Friday, May 21, 2010

The Double Down.

This is the most important blog I've ever written. Ever. I can't even think of a subject that has this caliber of global importance and cultural significance that could possibly arise in the future either. It's sad to think that my blog has peaked less than a year in, but hey you never know what's going to happen.

This year, the cosmos have spread their mammoth cheeks and something fell from the sky that was worthy of sonnets. It was worthy of more than that. "Cellos. Cellos in a dark room" set to a chorus of screeching angels. Imagine if you will, previously undiscovered forms of maritime quadruped; archaic varmint, hoisting themselves from the cavities of the earth. They are blinded for the first time by their alluvial surroundings as opposed to the dank sepulchers they've had no choice but to call home for centuries past. Scientists have only so much as fantasized about these sequestered beings who now cluster at the shore lines, their branlike grey skin festering in the sunlight. Finally, a crowd of walking innocuous comestible humanity has gathered before the lusus naturae and awaits their next move. What this?! Suddenly, the superannuated mandibles of the aquatic beasts begin to open. When the dust and brine settles around their feet, the most beautiful sound to ever be emitted from an orifice emerges. It is a song so exquisite and stupefying that heads of the nearby onlookers explode like mortar shells blasting provenances of human hemoglobin across the sands. A jaunty cheer erupts from the entire force of nature on planet earth. The world will never be the same. The song of the oceanic creatures was so sweet, so convincing so succinct, that it was beyond definition. This song is how I'm attempting to explain the miraculous acumen known only as the KFC DOUBLE DOWN.

A while back, more time actually than I care to research, KFC (which doesn't stand for anything anymore as I've learned from watching Between Two Ferns on Funny or die) announced a new menu item only known suspiciously as THE DOUBLE DOWN. Now, when we explore the latin root of the words "double down" we get the phrase geminus demitto meaning "twin payments to the church". In modern times, this pious sacrifice has become the action of a player of blackjack doubling his bet with his original hand from the dealer, including an additional card. It also is the name of a Saloon in Vegas which is famous for "ass juice".

But despite the acronym going the way of the homo erectus (a species of African hominids from 1.3 million years ago), I think KFC does stand for something. It stands for freedom and mirth and the true needs and whims of the human race. Thus the double down was created. Beautiful in its alarming simplicity and frightening to the old world pagan naysayers; no great landmark was ever created without being met by scrutiny and disbelievers. I still think the Double Down has done more in its brief period of circulation since its inception for American culture than Mount Rushmore ever did. Keep in mind, I'm the same guy whose reaction to Taco Bell's motion to buy the Liberty Bell turning out to be a farce could best be described as "blue balls".

And I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something inherently generative and wanton about the Double Down. Without further digression of discussing what it actually is consists of, the Double Down is two husky pieces of chicken with an oppressed smattering of bacon at the heart and some American cheese as well as an avaricious quantity of some kind of honey mustard ish sauce. A quick trip to KFC's website tells what it REALLY is:

"The one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there's no room for a bun!"

I was really counting on that cheese to be American. The fact that I wasn't able to figure that out on my own shows what kind of amateur cheese savant I really am. Or perhaps I was just distracted. I'd also like to point out their description is not quite accurate. It's not that there's no room for a bun, it's that it's unnecessary because this is how we should have figured out how to make our sandwiches about 20 years ago. This shows a drastic progression of intelligence for sentient humanity and I can safely say I'm pretty proud it's finally happened. At any rate, as soon as I heard about this culinary novelty I also read tons of articles slamming it for the usual lack of nutritional value. I wonder if they'd heard of KFC before? Clearly they fail to understand the point of eating at such an establishment. I think Fast Food is more about the celebration of the food and togetherness of it than it is about getting daily nutritional benefit. Where else will you see homelessmen mingling with misanthropes such as myself and both singing the praises of fried chicken layered with bacon simultaneously? Should I even be singing the praises before consuming it? Well I knew I had to try it...but I was gearing up to it.

I fantasized for a bit over a month until today about my personal encounter with the Double Down. What kind of KFC would I go to where it would finally enter into my stomach? Would it be an urban chain location? What would the double down be packaged in? How much would it cost? As fate would have it, when deciding what to have for lunch today something suddenly clicked and I knew the time was right and there was no sense in putting it off further. I ended up at one of those KFC/Taco Bell hybrids. Not the choicest of locations, but it was appropriately underwhelming for the heroic feats I was about to execute in the ingestion of their featured menu item. For a second I feared that the senior citizens of the city still clinging to delusions of societal importance had deemed the double down inappropriate and had banned it; but sure enough as soon as I walked in a giant glorious poster greeted me like it seemed to understand my doubts and reassured me I was in the right place.

To the tune of 6.99, I ended up getting the Double Down Value meal which also included DP and some of their disgusting over-spiced mutant home fries or whatever they're called. Tater-wedges. Seasoned batter. Something like that. After what seemed like an eternity waiting for my order to be processed, IT was finally in my possession.It's hard to impart with this picture I took quite how small it was in person. I must say I was mildly disappointed upon first coming eyeballs to fried chicken with it. First of all, this tin foil wrapping did not explicitly state "double down"...and where was that french fry sleeve I'd been expected to hold it in that was on the posters? I was reserving my judgment until I'd eaten it in its entirety though.
So here's my own double down unwrapped. You'll notice the batter on the top layer is a bit sparse, which also disappointed me at first, but the promise of that bacon teaser attempting to escape was drawing my face to the beast. Upon first seeing this, I thought I might have to buy a second one in one sitting, due to the small size of it. But as soon as it reached my eager maw, I realized I had greatly underestimated the double down.

It was a lot to bite off at first, and contrary to my fears, the bacon was actually fairly greasy and substantial. Last week I had some dreadful preservative bacon upon an airplane on the in flight meal that I didn't want to eat again. The sauce is almost non existent, which is fine at first because the chicken is so dry and succulent. You'll notice from the pictures, I was tempted to use ketchup to assist the chicken on its journey down my throat, but I wanted as pure and natural an experience with this product as humanely possible. I'm not sure mortals can get eat it to the full potential of the sandwich but I really put forth my game face.

I gotta be honest with you. I was getting a bit tired about two thirds of the way in. It was pretty dry and I could have used a refresher like a smidgen of bread or more sauce. At this point I'd already demolished the bacon and I was just powering through one chicken filled bite after the next. The cheese kept me motivated. It was hanging off the sides of the chicken sweating grease and singing sweet songs of southern redemption. For a second I was transported to a twilight period of that was some kind of cross between the civil war and Bladerunner as I was shoving the double down into my face when the realization that I was actually finally consuming it finally hit me. By the time I'd become cognitive of this fact, it was gone.
This is what a defeated double down looks like after being laid waste to by my vicious mandibles. I promise I didn't use the ketchup on the sandwich. I actually attempted to eat the fritter-fries after the filling sandwich, with turned out to be a pretty poor decision and left me with a case of the itis. They can't be stomached without some kind of sauce though, and as you can see, I didn't have time to trifle with copious amounts of ketchup being siphoned from individual meager packets.

Wanna know how I felt leaving the restaurant? It's better just to show you...

Well maybe not that last one so much. But you get the idea. I felt like I'd just achieved something monumental. I felt like I'd just overcome some kind of great oppression. I'd dethroned a dictator. It's been a few hours since my initial consumption and so far the Double Down hasn't had any shocking digestive repercussions or caused my body to create audible panic. While it's not perfect, we don't live in a perfect world, but it does give me hope at at least we're working towards one. I see more potential here than I do presently with health care reform so stick that in your light bulb or your 2 liter bottle and smoke it.

Do I recommend the double down? Yes. Yes I do very much so. If not so much for the fairly average chicken taste as for the combination with cheese and bacon and cultural impact. Next time I have it (and oh there will be a next time) I'm going to bath it in mayonnaise after having tried it in its most virginal form upon initial consumption. 4 out of 4 stars for fast food. Up next on my hit list is some shrek mcflurry I've heard about. Not too jazzed about that one, but it might be good. Mcdonalds has a good track record with green ice cream related products. I can't think of much else that could cause a stir like the double down short of the random re-emergence of the Mcrib, but even that feels bland in comparison.

Now go forth tender cutlets, and make sure you eat all the crumbs and the bacon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nothing could inspire me to write like the Whiplash Whopper

I got to admit, bloggings been slow lately. If I had..*coughs coughs*...more of an avid readership, it might inspire me to get my ass in gear a little bit and crank out more beautiful pieces of prose worthy of being stored in the white house library. Finding a subject is often hard. Actually it's not hard at all, because I could just as easily write about Batman every single entry, which would double as a case study on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and later submit my work to various psychiatric journals. In turn I'm sure I would receive slight monetary compensation, which would only be fair once the number of applied jobs that rejected me were factored in. You might be wondering why I'm sitting here writing a blog instead of working right is the summer after all. Well I'm glad you asked. Let me tell you a bit about my summer plans.

1. Get Job
2. Eat as much decadent unhealthy food as possible for the sheer purpose of cultural analysis (that's my excuse de jour) and hopefully crank out some kind of magnum opus that leads to a job.
3. Edit a film...or something. Some kind of leisurely arts and crafts project that would in no way further my career.
4. Never be sarcastic.

So in the process of hunting jobs, I couldn't help but press my face up against the glass at burger kind when I spotted this challenging advertisement.
In a similar fashion to how CiCi's pizza or a buffet can be considered a "challenge" a seasonal gigantic menu item at burger king can also fall under that category. If you read my last entry, you'll know that Iron Man 2 is all the rage right now and whether it was the best movie or not, if there's one thing I love more than life itself it's goddamn hype. Whiplash, Ivan Vanko, is the villain (or one of them) in Iron Man. He's a big leathery, grotesque tatooed ruskie with an S&M harness on his chest and two electric whips. He mildly makes shit difficult for Iron Man but eventually of course he gets killed pretty easily.

The important thing to consider here is, THIS IS MICKEY ROURKE. Mickey Rourke is a hardass worn out piece of shit. I've often been awake at night wondering what kind of burger a guy like that eats. What kind of food, could you possibly mash together and put on a bun under the bracket of "hamburger" that would satisfy a destructive looking man like that? Bacon seems to be the obvious choice, but bacon's the obvious answer in ANY situation. I'd searched for countless hours, pouring over recipe books at 4 in the morning for the answer. Burger King seems to have beat me to the punch and found the answer in the shredded/fried onion things on the whiplash whopper.

I'm not entirely sure they were onions actually. They're more like the little bits of crunchy shit that I pour down my throat after finished a box of popcorn chicken. Nothing distinctly onionish about them. They just add that required surliness to call this thing a WHIPLASH whopper. There's also a smattering of lettuce and tomatoes and shit. Don't believe me? I don't care if you do. Here's a pic I took half way through eating this monstrosity:Looks like too much tomato and not enough bacon to me. Note the small pieces of onion shit chunk smattered about the greasy wrapper sitting on my lap. You might also notice I'm holding it with a napkin. While I normally do this, because I'm not a fan of horse grease, this particular whopper gave me an everyman's excuse to do so. Thing was DRIPPING in what appeared to be cheese whiz. The official website calls it like a special mayonaise sauce or something but I call bullshit. I know melted cheese whiz when I see it. Too many experiments in my youth with microwavable hot dogs in the oven has taught me better. The cheese is pepperjack cheese, so at the end of the day, this is a spicy one.

The feeling of queasiness after eating this one passed in about 4 hours and I was able to reflect on my life a little bit in that time. Will movie hype always be exciting? Why were there no happy meal toys for the Dark Knight? Would I have been man enough to stand at the counter and ask for them if there had been? Would I EVER get around to writing that hyperbole-filled blog entry on the burger I'd consumed? It was all leading somewhere.

It IS leading somewhere.

I'm not going to condone the Whiplash Whopper. Nor am I going to condemn it as a bad product. If it sounds enticing to you and you want to feel like Mickey Rourke and slop over a meatwhich covered in cheese whiz for five minute muttering shit in a russian accent, than be my guest. This review ended up being my pure stream of consciousness about something that's probably undeserving of so many paragraphs. It's actually just a warm up my friends. The worst motherfucker in the food industry will be blogged about later this week. I've been gearing up to it. Training my stomach. Pouring over the articles of terrified health nuts...yes. I am going to consume the KFC DOUBLE DOWN.

and you all are going to read about it. If you're reading this far then I know you are.

matt (part time whiplash)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2...the gut reaction

Haters gonna hate. And you all know I wanted to hate Iron Man. But why? Well on the fanboy message boards and various websites I saw a competition brewing. The Dark Knight vs Iron Man 1. They came out the same summer. So the stupid people who wanted to be contrary because "less is more" or something, or they don't like drama in their films decided to hate on The Dark Knight due to its success or because they can't understand moral dilemma in films and praised Iron Man through their teeth. Well for me, reading all this useless drivel, it was time for revenge. It was time to rub Iron Man in people's faces as a hollow crowd pleaser, a film with 90's sensibilities and a lot of CGI that makes frantic grabs at a political or environmental message.

And then things started changing. I started to get excited. Like actually excited for Iron Man 2. I watched the trailers again. I could feel the hype. The pacing. Everyone was into it. I started to examine this process and I started to feel the "America Fuck Yeah" thing with Iron Man. He sort of transcends doesn't he? In the sense that he's Robert Downey's come back and the way the movie ties into the real world with ticker tapes and news conferences and the military and stuff, it really feels like Iron Man 2 is a summer outing. Like a fun movie to kick shit off with. An American event. Then I came to the most horrifying realization of all and after watching this blockbuster (or I guess it was since my opening day theater wasn't crowded at all?) I was right in the judgement I made 2 weeks to release day.

I didn't love it or hate it. I walked away entertained and duped into that "getting nothing more from a movie" that most of America feels when they watch a film. It has a way of stripping you of pretention. You can't fault the acting. The shots. The CGI. For the most part all of it is solid but there's nothing memorable at the same time. It's a good spirited and humorous film with good action scenes and it puts you in a good mood but ultimately you can't take anything away from that. No philsophy, etc. Kind of like Spiderman maybe. Spiderman 1. Certainly not the great reactions you see when people walk out of a Batman film...and you all knew it would come to this. You all knew I was going to mention The Dark Knight so fuck it...I will. When people came out of TDK they were in silent praise. Whispers of "that was so good." Desparaging whispers and praise of it as a legtimate film. Moral issues had been grappled with. People had just endured something. People had died in that movie. Pain of loss. Conflicting emotions came into play. the Villain was the protagonist. Etc. I liked seeing people depressed walking out of the theater but all aware they had just witnessed something great. So Iron Man just can't be compared to the Dark Knight. It's not that kind of movie. I had faulted Iron Man based on a few things being derrivative of the Dark Knight and you know what...they are. But Iron Man is derrivative of everything. That's how it keeps the mood and spirit of the piece. It's meant to feel like a big wordly event. It's not a character study. I'm finally getting that from Iron Man 2, which is worlds better than the first. Now as I get further I promise I won't go into The Dark Knight and why it's infinitly better as movie but incomprably except one more time where there's a blatant rip off. You heard me. Now do your worst.

I saw it today, (Iron man 2)and as many of you know I was extremely skeptical. I enjoyed it. Really felt like a fun summer film and it gives me an excuse to buy some toys to kick off the summer too. Generally a fun movie but I like how they expanded the role of the hero in a natural way. He can't run the company. He has health problems. He has to live up to his father's the same time. He even gives up on some of his problems like a real person...and the alcohol thing is referenced in the birthday party scene. So I liked Tony, alot more than in the first film. He's a rounded character now.

Pepper was good too. She's emotional and she's surprisingly cute despite how old she looks and I'm glad to see their relationship progress and see the film actually have a love interest.

Whiplash was kind of disappointing I thought. He's only in a few scenes, and he sounds like kind of a moron every time he talks. It's surprising he's able to build all this robot stuff since he comes off like a dumb belligerent thug. He's got good scenes but overall he's kind of clunky and I wish we got to see him do more and be more of a threat. I didn't feel for him at all. Not in the beginning and not in the end either. He gets beaten in both fights in one hit.

Ok so here's where I'm going to throw in the Dark Knight rip off. It almost feels like a parody. The entire interrogation room scene is shit. Utter garbage. Tony walks in there and Whiplash starts preaching to him. Tony has nothing to say to him so he just walks out. Whiplash starts preaching the EXACT lines (and ALL of them) he says in the trailer. It's the only time in the entire movie he spouts this kind of philopshy. It's basically the only time he talks in general. It sounds suspciciously like shit the Joker would say. Even the lighting is similar and god knows beer bellied Rourke sure looks like hell. So he let's on that he "planned" to be caught when he has a fight in the road with Iron Man. yeah ok. Then he gets out with bombs. So what was the point of that scene and him being caught at all? Their conversation goes nowhere and stark found out who he was with the help of his bat computer and Nick Fury already knew it anyways so it's not like it's a huge mystery. Stark's opening repor with Whiplash was pretty good but the not speaking or not speaking english vibe is pretty dumb and a reoccuring gag with the character. This scene with the philsophy and the cryptic dialogue was either parodying the dark knight's interrogation scene or just trying to ride off it being the morality clash of the film. It helps you to understand whiplash a little better, sure but we already knew his motivation and since Tony doesn't understand it even walking away from the scene or ever humanize Whiplash once in the film, I guess it's not necessary is it?

War Machine was VERY surprising to me. I thought he was going to ham up the movie. More robots shootin guns. Instead he was keeping Tony kind of in control. I could see him as actually a friend character. I like how he started attacking stark and ended up partnering with him. He was pretty cool suited up too. Not nearly as obnoxious and OMG WAR MACHINE as all the fanboys and trailers made him out to be. God knows I hate fanboys who try to see characters incorporated into a film just to point and be like "HE'S FINALLY IN A MOVIE!" But in that vein, there was too much of that nonsense in this movie.

Black Widow. What a terrible character. You could have completely taken her out of the film and it would not have suffered one bit. You might argue..."oh she needed to deactivate war machines override". Well he could have just snapped out of it. You could have written around that. She just kept looking cornier and cornier. Walking towards the screen. Slow motion karate moves. Changing in the back of the car. She had no personality and no purpose. No accent either. Not even called Black Widow. Lame.

Sam Jackson was even lamer. I'm sick of this avengers nonsense already. I stayed all the way through the credits just to see Thor(worst marvel character of all time who cannot possibly carry a good film)'s hammer. Jackson's just like some obnoxious smart alec omnipresent whose there at every turn to like give Stark cryptic advice and have some kind of overwatch over the whole thing. Why? Why put the cap shield in there? I hate easter eggs in movies and Jackson was more than that. He was an advertisement with his terrible bland Scarlett sidekick for the doomed avengers movie (doomed because it's being directed by the ultimate useless fanboy Whedon). Not trying to come off as abrasive but everything he touches is garbage and I don't get the cool, slick Nick Fury here. Just like some annoying ghost like character with stupid pants who comes around every time Stark is down on his luck.

I saved the best for last. Justin Hammer. Easily my favorite character in the movie. Great villain and a great antithesis to Stark. Bumbling. Competitive. Snarky and even self-depreciating at times. He's the best antagonist of this franchise to date. Not a physical threat but look at the hammer drones. It's pretty funny how Tony always manages to come out on top with little resistance too. I think Rockwell did a great job and had a good personality and the scene where he was presenting Rhodey with the guns was the best scene in the movie.

Let's talk action scenes. Whiplash just wasn't that good. He didn't seem like that much of a threat. He did for a second but he just kind of looked like some big dumb monster swinging those things around on the race track. Then Tony beats him in one hit. Hell...he even gets injured by a car. You'd think he'd have seen that one sneaking up on him wouldn't you? Then again at the end in the dumbest armor suit of all time (his head just looked digitally inserted. totally fake) he gets killed in one shot. Not to say he was a totally wasted character but his action scenes just weren't that good. I was hoping the whip action would make for some pretty seamless visceral stuff.

I DID like the fight with the drones in the terrarium at the end though. I didn't like all the flying around and [censored] but that fight scene was good, even though Tony's final solution with one blast wasn't that good. Also, why are those drones not impervious to bullets? Isn't that one of the main pluses of Iron Man? He's made of iron? Hammer can't afford to build ones that are the quality of Iron Man I guess. But overall the ending was really good (prior to that terrible Avengers recruitment thing).

So overall a fun, though not well paced movie. Good not great. Too many subplots and too much exposition. The scenes with Mickey Rourke in general were just poorly handled. He didn't have one good scene except arguably moments of the race track thing. The end was cool and alot of the banter in the middle of the film was cool but there just weren't that many memorable moments. Like the wow factor wasn't there but it had a really nice feel to it overall and I enjoyed it. I'm ready to eat my words on War Machine but I'm sure that black widow was crap, and all the Avengers stuff. The scene with Scarlett flipping those henchmen in the hallway was boderline painful to watch.

I'd give it like a B. Squeaks out barely 3 stars.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The top 20 movie villains of all time

And those who disagree with me "suck cock by choice." -Deadwood

I think everyones a villain in deadwood. I've only caught a few episodes so far but the hilarious way they mistreat each other and every character in the show is pretty riveting. I love their old-timey foul language. I'm wondering how I missed this show in its prime in 2006.

So in consolidating a top villains list I've asked a few friends their opinions but I've largely disregarded them and tried to go with my gut instinct. I think before starting in I have to establish the things that make these characters I've chosen great villains. I didn't want to pick typical or even obvious choices. I'm hoping that in reading this list you might want to go back and rewatch some of the films these characters appear in and witness their offenses against society again with a fresh perspective.

So what am I looking for in a great villain?

-The intentions of the character. Are they the solid and unquestionable antagonist of the film? For this reason I'm not choosing or including characters like Daniel Plainview since he's the protagonist. I believe a villain is someone you're supposed to root against in a film regardless of the evil shit they're doing. I can't choose someone like Captain Spaulding from Devil's Rejects for the same reasons.

-Memorable. A great villain is a memorable character, usually more so than the hero. This might be because their actions are either so disgusting or frightening or they simply leave a greater impression on the viewer. A screen presence and a resonance with the viewer is why I chose the characters I did. Part of the memorability of a character is the delivery of the lines as well as the visual appeal of the character. Or lack of appeal.

-What makes them evil? What makes them wrong? It's even better when they're in a position of being unwillingly the antagonist. Are they just hardwired to do wrong or is there a moral struggle there? Either way it's interesting whether you have someone whose soul is pitch black or if you have someone whose trying to come to grips with their actions.

So why villains? Why write this post? Well villains have always been the most riveting characters in any film, at least to me. It's more fun to be bad ist the common excuse but let's think about it on a more psychological level. Most of us can't relate to rescuing our daughter from the mob or becoming a jedi. We've never seen Mufasa fall off a cliff and been scarred for life as a result of it or battled robots from the future. We can however, relate to internal conflict and the pressure to conform and feelings of loss, rejection, revenge...villains are weak to human emotion. "The Sith are fueled by their passion". Unlike the protagonists in most films, you can relate to alot of villains in a realistic way. They're motivated by rage, anger, or just out of spite. The best of us are able to rise above that, but for the majority of the human race, people fall victim to character flaws.

Without further ado I'm going to write the shit out of this.

20. Agent Smith-The Matrix.
I figured we'd start off with a chilling and nasty but also a rather bland character. Agent Smith isn't a terribly compelling or even interesting character but you get the sense that he cannot be stopped. He runs the "world" of the Matrix. He can bend the rules of reality. When the protagonist Neo is completely new to the situation and is learning his "powers" Agent Smith uses this to his own advantage. Hugo Weaving is pretty great in the role too, not only playing a singular character but an entire "army" of clones within the Matrix. He proves that you don't have to look abnormal or scarred or have a crazy costume to give off an air of evil. He's just a man in a suit with sunglasses and despite this, he's ominous.

19. Hook-Dustin Hoffman
One of two pirates to make the list, Hook is a pretty goofy character but I will still attest to this day (and possibly due to nostalgia) that Hook is my favorite of Hoffman's roles. Crazy. Classy. Sophisticated and frumpy to the enth degree, he doesn't really fit the bill for a text book pirate. Hook is an eccentric...just look at those goddamn glasses! He's got some good lines too. When I was a kid, Hook was the man, but in the Peter Pan disney cartoon, you just feel bad for him because he's totally inept. In this movie, Hook is like some warped artist who Peter Pan is trying to prevent from painting great things. He lives on a waterworld type air craft carrier and uses like steampunk technology ahead of his time. He also employs Bob Hoskins. Anyone who employs Mario Mario is a worthy and intimidating villain.

18. Amon Goeth-Schindler's List
In addition to having multiple pirates, we also have multiple Nazis on this list. Goeth is the first, and I'll admit I wouldn't have thought to include him if not for the lovely Tyler Lopachin (who is in fact, not a movie villain but rather a small boy who likes movies). This character is the epitomy of evil, without regard for human life. He's not just a Nazi following orders, he's sadistic too. You really get the sense watching him that people like him did exist at one point in time, and in the darker annals of the world, they still do. He's real cruelty personified, and there's almost nothing human about him, despite how he appears clean cut and normal to outward appearances.

17. Oogie Boogie-The Nightmare Before Christmas

Oogie Boogie doesn't really fall into the genuine "evil" category so much as goofy but at the same time, he's really out of place in what's otherwise kind of a kids movie. He puts it over the top. There's characters in this movie who are willing to kidnap Santa Claus and even characters who try to ruin an important holiday. There's only one character though, whose crazy and unscrupulous enough to want to BOIL santa claus and kill anyone who even so much as enters his lair. Even his henchmen (teenagers who run with the wrong crowd) are afraid of him. In a land full of monsters and ghosts and talking trees how can someone be dehumanized to the point where they're unrelatable? Well, not to give any spoilers or anything...but Oogie Boogie is made out of hundreds upon hundreds of insects functioning as a collective. He also sings jazzy sorts of music and gambles with snakes. I think Oogie falls into the realm of being so weird that he makes a great villain, which was important in a movie full of quirky weirdness and twisted morals. They needed someone extreme.

16. Jack Torrance-The Shining
Jack Nicholson's a pretty crazy dude...but when he's psychotic he makes for a great villain. I don't mean like the the Shining he's like axe murderer psychotic, and laughing about it the whole time. You get the sense that a guy having this much fun chasing people to their death is someone that can't be stopped. He's really enjoying this, and there's a serious creepiness and uneasiness about him when he's on screen. He's also probably the only "horror" movie villain (even though I'd venture to say The Shining is more of a thriller movie) to make the list, which means he had to be pretty damn good.

15. Barbossa-Pirates of the CaribbeanFrom the accent to the monkey to the ability to turn into a skeleton in the moonlight, Barbossa is the spirit of piracy. He's the iconography of the profession from the humor of the character to the stench of booze and body odor that almost permeates the movie screen. He can be threatening but in dire straights, he's been known to work with the protagonists. In the first movie however, he's purely an antagonist. He can be charming and civilized but at the end of the day he's THE pirate captain. Jack needs to step aside. As much as I like Hook, and even Davy Jones in the same franchise, neither of them got shit on Barbossa. I feel like this character gets overlooked too with some of the more "high concept" characters in the pirates franchise, but lest we forget the true nature of pirates. Just ignore that stupid pirate code.

14. Hans Gruber-Die Hard
Alan Rickman was born to play villains. In Die Hard, as terrorist/suave meglomaniac, he's one step ahead of Bruce Willis as John McClane throughout the film. While not neccessarily a physical threat, Gruber toys with McClane until he meets his predictable and yet graceful end by falling off of a building. There's something memorable about every villain and I think his death and his accent are the selling points for Hans Gruber. He's considered one of the quintessential dasdardly villain characters motivated by revenge and money, and I just wouldn't feel comfortable making a top 20 without him. For some, when Rickman was cast as Snape in the Potter franchise, it seemed like an unlikely choice. For those of us who grew up with Die Hard, he seemed like a natural for the role.

13. Alec Trevelyan-Goldeneye The Bond series is full of memorable characters, from the Bonds themselves, to the girls to the villains. But most of the villains are remembered for being corny like Jaws or Christopher Walken or Grace Jones being freakishly tall or Odd Job for being freakishly short. None of them are really even matches for James Bond. Blofeld is simply too old fashioned and out of place to be taken seriously. So who is the antithesis of James Bond? His best friend/Cossack traitor Alec Trevelyan. Once 006, Alec fakes Bond out in the beginning of the movie only to later try to seize all the money from England's banks with the threat of a satellite he plans to kill everyone with if he doesn't get it. When Bond calls him a common theif, he tells Bond he has a small mind. How can James bring himself to kill his best friend? Is there any redeemable aspect of this man or is the good in him totally lost? Or was he ever good? Combine this with the fact that he's a physical and intellectual aspect to James Bond and you have a worthy antagonist for just about any film, not just the slightly dated, Goldeneye.

12. Hannibal Lector -Silence of the Lambs
I think including Hannibal on the list is pretty much a given. I really debated it too since I'm trying to avoid horror characters, but for my purposes, this is ONLY inclusive of Hannibal in the original Silence of the Lambs. Despite his lack of screen time (as I learned in a recent trivia game only 15 minutes or so total) he's a really creepy screen presence. I mean...not only is he a cannibal but he's an intelligent sophistcate. There's quite a contrast there. He's a conversationalist who society seems to fail to understand. At the same time, he just might be psychotic.

11. Jabba The Hutt-Return of the Jedi
While not the main villain in Star Wars, Jabbas pretty memorable. Not only is he evil but he's disgusting. Physically unattractive and imposing, surrounded by henchmen and totally amorale, Jabba is not someone you'd want to be chained to, which is exactly the situation Princess Leia finds herself in. Given Jabba's track record of feeding his dancing girls to the Rancor when they try to fight off his sexual advances, Leia's pretty fucked, and not possibly in any good sort of way. Despite all the odds against her though, Leia proves herself as a resiliant heroine when she's able to strangle Jabba to death. For a dirty old slug man though, Jabba has a full arsenal of thugs, torture droids and even a sand pit with a vagina. He might just be one of the most disgusting characters in all of cinema. Revolting as a "person" and revolting physically too, Jabba is well deserving as a back up villain from Star Wars that still makes the cut.

10. Anton Chighur-No Country For Old Men

I realized that in a similar sense to Hannibal, my list will be invalidated if I don't include Lurch here. Now, I realize I'm in the majority here but I don't think this character is nearly as effective as some do. Crazy. Obnoxious. Silent. He's the perfect killer, but highly unlikeable. He lacks personality, but in many respects that failture to humanize him might make him all the more villainous. I think that might be the point of him though, you want him to be stopped but, SPOILERS, he never is. Eventually a car hits him, but that's only a minor deterrant to his rampage, like all other attempts to stop him in the movie. He employs a variety of tactis from compressed air pumps to silenced shotguns and coinflips (which serve no real purpose) to sadistically finish off his victims. Anton is a force of nature in the film, though I didn't find him nearly as memorable as he comes off in many reviews. Regardless of this, he's got a great and unnerving screen prescence and he's clearly the strongest character in this poignant film.

9. Scar-The Lion KingWhile he might be a cartoon, Scar is everything evil. He's physically deformed. He's power hungry. He's lazy. He's got a thick British accent. He kills his own brother. He's a failed politician. There's something very real and very sinister about him for someone whose not even human. His motivation is purely to be in control. Scars got a major superiority complex. He's pretty black to the core, but he's fun to try and attempt to relate to. The fact that Disney gaves him a pretty cool musical number really helps give him an edge too. Eventually, after a climactic battle, Simba doesn't have to lower himself to Scar's level as Scar is betrayed by his own subjects which he promised food to and didn't deliver. A fitting end.

8. That Yellow Bastard-Sin City This guy is a scary and rotten piece of shit. A pedophile whose impossible to be legally repremanded as the son of a senator, Rourke Junior (aka yellow Bastard) goes after the girl he preyed on years ago once his dad is able to use technology to regrow his nuts so he can carry on the terrible family legacy. This guy is so bad he sponsors a farm where another freak eats the women he murders/and or rapes. They mount heads on the wall and feed bodies to dogs. Do you need to hear anymore? You really get to hate this guy and when Bruce Willis decribes the way he smells, you don't doubt it for a second. So what sort of come-uppins can possibly satisfy a sadistic unreedmable assole like this? One of the greatest villain deaths in any movie. Bruce Willis rips his nuts off with his bare hands and proceeds to pound him in the face until he's "pounding skull chunks into the floor" Only Frank Miller had the cajones to write this shit, but audiences all cheered when this guy went down.

7. Frank Booth-Blue Velvet
Frank Booth isn't just some criminal. He's absolutely insane. He's a festishist and while vunerable, he's got some deep seated mental issues; possibly from frequent misuse of helium. He's memorable and scary because he's unpredictable. While generally unpleasant, he seems to explode and make split decisions in the blink of an eye. You can tell he's never kidding either and he absolutely believes every word he spouts, which is usually some sort of obscenity. "HEINEKIN? FUCK THAT SHIT. PABST BLUE RIBBON" is among his memorable lines. Another weird scene with Frank involves his need for "inferiority" in his sexual relations where he calls the woman he's "making love to" his mother but then yells at her for looking at him. It's unpleasant stuff to watch but you also have to wonder what makes him tick. While he doesn't die a very good death, or even live a very happy life, Frank is among the most mentally deficient and crazy villains in the history of cinema.

6. The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot-Batman Returns While Danny Devito was the natural choice for the role of the Penguin, he completely disappears into the part. Many fans complain that this version o f the penguin is too much of a deviation from the comics, over acted, too dark, etc. but I think you have to put aside fanboyishness for a second and look into the tormented world of this unique character. This might not seem like a natural choice for this list, and despite the often corny and overly dark nature of the film at times, the character of the Penguin is funny, sadistic and deformed but also absurdly human at the same time. He's been rejected his entire life. Rejected by his parents and rejected by society. Even when he tries to ascend, Batman is there to put a stop to it because it's illegal. He gets more screen time than Batman too. So whose the protagonist in Batman Returns? Is it the tortured deformed man whose been trapped in the sewer his whole life shielded from human emotion or is it the crazy billionaire dressed as a bat who wishes to put him behind bars? As the penguin puts it "It's in human nature to fear the unusual" as he finds his parents a little too late after resurfacing into society. He lays roses at their graves in a pariticularly touching scene. Eventually, The Penguin lashes out at the society who rejected him and got his false hopes up as a "mayoral prospect" by attempting to kidnap the first born children of the city, of which he himself should have been one had he not been born deformed. The character is cruel...but can you blame him? Unloved by everyone except his pet penguins, in the touching finale of the film, the dying Penguin is carried into the water by his sewer raised pets, also rejected by society and unloved. This terrible and depraved creature was loved afterall. It's a very moving scene and a very sad end to a tragic character. An unwilling villain or a psychopath or just a pathetic man with cruel intentions? No matter how you slice it, The Penguin is a great choice for this list.

5. Captain Vidal-Pan's Labyrinth

So here's a character whose absolutely mean and ruthless and kills without regard for human life but he's also a man with scruples. He really believes that he's someone great. He believes that at any cost, he must carry on his legacy. He measures success in terms of achievement. There really are people like this, namely Republicans. He kills people because he believes it's the right thing to do and he'll be damned if any women or pesky kids stand in his way. But at any cost, he needs his son to survive him and he needs to win the war against the Spanish rebels. He's a man who sees in black and white. He has been told that what he's fighting for is right and that's what he believes in. Cruel competition and the progression of his bloodline and his race are his primary goals. He's pretty relentless and unstoppable too. When he's stabbed in the face, he simply sews his cheek shut. A soldier by blood, when his father gave him a watch as a child, he kept the watch his entire life so he could see the time when he died. This isn't a soulless villain, but a man of strict scruples who personifies militaristic cruelty.

4. Hans Landa-Inglourious Basterds
Suave. Charismatic. Aggressive. Thinks like a Jew. These are a few ways to attempt to try and describe the brilliant character of Hans Landa the Jew Hunter. The 2nd Nazi on the list, he really doesn't fit the bill of a typical Nazi officer. He doesn't seem outwardly prejudiced or rigid and militaristic. He seems like if anything else, a detective as he describes himself, and a particularly effective detective. He might come off as conceited but he has a reason to be. He's good at what he does. You also have to ask yourself, how can a guy this charming be evil? He's not necessarily mean or sadistic. Quite the opposite. He's polite and outgoing and multi-lingual, but his actions are purely motivated by furthering his own goals. I think everyone can agree that Landa is a great villain and a worthy addition to this list.

3. The T-1000-Terminator 2

What do you do about a villain who cannot be stopped? He can't be shot. He can't be burned. He can't be frozen and he can shapeshift, alter his voice and run faster than you can drive a car. He can go through walls and turn into liquid metal too. The T-1000 is a scary character because there's a sense of impending dread every time he's on screen. He will kill his target and rather than fighting him, the protagonists of the movie merely run from him the entire time. His powers are almost unfairly advantageous. You begin to doubt that even Arnold will be able to defeat this "machine" at a certain point in the movie. He doesn't blink either. He can act human and he can fake it but there's something distinctly wrong with him the entire time. Something totally robotic from his sharp features to his undamagable cop uniform which he wears for the duration of the film. He made famous the "T-1000" run too.

2. Darth Vader-The Star Wars Trilogy

The "big daddy" of all villians. Like a few others on this list, at one point Darth Vader was good. He was Luke's father, the mysterious ace pilot and Jedi, Anakin Skywalker. As played by Sebastian Shaw. Little is known about what drove Vader to the dark side (since the shitty movies don't count in my book) but Vader is the quintessential villain and is the driving iconography behind Star Wars, and even the sci fi genre in general. He's menacing. He has a heart and he's also the father of the central protagonist, which makes him harder to fight and also harder for the audience to hate. He has a connection with the good guys but for whatever reason, he can't seem to make the crossover. Unlike most of the other villains who are famous in movies, Vader is able to finally feel pity for his son and see the error in his ways. In his final moments he's seen not as a machine but a man, maskless and vunerable. It's one of the greatest moments of redemption in any film. Red lighsabers. The breathing. The imperial march. The voice. Everything about Darth Vader is villanious and iconic which makes him an integral part of ANY villains list.

1. The Joker-The Dark Knight Some of you might be thinking this choice is a bit of a bias...but where would such a bias originate from? Notice Jack's Joker never made the list and I consider him a separate character so it's clearly not a pre established fascination with the idea of the Joker. It's because I knew from the start there was something special and something memorable about this version of the character. The first time I saw Ledger's Joker I was unsure. This was a new take. A dirty punk joker. A long haired wild man. What was he capable of? Was he going to be some young menace type or a calculating psychopath? Then I saw the trailer and I knew as early as January a full year before the academy awards that Ledger would be in for the Best Supporter actor nod the next year. Then tragedy struck and Ledger died, leaving us this final (hopefully) great memorable film performance. By the time summer rolled around and the hype kicked seemed I wasn't alone. This chord that this quirky and genius portrayl of the Joker struck with me was striking with everyone else too. Tons of fans were hopping onto the band wagon. Whether they were teenagers or whether they were adult screen writers, just about everyone was able to be wowed by this performance and this character. How can you beat a villain whose right? Too fearless to be intimidated into the sense of morals that keeps the rest of society in check here's a guy who is basically speaking the truth. He's intrested in "humor" and intimidation factors to get what he wants...which he basically determines on a whim. He just "does things". When the law gets in his way to try and intimidate him into stopping by jailing him or threatening phsyical violence...he laughs in its face. When Batman gets in his way he's intrigued. Here's another man whose not impeded by the law and does what he pleases. But he does it to bring about justice to the masses. What does he owe them? Why do they never have to say thank you? For these reasons and his menace and his look and his various quirks and ticks that make the Joker seem like a REAL person, not just a real psychopath, the Joker is the number one movie villain of all time. In the past 2 years alone, he's garnered as much hype as some of the all time greats in cinema. He can never be truly imitated and his performance will never be forgotten as one of the most chilling and intense roles to ever appear on the screen. He carries a brutal and elemental film, a blockbuster of the most "dark" and unexpected kind. He might even make the viewer question their sense of morals...because as cruel as he can be, at times he makes it look like fun.

Well that wraps up this entry. Stay tooned' for more.