From Page to Screen: 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Published 1 year ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 6:17 pm, This is a list post.

The 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - New Green Goblin Every good super hero film needs a good super villain for the world-saving protagonist to fight - and apparently every super villain needs a good personal wardrobe assistant. After all, who has time to pick out properly contrasting colors and be concerned with how a fabric drapes on their body when there is a maniacal scheme of world domination to plan? Dozens of improperly-clad super villains have made their way from the comic book page to the big screen, and we've compiled our top 15 worst offenders. To make this list, the movie villain must have had a comic book version first - which unfortunately means no ridiculously-dressed Nuclear Man from Superman IV. Let's take a look at the 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes...

Green Goblin - 'Spider-Man'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Green Goblin (Spider-Man) This isn't the worst way to portray one of Spider-Man's greatest enemies of all time, but there is still plenty wrong with this costume for the Green Goblin. While we can't ask for a better recreation of "Gobby's" glider, the suit and mask are ridiculous. The movie does a decent job of explaining why the suit looks the way it does (it's a military flight suit) but it in no way properly represents the original comic book version. Making the mask a helmet was a misstep as well. We're not sure how anyone can properly pull off the original green suit and purple headsock from the comics - we just know that this wasn't a proper alternative.

The Shredder - 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) Oroku Saki is the leader of the ninja assassins known as the Foot Clan, and goes by the nickname "The Shredder" for the armor he wears. The large, sharp, pointed pieces of metal on his samurai-style armor are supposed to instill fear in his enemies. It does that quite nicely in the comics but in the movie...not so much. Nothing about the film version of  his costume is intimidating or cool. Instead of looking like a bad-ass ninja clan leader, he looks silly and uncomfortable. There's a reason why the artists never dressed Shredder in a glittery purple outfit - because it looks pretty dumb. Nothing about the sharp metal pieces on his helmet or armor are practical and he can't even turn his head without fear of lopping off his own ear. If the point of his costume was to drive laughter into the hearts of men, then mission accomplished.

The Russian - 'The Punisher'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - The Russian (The Punisher) Ivan Vassilovitch Dragovsky is a hitman known as "The Russian" who is hired to kill the Punisher. He's a brute of a man who's strength, endurance and durability are quite the match for the anti-hero. The Russian isn't really a snappy dresser in the comics, what with his silly striped shirt - but as ridiculous as it looks on paper, it's looks even more ridiculous on screen. WWE wrestler Kevin Nash doesn't quite match the big fella's height of 8 feet, but Nash is still an imposing man on screen...or he would be if he wasn't wearing thin red and white stripes. All this Russian "Where's Waldo?" is missing is a pair of thick black glasses and a hat.

Sabertooth - 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'

Worst Super Villain Costumes - Sabertooth (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) In the X-Men universe, Sabertooth is the fearsome enemy of Wolverine who has long blond hair resembling a mane, lion-like claws and superhuman strength. For his second film appearance, Victor Creed (a.k.a. Sabertooth) lost almost everything that made him recognizable as the super-powered villain. The vicious beast-like attitude was still there, but the long flowing golden locks had been replaced by a much shorter haircut and all that massive muscle had disappeared entirely. Also gone was the yellow and brown skin-tight Spandex...but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In the comics, when people see Sabertooth, they run. Unfortunately, in the movie, audiences were running for a completely different reason.

Juggernaut - 'X-Men: The Last Stand'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Juggernaut (X-men 3) Cain Marko, a.k.a. the Juggernaut, is an unstoppable force of pure might who received his great power from the mystical Gem of Cyttorak. Once he is in motion the only thing that can stop him is himself...or the Hulk. He wears a helmet to keep his step-brother, Professor Xavier, from being able to psychically mess with his mind. The classic comic version was overlooked for the modern Ultimate X-Men version, but the movie version left much to be desired. With all the muscle-bound actors in the business, the decision to take tough guy Vinnie Jones and swell him up through artificial means (CGI, body suit) seems pointless. Instead of looking like a bad-ass super villain, he looks like a rejected warrior from American Gladiators.

Mr. Freeze - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Mr. Freeze (Batman and Robin) Mr. Freeze received his super powers after spilling cryogenic chemicals on himself while trying to find a cure for his wife's deadly disease. Because of the mishap he needs sub-zero temperatures to survive and built a suit to allow him to get around freely. With his freeze ray, Dr. Victor Fries battles Batman and plunders the good citizens of Gotham City. The movie version of Mr. Freeze's costume was an incredible piece of junk. All the see-through plastic and chromed-out plates on his armor made him look more like a Hasbro toy than a super villain to be reckoned with. This is one outfit that left us...cold. (Don't roll your eyes. You knew it was coming.)

Dracula - 'Blade: Trinity'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Dracula (Blade III) In the dark world of the Nightwalkers, Dracula is the king and is the number one enemy of the vampire hunter Blade. The comic version of Dracula and the movie version of Dracula are so far apart that, while it's implied the character onscreen is the King of the Vampires, his name was completely changed to Drake. For most of the film he dresses like a Serbian gangster/club owner instead of a slick and deadly vampire. At one point Dracula...Drake...Dagon...The Beast...er, this guy trying to kill Blade, appears wearing a sleeveless leather vest and armor that only protects one arm and the neck while sword fighting. This concept is lifeless and generic and could have been so much better.

Two-Face - 'Batman Forever'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Two-Face (Batman Forever) District attorney Harvey Dent became the villainous Two-Face after being splashed in the face with acid at a trial. The incident caused Dent to develop multiple personality disorder which led to an obsession with duality. In the most typical comic form of his costume, Two-Face is in a suit and tie with the outfit occasionally being half "normal" and half "wild". The first movie version of this costume went overboard on the wild part, mixing four different types of animals skins - jaguar, cheetah, leopard and tiger. His bad makeup job aside, the black finger-less glove adorned with metal studs was hip during the eighties - too bad this movie was made in the nineties.

Bane - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Bane (Batman and Robin) Bane is supposed to be this imposing, super-strong, super-smart, highly resourceful and deadly super villain that battles Batman mano-e-mano. He was born in a prison called Peña Dura and his father was a world-renowned mercenary called "King Snake." Eventually Bane would defeat Batman by breaking his back. While the late WCW wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson matched the physical build of the comic version of Bane, the movie version of the mask and outfit were corny. Ignoring the fact that the hulkish brute only communicated in grunts and growls onscreen, he looks more like a Mexican Luchador hopped up on human growth hormone than a powerful and merciless super villain.

Poison Ivy - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Poison Ivy (Batman and Robin) The beautiful and deadly Poison Ivy used to be a intelligent and promising young botanist named Dr. Pamela Lillian Isle, until she was poisoned with an ancient Egyptian herb. Instead of killing her, the poison rendered her immune to all plant and animal-based toxins. She also developed the ability to release pheromones that allow her to control weak-minded individuals, usually males. In the comics, Poison Ivy's skin has become green in a process not unlike photosynthesis - but in the movie, her green skin was replaced with an awful and plain Spandex suit. Her characteristic flaming red hair remained, but they didn't try very hard to make it NOT look like a wig. We've see better hairpieces on Barbie dolls. How do you make Uma Thurman not look attractive? The people involved with this movie figured it out.

The Riddler - 'Batman Forever'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - The Riddler (Batman Forever) The cunning and puzzle loving Edward Nigma loves to taunt his enemies - especially Batman - with deadly riddles, hence his nickname, "The Riddler." What he lacks in physical prowess he more than makes up for in intelligence and can make or solve any puzzle in the world. Funnyman Jim Carrey seemed like a perfect casting choice to play the mad trickster onscreen, but his outfit wasn't really a match. On paper, an all-green unitard dotted with question marks works - but in real life, all that tightness...well, it leaves very little to the imagination. At least the signature question mark cane looks good. There's a reason why you rarely see this outfit worn by cosplayers...

New Green Goblin - 'Spider-Man 3'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - New Green Goblin (Spider-Man 3) After watching his father Norman Osborn die, seemingly at the hands of Spider-Man, Harry Osborn took up the mantle of the New Green Goblin. He battled Spider-Man countless times - not knowing he was trying to kill his best friend Peter Parker until amnesia wiped his memories and they reconciled. The second comic version of the Green Goblin saw only slight changes to the outfit worn by his father. The green color, while "scalier", remained but the purple clothing was replaced with a darker, more midnight-blue color. However, in the film they went in a completely different direction. His glider was replaced with a snowboard-inspired hoverboard and  his entire outfit was made to look like a member of a S.W.A.T. team. As if those changes weren't bad enough, they decided to give him a ridiculously inept mask that didn't even cover his head for protection while flying. We wish we too had amnesia, so we wouldn't have to remember this costume.

Bullseye - 'Daredevil'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Bullseye (Daredevil) The marksman known as Bullseye is one of Daredevil's deadliest foes. He has no real "super powers" but has the uncanny ability to almost never miss a target. Most costumes look better on paper than they ever could onscreen, so Bullseye's dark blue skintight outfit with white gloves would look plain silly in a film with a more serious tone; however, changing him into an Irish metalhead wearing a snakeskin trench coat wasn't the right way to go, either. The bullseye tattoo branding on his forehead was supposed to make him appear cool and intimidating, but it just looks like a weird Botox mistake. This costume misses the mark by a mile.

Blackheart - 'Ghost Rider'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Blackheart (Ghost Rider) Blackheart is the "son" of Mephisto. He is an all-powerful demon with supernatural powers such as super intelligence, speed, strength and telekinesis. He also has control of the armies of Hell and possesses no soul, which makes him a dangerous enemy for Ghost Rider. In the comics, Blackheart stays mostly in his demon form with large black quills on his head, piercing soulless red eyes and a huge, muscular body. Because he can shape change, he occasionally turns into a human form. The movie version of Blackheart stays human most of the time and only changes to a demonic appearance a few times,  but never truly reaches his awesome potential. Instead, the filmmakers opted to go with the generic (read: lame) all-black European clubber look. In their defense, most of the SFX CG budget was used to give Nicholas Cage hair as Johnny Blaze (ZING!).

Cobra Commander - 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA) Cobra Commander is the leader of the terrorist organization COBRA and is widely considered to be the most ruthless, dangerous man in the world. He kidnaps the world's top scientists and researchers, forcing them to give up their secrets in order to aid his goal of world domination. Cobra Commander is severely disfigured and hides his face behind either a chromed, flat-front battle helmet or a simple hood in the comics. For 95% of the movie version he isn't even known as Cobra Commander, instead going by the name "The Doctor" and wearing a custom respirator and eye piece.  At the end of the film, he is given an "upgrade" to a full clear plastic facemask with, what we assume are air holes. Whatever they're called, it looks ridiculous and nothing like the great comic book version. On the plus side, it appears they may have nailed the appearance of Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe Retaliation.

The 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Worst Super Villains Movie Costumes - Juggernaut Those are our picks for the 15 Worst Movie Super Villain Costumes but there are plenty of super villain costumes we didn't mention that look absolutely ridiculous onscreen and nothing like their comic book versions - Callisto from X-Men: The Last Stand comes to mind. Are there any other super villain costumes that you would add to this list? Be sure to check out our Best and Worst Super Hero Movie Costumes as well. Follow me on Twitter - @MoviePaul.
TAGS: batman, blade, daredevil, ghost rider, gi joe, spider-man, teenage mutant ninja turtles, the punisher, x-men

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  1. Fun list to read, though I do think that a lot of these can be chalked up to just being stupid designs in the comics, i.e. The Russian, Green goblin(although I actually liked Raimi’s version), the Riddler, Bane. But you did make the point that even when liberties are taken they can still suck like New Goblin or Bullseye.

    Agreed with about half the list but that’s not the point, always fun to read lists.

  2. Pretty much agree witht the list except for the first Green Goblin and Bullseye. They looked pretty good and realistic enough.

    • I liked Bullseye to an extent, it’s just the stupid bullseye thing on his forehead that really killed any sense of dread or intimidation he could’ve brought to the table.

      The thing also is that it’s easy to say “here’s the villain, you can tell because he’s pierced, wears leather and listens to heavy metal”. It’s cliche and boring and done to death which makes it as bad as the original comic book outfit in my view.

  3. C’mon, Spider-Man 1 Green Goblin was a wicked costume. Besides that I pretty much agree with everything on this list. I was thinking Ozymandias should be on here. I did’nt much care for his costume in Watchmen. Reminded me of Batman and Robin.

  4. Hate All You Want But I Harry Osborn Costume Was The Best Thing In Spider-man 3

    • Excuse Me I Meant I Think

  5. I know a villain that had a horrible costume. He was on the Green Hornet movie his name was Benjamin Chudnofsky. I know you already made the list of villains but I think this guy should be listed too.

  6. ADI’s first attempt for the Green Goblin was a true representation of his comic appearance. It was very surreal and borderline scary. Raimi probably asked for a different direction for mass appeal.

    • to me the ADI mask looked like very good cosplay,way to silly and fake looking for a summer blockbuster

      also i think the OFFICIAL reason he changed it was because it was to impractical to work and Defoe was uncomfortable wearing it .

  7. bullseye, new goblin and cobra commander are the only ones that look garbage imo. i8 think what they tried to do is make the costumes believable and in some cases true ot the comic so that comic fans would be able to recognize the character (like the russian in punisher).

  8. Well, yeah. You can list anything from the second two Batman movies as horrible designs.

    Plus, GI Joe made Snake Eyes look stupid by putting a mouth on his mask.

  9. Say what you will about the Goblin suit, but I loved the helmet/mask. I thought it looked really badass. And the second Goblin suit I thought was perfect. It looked cool, and it had nothing to do with looking like a “Goblin”, Harty wasn’t nearly as crazy as Norman was. I thought Harry’s suit (in the movies) actually looked better than the first Goblin suit (except for the mask). But, that’s just me.

    I thought Juggernaut was fine. I never saw the comic costume translating well to screen anyways.

    I thought Sabertooth was pretty badass in X-Men Origins. Ok, the X-Men 1 look was much closer to the comics, but I didn’t think it turned out very good.

    That being said, still a fair list. I pretty much agree with everything else.

    • @ Robert

      I thought Juggernaut was fine aswell. Like Green Goblin, some villain costumes may not translate well onto film.

  10. Some of the outfits were pretty bad in the movies.. Almost all of the outfits were bad in the comics. Sabretooth in origins is a hell of a lot more intimidating than Fabio in spandex and a hell of a lot more believable than the first x-men

  11. I think The Russian and Shredder are just fine. The rest are terrible however. nIf youre making a best of list then Doc Ock has to be on it, they nailed that costume and Alfred Molina was PERFECT in the role. He was to Doc Ock what JK Simmons was to J Jonah Jameson.

  12. Hey jack, buddy, this isn’t youtube. We talk like adults here.

    • I got two for you.

      I’ll swap a Sabertooth from XO Wolverine and a Spider-Man Green Goblin for.,.

      Red Skull in Captain America (1991)
      Jigsaw in Punisher War Zone

  13. Did anyone notice that a third of the list was from the Schumacher batman films. Joel Schumacher (a gay man), totally “gayed” up batman. And let’s face it, batman has enough gay undertones in it’s history already. It was obvious from Jim Carey’s performance, the loin cloth wearing muscular statues all of the city, the nipples and accentuated buttcheeks on the bat suits, and the ice skating battle, that the director was living out his playgirl fantasy. It reminded me of how Satan from South Park would probably have made a batman movie! LOL

    • To be fair, Jim Carrey did a good job with what he was told to do: a Frank Gorshin esque Riddler.

      • Jim Carey was great. I was just saying how gay he was. I mean, look at his mannerisms and the way he hung all over two-face.

    • Wow, theres more homophobia in this comment then you would find at a republican party :D

      • I knew that that word would come up sooner or later after my comments! LOL No hating, just ranting.

    • @joe spiegle:

      Are you serious? Besides the fact that it is incredibly offensive to homosexual people, it’s not even a good argument. Joel Schumacher has made plenty of movies that he didn’t “gay up”. Ever see Phone Booth? Colin Farrell was sleeping with 2 women in that movie. Also, did you know Bryan Singer is gay? So is Ian Mckellen. When they teamed up for X-Men, I bet you thought that Magneto would be sitting in a chair with nothing but a loincloth. Because that’s what gay people do. They can’t be defined by anything but their sexuality. Seriously, get a life, man.

      • @ Ezra and Joe Speigle

        I agree that this is not a good argument and that Joe Speigle is very rude but how does this help your cause? This is a discussion about movies not homosexuality. I am a Republican and Christian and although I am against homosexuality I do not treat them any different than I would myself. When will people learn that they too are hypocritical because you are doing the exact same thing he is doing. Please if you wish to talk about this than do it where you are both able to do so without rudeness or punishment.

        • @Writer:

          Fair enough. But for the record, I wasn’t really arguing about the morality of the issue. I was arguing that filmmakers and artists shouldn’t be defined 100% by their sexuality. But anyways, let’s get back to the movies.

          • Wouldn’t gay people be offended if someone who was straight, went and made a film that was based on homosexual tones and turned it into hetero tones instead? Don’t turn my comments into something malicious. It was an observation, not a gay bash.

      • I didn’t mention his other films, just batman forever and batman&robin. Did I say all of his films? No. Did I say that all gay filmakers exploit their sexuality on film? No.Go back and watch those films and tell me I’m wrong afterward. I love Schumacher films and Sir Ian Mckellen is one of my favorite actors. Oh wow! I’m justifying myself to oversensitive people that straight people can never acknowledge that someone is

        • (Error) : /

    • now i don’t think that’s really fair Schumacher explained in his interviews that the batsuits were designed with greek statues in mind (with actual greek-acsque statues in the city)and every thing else in those films just looks campy (which is my main problem with this list BTW,everything in the Schumacher films is SUPPOSE to look gaudy,cheesy and lame,thus it is a waste of time complainging about it on this list)

  14. Bullseye wasn’t bad.

  15. “How do you make Uma Thurman look terrible?”

    By doing nothing. I’ve never really found her terrible attractive unless she was looking at a certain angle or the light was hitting her the right way.

    • Agreed!

  16. You seem to contradict yourself. With the Green Goblin costume, you complain that they didn’t stick to the original costume design in the comics and opted for a somewhat more realistic (loosely termed) look. Then you complain about The Russian and the fact that he DOES look exactly like he did in the comics (height notwithstanding).

    Furthermore, You can find test footage that Sam Raimi did where they were going to go with the original Green Goblin look, using a combination of animatronics and state-of-the-art makeup. However, as you can plainly see in the footage it looks utterly ridiculous, hence Sam’s reason for going with the costume you seen in the film. Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/2fXAGC_B2Ys

    However, I will have to say you NAILED IT on the #1 choice. Growing up in the ’80s, I was a big G.I. Joe fan (amongst others) and I was mortified when I saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Not just mortified by the movie itself (which turned to ripping off James Bond video games) but I was disgusted with the bizarre and terrible mask Cobra Commander wore!

    • I’m sorry, that green goblin animatronic thing looks freakin’ AWESOME.

      Scary as hell.

  17. Most of these customs were pretty good except for New Green Goblin & Cobra Commander (terrible customs)… what was wrong with the Riddlers outfit I thought it was legit

  18. I think another super villain I would have added would be the Penguin. Athough, it was good for the story line they established… It made me really angry to see him end up being just plain creepy and weirdo. Tim Burton is just a little to extravagent for super hero movies, in my opinion…

  19. Nice list to read. I had always hated the Dracula in Blade Trinity. He never looked like what Dracula should look like. I had always imagined Dracula to be something similar to the face of Uber-Morlock (The Time Machine) or better like how “Raj Comics” created him in Dracula comic series. This Blade Trinity ruined all my imaginations :(

  20. The Green Goblin does not belong on that list. Nor does Mr Freeze.

    The rest were crap.

  21. The Shredder from the movie really looked like a metal tin can or tin head! LOL

    • i think shredder looked that way in the comics & tv shows aswell.

  22. Love the list. I think all of Shumacher’s villains made the list though lol. That was a little much. Could’ve saved room for others. Some things that I might want to add… not sure if it counts as CBM related but you did add GI: Joe? My suggestions would be Shadow Master from Double Dragon or King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.

  23. I liked the first Green Goblin, I think that was done pretty well. The rest I agree with. And I liked The Riddler, the way Carrey played him, it gave me the feeling that he was looking deliberately ridiculous. I think it looked fine.

    Is there a best super villain costumes list too? I would like one :D

  24. So what I have learned from this list is:
    if you are not true to the original comic costume = you fail (Cobra Commander, Blackheart, Bullseye, New Green Goblin, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Juggernaut, Sabertooth, The Shredder, Green Goblin),
    but
    if you actually recreate the original comic costume = you still fail (The Riddler, Bane, Two-Face, The Russian).

    Make up your mind internet!

  25. 9 of 15… That was all David S. Goyer, the same guy who wrote (and produced) the second Ghost Rider, turned Batman into a cane carrying hermit and is making Superman “as if it were real”. He also wrote Blade: The Series which in itself says he doesn’t care much for Marvel Comics characters.

  26. Green Goblin was fine. I’ve seen the footage of the moving mask, but I think they made the right call not using it. The problem would have been too much expression on Goblins face and NONE on Spider-man’s.

  27. How is Deadpool not on this list?

  28. What about Whiplash? The costume wasn’t terrible, per se, but I still prefer the comic version.

  29. Honestly looking back at Batman & Robin Iam very disappointed. My friend and I actually argued about banes costume in the movie, He said it is true to the comics but I never remembered bane wearing a spiked collar and spiked metal cup in the comics. I personally find the movie horrible all together, Everything from bat nipples and banes spikes/speech impediments to the ice skating. It was honestly just horrible. The other costumes some i agree are bad and some I like.

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