The creature from “A Wizard of Earthsea.” It is cool because the creature is actually part of the Hero, but he doesn’t find out until the end.
I know it's a very simple villian, but The Creature from the Black Lagoon is so very campy/cool. He's not THAT scary, but it's like "Don't go down there! - oh no, he went down there!" I have movies cards and a pinata shaped like him. A really good villian should have his own marketing venue.
Two shades of grey: The Master or Moriarity (Sherlock reboot by Stephen Moffat.)
I believe by definition one should have only one favorite...
but I'll take two shades of grey, Alex -- too.
My favourite villain would be the Master from "Doctor Who", especially as portrayed by Roger Delgado. An urbane, witty, and calculating foe for his fellow Time Lord, The Doctor.
My favorite villain would be Angelus, the vampire with the angel's face from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", season 2. Cruel, smart, and forceful as a foe to his former girlfriend.
The connection: both villains had a close relationship with their hero-opponent. It wasn't just a battle of wills, or strength, but the emotional conflict of two parted friends and how they must come to terms or battle.
There are two kinds of villain in my book(s, DVD collections etc.)
There are the adversary type's who you know you could almost or even might actually admire if they weren't trying so hard to destroy you outright - So I agree with The Master (esp. Roger Delgado's as you say above) and Moriarty, but to add to those two:
Wolland from The Master and Margahrita
Aeysha from 'She'
The Comedian and Rorschach (from 'Watchmen')
V from 'V for Vendetta'
William Munny (at the end of) the movie 'Unforgiven:
Li'l Bill (Gene Hackman): You just killed an unarmed man!
Munny (Clint Eastwood): Then he should have armed himself if he was gonna decorate his bar with my friend!
But then there are other ones, which to my mind are the real evil swines ... and these are the villains that are either doing something phenomenally nasty because they have decided that the ends are so important that any means are justified:
Robespierre, Lenin, 'Che' Guevara, Pol Pot;
Alan Moore's Dr William Gul ('From Hell') and Adrian Veidt ('Watchmen') from comics
or it's not so much that they think they are doing good in the world, but that they are snivelling, deluded self-pitying and selfish whiny little f***s, and they commit villainy that way:
Humbert Humbert from Lolita is the stand-out example but also Alex from a Clockwork Orange comes a close second.
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