You expect a movie villain to be the epitome of evil, or a nasty surprise you don’t see coming. Villains that are civil and in some cases even conversational like Christoph Waltz has been in his many roles are simply too ultimate to be fully contemplated in that moment. You get the feeling he’s a nice guy, as he was Django Unchained. He might be a killer, one of the absolute worst people in the world, but he’s still very much the gentleman when it comes to how he acts around people. That’s what makes some of his most villainous roles so absolutely terrifying as he will smile at you, share a meal with you, and then order your death as though it’s an afterthought that he nearly forgot to mention.
That is the epitome of evil, someone who can smile at you while knowing that at one point or another they will gladly execute you and anyone else that falls within their purview without hesitation. And he’s not a killer that goes for death on a massive scale unless it’s necessary. His villains have been seen to be surgical and quite methodical in the process of bringing down their prey. He’s just a scary guy that in real life seems to be quite the conversationalist and is genuinely nice to be around. On screen though, his every smile seems to hide a new horror that his characters have waiting just around the corner.
Here are just a few of his more disturbing roles as the bad guy.
The Legend of Tarzan – Leon Rom
He might not look like much, but Rom actually comes close to killing the fabled Tarzan at one point in the movie and proves to be a capable foe through measures that employ something far worse than brute force. The intelligence and guile factor of Waltz’s villains makes him absolutely terrifying since he can pull it off so well. The civility only makes it worse since he’s not an unreasonable savage or brute, he’s a very smart individual that can batter at someone psychologically and tear them down without ever having to lay a finger on them. Physical damage and the capacity to inflict it is of course horrifying, but reducing someone to a lump of quivering doubt is even worse.
Inglorious Basterds – Hans Landa
Hans is simply evil with a smile. He’ll be a gentleman to your face while all the time he’s talking he’ll be listening and dissecting everything you say in an attempt to discover how best to break you down a a person and then just kill you. Granted, he does manage to kill Diane Kruger’s character with as much savagery as he can manage, but throughout the rest of the film he’s a genius that hunts down his prey and doesn’t think twice about torturing them with his logic as they attempt to figure out just what he’s up to.
Horrible Bosses 2 – Burt Hanson
Some businessmen don’t seem that imposing until someone attempts to threaten them or back them into a corner. At that moment you can honestly believe that some of them would gladly skin you alive and sell the resulting mess for a profit if they could. Some businessmen are just flat out ruthless and don’t worry too much about tying a few businesses to a tree and bashing them with a shovel, metaphorically-speaking of course, and some won’t even take the time to tie them up before knocking them down with a bulldozer in the name of progress. The latter seems to be the way that Hanson works.
The Three Musketeers – Cardinal Richelieu
The famed Cardinal has been seen as the bad guy in this tale in ways that make a person question the efficacy of religion when it’s run by corrupt men. Okay that might have been too close to reality for comfort but Waltz definitely puts a nice spin on this villain since like all of his characters he’s pleasant, polite, and yet ruthless enough when it comes down to it to really be counted as one of the most ultimate villains to ever be conceived. Plus the addition of this Cardinal seemingly be trained in swordplay is just a scary thought. A mastermind that can fight is not a person to be messed with.
Spectre – Erns Stavro Blofeld
You might be wondering why Waltz wasn’t made a Bond villain before now when he could have made one of the most epic villains of all time. Well, it might not have been the right time and seeing as how his character has such a deep and intimate bond with, well, Bond, it makes a lot of sense to keep him in the wings until everything is set and the moment is right to bring him out. But keeping him alive seems like a very bad mistake.
He’s one of the greatest characters to ever play a villain since he’s also the guy that could be your best friend until he sticks the knife in your back.