[WATCH] THE BLISS OF BEING A VILLAIN: WHEN EVIL SMILES

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More than devious cunning, more than a detachment that removes sympathy and empathy from their emotional composition, more than even a dark backstory balanced with equal parts disappointment and mistreatment, there’s nothing a good movie villain needs more than a wicked smile and a maniacal laugh. It is, after all, their enjoyment of the evil they do that makes them such powerful villains, the pleasure they take from the displeasure of others, the pride in their dubious accomplishments. There’s nothing scarier than someone smiling as they approach to do harm, and there’s nothing more blood-curdling than the pure, honest, unadulterated and flat-out insane laughter of a sociopath going about his or her business.

Case in point? All these creepy people, who represent the greatest (or worst, depending on your perspective) villains in movie history, caught in moments of smiling or laughter and edited together into a most-unsettling supercut by Semih Okmn. Norman Bates is here, as is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Anton Chigurh, Freddy Krueger, multiple Jokers (naturally), Pennywise the Clown, Lord Voldemort, Beetlejuice, and all sorts of other folks whose names you don’t want to say too often for fear they might just show up. And to top it all off, Okmn has juxtaposed this morbid bliss against the smooth crooning of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” giving the video that final ironic twist it needs to really get under your skin.

This video’s no laughing matter, so if you find yourself smiling along, that may be cause for concern. Or for adopting a cool nickname, a flashy suit, and a super-nemesis. Your call.

That’s Amore – Evil Laughs & Smiles from Semih Okmn on Vimeo.

Joker/Jack Napier – Batman (1989)
Joker – The Dark Knight
Riddler – Batman Forever
Chucky
Agent Smith – The Matrix Series
John Doe – Se7en
Fletcher – Whiplash
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
Daniel Plainview – There Will Be Blood
Amy Dunne – Gone Girl
Biff Tannen – Back to the Future Series
Le Chiffre – Casino Royale
Verbal – The Usual Suspects
Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting – Gangs of New York
Calvin Candie – Django Unchained
Mickey Cohen – Gangster Squad
Mason – Snowpiercer
T-1000 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Louis Bloom – Nightcrawler
Gollum – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Predator (1987)
Jabba the Hutt – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Tommy DeVito – Goodfellas
Lord Voldemort – Harry Potter Series
Alonzo Harris – Training Day
Magneto – X-Men Series
Loki – Marvel Cinematic Universe
Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambs
Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious – Star Wars Series
Pennywise – It
Anton Chigurh – No Country for Old Man
Norman Osborn – Spider Man
Freddy Krueger – A Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Betelgeuse – Beetlejuice
Tony Montana – Scarface
Jack Torrance – The Shining
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg – Fifth Element
Two Face Harvey Dent – Batman forever
Captain Hook – Hook
Demon – The Exorcist
Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds
Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Harry Lime – The Third Man
Stuntman Mike – Death Proof
Dracula – Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The Evil Spirit in Deer – The Evil Dead
Hynkel/Dictator of Tomania – The Great Dictator
Cruella De Vil – 101 Dalmatians
Dr. Edward Nygma – Batman Forever
Barbossa and His Crew – Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Vizzini – Princess Bride
Dr. Evil – Austin Powers: The International Man of Mystery
The Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz
Hans Gruber – Die Hard
Norman Bates – Psycho

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist