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The Most Cold-Blooded Villain Moments In Movies

Updated June 16, 2021 7k votes 1.2k voters 128.6k views13 items

List RulesVote up the next-level ruthless moves by cinema's most evil villains.

Cinema is filled with cold-blooded villains. From the MCU to the Harry Potter franchise, ruthless villains carry out their schemes by flexing their world-destroying muscles. But it's not those giant schemes that make the villains collected here the absolute worst - it's the little things they do to really dig at the heroes that earn them such a distinction.

It's one thing to wipe out half the galaxy or try to blow up a continent or whatever - it's an entirely different ballgame when a villain takes out a low-level henchman or goes back on their word just because they want to. All of these villains have evil schemes, but the worst part about all of them is they lack even one ounce of class.

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  • Grand Moff Tarkin may not be the big bad of the Star Wars universe, but he's definitely the rudest guy in the Empire. After tormenting Princess Leia for information about the location of the Rebel base, Tarkin just decides to blow up her homeworld of Alderaan, a peaceful planet.

    When Leia finally answers that the Rebel base is on Dantooine, Tarkin just blows up Alderaan anyway and makes Leia watch. As far as jerk moves by bad guys go, this one is maybe the jerkiest. It's honestly extraordinary how rude Tarkin is after getting what he wants. 

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    Shan Yu From 'Mulan' Orders An Archer To Take Out An Innocent Messenger 

    Shan Yu's whole deal is that he's overconfident in his ability to dominate anyone he comes in contact with, especially the people of China. By wiping out every village he comes across, he shows that he has no desire to be seen as anything other than a monster.

    After Shan Yu burns enough villages, it's clear that he's a bad guy. No one would mistake him as the hero of the movie, but just to make sure the audience knows he's a petty little warlord, he orders one of his archers to take out one of the two messengers that he's sent to tell the emperor of China that the Huns are on their way.

    This is more than just evil - it's taking the life of someone with no real skin in the game. The messengers are just trying to do their jobs - jobs that Shan Yu told them to do. If you didn't already hate Shan Yu, maybe this will change your tune.

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    Klaue From ‘Black Panther’ Tells One Guard He’s Going To Let Him Go, Then Shoots Him In The Back

    While pocketing a Wakandan artifact from a museum in London, Klaue acts as a paramedic in order to get Killmonger out of the fray without anyone being the wiser. He walks into the museum and shoots a few people before telling a guard that he's going to let him go as long as he "doesn't tell anybody."

    After giving the guard a reassuring smile - or as reassuring a smile as Klaue can give - he waits until the guard is nearly out of the room before shooting him in the back. There is no one more ruthless or petty than a midlevel MCU baddie.

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  • The Clown Prince of Crime spends every moment of 1989's Batman carrying out a series of devious plans. He destroys art, gasses people until they have a permanent grin on their faces, and goes out of his way to put an end to The Bat. However, he saves his lousiest behavior for his henchmen.

    After Batman puts a stop to Joker's parade, Joker asks his henchman Bob for his piece, and then shoots him with it. It's a moment that shows how little the Joker cares about the people in his life. We always hurt the ones we love.

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