Motion pictures tend to stick to a formula that’s pretty tried and true. You’ve generally got some sort of plot, a good guy, a bad guy and a girl. You then tie all of them up in either an action or drama sequence and POOF… instant movie. We here at Ridelust.com obviously love automobiles, so what we’ve done here is compile a list of 10 of the best automotive based villains that we could think of whose cars are essential to their character and the plot of the film. I am absolutely sure there are some we left out and for that I apologize, but hey, we do our best. So, with that being said, if you have any favorites that you don’t see here make sure you chime in in the comment section and let us know so we can add them to the list.
1. The Lord Humungus – Kjell Nilsson: The Road Warrior
Nobody really knows where The Lord Humungus came from and or how he rose to power amongst the lost souls that lived in the post apocalyptic wasteland that the Road Warrior was set in. What we do know was that he was feared by all partly because of his bodybuilder size, but more importantly because of what lay beneath that hockey mask of his. Some speculate that The Lord Humungus was savagely burned, others think that he was disfigured due to a hideous car wreck. Whatever his story though, The Lord Humungus gets our top spot in the halls of automotive villainy.
2. Stunt Man Mike – Kurt Russel: Death Proof
Stuntman Mike is old school. He’s the guy who was doing stunts in real car chase flicks like Vanishing Point and the French Connection. He’s a relic in today’s world of CGI trickery and thinks that computers are for pussies. Stuntman Mike is one thing that most others in the business are not, he’s a stone cold psychopath who kills simply for the hell of it.
3. Arnie Cunningham – Keith Gordon: Christine
Poor Arnie Cunningham. This poor kid was picked on and degraded so much in High School that his peers actually turned him into a complete nut-ball. Well, his peers and the 1957 Plymouth Fury that he purchased from some old Dude that wore a girdle. Christine brought out the worst in Arnie and together they developed a need for killing at speed.
4. Phoenix – Laz Alonso: Fast & Furious
Phoenix was Vin Diesels nemesis in the last installment of the Fast and the Furious series. He was big and dumb as a stump, but he followed orders and had no problem killing those that stood in his way. His ride was a nitro-methane fueled 1971 Ford Gran Torino that looked the business and helped Phoenix do his behind-the-wheel dirty work.
5. Russ Wheeler – Cary Elwes: Days of Thunder
This guy was such a dick in the flick Days of Thunder. From his cocky attitude, to his driving ability, to the fact that he would screw over a buddy to get ahead, Russ Wheeler was a shining example of how to be an asshole without even trying. Sure he was good behind the wheel of a Nascar, but at days end the entire theater loved it when this guy got his ass handed to him by Cole Trickle in the films final race.
6. Chick Hicks – Michael Keaton: Cars
What we have here is a race car with a chip on his shoulder. Chick Hicks has been racing for a long time and is a veteran of the sport. He’s sponsored, but not by the big guys and instead of relying on skill and talent, he simply relies on dirty tricks and others misfortune. In his mind he’s a champion, but to all those around him he’s simply a scumbag whose looking to hang onto what’s left of his career.
7. Buford T. Justice – Jackie Gleason: Smokey and the Bandit
This was a tough one because at the end of the day Buford T. Justice was not a bad guy, he was simply a goofball Sheriff who was doing his job. The problem was that he was chasing the Bandit, and since it was more fun to root for Burt Reynolds and the black Trans Am, that meant that poor old Buford gets dumped in the category of villain. Sorry Sheriff but that’s just the way it is.
8. Bill – Bill Hickman: Bullitt
Everyone on this site is familiar with the chase scene from the movie Bullitt. However, are you familiar with the films true villain, Bill Hickman. Hickman drives the black ’68 Charger in the films iconic chase scene and is the definition of what a hit man should look like. He’s calm and composed, donning a black suit and tie with horned-rimmed glasses. Never once does he utter a single word, in fact the most we get is a sly smirk from Hickman when he sees Steve McQueen spiral his Mustang into the dirt. Otherwise it’s all business for Hickman… all business.
9. Hank – Eugene Daniels: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
This is what happens when you have someone who is pumped up with far to much adrenaline. On this list you’ll notice that there are quite a few police officers listed amongst our group of villains. Yes, they are on the right side of the law, but sometimes it has to do with how they go about enforcing it that puts them in the bad guy category. Hank is a sheriffs deputy who pilots a massive Dodge Polara as he tries to track down Peter Fonda in his yellow and black Dodge Charger. He’s got no regard for anyone else on the road and his driving style shows that. Thankfully due to this, his overzealous driving habits actually turn out to be his demise.
10. Sheriff J.C. Connors – Ned Beatty: White Lightening
When Ned Beatty wasn’t squealing like a pig in Deliverance he was usually playing some form of weathered old hard ass. In the 1973 flick Gator, Beatty plays the ruthless Sheriff J.C. Connors that kills Gators (Burt Reynolds) brother while he sits in prison. Gator is then out for revenge, but the Sheriff plans to use everything in his corrupt arsenal of power to put a stop to him before he can fulfill his plans.