10 Villains From ’90s Movies Who Haven’t Aged Badly
In many ways, the 90s could be considered a renewed golden age for cinematic creativity. This renewed drive for ingenuity showed in the villains of the era, who were noticeably bolder and more defiant than their ’80s predecessors.
As expected, some of these villains have unfortunately aged poorly. That doesn’t mean their movies are suddenly bad, but it does replace their rose-tinted nostalgic heritage with much-needed (and often long-delayed) critical analysis.
ten Star Wars: The Phantom Menace—Darth Maul was just an action figure
Today, Darth Maul is considered by star wars fans as one of space opera’s coolest villains who borders on being a complex anti-hero. The problem here is that this design only came about through the Sith Fighter’s enhanced characterization and development in the canon spin-offs and Expanded Universe, not his first movie.
First star wars prequel, Maul barely spoke and only had six minutes of screen time. Maul’s only goal in Episode I was to look cool and give actor Ray Park a chance to show off his amazing lightsaber skills, nothing more. Maul’s rationale in later tie-in materials only makes his actual live introduction weaker in retrospect.
9 Independence Day – The Alien Threat Was Ruined Afterwards
As big and explosive as independence day that is, his alien villains argue for less to be more. The less one knew about extraterrestrials, their motivations and origins, the better off they were as an existential threat to humanity. But thanks to the late sequel Independence Day: Resurgence and its retcons, the aliens have become a joke.
Even ignoring how the technologically advanced aliens lost to a simple computer virus (which is a tribute to HG Wells War of the Worlds), Recurrence revealing that they raided Earth for its resources robbed them of their terror. The sequel also showed the aliens in their entirety, demoting them more from nondescript enemies to the generic galactic force of evil.
8 Jason Goes To Hell: The Last Friday – Jason Voorhees’ Slug Form Was Jason’s Worst Yet
All Friday 13 The film attempted to reinvent the formula for the long-running slasher franchise in its own way, and the ninth film decided to give Jason a demonic twist. Here it is revealed that Jason is actually a parasitic demon worm that transforms his host body into the next Jason. The “Hellbaby” is also considered by fans to be one of the series’ worst ideas.
While the Hellbaby at least explained Jason’s immortality, it robbed him of his mystique and demoted him to a generic horror movie demon. Worse still, the Hellbaby only gave Jason less than ten minutes of screen time. There’s a reason why Friday 13 fans embrace most of the franchise’s nonsense, but disown the Hellbaby.
seven Bio-Dome – Dr. Noah Faulkner’s anger was perfectly justified
One of the most poorly aged tropes in comedies is the fun-hating villain. Usually, they are strict authority figures who try to stop star comedians from having fun. The problem is that the comedians are insufferable and out of control, and the designated villain is their victim. Bio-Dome is a good example of this, and perhaps the worst offender of the trope.
Here, slackers Bud and Doyle break into the Bio-Dome and ruin Dr. Faulkner’s year-long experiment with their “wacky” hijinks. In the end, Dr. Faulkner snapped and tried to kill Bud and Doyle, but the audience is supposed to support the duo. Bio-Dome is often considered one of the worst comedies of the 90s, and the defamation of Dr. Faulkner is cited as a reason.
6 The Usual Suspects – Keyser Soze is a walking plot hole
Even momentarily ignoring his controversial director and star, The usual suspects’ the surprise villain Keyser Soze is paradoxically its best and its weakest link. The big twist in the movie is that the nervous Verbal was actually ruthless crime lord Keyser Soze the entire time, and all we see in flashbacks were lies he used to defend his secret.
Right now, Verbal’s true identity is a stunning and unexpected revelation. In hindsight, Keyser hiding in plain sight is all too practical a charade. There were simply too many uncontrollable variables that lined up perfectly in Keyser’s favor, making his escape at the end hard to buy even with a willful suspension of disbelief.
5 Starship Troopers – The Federation Inspired The Bad Reaction From Viewers
In his heart, Starship Troopers is a dark parody of war propaganda and zealous nationalism. The Federation’s war on Klendathu’s bugs is a thinly veiled parallel to the dehumanization fascist regimes use to demonize enemies, and the Mobile Infantry enforced this hateful mindset. Thing is, viewers thought the Federation were the heroes.
Starship Troopers failed in 1997, but it still inspired countless imitators who took its fanatical militarism at face value. The Federation’s base on Nazi Germany was anything but subtle, and yet fans believe the Mobile Infantry’s arrogance and indiscriminate genocide was justified simply because Starship Troopers was too much fun for its own good.
4 Falling Down – D-Fens deconstruction fell on deaf ears
Since its release in 1993, To fall became one of the most famous urban vigilante films ever made. Fans identified with D-Fens’ frustration with society, especially when it came to mundane annoyances like smug golfers and rude construction workers. However, what everyone misses (or doesn’t know) is that D-Fens was the bad guy.
To fall was a deconstruction of the vigilante power fantasy, and he never shied away from portraying D-Fens’ seemingly cool rampage as selfish and dangerous. The problem is that crucial scenes have been taken out of context and uploaded online. It cemented D-Fens as everyone’s rage boiled over, even though the purpose of the film was to prove him wrong.
3 Fight Club – Project Mayhem Cause Wasn’t Fair
When it comes to fighting club, Tyler Durden is always singled out as one of the most misrepresented characters in satirical film. While it’s true that Tyler’s satire is lost on his biggest fans, the same can be said of Project Mayhem: the anarchist movement he inspired. In short, Project Mayhem is a collection of spoiled brats.
Tyler believes modern society has emasculated men, so it’s up to him and Project Mayhem to burn the world down so men can reclaim their denied heritage amid the ashes. Project Mayhem is obviously fake and delusional, but there’s fight club fans who fell in love with Tyler’s tempting charisma and now embrace the band’s mindset.
2 The Silence of the Lambs – Buffalo Bill Perpetuates Dangerous Stereotypes
Thesilenceofthelambs is undeniably one of the best horror movies ever made, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t inspire some problematic trends. Besides spawning too many Hannibal Lecter clones who confused long-winded talk with creepy verbosity, central serial killer Buffalo Bill embodied many of the worst stereotypes of transgender people.
Here, Buffalo Bill murdered women and wore their skins to become a “real woman”. On top of that, Buffalo Bill is effeminate and flamboyant in the parodic extreme. Thesilenceofthelambs tried to separate Buffalo Bill from the real trans community, but the fact that he played into the worst transphobic misconceptions cast doubt on the film’s lasting legacy.
1 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – Lt. Lois Einhorn is a truly offensive punchline
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective The big problem was that the prime suspect and Ace’s love interest were one and the same. It turns out that disgraced athlete Ray Finkle killed Lois Einhorn and then stole her identity in revenge against his malevolent sports team. This was then played out as a rude gag that ended with Ace publicly humiliating Lois.
Even though Lois was the bad guy, the homophobia and misogyny she endured was excessive and petty, even by the very loose standards of the 90s. Not helping was how by As Ventura The overriding punchline was that transgender people are inherently disgusting. Jim Carrey revealed that it was done to elicit the most extreme (even offended) reactions, and it’s a joke that didn’t go down well in 1994, let alone today.
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