US humorist and novelist Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Some movie villains’ wardrobes are so hilariously atrocious that they might have been better off naked. Those fashion-impaired baddies are the focus of our list.
We’ve only selected characters from movies that had major theatrical releases, which excludes made-for-TV or direct-to-video films (with one special mention exception). Also, there are no comic book villains on this list, as that topic could generate its own list.
Continue on for our 15 Worst Dressed Bad Guys in Movies, in order of “not-so-bad” to “laughably horrible.”
Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) was a minor character in The Big Lebowski and only had a small amount of screen time. That didn’t stop him from catching everyone’s attention in his ridiculous purple jumpsuit during “The Dude’s” bowling league’s semifinal competition.
Barney the Dinosaur, Grimace, and the grapes from the Fruit of the Loom logo are pretty much the only people who can wear purple well – Quintana needs to try mixing in something different into his fashion options.
When C.S. Lewis envisioned the White Witch (Tilda Swinton) in his classic novel The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, she probably wasn’t dressed in a faux lion’s mane, wearing blonde hair extensions adorned with a golden “twig” headpiece.
Granted, this is supposed to be her menacing “battle outfit” and not her everyday regal attire, but she ends up looking more like a cross between a white guy with dreads and one of those Polynesian fire-dancers at the Holiday Inn in Daytona Beach.
Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) looked like a stereotypical serial killer as the “Lakeshore Strangler” in Child’s Play – that is, until he used a voodoo curse to transfer his soul from his dying body in a last ditch attempt to stay alive.
Unfortunately, he stumbled into a toy store filled with dolls and not a Army/Navy Surplus store with heavily armed mannequins.
The Good Guy doll was the horror version of the popular My Buddy doll in the ’80s, and while it makes a great toy for kids, it does not make a great outfit for a bad guy. Sure, people in the movie screamed and ran when they saw him, but only because he was in denim overalls and had horrible hair. In real life, they would probably just taunt him.
In the Star Trek universe, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban) is one of the most cunning and intelligent foes Captain Kirk has ever faced. It’s too bad Khan didn’t put as much effort into his wardrobe as he did at being villainous, though.
Sporting a long white space mullet and an open-chest jacket (apparently made of corduroy), Khan looks more like an intergalactic redneck having a mid-life crisis than a genetically engineered tyrant hell-bent on exacting revenge of his arch-nemesis, Captain Kirk.
The killer who can’t die, Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) already looked slightly ridiculous wearing torn up clothes and a hockey mask, but Uber-Jason took ridiculous to a whole new level in Jason X.
After a medical station in the year 2455 brings him back to life as a cyborg, Jason (now known as Uber-Jason) is part metal, part leather and all stupid. The most ridiculous part of this outfit is his form-fitting metal hockey mask, which wraps around his deformed head like a face-hugger from Alien.
Demolition Man‘s Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) is a cold-blooded killer whose only goal in life is to cause havoc wherever he goes. He is very much an expert in terror and chaos – too bad he isn’t an expert on how to dress the part.
Wrist bands, jean overalls, orange tank -top and horrific blonde hair – if his career as a homicidal maniac doesn’t take off, Phoenix could always be a member of a ’90s boy band instead.
People in the fashion industry always dress odd (relatively speaking), so it comes as no surprise to see Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell) from Zoolander is on this list. Fashion mogul Mugatu changes into horrendous outfits constantly, but this one is by far his worst.
The shape of his hair and goatee make him look like the Greek god Pan, while his over-sized collar could be used as a neck brace after a car accident. That ugly gray sweater and black corset aren’t doing him any favors, either. He does get bonus points for dressing his dog to match, though.
Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder) does a lot of evil things as Dr. Kananga’s henchman in Live and Let Die – including wearing white after Labor Day.
Maybe wearing a white top hat and a purple satin-lined tuxedo jacket is a part of some outlying sect of the voodoo community that we are unaware of, but instead of looking intimidating he just looks silly. Dressed like this, he should be coming down the aisles to his own theme music at a WWE event, instead of performing voodoo rituals on Bond girls.
It really isn’t Terl’s (John Travolta) fault he looks and dresses awful in Battlefield Earth – that’s just how his alien race the Psychlos look all the time. That doesn’t mean we are going to cut him any slack for it, though.
He looks like an unwashed, alien version of Adam Durtiz from The Counting Crows covered in riot gear – and that is NOT a compliment.
King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) commands 10,000 highly-trained guards called the Immortals and rules the massive and mighty Persian Empire in 300 – but yet he can’t find a good tailor anywhere?
Just because Xerxes thinks he’s a “god-king” doesn’t give him the authority to dress in chains and a golden cod-piece. Nothing about this outfit works on any level, and instead of being fierce and intimidating, it’s just plain silly.
Set in a futuristic London, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his “droogs” (Pete, Georgie, and Dim) were always looking for a bit of ultra-violence and some milk – too bad they weren’t also looking for a good tailor.
Walking around in long-John underwear, military boots, bowler hats and, what appears to be a sumo wrestler’s mawashi, this gang of hoodlums look more like they are in dire need of a handout, rather than a a ruthless group of rapists and murderers.
Karl the “Street Preacher” (Dolph Lundgren) is a ruthless assassin sent by the Takahashi Corporation to kill Johnny Mnemonic (Keanu Reeves) and bring back his head.
Usually assassins are supposed to look like menacing, cold-blooded killers – not third-rate shepherds from a small southern church’s Nativity scene. Someone needs to use that hook to drag Karl to a Macy’s, and let him buy some real clothes (and get a haircut).
Apparently in the future, people of all backgrounds forget how to dress themselves fashionably, and arms dealer Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) is no exception.
His wardrobe isn’t that bad, but very few people can pull off wearing a soul patch – and no one ever gets away with the comb-over. The one thing he wears that makes absolutely no sense is the large, clear plastic forehead covering. If that is supposed to be part of a hidden toupee to cover his bald head, then maybe he should talk to Burt Reynolds, because he’s doing it wrong.
The Humungus (Kjell Nilsson) and his band of murderous bikers are probably not who you want to see if you’re travelling through the barren wasteland of post-apocalyptic Australia.
Dressed in leather bondage gear, spiked bracelets that Billy the Exterminator would envy, and a metal hockey mask similar to Uber-Jason, Humungus would be a challenge even for fashion and personal grooming experts Kyan Douglas and Carson Kressley.
I know gas is in short supply in the future, but apparently, so are soap and water.
Mercenary Bennett (Vernon Wells) is Arius’ (Dan Hedaya) villainous right-hand man, who is concerned with nothing but killing John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in front of his daughter. What he should be more concerned about is finding a J.C. Penny’s or a Marshall’s to update his wardrobe.
Even though he gets points for the awesome “porn-stache,” that isn’t enough to overcome the finger-less gloves, bodybuilding-style sleeveless tank-top, and the not-so-manly mesh tank-top draped over it. I’m surprised someone didn’t ridicule him to death long before Matrix killed him.
Velvet Von Ragner (Gene Simmons) is an evil hermaphrodite who kills Lance Stargrove’s (John Stamos) father in the ’80s B-movie, Never Too Young to Die. Velvet is also the only person from a non-theatrical release to make it onto our list – and from his picture, I’m sure you can see why.
Apparently Velvet gets his/her fashion inspiration from old Cher music videos, pictures of Elvira, and even members of Kiss. I’m not sure which part is worse – the silver stars on his/her nipples, or the leather-studded cod piece. Regardless, this outfit looks more like a rejected costume from the Rocky Horror Picture Show than something an evil bad guy should be wearing.
That does it for our list of 15 of the Worst Dressed Bad Guys in Movies – but with hundreds of bad guys to choose from, this list is far from exhaustive.
Who would you add to this list – or maybe there is someone on our list that you think doesn’t deserve to be there?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section or tweet me – @MoviePaul – and tell me which bad guy you think made the biggest fashion faux pas.