It’s time to break out your nerdiest elements and polish your arguing skills: Destination Dogs is unleashing the brackets for Macho Madness 3. The concept is simple: a 64-strong throwdown between the biggest, baddest villains ever to take the screen.
Comb through the list, puzzle over your choices, then fill out your bracket and be prepared to defend your reasoning against all manner of geeks, nerds, and people who just like to argue for fun. On Monday, April 3, the winner (as selected by an expert-developed “master bracket”) will be crowned during our Championship Tap Takover during the final NCAA Men’s Basketball Game of this year’s tournament.
Entries must be completed at Destination Dogs, so review their complete roundup below and start planning your picks. Sensitive readers, be warned: this is a list of villains compiled by the people who love them, and the language can get a bit…passionate. Good luck!
Agent Smith, The Matrix Trilogy: “I should thank you, Mr. Anderson, for it was you who taught me the true purpose of life: the purpose of life is to end.” The powers of Superman with the charm of a secret service agent, Smith is a villain for the nerd community to cherish for a lifetime.
Alonzo Harris, Training Day: “Who the fuck do you think you’re fucking with? I’m the police, I run shit around here. You just live here. Yeah, that’s right, you better walk away. Go on and walk away… cause I’m going to’ burn this motherfucker down. King Kong ain’t got shit on me.” Denzel is tough as balls in this film, especially since all of his scenes he’s talking shit to the pretty white guy from Before Sunrise.
Anton Chighur, No Country for Old Men: “You stand to win everything. Call it.” With an accent like Julio Iglesias, the gait of Frankenstein and a haircut like Velma from Scooby-Doo, Anton is a chilling messenger of death.
Bane, The Dark Knight Rises: “You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!” The leather jacket, the witty banter, defiance in the face of death and a vintage muzzle make Bane the grittiest asthma sufferer since the great Darth Vader.
Bill, Kill Bill & Kill Bill 2: “Do you find me sadistic? You know, Kiddo, I’d like to believe that you’re aware enough even now to know that there’s nothing sadistic in my actions. At this moment, this is me at my most masochistic.” Tracking down your old love to find she had faked her death and gotten pregnant and engaged must be tough on a man, and while I can’t relate, I certainly don’t think shooting her in the head and kidnapping her child is the chillest way to handle it.
Bill the Butcher, Gangs of New York: “I’ll festoon my bedchamber with his guts.” If you’ve ever festooned your bed chamber with somebody else’s guts, you’ll know that it’s some pretty evil shit to do. Sauntering around the Five Points wielding a butcher’s knife and dressed like a hipster Mr. Peanut, Daniel Day- Lewis brings an unnerving swagger to the very, very villainous Bill the Butcher.
Boba Fett, The Star Wars series: “He’s no good to me dead.” This guy basically has one or two lines over the course of forty years of films, yet you could walk into any Disney Store and buy a mug shaped like his head. That says something.
Bodhi, Point Break: “If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It’s not tragic to die doing what you love.” As far as I am concerned, Swayze is playing himself in this movie. And in Roadhouse too. He was definitely acting in Ghost though.
Calvin Candie, Django Unchained: “Come on over. We got us a fight going on that’s a good bit of fun.” Damn Leo sure plays a despicable fucker oh so well. A villain so vile, the good dentist would rather start a suicidal gun fight than shake his sweaty hand.
Castor Troy, Face-Off: “Well, I’ve got to go. I’ve got a government job to abuse, and a lonely wife to fuck.” Rumor has it Nick Cage offered to actually remove his face for this role, using only a butter knife and some aloe.
Chong Li, Bloodsport: “You are next!” Wow, ol’ Chong here makes Johnny from Karate Kid look like a Grade A pansy. Breaking legs, strangling dudes and flat out murdering competitors, Chong Li does whatever it takes to be the best. But cheating? Cheating is where we draw the line.
Commodus, Gladiator: “What am I going to do with you? You simply won’t… die. Are we so different, you and I? You take life when you have to… as I do.” Oh snap! Bonus points for sounding like a Bond villain! Commodus is one deceitful dude. He threatens his nephew’s life so that his sister agrees to get in the sack with him! WTF! He mortally wounds a chained up Maximus so that he has an edge when he fights him in the arena! He kills his dad because he never gave him a hug as a kid! Villainous!
Daniel Plainview, There Will be Blood: “I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people.” No, not the words of Bill Bilichek, just the creed of a simple oil man who swindles and murders and hordes and defiles and ridicules his hearing impaired son. Safe to say this guy never owned any “best dad ever” mugs.
Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace: “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.” In a movie where they decided to give Jar-Jar Binks a major role, and Darth Maul three lines, it’s hard not to realize why most Star Wars fans loathe the prequels. That being said, Darth Maul is easily the highlight of the story.
Darth Vader, Star Wars: “You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.” It’s hard to say anything about Darth Vader that hasn’t been said before. Whether or not you think he’s the most bad ass, there’s no denying he is the most iconic villain of all time. Walk in to any Target, K-Mart, Walmart or Disney Store and witness the endless line of kid’s clothes, lunch boxes, figurines, etc. bearing the likeness of the dastardly Sith lord. Pretty impressive for a character who over the course of several films has slaughtered an entire school of children, strangled his wife, tortured his daughter, killed his former master and cut the hand off of his own son. Arguing that he turned good at the end? Ok sure. His one redeeming quality is that he didn’t kill his own son.
David, The Lost Boys: “Now you know what we are; now you know what you are. You’ll never grow old, Michael, and you’ll never die. But you must feed!” Keifer Sutherland essentially playing himself here, just trying to chill out, get smashed, ride some bikes and feed on the innocent.
Deebo, Friday and Next Friday: “Well, fuck you, then, punk.” Greatest bully of all time? Deebo runs a small area, but he runs it effectively, till of course, he gets knocked the fuck out. Never the less, when Deebo is coming, hide your shit.
Drago, Rocky IV: “If he dies, he dies.” That’s some cold shit to say about a motherfucker! Seriously though, Drago was so evil, an arena full of his own Russian supporters started rooting against him during the height of the Cold War. He killed Apollo Creed. He punched him so many times he killed him. Apollo went the distance with Rocky two different times and came out fine, hell, they even became best friends. It took Drago two rounds to punch him to death.
Dr. Rene Belloq, Raiders of the Lost Ark: “How odd that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?” It’s not so bad that he’s French. Or that he tries to get Marion drunk and have tent sex. It’s that he looks so goddamn good in that summer suit and fedora combo.
Emperor Palpatine, The Star Wars series: “The Alliance… will die. As will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!” The Emperor tries to give himself up in order to turn Luke towards the Dark Side for good. That’s some bad as shit. From his feeble beginnings as a crooked politician, to his final stand against the light, the Emperor gives his all to his cause, destroying millions of lives in the process.
Eric Qualen, Cliffhanger: “Kill a few people, they call you a murderer. Kill a million and you’re a conqueror.” John Lithgow basically plays Hans Gruber, no high rise, sub Rocky Mountains, no Bruce Willis, sub Sylvester Stallone. Suave, evil, foreign accent, plenty of disposable henchmen, thirst for riches, zero fucks given.
Ernst Blofeld, The James Bond series: “I shall look forward personally to exterminating you, Mr. Bond.” Played by a few different actors over several films, Ernst originally sported a nifty eye scar, maintained his lair inside a volcano and was constantly seen stroking a white cat, making him arguably the original super villain and the inspiration for Mike Meyer’s Dr. Evil.
Frank Booth, Blue Velvet: “In dreams, I walk with you. In dreams, I talk to you. In dreams, you’re mine, all the time. Forever. In dreams…” As far as maniac villains go, many consider Dennis Hopper’s portrayal of this brutal crime lord as the GOAT.
Goblin King, Labyrinth: “You have thirteen hours in which to solve the labyrinth, before your baby brother becomes one of us… forever.” A villain who kidnaps babies and torments teenage girls, dressed like an extra from Cats and prancing around singing songs with Muppets. Only Bowie could have possibly made this character cool. And maybe Mick Jagger.
Goldfinger, Goldfinger: James Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?” Auric Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” His number one henchman is Odd Job, his personal pilot is Pussy Galore. His goal is to rob Fort Knox and send the world’s economy into a tail spin. One of the classic villains of all-time, without a doubt.
Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs: “Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.” Anthony Hopkins slinking around, eating people’s faces and completely mind fucking Jodie Foster, somehow ends up being the scariest character in a movie with a guy who makes dresses out of women’s skin.
Hans Gruber, Die Hard: “Who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne? Rambo?” In the smooth talking, designer suit wearing, Hans Gruber, Alan Rickman gave us a sophisticated villain in a perfectly groomed beard, that played a sharp contrast to Bruce Willis’ rough and tumble action hero. Die Hard was the first in a long line of movies generally setting up the same simple theme, but Gruber created a masterpiece. Side note, Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.
Hans Landa (The Jew Hunter), Inglorious Bastards. “And as if to make my point, I’m a little surprised how tall you were in real life. I mean, you’re a little fellow, but not circus-midget little, as your reputation would suggest.” It takes a real sinister son of a bitch to turn eating strudel into a terrifying scene. In fact, look it up on YouTube and it’s even called “the strudel scene”. Before eating strudel, he of course, orchestrates the massacre of an innocent family. So there’s that.
Hoffman as Captain Hook, Hook: “I swear to you wherever you go, wherever you are, I vow there will always be daggers bearing notes signed James Hook.” Piracy, kidnapping, murder. Killing Rufio crossed a line you don’t cross.
Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Batman: “I now do what other people only dream. I make art until someone dies. See? I am the world’s first fully functioning homicidal artist.” A villain with no motive is a scary as it gets and Nicholson brought his own brand of eccentric swagger to this role.
Jack Torrance, The Shining: “Here’s Johnny!” Listen, we’ve all had those long family vacations where we get a little testy, but there comes a point where you just have to put down the axe and let cooler heads prevail.
John Doe, Seven: “Become vengeance, David…. become Wrath.” Does sacrificing your own life in order to fulfill your evil agenda get you a high seed in this tournament? You bet your gluttonous ass it does. My poor sweet Gwyneth.
John Kreese, Karate Kid thru Karate Kid 3: “Mercy is for the weak. Here, in the streets, in competition: A man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy.” What the hell was this guy’s problem? ‘Nam must have really done a number on him since he spent three whole movies fucking with some teenage kid from NJ who was just trying to get in Elizabeth Shue’s Jordache jeans. Fighting old men? Ruining bonsai trees and shit? Jeez.
Johnny Lawrence, The Karate Kid: “You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you, little twerp? No, you had to push it. Well, now you’re gonna pay!” As far as douchey 80’s bullies go, Johnny may be the icon. Ali’s ill-tempered ex, the dirt bike riding, red leather jacket wearing, karate kicking, pot smoking, and bleach blonde soccer star. I think I just realized Johnny is actually pretty awesome.
Judge Doom, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? “Since I’ve had Toontown under my jurisdiction my goal has been to reign in the insanity, and the only way to do that is to make Toons respect… the law.” I hate traffic as much as the next guy, but slaughtering thousands of cartoon characters in order to build a freeway is just a bit much. That’s what the movie is about. That’s some fucked up shit to come up with.
King Edward Longshanks, Braveheart: “The trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of Scots.” You don’t have to be Scottish to want to punch an old British guy in the face every time you see this movie. I highly recommend taking it out on your dog instead.
Kylo Ren, The Force Awakens: “Show me again… The power of the darkness… And I’ll let nothing stand in our way… Show me… Grandfather… and I will finish… what you started.” I have a couple neat little mementos from my grandfather as well, but nothing as cool as Vader’s old helmet, which Kylo apparently confides to like a twelve year old girl writing in a diary. Forget about Kylo’s emo angst for a moment and consider this: We have not yet even begun to see the extent of his power and he has already done something so unspeakable, even Vader couldn’t do it… killing his own flesh and blood.
Ledger as The Joker, Dark Knight: From IMDB: “In Michael Caine’s opinion, Heath Ledger beat the odds and topped Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Batman (1989): ‘Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath’s gone in a completely different direction to Jack; he’s like a really scary psychopath. He’s a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture.’ Caine bases this belief on a scene where the Joker pays a visit to Bruce Wayne’s penthouse. He’d never met Ledger before, so when Ledger arrived and performed he gave Caine such a fright he forgot his lines.”
Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), the Superman films: “There’s a strong streak of good in you, Superman. But then nobody’s perfect… almost nobody.” Some guys are just more likeable when they are playing the villain. Gene Hackman excels in this role as the cocky, highly intelligent criminal mastermind with sights on world domination and wiping out the Man of Steel.
Lo Pan, Big Trouble in Little China: “Magic. The darkest Magic.” Occupation: Sorcerer, head of Wing Kong Exchange, leader of the Wing Kong gang. Powers/Skills: Dark magic, trickery, cunning. Goals: Marry a woman with green eyes to regain his human form then sacrifice her to please his emperor god, to return from beyond the grave and to conquer the universe.
Lord Voldemort, The Harry Potter Series: “Join me in the forest tonight and confront your fate. “ Fun game: see how many strangers you can say that to in the mall before you get arrested. Voldemort comes into the tournament boasting a diet of Unicorn blood and representing proud snake owners everywhere.
Magneto (both Fassbender and McKellan), The X-Men series: “This society won’t accept us. We form our own. The humans have played their hand, now we get ready to play ours. Who’s with me?” In the summer of 1991 I went to the US 1 Flea Market and using lawn mowing money, I bought X-Men vol2. #1 with the fold out cover featuring Magneto. This was an iconic moment in my nerdiness. I just found out that this comic is literally the bestselling comic book of all-time. Magneto is a legend, to both me, and apparently over 8 million others.
Miles Quaritch, Avatar: “And that’s how you scatter the roaches.” Old guys with big muscles scare the shit out of me to begin with. He looks like the kind of guy that follows high school football even though he doesn’t have a kid. The kind of guy who leaves a bar if they don’t have Bud bottles.
Mr. Glass, Unbreakable: “It’s alright to be afraid, David, because this part won’t be like a comic book. Real life doesn’t fit into little boxes that were drawn for it.” Any villain who gets a shout out in a Kanye song is alright with me.
Mitch Leary, In the Line of Fire: “God doesn’t punish the wicked and reward the righteous. Everyone dies. Some die because they deserve to; others die simply because they come from Minneapolis. It’s random and it’s meaningless.” John Malkovich shines as a scorned CIA agent, proceeds to completely dick around with squinty Clint Eastwood for two hours and eight minutes.
Mola Ram, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: “The British in India will be slaughtered. Then we will overrun the Moslems and force their “Allah” to bow to Kali. And then the Hebrew God will fall and finally the Christian God will be cast down and forgotten.” This is basically his only quote in English during the entire movie but you don’t need a translator to realize you don’t fuck with the guy in bone jewelry pulling out people’s hearts.
Nino Brown, New Jack City: “This thing is bigger than Nino Brown. This is big business. This is the American way.” It was Nino, Gee Money, Duh Duh Duh Man, Keisha and Kareem. They were the original NYC crack ring and man did they turn a profit. Snipes is cool as hell and bad to the bone.
Norman Stansfield, The Professional: “I take no pleasure in taking life if it’s from a person who doesn’t care about it.” Sweaty, ill-tempered, pill popping and brutally violent, this is Gary Oldman at his best.
Pacino as The Devil, Devil’s Advocate: “’I’m the hand up Mona Lisa’s skirt. I’m a surprise, Kevin. They don’t see me coming: that’s what you’re missing.” Not many actors could pull off playing a full-fledged Devil without it coming across as corny. But Pacino is so convincing, I’m actually rooting for him at the end. Don’t judge me.
Patrick Bateman, American Psycho: “I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.” Anytime someone can speak as intelligently about Huey Louis and the News as Bateman does, it’s usually a red flag. Whether or not you think the murders are real, or just part of his imagination, the douchbaggery he exudes is enough to land him on this list.
Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman Begins: “If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.” First off, this is the guy who trained Bruce Wayne and gave the world Batman. Second, I will never do any of these tournaments without somehow involving 1) Liam Neeson, 2) Point Break. That’s my vow to you.
Roy Batty, Blade Runner: “I’ve done questionable things.” Haven’t we all? Dead behind the eyes Aryan looking robot goes on a killing spree in a futuristic world where it’s always dark and raining.
Ryan Gaerity, Blown Away: “I’ve come here to create a new country for you called chaos and a new government called anarchy. All for you.” Taking up residence in an abandoned Casino boat, which is already bad as hell, Tommy Lee wreaks havoc on Boston as a psychotic ex-Northern Ireland terrorist and blood thirsty bomb expert.
Saruman the White, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: “A new power is rising. Its victory is at hand. This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm’s Deep. Leave none alive. To war!” Anytime you stain the land with blood, you’re going to get called out as being pretty evil. Plus, there has to be at least one evil wizard on the list. Oh shit there’s two. That’s on me.
Sauron, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: “You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the void. Only death.” This dude is mean as hell. The pure embodiment of evil. I’ve seen some ladies lose their shit when it comes to getting a ring, but this is a whole other level of fucked.
Simon Gruber, Die Hard with a Vengeance, “There’s a difference, you know, between not liking one’s brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window.” Much like his brother Hans, manipulative, highly intelligent and cold blooded, with the added bit of “thirst for revenge” and an even more German looking hairstyle.
Simon Phoenix, Demolition Man: Simon says, “Bleed.” Snipes, Stallone and Bullock all try their hardest to ruin their careers, with two of the three surviving. Good for some awful back and forths, but generally a solid, stupid, 90’s action movie you can’t stop watching at 3am.
T1000, Terminator 2: Remember how ground breaking that liquid metal CGI was in 1991? Not much personality here, and Arnold got all the one liners of course, but as a walking and talking CGI effect, there aren’t many more memorable movie meanies. Extra credit for his cameo in Wayne’s World 2.
Terminator, Terminator: “Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with, it can’t be reasoned with… It doesn’t feel pity, remorse or fear. And it absolutely will NOT stop! Ever! Until you are dead!” (Kyle explaining the stakes to Sarah Connor) Arnold has many classic roles, but the Terminator remains his most iconic. A killing machine that will stop at nothing to rid the world of Eddie Furlong.
Terri Benedict, The Ocean’s films: “All right, you proved your point. You broke into my vault. Congratulations, you’re a dead man.” It takes a real slick fuck to nab Clooney’s former lady, and Andy Garcia is that slick fuck.
The Penguin, Batman Returns: “The heat’s getting to me. I’ll murder you momentarily. But first, I need a cold drink of ice water.” The pear shaped body, the waddle, that black stuff constantly oozing from his mouth. Danny DeVito and Tim Burton painted a grotesque picture of this classic villain, certainly one of the creepiest characters in the entire pre-Nolan universe.
The Shredder, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: “There will be no mistakes this time… I go myself. And the rat – kill it.” My dad took me to see this movie when I was in fifth grade and when I told some kids in school that it was a good father-son movie because of Splinter and the Turtles relationship they made fun of me. That has nothing to do with Shredder but fuck those kids.
Vilos Cohaagen, Total Recall: “You’re nothing! You’re nobody! You’re a stupid dream! Well, all dreams must come to an end.” Businessman and politician with questionable ethics runs Mars unjustly, maximizing his corporate gain. Think Trump but add mutants.
Warden Samuel Norton, Shawshank Redemption. “I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you’ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.” It takes a completely despicable character to make an audience sympathize with an entire cast of convicts but this righteous prick gets the job done.