Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Monsters, Villains and Bad Guys


By K.M. Humphreys
I’m currently reading a book called Bullies, Bastards and Bitches by Jessica Paige Morrell and I’m reading a chapter on Monsters.  This inspired a blog post on Monsters and Bad Guys. 

Throughout literature and film, there have been monsters and villains lurking.  Every type of monster from Hannibal Lecter to the Abominable Snowman are found in the pages we read. There’s Frankenstein, The White Witch, Captain Hook, and Count Dracula.  These are the characters who keep us at the edge of our seats.  We hold our breath as we turn the pages wondering what terror they are going to cause next. We see Cruella DeVille and the wicked step-mother from Cinderella in our children’s stories.  We also hear about the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot and Godzilla.  Whether it’s myth, folklore, movies or books, we cannot escape these monsters, villains and bad guys. 

Bad Guys, Villains and Monsters hold appeal.  They make us want to continue the story until it’s end to see what all they do to reach their goal.  Without the conflict and danger they bring to a story, we wouldn’t have the excitement that keeps us begging for more.  For us ordinary folks, it’s a departure from our normal worlds.  We pray we never run into these monsters, but yet we can’t stop reading about them.

I know I’ve missed some above, and I would love to hear from our readers as to who your favorite Monster, Villain or Bad Guy is and why.  What draws you to these characters?

Happy Reading!

21 comments:

Joyce Tremel said...

No particular villain comes to mind as a "favorite" but sociopaths scare me the most. They seem so normal on the outside--at least at first. I think they make compelling characters because their thought processes are so different than the rest of us.

Gina said...

At the risk of sounding like a one-note piano, I have to confess that my present favorite villain is Don, from the Hindi film Don and it's sequel, Don 2. He is like a human shark - no qualms, no conscience, willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, a skilled manipulator who loves to play with people and to kill them. The perfect villain.

C.L. Phillips said...

My favorite villain? Gee, I'm having trouble thinking of one. How is this possible? Okay, okaky, give me a minute.

Captain Jack Randall from Outlander. That dastardly black-hearted bastard.

Great post, you've got me thinking!

Annette said...

The first thing that comes to my mind when you ask about favorite villains isn't a character from a book, but from a movie. I loved Capt. Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean. When he returned from the undead-dead at the end of the second one, I cheered. Of course, the fact that Geoffrey Rush played him so deliciously over-the-top doesn't hurt.

Annette said...

C.L, funny we both went with "Captains!"

Patg said...

All the cartoon character villians are great, how would the sweet little hero be anything without thworting them. But in adult fiction, I like the vampires. The lates bunch of stories trying to make some of them good guys only makes the bad one better. Not so much werewolves.
Patg

C.L. Phillips said...

Annette,

Captains! Something about a man in uniform? Barbarosa, now there's a villain you can love.

Another favorite villain, Captain Von Trapp. :) Okay, maybe not a villain, but certainly emotionally unavailable at first, and someone that didn't soften until he played Edleweiss. :)

Joyce Tremel said...

I don't think Captain VonTrapp was a villain, just a tortured hero! "A widower with seven children." That would make a tortured hero out of anyone.

Now I want to go watch The Sound of Music. Or go to the Hofbrauhaus. We sing Edelweiss there, too.

C.L. Phillips said...

Joyce,

Hofbrau House?? Muchen?? I want to go to Europe, drink beer at the Hoffbrau House, take the train to Salzburg, and play my guitar in the garden behind the Music Conservatory....and the song?

Edelweiss - of course.

:))

Bente said...

Annette, I practically cried when he died in the first movie. "I feel ... cold." Hell of a performance!

I like my monsters tortured and redeemable. Like Joyce, I find sociopaths chilling. Bundy? And there's always Jack the Ripper...

I'm in Norway, children. I may not be checking in again for a while. Be good without me!

Bente said...

I realized as I hit send that the most chilling villain ever was Adolph Hitler. No contest.

Joyce Tremel said...

No need to go to Germany, Cindy! We have a Hofbrauhaus right here in Pittsburgh.

You'll never believe it but my word verification is "liter." How appropriate!

Joyce Tremel said...

Bente, have a great time!

C.L. Phillips said...

Joyce,

Okay, I need to come to Pittsburgh. Any good conferences? I need an excuse!

Gina said...

I'm off work today, and I blame this post for making me re-watch Don instead of writing, cleaning, etc. Here's the url of a nice clip that really captures this narcissistic villain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnpSEbKHuFg. How do you imbed links in these comments?

Joyce Tremel said...

The Pennwriters Conference will be in Pittsburgh next May (2013).

How about the annual Festival of Mystery hosted by Mystery Lovers Bookshop on Monday April 30th?

Bouchercon is in Cleveland in October, which is only a 2 hour drive from da 'burgh.

Lots of options!

Joyce Tremel said...

Gina, I always have to go to a site that has shows you basic HTML tags and follow the instructions for links because I can never remember how to do it! You'd think by now Blogger would make something like that available instead of having to figure out code.

C.L. Phillips said...

Joyce,

BOUCHERON!!! That's the one I want to attend. Anyone else planning to go??

Roadtrip!!!! (I will fly of course)

Annette said...

I already have my reservations, C.L.!

Kristin said...

Some good comments here. Thanks for posting everybody!

Mary Sutton said...

He's not exactly a villain, but I think Severus Snape was the best, most interesting, character in the entire Harry Potter saga. Considering the amount of time Rowling spent on him, I think he was her favorite too. And I think Alan Rickman played him brilliantly in the movies (love him!).

You may cheer for the hero, but the villains make the story (IMO).