10. The Hessian
In 1999’s movie Sleepy Hollow, Christopher Walken plays the unforgettable Hessian (the Headless Horseman) and chops quite a few heads off. Even though he was not the main baddie but simply controlled, we spend half the movie thinking he is the ultimate bad. Ray Park played the Horseman without the head, and was every bit as menacing as Walken.
In Planet of the Apes remake by Tim Burton from 2001, probably the most memorable part is Tim Roth’s performance as General Thade. Roth chose this role over the role of Severus Snape in Harry Potter, most likely due to amazing makeup from Rick Baker that really transformed him into the iconic megalomaniacal ape. He might have missed out on the role of Snape, but he certainly managed to enslave humanity – and make a monkey out of Mark Wahlberg, so we salute him for that.
8. The Martians
In Mars Attacks, the 1996 movie about an alien invasion with a pretty dark sense of humor, certainly the Martians are the most memorable thing: skeleton-faced, big-brained, they wreaked chaos on unsuspecting Earth. The timing of this movie was peculiar, quite close to the release of the mega-hit Independence Day, but in a way, much more apocalyptic. The aliens committed some of the most heinous deeds in any Tim Burton movie (the funniest probably being the sewing of Sarah Jessica Parker’s head onto the body of a dog), killing people and animals here, there and everywhere.
7. The Penguin
Remember Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, the 1992 Batman movie? Of course you do – it’s hard to forget such a sleazy, malformed and overall disgusting character. Oscar Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, kidnapped all of Gotham City socialites’ first born children, after almost becoming the mayor due to the general public being sympathetic towards him being orphaned as a baby due to his deformities. Still, as crazy as the Penguin was, he decided it would be better to blow up everything. Not one of the greatest Batman movies, but DeVito is certainly a memorable Batman villain.
6. Francis Buxton
1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is a story of man-children where the main character’s adventure is kickstarted by the theft of his prized bicycle… and the man responsible is our villain, Francis Buxton, played by Mark Holton. A fellow man-child, he even hired a man to steal the bike for him because he didn’t have the guts to do so himself. The spoiled “rich kid” gets his just reward after many twists and turns, by getting rocketed towards the sky and certain injury by the ejector seat on Pee-wee’s bicycle.
In one of Burton’s most well known films, Edward Scissorhands, released in 1990, Anthony Michael Hall plays Jim, the town no-good bully and boyfriend of Edward’s romantic interest, Kim. Throughout the movie he attacks Edward (and later Kim, when she leaves him), mistreating everyone in his path, causing Edward to become an outcast after using him to pick locks and leaving him to get caught. Eventually, Edward kills him in a brawl attempting to protect Kim, and Jim gets no redemption whatsoever, despite the fact his punishment might be more severe than what his crimes deserved. In Burton’s reality, bad things will happen to bad people.
4. Oogie Boogie
1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, though not directed by Burton, is on this list because he was one of the writers. And what a villain we have here: Oogie Boogie, voiced by Ken Page, the character who gambles away the life of Santa Claus. He sings well, though, but that doesn’t make him less of a… well, talking sack filled with worms and bugs.
Catwoman must be the people’s favorite when it comes to antagonists, and was performed perfectly by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (another villain from that movie on our list). Indeed, the cat lady had become increasingly popular after it, embraced by the fandom, and instead of villain, morphed into a sort of an anti hero in subsequent films and comics - though Pfeiffer managed to portray her as a dangerous, alluring and scary lady, definitely a villainess with some attempted murder on her hands.
One of the most iconic villains ever was portrayed masterfully in Burton’s 1989 movie Batman by none other than Jack Nicholson. The movie was a strong foundation from which the consequent comic book movies, not just the Batman franchise, were built upon, and for many years it did not seem anyone could surpass Nicholson at the role of Joker. The cackling, mad gangster doused Gotham City with the lethal Smile-X gas, and succeeded at being threatening despite the clown makeup, thus proving the concerns that comic book characters would not translate to live action well were unfounded.
There’s no better villain than the one the movie is named after, right? In Beetlejuice, Burton’s 1988 movie, the heroes are the recently deceased Maitlands and a hopeless goth named Lydia, whom Beetlejuice extorts into marrying him, despite her being just a teenage girl (and possibly underage). Beetlejuice is the ghoul with supernatural powers, played by Michael Keaton. The bio-exorcist ghost is a selfish chauvinist that eats flies and is covered with mold, and makes you wonder what was he like when he was alive – certainly no less of a scumbag.