Around here, we’re always talking up the positives of geeks. It’s a natural thing because that’s who we are. And while we always want to root for the geek heroes in books and movies, we have to acknowledge there are some bad apples out there. Here are 10 villainous geeks from the movies.
10. Kent (Real Genius)
Not truly evil, Kent is just malicious and clueless, so he’s easily manipulated by the movie’s real villain, Dr. Jerry Hathaway.
Geek Cred: Builds an advanced tracking system capable of targeting a human being from space.
Villain Cred: Sabotaged the heroe’s efforts, including blowing up Chris Knight’s laser.
Quote: “You won’t get away with this. Dr. Hathaway’s gonna hear all about this. You’ll rue the day!”
9. Theo (Die Hard)
Mercenary nerd, serving as a combination hacker-safecracker. One thing’s for sure, he can’t take a lick — Argyle the chauffeur takes him out with one punch.
Geek Cred: Cracked the multilayer security protecting Nakatomi’s vault.
Villain Cred: Too nerdy to kill, but happy to be an accessory to murder.
Quote: “All right, listen up guys. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except … the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.”
8. Boris Grishenko (Goldeneye)
Rogue coder with a juvenile sense of humor. Like a lot of nerds on this list, he’s pretty much ready to do anything that involves a big payday.
Geek Cred: Satellite hacking, stymieing the FBI.
Villain Cred: Sets up his coworkers to get massacred, helps a criminal steal a satellite weapon.
Quote: “Better luck next time … slugheads!”
7. Dr. Zachary Smith (Lost in Space)
Forget the inept baddy of the family-friendly ’60s TV show. The Zachary Smith of the 1998 feature-length flick is murderous and cunning.
Geek Cred: A doctor of medicine and expert in psychology and cybernetics.
Villain Cred: Sabotaged the Jupiter 2 for money.
Quote: “Let me tell you a lesson about life, kid. There are monsters everywhere…. I know, I am one.”
6. The Plague (Hackers)
Greedy hacker who enjoys manipulating others. While respectful of other hackers, he doesn’t hesitate to use them to further his ends.
Geek Cred: Breaks into the NCIC database to blackmail the hero.
Villain Cred: Sets up lovable teen hackers to take the fall for his destructive schemes.
Quote: “Kid, don’t threaten me. There are worse things than death, and I can do all of them.”
5. Eric Knox (Charie’s Angels)
Comes across as a lovable nerd, until he double-crosses the Angels and tries to eliminate them.
Geek Cred: Expert programmer who figures out how to track down anyone’s location by the sound of their voice.
Villain Cred: Set up the Angels to get to their boss Charlie.
Quote: “You know they say that in death all life’s questions are answered. Will you let me know?”
4. Syndrome (The Incredibles)
Ever since he was an eager young lad “from the fan club,” Buddy wanted to be a superhero. When Mr. Incredible dissed him, it was time for revenge.
Geek Cred: Expert robot maker and inventor.
Villain Cred: Killed off most of the real superheroes so he could be a fake one.
Quote: “See? Now you respect me, because I’m a threat. That’s the way it works. Turns out there are lots of people, whole countries, that want respect, and will pay through the nose to get it. How do you think I got rich? I invented weapons, and now I have a weapon that only I can defeat, and when I unleash it….”
3. Pollux Troy (Face/Off)
Kid brother of an arch-terrorist, Pollux is the brains of the organization — at least where it pertains to technical matters. So socially disfunctional he needs his brother to tie his shoes.
Geek Cred: Designed a biological weapon capable of taking out Los Angeles.
Villain Cred: Designed a biological weapon capable of taking out Los Angeles.
Quote: “Seeing that face on you makes me afraid my tiramisu might come back up.”
2. Cosmo (Sneakers)
As an idealistic young hacker, Cosmo got busted stealing money from Nixon’s bank account. In prison, he showed some wise guys how to make free phone calls. He’s been “a friend of ours” ever since.
Geek Cred: Expert computer programmer.
Villain Cred: Wants to collapse economies and send whole nations into ruin.
Quote: “There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think … it’s all about the information!”
1. Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Blade Runner)
What? you say — how can Tyrell be a villain? Because he got rich making slaves, dude.
Geek Cred: Designed a brain from the ground up.
Villain Cred: Created a race of sentients and enslaved them.
Quote: “We began to recognize in them a strange obsession. After all, they are emotionally inexperienced, with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gift them with a past, we create a cushion or a pillow for their emotions, and consequently, we can control them better.”
[Note: this post originally ran in 2009.]