40 Responses

  1. Kat at |

    Awesome list!!!!

    Reply
    1. Clive at |

      Yeah. It was one of the only lists on this site that I’ve agreed with for a while.

      Reply
      1. Fifth Element at |

        What about the Fifth Element – wasn’t that planet the embodiment of evil??

        Reply
  2. Junkie at |

    Joker isnt pure evil, hes pure chaos :S

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      How about chaotic evil? Are my DnD roots showing?

      Reply
    2. cheekimonk at |

      I disagree. Christopher Nolan’s Joker, just as convenient example, talks about chaos quite often, but he rarely causes it in practice. He’s betrayed by his stated desire to, essentially, demonstrate the futility and fragility of the rules and laws that underpin Gotham society. His actions are aimed at presenting potentially – or actually – catastrophic situations that stress the societal rules we take for granted to their breaking point. But the fact that there is a desired outcome and that he quite clearly takes a lot of pleasure from observing the process of people casting off or losing faith in common rules means his motives aren’t purely chaotic. He never expresses the desire to prove that ANY rules adopted by society are meaningless, only that the people of Gotham have come to place too much confidence and – indeed – pride on the particular “societal contract” – if you will – currently in place.

      Reply
    3. Ed at |

      Nah, although he says he’s chaotic, he was one of the most methodical villains ever.

      Reply
  3. TJ at |

    Hannibal Lecter isn’t pure evil. He’s evil and a genius but not pure evil. He loved Clarisse.

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Loved to eat her?

      Reply
      1. TJrei at |

        Nope. He loved her. As in really loved her. That’s why he (spoiler alert) cut off his own hand instead of hers at the end of Hannibal.

        Reply
  4. Aratiti at |

    I find your lack of Mr. Burns distutbing…

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Excellent suggestion, but I think he has a fondness for Mr. Smithers that would show he isn’t entirely evil.

      Reply
      1. Ed at |

        I wouldn’t call it fondness, just tolerance.

        Reply
  5. Duckky at |

    I cannot believe skeletor out of Heman is not on this list :(… there is no one more eviler than Skeletor..!!

    Reply
    1. Keltari at |

      Skeletor? What about when Skeletor saved Christmas?

      Reply
  6. ThePenguin at |

    From a foreigners point of view Vlad the Impaler was a demon
    But for a person living in Romania (Wallachia) who actually know shit about him,he was a savior

    Reply
  7. Hellion at |

    Pinhead from Hellraiser???

    Reply
    1. marc at |

      Pinhead only tortured people who wanted to be tortured.

      Reply
  8. HammaTime at |

    Most evil characters?? Not so much. Randall Flagg from Stephen King Mythos? No?..ok…what about The Man in Black from Lost?? No…ok…tell me you at least have Cthulu…no…fail.

    Reply
    1. cheekimonk at |

      No way on Cthulhu. The Great Old Ones, including Cthulhu, are deities and, as such, desire and compete for power. That the actions of humans who’s minds have deteriorated from the influence of Cthulhu, and Cthulhu’s own actions (past and prophecied), are undeniably evil, Cthulhu’s core motivation is not evil itself but the elimination of rival deities and accumulation of power.

      In fact, I would argue that it’s motivation that makes Sauron and Lucifer more purely evil than Cthulhu as what little is written about their motivations reveals desires only to undo the work of others…they couldn’t care less what ultimately comes of any being or thing beyond its capacity to aid their efforts (Saron, in fact, could be considered more evil than Morgoth, the Valar he ultimately served in rebellion, as Morgoth wanted his contribution to Ea – the song of discord – to prevail).

      Reply
  9. James at |

    Dr. Evil was not based on Dr. No, he was based on another bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (the head of SPECTRE)

    Reply
    1. TJrei at |

      Good call.

      Reply
  10. cheekimonk at |

    I thought this would be an interesting list based on the use of “pure” to qualify evil. I expected the ranking to apply a qualifier to distinguish certain kinds of evil (a la forensic psychologist Michael Stone’s 22 categories of evil as featured on the “Most Evil” forensic series)…or to apply the D&D spectrum to various characters. In either case, I didn’t pick up on a common thread in the 10 you listed. Certainly there is a huge gap between the vanity of Cruella Deville and Count Dracula’s necessity that he feed to maintain his unnatural long life.

    I think we’ve been presented with a flood of fictional characters in just the last few decades that demonstrate the complexity of what we generally refer to as “evil”. In addition to Hannibal Lecter, I would have to include Christopher Nolan’s Joker and Cormac McCarthy’s Anton Chigurh.

    As always, love the site!

    Reply
  11. rea at |

    lex luthor and loki?..oh and my ex landlady..lol!

    Reply
    1. Thomas at |

      I wouldn’t consider Loki evil per say. He is only a want a be.

      Reply
  12. heatseeker at |

    Where is Professor Moriarty?!

    Reply
  13. Keith Watabayashi at |

    Dude this list is terrible. Going from Cruella DeVille to Iago shows the desire and ability to cross many different genres but in order to claim “pure evil” much, MUCH more depth and analysis needs to happen. As other people have commented several of the entries are not so much evil as against what is accepted and expected. Just off the top of my head I can think of 10 characters who warrant consideration at least:

    Anton Chigurh – No Country For Old Men
    Darth Vader – Star Wars (not Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader. Remember what Obi-Wan said…)
    Lex Luthor – Superman
    Gordon Gekko – Wall Street
    Richard III – Shakespeare (he even says as much about himself)
    The Alien – Alien (the physical embodiment of rape)
    John Doe – Se7en
    John Claggart – Billy Budd
    Apocalypse – X-Men Comics

    …and by far the greatest fictional characterization of pure evil I have come across as yet, is Cormac McCarthy’s Judge Holden, from Blood Meridian. BEST QUOTE by a villain EVER:

    “Everything in creation, everything in creation that exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.”

    Great idea for a top ten list, much more work required.

    Reply
  14. Artie Ziff at |

    Why not Michael Myers? Particularly Rob Zombie’s vision.

    Reply
  15. TJ at |

    The Flaming Ball in The 5th Element was also described as being pure evil.

    Reply
  16. YeahThatGuy at |

    The original Dracula was not pure evil. He showed the ability to love Mina so whilst maybe a horrible character, not pure evil. I also agree that Hannibal Lector was not evil either and that his love ( and personal sacrifice ) proves as much

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      The writer and I had a big disagreement about Dracula. I thought the same thing as you, but Ryan was adamant about leaving him on the list. I’m still not sold on Hannibal. I don’t think he understood the concept of love and therefore it was a twisted sense of admiration for her skills, not love. Just my opinion.

      Reply
      1. YeahThatGuy at |

        It was not just Clarice that he showed signs of love for. His first acts of violence were revenge against the men who had murdered and cannibalised his sister Mischa, whom he dearly loved. Also he had strong feelings (love?) for his aunt-by-marriage Lady Muraski, who is insulted by a butcher so Hannibal kills him. Whilst he did evolve into a cannibal serial killer, his beginnings are based on love and revenge so I think pure evil is not apt in this case

        Reply
  17. YeahThatGuy at |

    Vlad the Impaler’s family name wasn’t Dracula. The Dracula part comes from his father and it was more of a distinction than a name. It originated from his father being a member of the Order of the Dragon (Dracul). His father was known as Vlad Dracul ll so his son, Vlad Tepes, was known as Vlad Dracula lll or Vlad, son of Dracul.

    Reply
  18. jason stone at |

    by definition of pure evil, according to the ten on this list (because i disagree with a lot of this), Sauron should be number one because he wasn’t to destroy the entire Earth with his armies that he himself doesn’t care about, he is just using them to do his bidding which is on a completely different level of evil..second would be Damien because he’s the son of the devil and has no love for anything or anyone..except maybe his father; the devil himself…no mention of Jason Voorhies either….i understand the movies got ridiculous, but come on, was there any greater symbolic characterization of evil in the 80′s and early 90′s other than the man in the famous hockey mask and the machete? you could argue for the other two movie evildoers Freddie and Michael…and don’t forget the honorable mention of Reverend Kane from Poltergeist…all of them should be there in place Cruella, Dracula, Hannibal, Iago, and Dr. No…in my humble opinion, of course

    Reply
  19. devis at |

    I think that Damien is scarier and more evil thank dracula

    Reply
  20. Timp at |

    “Cruella might as well be Hitler”

    I would have maybe added the crow “Dolf” (Alfred J. Kwak) on this list, because he really IS Hitler. A cruel dictator, who forces political opponents to work in something like labour-camps and also a racist, who thinks that crows are the most perfect animals.
    Quite realistic for a tv show for childrens.

    Reply
  21. Gew at |

    What about Bavmorda from Willow? She wanted a baby dead, and tried to kill her daughter.

    Reply
  22. Laura at |

    Where the hell is Darth Vader!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. mike at |

    Cant do vader cause he saved luke…. pure evil has no emotion….

    Reply
  24. Dan at |

    Wow… this is just a ridiculous list.

    Did you really put Hannibal Lector, The Joker, Iago and Dracular ahead of Sauron? Sauron is effectively the Satan of the Lord of the Rings canon (or almost at least – arguably ‘Morgoth’ truly is). His end game is to effectively extinguish or force it servitude all life on the planet. If you were being consistent, you’d have Sauron and Damien pretty well at equal pegging.

    Reply

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