When watching movies, we normally know where it’s going to end, the bad guy is going to lose, and the good guys win right? Well, not all the time… There are, on occasion, films where the bad guys finish out on top. Granted some of these motion pictures are in the middle of franchises giving scope for more additions to come. But even in franchises, we’re used to the writers and creators making sure the endings are tied up as much as possible and that the hero is the one still in control. If you fancy a little change of pace with your films, below is a list of eight movies for you where the bad guys win.
SPOILERS Be warned if you read on. We might turn out to be the bad guys as there are spoilers ahead.
THE FRANCHISE MOVIES
1. Avengers: Infinity War
One of the biggest cliffhangers of recent years has to be the end of Infinity War. The moment Thanos (Josh Brolin) put the final infinity stone in the gauntlet, teased Thor (Chris Hemsworth) for a minute, then snapped his fingers. Fans knew they were in for a long excitable wait before Avengers: Endgame. Which lived up to all its expectations, unlike some final franchise films.
Having one of our beloved Marvel movies end with the antagonist winning, was probably one of the smartest plot lines for the studios. Normally as fans, we’re used to the bad guy winning a few battles within a feature to add suspense. But never really has one won the war. Even in other films where we know there is going to be a sequel, there’s always some kind of good guy wrap up to ease the viewer into knowing things are going to be ok. But, with the Avengers we couldn’t be sure as this ending really cemented to viewers that whatever was to come in Endgame, the Avengers part of Marvel, as we knew it, would be over forever and there would be some main character losses.
2. Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire
Another Franchise of books and films which up until the fourth film, The Goblet of Fire, exercised the normality of wrapping each film up with a bow. Letting Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Herminie (Emma Watson) be crowned as the heroes. Took a dark twist at the end as it introduced the full form of ‘He who should not be named’ and the first real-time demise of a character. Yes, Harry’s parents and most of the ghosts of Hogwarts were murdered at some point, and we were told of the demise of Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson), but never included in real-time and never a direct peer to Harry. The death of Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) was one that shocked fans, even though he was only in one book/film.
Even though there is a small wrap up at the end of the film. And we knew Harry was safe and it seemed like he had won a small battle. The fact that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had been able to regenerate and ordered Peter Pettigrew to ‘Kill the Spare’. Like it was nothing not only changed the whole pace of the rest of the stories. But as Harry had to run away from Voldemort and not the other way around it does, unfortunately, mean that he won in this film.
3. The Dark Knight
Like all great Batman films, we do tend to find ourselves backing some of the villains too. One of the best things about DC Comics and films is that the bad guys can sometimes be good, and the good guys can sometimes be bad. But even when the bad guys are just pure evil like The Dark Knight’s Joker, we still find ourselves backing him and being intrigued by him. Especially when he becomes one of the main characters of the film like Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker did.
The Joker win’s this film on so many levels as he initiates so much organised chaos wherever he goes. In this film, he amps up his destruction by corrupting Heavy Dent (Aaron Eckhart). He works him into madness, bringing down Gotham’s so-called White Knight, creating a whole new unpredictable villain – Two-Face. He then starts his own murderous rampage, ending up getting killed by Batman (Christian Bale). Not wanting Joker’s intentions of showing the people of Gotham that good people can turn bad, like a flick of a switch. Batman decides to put himself forward as the murderer of Two-Face and his victims stirring up a manhunt for Batman. Which as far as I can see, gives The Joker another thing he wanted… to get Batman out the way. So the bad guy The Joker wins at the end of the film.
4. The Silence of the Lambs
When filmmakers made Thomas Harris’ psychological horror novel into a movie, viewers knew they were in for a bumpy ride. Not a fluffy ending where good wins out. Even though the ending of the book gives Clarice (Jodie Foster) a little bit of breathing space and a more closed off ending. The creators of the film gave it a little bit more of an open ending allowing for more to come.
At the end of the movie, it looks like Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is free. He’s roaming the streets as he hangs up the phone to Clarice and starts to follow Dr Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald). Showing that he may have the upper hand at the end of this film.
THE STAND ALONE MOVIES
5. Phone Booth
This phycological thriller kept viewers on the edge of their seats as they tried to work out who The Caller and mass-murdering sniper was.
Even the creators of the film wanted to keep the identity of the actor playing the caller a secret. All so no one would know until the end. So much so that they didn’t even put any of the actor’s pictures in the posters or trailers for the movie, until its release on video and DVD. This also helped to keep the plot line a secret until the end of the film where we find out that the Police had got the wrong guy at the end and in fact, The Caller (Kiefer Sutherland) managed to walk away scot-free. Even giving Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) some parting words as he walks past the ambulance where Shepard was sitting with a rifle case in hand.
One of the biggest film shock endings in the ’90s (next to The Sixth Sense) was Seven. Serial killer John Doe (Kevin Spacy) got the last word in. He had quite a gruesome present for Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt) at the end of the film, presenting them with the head of Mills wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) in a box. Finishing off his seven deadly sins killing spree by admitting his envy of Mills’ life and making Mills kill him in a fit of wrath.
Mills might have killed him, but John Doe still managed to finish what he started.
7. Basic Instinct
This film is probably more known for its provocative scenes. One in particular which has been parodied over and over! But it’s also a film where the bad woman wins. Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is under suspicion of killing her famous boyfriend, with an ice pick. Tramell then writes a novel about it as a strange form of an alibi.
When Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) comes to investigate her, he ends up falling for her, not long before he finds out she is writing a new book; one about a woman killing her Detective lover.
All the signs are there but for some reason hoodwinked by a pretty face and a bit of crotch flashing Nick finds himself at the mercy of Catherine and let’s face it we all know what happens there, especially when we see the ice pick under the bed.
8. Fight Club
So this one could be more of a tie! We’ve got another Brad Pitt film to finish off the list, this time but he is the antagonist in this story. Fight Club which is full of twists and turns was never going to have a fairy tale ending whichever way we look at it. And even though at the end it was perceived that the Narrator (Edward Norton) may have killed Tyler Durden (Pitt). It was all the same person on the crime and fighting spree, to begin with. So, if you think about it, does Tyler lose? Of course, he didn’t, the buildings still came down and there will always be a part of Tyler inside the Narrator.
So, that’s the list of eight movies where the bad guys win. If you think there were any more films worthy of this list, let us know in the comments below.
Check out the movies with the longest gap before their sequels HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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