In film, we tend to focus on the underdogs and their struggles, but what about the big guys up at the top who make it so good to be bad? The largest, most evil corporations in film don’t give a damn about the little guys; they don’t really care about anything at all except money power, and staying successful no matter what it takes — or how many feet they need to trample.
It’s time to celebrate that by featuring the best of the worst. Here are the most evil corporations in movies.
7. Weyland-Yutani Corporation – Alien series
Known simply as “the Company” in the first Alien installment, the good ‘ol guys down at Weyland-Yutani hadn’t revealed themselves to be the worst bosses in the world yet. Ellen Ripley and crew were under the impression that you know, checking out an alien signal on a foreign planet while they repaired their ship would be a stop-and-get-back-on-the-road-before-Space-McDonald’s-stops-serving-breakfast kind of thing, but their higher ups had bigger plans in store.
Once that sweet, expensive alien was located, they’d have the team bring it back to earth so they could weaponize and market it for their own usage. Who really cares about a few dead employees along the way? That’s why you’ve got insurance.
6. Soylent Corporation – Soylent Green
Look, if there’s anything the Soylent Corporation loves, it’s people. They’re just here to help you, the huddled masses looking for a quick and tasty bite to eat in a world where resources have run dry and population overcrowding means that running down to CVS for some emergency Poptarts ain’t going to happen either.
Shouldn’t the world thank this corporation, that so clearly cares for the dietary needs of the most weak and needy? You’ve got your Soylent Red, your Soylent Yellow and your Soylent Green, the tastiest “plankton”-based high-energy wafers of them all. They’ve got this interesting flavor to them, don’t they? Something you can’t really put your finger on…but no matter. It’s too cheap and delicious.
5. Cyberdyne Systems – Terminator series
Perhaps when the bigwigs at Cyberdyne were creating Skynet, they didn’t intend for their artificial intelligence system to become acutely self-aware and start destroying humanity, but them’s the brakes. Never, ever give control of your nuclear arsenal to a machine. That’s basic evil corporation 101.
Cyberdyne developed a global digital defense network that was designed to eliminate the need for pesky human error and the use of their slow, puny human hands in military matters. It just so happened to also have time travel capabilities and feel the need to permanently erase the need for humans altogether. After the nuclear holocaust, the future under Skynet’s rule is a little bleak. If only Cyberdyne’s president had built an iron suit to fight crime and given up being an arms dealer.
4. Tyrell Corporation – Blade Runner
With a slogan like “more human than human” Tyrell actually sounds fairly innocuous, like a company that makes organic home cleaning products or a car insurance company that’s trying to sell you on face-to-face interaction with a customer service representative. But in the not-so distant future of 2019, the corporation develops and enslaves Replicants, sentient human-like beings to do their bidding in colonies while the regular humans get a slightly better deal (things never seem to be all that great in the future).
Company leader Dr. Eldon Tyrell sees himself as a modern God, creating life — albeit lives that span just four years before destruction — and then controlling them however he pleases. Tyrell isn’t attempting to rule the entire world, just make a ton of money and control the small one he’s created for himself. That’s as diabolical as they come.
3. BiffCo Enterprises – Back to the Future II
The future: where bullies win! Because Biff Tannen may be the grossest and blondest of all the 80s creeps, of course he figures out a way to alter time and space to make things better for himself after serving all that time as George McFly’s personal assistant. Only a bully would have enough confidence and bravado to have zero qualms about operating a time machine without any prior knowledge or experience, you know?
2015 Biff takes the DeLorean back to 1955 with a copy of the then-current Gray’s Sports Almanac (Doc, lock your vehicle!) so that he can bet on future present events and never lose. As the richest, smarmiest man on Earth, Biff founds a company that invests in toxic waste dumps, effectively destroying the environment and turning their idyllic town into a place called “Hell Valley.” He also manages to get Nixon elected to a fifth term and keep the Vietnam War going well into the 80s. Thanks, buddy. But really, if anything should indicate that his corporate is shady, it’s the fact that the logo is him smoking a currency- lit cigar out the side of his smirk.
2. Trask Industries – The Wolverine/X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Basing your whole operation on wiping out a sector of humanity is never good business practices, but doing so with the help of bloodthirsty, giant robots makes things just a little more obvious from the beginning. Except to the politicians, apparently.
Bolivar Trask is a military scientist with a certain disdain for mutants, no matter what their form. So he creates an army of Sentinels, robots specifically designed to hunt down and murder any mutants they could find. Of course, Nixon would approve something like this — have you noticed that he’s connected to more than one of these evil corporations? Trask’s entire corporation is founded on destruction and murder, and the elimination of an entire group of people from society because he doesn’t want them around. Most people just have the decency to be terrible behind closed doors and not to profit from their assholery.
1. Umbrella Corporation – Resident Evil series
On the surface, Raccoon City may be quiet and pleasant, but deep within its bowels lies a wretched research facility called The Hive, where the Umbrella Corporation is up to no good. If there could be any worse venue to hold your medical testing facility, it would be a challenge to find a place other than miles below the town. So, spooky lair? Check.
The Umbrella Corporation develops a wide array of products — cosmetics, food, pharmaceuticals — but like any diabolical operation, they have their eyes on bigger prizes, such as biological weapons, and the development of the “T-cell,” a virus that makes dead things not so dead anymore. One would think that a company that spends so much money building such an elaborate lab facility would ensure that their zombie virus would never be in a situation where it could be compromised, but nah. Of course they don’t have a very good solution when all hell breaks loose, either.