Everybody loves a bad guy. But to be honest, there’s something about the evil genius of a great lady villain that we love (to hate) even more. Lurking beneath her poised facade is an eerie ability to scare our socks off when we least expect it. In fact, the more polished and fabulous her exterior, the scarier it is when she loses her cool and bares her claws.
Brace yourself: These ladies are as mad as hell ... and as cold as ice.
Day Job: Movie Star; Original Helicopter Parent
Expertise: secretly terrorizing her own children
Let’s state the obvious: Faye Dunaway's chilling portrayal of Joan Crawford is one of the more viscerally upsetting things to ever grace the silver screen. In this classic biopic, fans learned that behind Crawford’s picture-perfect public persona lurked a menacing and abusive temper. But if there’s one maternal lesson we can take from Mommie Dearest, it's that there should be no wire hangers...ever!
Day Job: District 12 Escort; Fashion Icon
Expertise: reapings; making sure the odds are ever in your favor (not really)
Effie's cheery demeanor is especially scary when you remember that she's chosen a career in...well, basically sentencing impoverished children to certain, violent death. But we have to admit, this glorified executioner rocks some pretty incredible outfits.
homewrecking, indiscreet stalking, explosive jealousy, rabbit stew
going to be ignored, Dan. And, trust us, she means it. Glenn Close takes us on a spine-chilling roller coaster ride of pure, unadulterated crazy in her turn as a sexy seductress gone rogue in this psychological thriller.
Day Job: Nurse; Avid Reader
Expertise: kidnapping, incapacitating captives
One of Stephen King’s spookiest villains, Annie Wilkes’ cruel antics were artfully sugarcoated by her homemaker image. But don’t be fooled: Kathy Bates' Annie is one lady you don’t want to mess with.
Day Job: Assassin, Head of Tokyo Yakuza
Expertise: swordsmanship, dramatic and violent revenge
Lucy Liu's portrayal of this butt-kicking beauty in the Quentin Tarantino classic clearly proves looks can be deceiving. One might say that the decapitated heads speak for themselves. (Pun intended.)
Day Job: Head Administrative Nurse, Oregon State Hospital
Expertise: psychological manipulation, torture, ruling with an iron fist
She may be a nurse, but don’t expect any smiley-faced bandages from Ms. Mildred Ratched. Terrorizing the patients in her psych ward with vicious efficiency, Nurse Ratched is evil epitomized.
Day Job: Head of Couture Fashion House; Fur Enthusiast
Expertise: um...harvesting puppies for coats?
Yup, Glenn Close does it again! And we know what you’re thinking: it’s a kid’s movie, so how scary can it be? But this modern remake of the animated Disney classic had fans of all ages ducking for cover, thanks to the to cold-blooded, dalmatian-hungry Cruella de Vil. Ms. Close's reimagined Cruella is more expensively styled than the cartoon original -- and ultimately, far more petrifying.
Day Job: High School Student
Expertise: telekinesis, fiery revenge
Who knew prom could be so deadly? There’s something about an unanticipated bath in pig's blood that can turn a helpless victim into a vicious villain. And when it all went up in flames, we were never again able to look at Sissy Spacek in quite the same way.
Day Job: Editor in Chief of Runway Magazine
Expertise: fashion, being super mean
And you thought your boss was demanding. In the Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep brought the art of mean to glamorous new heights. Listen, we're pretty sure she's never murdered a puppy or anything. But if looks could kill, Miranda's caustic wit and ice-cold insults would be excellent ammunition.