Monday, September 06, 2010

The Hero Project #16: Now Meet the Villains

One more week of the Hero Project (I

’m on a deadline, so no time for watching movies)


I got very systematic in my discussion of types of heroes, but what about villains? There are lots of very different types of villains, but I wasn’t able to come up with a chart of different factors that would generate each of these types, so I

’ve

just brainstormed until I seemed to identify most of them. I’m sure there are more, so feel free to toss more out there…

  1. The Flip Side of the Hero: They

    re much like the hero, but they spent their life fighting for all the opposite values (Voldemort, General Zod in Superman II, Magneto in X-Men, the original Lex Luthor)
  2. The Corruptor: (Liam Neeson in Batman Begins, Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Brad Pitt in Fight Club)
  3. The Ambitious Businessman: (Jeff Bridges in Iron Man, Douglas in Wall Street, Sam Rockwell in Charlie’s Angels-- a character he reprised in Iron Man 2, the later version of Lex Luthor, Auric Goldfinger and most Bond villains)
  4. Good Person Corrupted by Money: (Krabbe in The Fugitive, Voigt in Mission: Impossible, the bad men and/or heroes in most noirs)
  5. One Bad Choice Leads to Another: (Darth Vader, the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, the Sandman… Obviously Stan Lee and Steve Ditko loved this type of villain)
  6. The Miserable Psychopath: (Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs, The Sniper, Norman Bates)
  7. The Happy Psychopath: (Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, The Joker, Enthusiastic Nazis)
  8. The Sycophant (the head psychiatrist in Silence of the Lambs, all the bad guys in Ghostbusters, and most eighties comedies, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
  9. The Nihilist: (Robert Shaw in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the killers in Scream, Spacey in Seven)
  10. The Righteous Revenge Seeker: (Robert Ryan in Act of Violence, Rourke in Iron Man 2, Max Cady in Cape Fear… but more in the remake than the original)
  11. The Faithless Pleasure Seeker: (most femme fatales, most “Lifetime Network” husbands)
  12. Just Doing His Job: They feel like they had no other options, if they didn’t want to buck the system that they were born into (most mobsters, a lot of movies with German army guys who are explicitly not Nazis, like 36 Hours)

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