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Movies where the bad guys "win"

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
I was having a conversation with a couple of my friends, and we were trying to think of films where in the end the bad guy/villian "wins", or gets away with "it."

The first one that came to mind for me was Arlington Road. I remember being completely floored when watching that movie for the first time because I just didn't think that it would end like that. I really figured it would end in the normal manner, with Robbins being killed or sent to jail.

Another one that we thought of was Usual Suspects, with it's famous ending and Spacey just getting into the car and leaving at the end.

We didn't really count films like The Godfather, because just about everyone in that movie is on the wrong side of the law, even the cops.

I guess you could also throw in Episode III, but everyone saw that coming when Episode I was announced....

Anyone have any more? I don't see as many films as a lot of people on these boards, so I'd like to hear some of the ones that you guys have seen that maybe I haven't......
post #2 of 108
You could also throw in 'Operation Swordfish' as that kind of ends in a manner where Travolta is still alive and waging his one man war against terror.

I'll also add 'Last Seduction' not a badguy but a badgirl but she still manages to outsmart everyone in the end and keep the stash.
post #3 of 108
Seven.

And Talos the Mummy.
post #4 of 108
A Clockwork Orange

Dr. Strangelove

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Halloween

The Empire Strikes Back

Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer

1984

Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal

Frailty

A History of Violence

Wolf Creek
post #5 of 108
Brazil. I think.

And this thread should probably have a spoiler warning.
post #6 of 108
Fight Club, sort of. It depends on how you answer the question "Who is Tyler Durden?"

Halloween, I suppose. Although if simply getting away means the villain won, then any number of horror/slasher films would qualify.
post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike
Brazil. I think.
Interesting debate there, although I think that Gilliam's intention is that they didn't beat Sam at all; he got away from them in his own way.
post #8 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel St. Buggering
Interesting debate there, although I think that Gilliam's intention is that they didn't beat Sam at all; he got away from them in his own way.
True. I haven't watched it for a while. But if Gilliam intended to show the bureaucracy as the 'bad guys', then they did win, at least in the outer story sense.
post #9 of 108
I guess there's an argument to be made that the bad guy won in The Thing, depending on how you view the ending.

Also, Invasion of the Body snatchers
post #10 of 108
Payback ?

Rocky

Saw 1 & 2
post #11 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee-Bey
Rocky
Could you explain this one? Because I don't remember Apollo Creed winning at the end, there was Rocky's brother-in-law but I wouldn't really classify him as a villain.
post #12 of 108
Apollo Creed won at the end.
post #13 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Whitehead
Seven.
Good one, because despite Spacey being iced, he does accomplish what he set out to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uth Vaspetad
A History of Violence
I don't know, is Viggo really a bad guy in this movie? I mean, he sets out to become a family man, and his past just catches up with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike
And this thread should probably have a spoiler warning.
Really? I thought the title pretty much says that it's all about how the movies end. But I'll edit it into the thread title just to be safe....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel St. Buggering
Halloween, I suppose. Although if simply getting away means the villain won, then any number of horror/slasher films would qualify.
Good point. I probably should've excluded any horror movies, because in the end, they never really die....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee-Bey
Payback ?
This is another one that in the same category of The Godfather, where everybody in the movie is a bad guy, just to varying degrees.

Pretty good calls by everyone so far! I was just going to check the thread sometime tommorrow, figuring no one else would really be up this late (early?) to post anything. Nice job fellas.

Keep 'em coming!
post #14 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
Apollo Creed won at the end.
Really, I thought Rocky did and they had the rematch in Rocky 2 and Rocky won again, I haven't seen it in awhile so I'm wrong in all probability.
post #15 of 108
Harakiri/Seppuku. Although that's probably a bit subjective, like Brazil. Also, Samurai Rebellion.

Get Carter? Probably in the same category as The Godfather.

Hero? We're getting very deep now!
post #16 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Ma
Really, I thought Rocky did and they had the rematch in Rocky 2 and Rocky won again, I haven't seen it in awhile so I'm wrong in all probability.
In the first film, it's pretty well established that Rocky doesn't have a chance of beating Creed. His whole ambition is to go the full fifteen rounds, since it's something nobody's ever done against Creed. His triumph is that he goes the distance and gives Creed the fight of his life. He doesn't win until Rocky 2, in an ending that I find utterly ludicrous.
post #17 of 108
Oldboy
Infernal Affairs
Basic Instinct
The Grifters (Again, probably falls under the same category as 'Godfather')
post #18 of 108
I can see this issue coming up a lot. I personally don't think that we should be counting any movie in which the "bad guys" are the protagonists. "Bad guys" should be taken to mean the characters that oppose the protagonists.
post #19 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Ma
Oldboy
Can't believe I forgot about Oldboy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel St. Buggering
I can see this issue coming up a lot. I personally don't think that we should be counting any movie in which the "bad guys" are the protagonists. "Bad guys" should be taken to mean the characters that oppose the protagonists.
Good call.
post #20 of 108
Fallen
post #21 of 108
1984
Wayne's World (Depending on which ending you go with)
post #22 of 108
I believe it stands all by itself in the genre of Teen flicks:

"The Last American Virgin"

Good guy goes through all the trouble, the bad guy ends up with the girl.
post #23 of 108
Frailty, mentioned here, is one of those that I would argue is subjective again. Depending on how you view it. If you believe that Fenton really was doing the bidding of God in ridding the world of demons - and I guess there are arguments to support that this is the case and that Powers Boothe could also be classed as the villain of the piece if we believe the end - then wether he is the bad guy of the movie depends on wether you believe that he was insane, which you are seemingly led to believe most of the movie, or if he really was some kind of avenging angel. Unless I totally misinterpreted the last 10 minutes. In which case ignore me.
post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Mike
Brazil. I think.
I've seen an interview with Gilliam where he states that the end of Brazil is a "happy" one, and that Sam essentialy defeats the Bad Guys by going nuts.

Do the Romero Zombie films count? I mean if the Zombies are taken as the Bad Guys then they are never succesfully defeated, as such
post #25 of 108
Also, and it inflicts great pain on my cerebral cortex to recall this, but doesn't The Lawnmower Man end with Jeff Fahey conquering all and sundry with an ominous chorus of ringing phones or some shit?
post #26 of 108
"Inside Man". I think it's debateable, but Denzel is the protagonist. A case could be made I suppose that there are two protagonists, Denzel and Clive, and that they areboth, in the end, working against a common villain. But in the film's main plot, the bank heist, Denzel's goal is stopping it and getting on top of the situation. He doesn't.
post #27 of 108
The Usual Suspects - didn't see the ending coming.
Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal
post #28 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoonSaint
Frailty, mentioned here, is one of those that I would argue is subjective again. Depending on how you view it. If you believe that Fenton really was doing the bidding of God in ridding the world of demons - and I guess there are arguments to support that this is the case and that Powers Boothe could also be classed as the villain of the piece if we believe the end - then wether he is the bad guy of the movie depends on wether you believe that he was insane, which you are seemingly led to believe most of the movie, or if he really was some kind of avenging angel. Unless I totally misinterpreted the last 10 minutes. In which case ignore me.
Nope, you're absolutely right. Fenton is actually the hero of the story. Agent Doyle (Booth) and Adam are the villains of the movie, although for the majority of the movie you are lead to believe it's the dad and Fenton. But the last 10 minutes, as you stated, flip your perspective on everything you believed previously. In retrospect I think it would have made the movie a little better if it had ended a little more ambiguously. So the movie doesn't apply to this thread.
post #29 of 108
The Player, depending on your point of view, springs to mind. Tim Robbins gets away with murder.

Half of the heist films ever made have the thieves get away with it, the other half have them get caught in the end. Pick your poison.

Chinatown is maybe the greatest example.

Network springs to mind too.
post #30 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by gl2899
So the movie doesn't apply to this thread.
Crazy religious zealots killing people in the name of God aren't bad guys?!
post #31 of 108
If you believe them to be crazy sure, but the end of the movie seems to indicate it wasn't in his head and he was being given visions and messages to kill these "demons"... and I'm pretty sure the Powers Boothe character would qualify as a villain. If you interpret Fenton to be telling the truth about recieving these orders then are we saying God isn't a good guy? Again, I guess that would depend on how you choose to interpret. As I said earlier, I guess it could be argued either way. I just wouldn't personally class it as an example where bad guys win but thats just my opinion.
post #32 of 108
I can't see how TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE counts as a "bad guy winning" situation. Sally escapes, leaving Leatherface in a rage.
post #33 of 108
I don't think heist movies can be considered in this, because the near constant involved in each one is that the thieves are the good guys. They're the protagonists of the films.
post #34 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel St. Buggering
I can see this issue coming up a lot. I personally don't think that we should be counting any movie in which the "bad guys" are the protagonists. "Bad guys" should be taken to mean the characters that oppose the protagonists.
So 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' would count.
post #35 of 108
As to Frailty, what makes the film so fuckin great is the conclusion which pretty much defies easy description. I would say the film makes it clear the visions are real and that Paxton was actually doing the will of God. And granted, the victims are bad people-demons-but you couldn't really call God a good guy in it.

What about movies where the bad guy SHOULD have won. Heat is the obvious one.
post #36 of 108
Terminator 3

12 Monkeys

The Omen

The Birds

Empire Strikes Back

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Matrix Reloaded

Planet of the Apes

Videodrome

The Last Samurai

Resident Evil

Phone Booth
post #37 of 108
X-Files : Fight the Future

Cabin Fever

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Matrix Revolutions ? (while there is armistice in reality, people are still held captive inside the matrix)

King Kong (good ape gets caught and killed by evil humans)

Halloween III: Seasons of the Witch

Phantasm I-IV

"BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY"
post #38 of 108
BEST OF THE BEST

Though at the end of that one the bad guys aren't really all that bad, and the very thought of the Korean team giving their medals to their American counterparts has me tearing up a bit.
post #39 of 108
TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (very interesting, as the bad guy at the start is defeated, but one of the remaining heroes turns corrupt)
post #40 of 108
In the Company of Men (this is a really prime example)
The Devil's Advocate (kind of, it's one of those bad-guy-never-dies things)
Breaker Morant & Paths of Glory (because they are like the same movie)

and then there are those movies where no one "wins", like NARC

movies where the bad guy should have won? I say Dial M For Murder
post #41 of 108
Mr. Frost
Angel Heart
Irreversible
Silence of the Lambs
The Fog
Prince of Darkness
post #42 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by gl2899
Nope, you're absolutely right. Fenton is actually the hero of the story. Agent Doyle (Booth) and Adam are the villains of the movie, although for the majority of the movie you are lead to believe it's the dad and Fenton. But the last 10 minutes, as you stated, flip your perspective on everything you believed previously. In retrospect I think it would have made the movie a little better if it had ended a little more ambiguously. So the movie doesn't apply to this thread.
Thank you! I'm glad someone agrees with me on that one, I personally wish the movie had ended on "God will protect me", I think it would have been more disturbing and more importantly it would have left us with something to ponder.

And Oldboy is the best example so far; the bad guy had WAY too much time on his hands, but in the end he didn't just win, he fucking conquered.
post #43 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti
BEST OF THE BEST

Though at the end of that one the bad guys aren't really all that bad, and the very thought of the Korean team giving their medals to their American counterparts has me tearing up a bit.
What was the fight breakdown in that one again? I thought Eric Roberts, Chris Penn, and the asian dude on the US squad won their fights. The best part of that classic b action flick has to be when they are in awe while watching the video of the Korean team training.
post #44 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJuniorMint
I can't see how TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE counts as a "bad guy winning" situation. Sally escapes, leaving Leatherface in a rage.
Even though Sally manages to escape in the films finale, The Sawyer family lives to fight another day in TCM2. Insofar as a comparative body count goes, Sally lost her brother, a boyfriend, and two of her best friends as well. The Sawyers suffered only one loss(The Hitchhiker)so I think they won in that regard by a score of 4-1.

This has reminded me of another bad guys victory -House of 1000 Corpses

And I can't believe I'm just now getting around to mentioning -Bad Guy
post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by swedish miyagi
What was the fight breakdown in that one again? I thought Eric Roberts, Chris Penn, and the asian dude on the US squad won their fights. The best part of that classic b action flick has to be when they are in awe while watching the video of the Korean team training.
It was a while since I saw the original so I may not be right on the mark. Roberts, being the star, wins his fight against James Lew but I think that made it even. Then Phillip Rhee fought the guy who killed his brother in the final fight to see which team would win the title. I believe the Americans could only win with a knockout but Rhee beat the guy (who I think is Rhee's real life brother Simon) so bad that if he knocked him out it would probably be fatal. So instead, with many cries from Eric Roberts and James Earl Jones, the time just ticks off the clock and Korea wins.

That explanation seemed to get more confusing as I typed it. The important factors are that Korea won, they gave their medals to the Americans, I cried, and Chris Penn is killed in the sequel.
post #46 of 108
I kinda feel like I am spoiling this since it hasn't been mentioned, but Matchpoint.
post #47 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny
Irreversible
Good one I forgot all about that.

How about:

Identity
Unbreakable
Batman Returns
post #48 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werewolf Girl
And Oldboy is the best example so far; the bad guy had WAY too much time on his hands, but in the end he didn't just win, he fucking conquered.
Truly, the ultimate revenge film. Brutal, ironic and poetic in the way the antagonist achieved his goal.

Another film by the same director: Sympathy For Mr Vengeance. Seems like everyone is bad in this film but you can still say the people at the very end 'win'.
post #49 of 108
The Mission
post #50 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee-Bey
Good one I forgot all about that.

How about:

Identity
You could say that the bad guy won in "Identity", if by bad guy you mean the filmmakers, w/ the audience in the role of helpless victim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee-Bey
Unbreakable
He proved his theory, sure, but getting locked in a mental insititution isn't exactly my idea of winning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee-Bey
Batman Returns
Catwoman isn't so much a villain as she is an anti-hero, punishing the real villain in the last few reels.
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