“A hero is only as good as his villain” is a stupid saying.
Is MCU Iron Man only as good as War Monger? Do you even remember who War Monger is? On the flip side, there are hundreds of cases where the villain far outshines the hero: for example, every single horror movie.
That being said, many villains are, for one reason or another, overlooked even as their movies are fondly remembered. It’s time that these villains get the appreciation they deserve and what better way to do so than an article from a Medium writer with 10 followers?
All that said, here are sevenof the Most Underappreciated Movie Villains of All Time.
7. King Longshanks (Braveheart)
If you are a man, you most likely love Braveheart. But you probably think of Mel Gibson’s hero, William Wallace more than anything else. You might have forgotten the man who sent the Irish to fight because they were cheaper than arrows. Or the man who threw his son’s boyfriend out a window. Or the most vicious “r” roll ever heard. Since I’m posting on Medium, I’m sure some smug/indignant person will point out how unlike the real Longshanks he is. And that’s the problem with Medium: it’s full of Medium users. Is he historically accurate to the real King Longshanks? No. Do I care? Not even a little.
6. Mother Gothel (Tangled)
The reason Mother Gothel does not rank higher on this list is I feel that she gets at least some of the attention she deserves. But she deserves a spot somewhere around Scar, Ursula, and Cruella among greatest Disney villains. It’s not just that she’s merely evil, but her emotional manipulation keeps Rapunzel confined and helpless almost as much as the tower does. And “Mother Knows Best” is one of the best villain numbers in terms of revealing everything you need to know about the villain and hero’s relationship.
5. Shooter McGavin (Happy Gilmore)
“Yes! Shooter!” I shout every time I successfully throw something into any sort of container. Happy Gilmore’s Shooter McGavin is everything a villain in a golf movie should be: fake, attention-seeking, smug, wears sweaters around his neck, and willing to use a grandmother’s house as a bargaining chip so he can play golf in peace.
4. Lord Farquad (Shrek)
Villains of Farquad’s quality are in short supply. Some might think he’s a knockoff of Prince Humperdinck from the Princess Bride, but that criticism is a risk I am willing to take. His laugh, his blatant manipulation, his outfit, his name. But what really cements his spot on this list is his torture of Gingy. I won’t even try to recreate it through text, but he truly is a monster.
3. White Goodman (Dodgeball)
You know, White! W-H-I-T… E. If you hate 2000s comedy, then you probably hate White Goodman like your dad hates the dome light in the back seat. Be that as it may, White Goodman is better than you, and he knows it. I could probably justify his ranking here by putting a list of his quotes, but the hair alone has to really put him high on this list. It’s feathery and lethal. You just don’t see it nowadays.
2. Fairy Godmother (Shrek 2)
Yes. This is the second Shrek villain on this list. It can’t be helped. Whoever at Dreamworks decided to recreate the Fairy Godmother as a magical Karen deserves a raise. When originally compiling this list, I had her a few spots lower, but then I remembered her rendition of “Holding on for a Hero” during one of my favorite scenes of all time, and she skyrocketed up this list. She is all the best parts of Palpatine and Ursula. Simply amazing.
1. Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
Why Pam Ferris did not win every award available for actresses for this performance is beyond me. Not only is her performance as the over-the-top tyrant of a principal severely underrated, but Miss Trunchbull is also one of the greatest cinematic villains of all time. Period. Between the heartwarming story and Danny DeVito’s performance, Matilda would have already been good. Add in a former Olympian villain torturing children with hammer throws and chocolate cake… greatest live action children’s movie of all time! (Sorry Willie Wonka)