Here we are, after a grueling month of baddie on baddie action: the finals of the Best Film Villains tournament. There were plenty of shockers along the way, plenty of blowouts, plenty of bloodshed. All but two have fallen, and regardless of whether you or we personally agree with the final matchup, there's not a ton of room for argument. Neither finalist's path was easy, and we don't expect this week full of voting to be easy either. It's pretty simple at this point. Pick your favorite movie villain of these two and the winner shall be the ultimate in movie villainy.
You have a full week to vote for your favorite villains as we take our final to crowning the ultimate film baddie.
The voting process will be laid out as follows:
Round 1: Monday, October 3 - Wednesday, October 5
View First Round Results
Round 2: Thursday, October 6 - Sunday, October 9
View Second Round Results
Sweet 16: Monday, October 10 - Wednesday, October 12
View Sweet Sixteen Results
Elite 8: Thursday, October 13 - Sunday, October 16
View Elite Eight Results
Final Four: Monday, October 17 - Sunday, October 23
View Final Four Results
Finals: Monday, October 24 - Sunday, October 30
Read below to pick your champion, and make sure to enter your email address in the matchup in order to be entered into a random drawing for a $50 Fandango gift card. You may vote as many times as you'd like, but your email will only be entered once per day. This means that over the course of the full tournament's 27 days, your email could be entered 27 times to win!
Now that we're actually at this point, it all seems kind of like we should have just done this matchup from the beginning and saved ourselves a lot of work. While Vader wasn't our overall #2 seed, he was the overall #3 in this competition, so his making it to the final is wholly unsurprising, and we had Joker rightly pegged as the overall #1, so essentially these guys just took care of business rather than doing anything surprising or impressive. The unexpected winners have long since perished (by these two villains' hands, no less), and we're left with what now seems should have been pretty obvious from the start.
On paper, there probably couldn't be a closer matchup, either.
As for cultural relevance, they are both in the upper tier of villains that are both household names and immediately recognizable faces (or helmet, in Vader's case), so that aspect of the matchup is kind of a wash. It's the other areas where things actually get interesting.
On the one hand, you've got Vader, who is really the ultimate example in redemption for a villain. His tale over the course of six Star Wars films from innocence to corruption to forgiveness is a very neat package but leaves him on the wrong side of the evil coin. Where Vader excels is the sheer volume of evil he was able to pull off in his short stint on the Dark Side, destroying planets, donning all black badass gear, Force choking friends and foes alike, looking like a roasted marshmallow, the list goes on and on.
Inversely, Joker's story as told by Heath Ledger's portrayal in The Dark Knight is a story of pure, joyful evil. Never distilled, never watered-down by lame ass redemption or "good," just blissful destruction. Some people just want to watch the world burn and all that. It's important to note, however, that he just wanted to watch one world burn while Vader caused (and watched) many burn. We have to assume that Joker, had he the resources, would love to explode other planets too though, so we're really back at square one.
It's a tough choice, but one that must be made.