Good Reader, how to choose?! Classic Bad Guys scenes…
Antagonist forces blocking our hero’s journey. Nasty mofos with zero character arc who start the movie off rotten and end up even worse. “Complex” protagonists with so much black in them — think Tony Soprano or Walter White– that the good within them is but candlelight in darkness. Irresistible Forces facing off against the Immovable Object that is our hero. O maybe they are the hero, the Anti-Hero.
If you need to draw compelling bad guys for your own movie you might want to study those which have come before. So, we’ll look at four of them today. Scripts scenes, then the clips. Vamos!
- BARON HARKONNEN: HE WHO CONTROLS THE SPICE…
Kenneth McMillon was wonderful as the near-blind watchmaker turned safe-cracker in Pope Of Greenwich Village, but c’mon! How you gonna beat the Baron? The slurping of hearts, acne that would make Bukowski wince, that crazy flight suit? Dune always gets critically abused so I guess this is a guilty pleasure. I really like this flick. And name one other villain in the history of movies that moves like this?
Here’s an early scene. Script is a bit different from the final film product:
Rabban breaks open a squood (living food). The squood makes a tiny SCREAM, then Rabban drinks the blood and bodily fluids. He throws the empty container of tiny animal meat into the dark water trough running through the center of the room. Across the room, TWO HARKONNEN SOLDIERS enter, holding big guns on a BOY who is wearing white pants. The Baron smiles when he sees the boy, who is deeply afraid. The guards force the boy to arrange violet flowers on a stand by the far wall opposite the Baron. BARON (as the Baron watches the boy) You're so beautiful my Baron Your skin, love to me Your diseases lovingly cared for For all eternity. BARON I will have Arrakis back for myself... he who controls the Spice, controls the universe... and what Piter didn't tell you is we have control of someone who is very close to Duke Leto. This person... this traitor... will be worth more to us than ten legions of Sardaukar. FEYD Who is the traitor? BARON (laughs) I won't tell you who the traitor is or when we'll attack. However, the Duke will die before these eyes and he'll know that it is I -- Baron Vladimir Harkonnen -- who encompasses his doom. -- The Baron gives a hand signal and seven gates in the wall open, emitting tremendous SOUNDS. Suddenly the Baron begins to float straight up, twenty-five feet in the air. It is a frightening sight. He floats down under the giant, humming electrical tube light and rubs his head and body with a black fluid which drips from tiny holes in either side of the pink glow. Feyd and Rabban watch nervously. The Attendants stand completely still with fear. The Baron swoops down to the Boy, who stands petrified. The Harkonnen guards smile nervously as they step slightly backwards. The boy begins SCREAMING as the Baron pulls the boy's heart plug, located in his chest. The violet flowers are bumped and disarrayed by the violence which ensues. Then the Baron turns smiling to Feyd as the SOUNDS continue to roar.
- THE DEATH OF FEYD
Screw it, while we’re on Dune, Feyd isn’t a major character in the grand scheme of things. But he’s got style. He’s one of the Baron’s favs (late-nights, perhaps?), the “lovely” assassin played so freaking well by Sting. This guy is cold-blooded. You almost think he has a chance in this fight to the death. “I will kill him!”
REVEREND MOTHER You mustn't speak of... PAUL (using The Voice) SILENCE! The old woman is shot backwards by the power of his shout. Her breath is knocked out of her. PAUL (CONT'D) I remember your gom jabbar, now you remember mine. I can kill with a word. -- A Fedaykin stand forward and recites from the prophecy. FEDAYKIN #1 ...and his word shall carry death eternal to those who stand against the righteous. Feyd hears this and is angered. FEYD The righteous! PAUL (to Emperor) There is a Harkonnen among you. Give the Harkonnen a blade and let him stand forth. EMPEROR If Feyd wishes, he can meet you with my blade in his hand. FEYD I wish it. (steps forward) GURNEY This is a Harkonnen animal. Let me, please, my Lord. PAUL The Emperor's blade. Feyd takes up the Emperor's blade with a smile. Paul takes out his crysknife. They begin to circle each other. Paul smiles, circling still. Suddenly, Feyd leaps, his blade jabbing savagely outward, but Paul easily evades it, moving away. They begin to circle again. He makes another pass at Paul that comes dangerously close, but again, Paul is away, a frozen smile on his face. FEYD Why prolong the inevitable? I will kill you! I will kill him! Feyd smiles. He lashes out biting Paul's hand. Feyd LAUGHS in triumph. Feyd leaps forward jabbing, his right hip also forward. Yet Paul, although a little slowly, again reels away. Again, Feyd thrusts. -- This time Paul jabs with his crysknife, but Feyd moves away effortlessly. Feyd counters and kicks Paul to the ground. CHANI Paul! Paul is up instantly and he circles with Feyd. FEYD (smiling) Who is the little one? A pet, perhaps? Will she deserve my special attentions? Paul jabs out, his crysknife slashing. Feyd grabs his arm, and Paul his, the two men locked in a straining clinch. Feyd presses his right hip closer and closer to Paul's body. Paul strains to keep it away. Suddenly, the gom jabbar flips out of Feyd's girdle, but on the left side, and he lunges powerfully with it at Paul, who just barely misses taking it in his skin. He throws Feyd back, but not before Feyd's feet strike out, sending Paul to the floor. Feyd leaps onto him. FEYD (whispering) You see... your death... my blade will finish you. Suddenly, Paul, with lightning swiftness, pushes Feyd up and over. He is on top of him in a flash. Paul's crysknife flashes up, thrusting upward through Feyd's jaw. Feyd's mouth opens as the knife continues up through his tongue and through to his brain. Feyd's eyes go wild, then glaze over as he jerks dead on the floor.
- TONY MONTANA: SAY GOOD NIGHT TO THE BAD GUY
Screw character arcs. Tony Montana never changes. Top of the movie he gets off the boat from Cuba as a killer. He dies a killer. In between, the journey, his world changes, but he’s a killer to his core. We see one scene with some goodness, where he refuses to kill the kids in the bomb-planted car. Ironically, his one moment of good gets him killed. In the meantime he goes to dinner with his lovely cokehead wife and they fight. They fight often, but not like this. She leaves him after this fight. The final mini-monologue is an absolute classic.
…is this how it ends? And I
thought I was a winner? Fuck it
man, I can’t even have a fucking kid
with her, her womb’s so polluted, I
can’t even have a fucking little
Elvira reacts — wanting to kill. She gets up and dumps
her plate filled with food on him. Slop drips all over him.
You sonufabitch! You fuck!
They got a black tie audience now. The waiter tipping
around to clean up the mess. Tony slowly wiping the food
How dare you talk to me like that!
You call yourself a man! What makes
you so much better than me, what do
you do? Deal drugs? Kill people?
Oh that’s just wonderful Tony — a
real contribution to human history.
You want a kid. What kind of father
do you think you’d make, Tony? What
kind of stories are you going to
tell the kid before he goes to sleep
at night? You going to drive him to
school in the mornings, Tony? You
really think you’re still going to
be alive by the time he goes to
school, Tony? You’re dreaming, Tony,
The audience is hushed, involved, the camera moving over
the faces of Vie and his rich friends.
Tony acidly quiet, looks around at the people, back to her.
Sit down before I kill you.
* . . You think of yourself as a husband,
too, Tony. But did you ever stay
home without having six of your goons
around all the time? I have Nick the
Pig as a friend? What kind of life
is that Tony? What kind of life is
173 CONTINUED – 4 173
(in a softer
Oh Tony don’t you see? Don’t you
see what we’ve become? We’re losers,
honey, we’re not winners, we’re
Silence. Tony’s fury has passed. So has Elvira’s. There’s
this awkwardness all of a sudden like two actors who forgot
Go on, get a cab home, you’re stoned.
I’m not stoned Tony. You’re
stoned. You’re so stoned you don’t
even know it.
All right I’m stoned. Manny.
to put his arm
Come on, baby.
No, no you stay right there Manny,
I’m not going home with you…I’m
not going home with anybody. I’m
going home alone…
(staring at Tony)
I’m leaving you. I don’t need this
Pause. She starts wobbling out. Past the silent
spectators, their eyes moving between her and Tony.
Manny rises to follow.
Let her go! ..Another guaalude and
she’ll lpve me again.
Stumbling once, Elvira disappears out the door.
eyes follow her. Pause.
173 CONTINUED – 5 173
The whole room is watching him sitting there covered with
food, the silence cathedral. He stands, wiping at the food
and throwing several hundred dollar bills on the table,
then looks up angrily at the staring millionaires.
You’re all assholes. You know why?
‘Cause none of you got the guts to be
what you want to be.
He wobbles against the table. Manny tries to help. Tony
shakes him loose.
You need people like me so you can
point your fingers and say ‘hey
there’s the bad guy!’ So what does
that make you? Good guys? Don’t
kid yourselves. You’re no better’n
me. You just know how to hide —
and how to lie. Me I don’t have
that problem. I always tell the
truth — even when I lie.
He starts out, staggers.
So say good night to the bad guy…
You’re never gonna see a bad guy
like me again.
He walks out, proud, Manny bringing up the rear. The room
is empty for a beat — an extended beat, the stage without
its star — and then the audience begins to buzz with horror
- DANIEL C. PLAINVIEW: I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE
Daniel Day Lewis, force of nature. Tom Hardy is awesome but nobody matches DDL. Try to pick between his bad guys– Gangs Of New York or There Will Be Blood? You can look at the full script for There Will Be Blood here. This scene ends the movie. His adversary, Eli Sunday, is in over his head. He’s about to die in a bowling alley. For Daniel Plainview, it’s about money, sure. But it’s also about power. Blood lust in his teeth on this one. Wow, just wow…