can choose from literature or film.  Or perhaps a combination of both, since there is a far amount of crossover.   Remember....Hannibal Lecter was a literary villain before Anthony Hopkins scared the ever lovin wits out of all of us.   Same with that "number one fan" Annie Wilkes so frighteningly and brilliantly portrayed by Katy Bates in Stephen King's Misery.   Voldemort?  Book.  Sauron?  Book   Dracula (sigh, Oldman again), book.

Since I've given my film choice, I will end with my top 2 literary villains.  Once again, based on literature I have actually read.

2.  Iago --  oh yes, "honest Iago" from Shakespeare's Othello.   the hell?  This guy is some piece of work -- even by modern bad guy movie standards.   I don't think there is anything he doesn't do to get revenge, his jealousy and envy of Othello is so deep.  Yet, he convinces everyone he is working in their best interests - none suspect his foul motives - while he is ultimately seeking to destroy.   This villain has more lines in the play than the protagonist Othello.   Yet, at the finale when he is caught - vows to never speak again.

1.  Satan - well, duh.  From Milton's Paradise Lost - one of my most favourite pieces of literature.  Technically a poem, but really.....settle in;  roses are red 'tis not.    Satan, once a beautiful angel who thought it surely would be "better to reign in hell than to serve in Heaven"  Arrogant, powerful, charismatic, and so cunningly deceptive.     I think the following line from Book 4 sums Satan and his motivations up quite nicely:

The Hell within him, for within him Hell [ 20 ]
He brings,

So tell me: who's so being bad?

NEXT WEEK:   I need a Hero! Who ya gonna call? Sticking with the theme: best heroes in literature and/or film.