I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the plight of the gingers in film history has taken a turn for the worse recently with an increase in red-haired villains on the big screen.
But what is it about ginger hair that makes these redheads such great baddies? Are freckles the mark of a man likely to kidnap your family? Does an intolerance to sun really inspire you to take over the world? We take a look at the top ten ginger villains on film and TV.
10. Van Pelt, Jumanji
Finding yourself trapped playing a boardgame with a grown man wearing a loincloth is terrifying enough for any child. But in Jumanji, the two Shepherd children find themselves hunted down by Van Pelt – a man whose idea of ‘big game hunting’ is essentially chasing two unarmed children around with a large rifle and giant ginger moustache.
9. Big Red, Bring It On
She may be the queen of all things cheerleader-ish, but Big Red is a mean piece of work. She’s a thief too, unfairly stealing other school’s cheer routines in order to win national competitions. Naughty, naughty.
8. Poison Ivy, Batman and Robin
This redheaded rogue proved to be one of Batman and Robin’s deadliest villains, using her poisoned kiss to command men to do her bidding. While that’s a handy trick for any female to have in her arsenal, Poison Ivy’s plans are foiled by Robin wearing rubber lips so he is literally “immune from her charms”. So essentially, she could be beaten by anyone wearing braces, a helmet, or someone wearing too much lipgloss.
7. Little My, The Moomins
Sure, she may look sweet and innocent. But this dinky flame-haired package has evil on the brain. Little My often chooses to terrorise the kingdom with her wicked ways. It’s like her red hair is a beacon to warn all the Moomins that danger is looming.
6. Kazuo Kiriyama, Battle Royale
In a group of school children who are forced to kill each other off in exchange for their own lives, it’s fairly difficult to distinguish who is the real villain. Unless of course you single him out with bright ginger hair and a samurai sword.
5. Leprechaun, Leprechaun 1-5
In total, there were six films made in the Leprechaun franchise, with each more ridiculous than the last. The crowning moment of ludicrousness being in Leprechaun 4: In Space, the plot of which includes lightsabers, cross-dressing, scorpions, and the leprechaun emerging from a space marines penis before killing him. Weird.
4. Dana Barrett, Ghostbusters
While not your typical villain, Sigourney Weaver’s character in Ghostbusters is as sexy as she is mental and possessed. Any demon who can bed Rick Moranis and unleash a near unstoppable force shaped made entirely out of marshmallow, deserves pride of place on any list of villainy.
3. Chuckie, Child’s Play 1-2
As most criminals do when trying to escape from police, Charles Lee Ray buries his soul inside in doll. A doll whose bright red hair and dungarees were creepy enough without a mass murderer trapped inside. Cue absolute terror.
The only ginger villain throughout the James Bond series (so far, anyway), the egg-shaped Goldfinger also featured in the top 40 Best AFI villains of all time. By far his greatest moment, and what sets him apart from other villains in our list, is his sadistic tendency to not only tell the entirety of his evil plans while Bond is strapped to a table about to be cut in half with a laser, but to cut him in half from the crotch upwards.
1. Syndrome, The Incredibles
By a long margin, Syndrome from The Incredibles is the most likeable and yet sadistic of the ginger villains. Having been shunned by his hero as a child, Syndrome plots to wipe out the entire ‘superhero’ population so that everyone can be normal. And he does a fantastic job of it, too.
This is a man whose only talent is MASSIVE GINGER HAIR. His list of evil deeds is endless; wiping out over 90% of the superheroes in the world; capturing Mr. Incredible; making Mr. Incredible nearly cheat on his wife; making Mr. Incredible watch as he tries to blow up his family. And the reason for all of this? He just wants to be liked.