7. Tolian Soran in Star Trek Generations
Supposedly Malcolm McDowell actually received death threats for this role – proving that while rape and murder in a movie is deplorable, killing Captain Kirk is assassination-worthy.
Soran fits a pretty classic mad scientist model – the quest for his own personal gain at the cost of millions of lives. But hey, how else can you get into the Nexus? You can’t use ships, apparently – except for when he uses a ship at the beginning… but whatever.
6. Sebastian Caine in Hollow Man
Being invisible is the ultimate un-thought-out mad scientist plan. So you become invisible, then what? What’s the big success? Go rob a bank? Sure, then how are you going to spend the money without freaking everyone out, Mr. Ghost Person?
Obviously this is modeled after a much more classic invisible mad scientist – so while that’s points off for originality, he certainly doesn’t wait a second to get right into the despicable actions the moment no one can see his naked ass. So at least this was a man clearly dreaming of becoming a crazy scientist from the start.
5. Every Villain in Spider-Man 1 & 2
Good God is the scientific community royally fucked in the Spider-Man universe. If they’re not experimenting on themselves in the cover of night, they are building giant mechanical razor claw arms to help build black holes in New York lofts. Heck, even the scientists in Spider-Man 3 suck as they see no reason to double check when a grown man falls into their weird spinning sand pit, turning him into a giant monster with the power of CGI.
4. Dr. Josef Heiter in The Human Centipede
I’m guessing the application of sewing people anus-to-mouth and seeing how much recycled shit they can swallow is to scientifically determine how many Human Centipede movies the director can make. Not that I hate the concept or anything, but it’s hard to imagine needing more than one of these things lying around.
Still – while you can totally ignore the film, you really can’t ignore how incredibly mad scientisty the act is.
3. Dr. Emmett Brown in Back To The Future
It’s easy to forget how batshit crazy Dr. Brown really is – but he really fits the bill. The 24-hour scientific business, the inhuman reaction to alcohol, the fact that when the entire movie is said and done he goes ahead and builds a second and even more conspicuous time machine. For an Einstein fan, you’d think he’d remember that time-honored definition of insanity being the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Maybe he really should be committed.
2. The Ghostbusters
Seriously now – these guys have every aspect of mad science down to a tee: messing with the supernatural, shock treatment experiments, the animation of inanimate objects, firing bolts of lighting in the air, and acknowledging the existence/totally spitting in the face of God.
Think about it – at no point do these guys even so much as question the morality of incarcerating the supernatural or the possibility of overstepping their place in the universe despite multiple threats of biblical annihilation. Did they ever stop to think that the reason for the increase in ghosts has nothing to do with the millennium and more to do with the four snarky New Yorkers firing nuclear weapons at the afterlife? Oh yeah, let’s no forget the unlicensed nuclear accelerators they carry all over Manhattan. Holy Hell.
1. Herbert West in Re-Animator
Re-Animating the dead is just so classic mad scientist, and Herbert is able to create such a hilarious mess by doing so. He even has his own creepy dark laboratory – albeit a makeshift one.
It’s not just that his creations come back undoubtedly and uselessly disturbed, but that by the time he reanimates his second corpse it’s painfully clear that there’s no practical application for his liquid glow stick reagent. And yet – almost compulsively so – he can’t stop bringing people back from the dead to see what happens. Even his final breath is to preserve his ridiculous work – a true mad scientist move.
I know, for a fact, that I left off some names here – so feel free to share your favorites in the comments!