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10 Best Tim Burton Villains, Ranked | ScreenRant

Over the course of his works, Gothic auteur Tim Burton has created a vast array of memorable characters. Naturally included in this oeuvre are a number of interesting villains. Some of these are very successful characters - they are villainous to the core yet sometimes come out as loveable due to their personalities, charisma, and stellar performances from their actors.

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Yet interestingly, although Tim Burton is known for his monsters and oddball misfits, some of his best villains are regular human beings (or at least look human) but are in fact more monstrous than some of the actual monsters, which in some ways makes them all the more villainous... though not always as likable.

10 Angelique (Dark Shadows)

Whilst Dark Shadows is not Burton's best work, there were a few actors that put on a great performance. One such character is the seductive witch Angelique (Eva Green). She appears to be the darling of Collinswood - or so she would have them believe.

Behind her perfect smile is a powerful vengeful centuries-old witch who maliciously cursed the Collins family simply because Barnabas rejected her advances. Audiences either love Angelique for her charisma and sensuality or loathe her for her merciless acts because of a grudge that's been held for too long.

9 Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd)

Tim Burton bought Stephen Sondheim's gruesome musical Sweeney Todd to the screens in 2007. Though a dark character himself, the eccentric Sweeney Todd is in fact the antihero of the piece - the villain is the loathsome Judge Turpin, bought to life with nasty aplomb by Alan Rickman.

Turpin abuses his power to get what he wants -  he falsely convicts and exiles Todd so he can have his way with Todd's wife, and then takes Todd's daughter Joanna as his own... only to want to marry her later. Despicable, right?

8 Max Shreck (Batman Returns)

It is fair to say that the true villain of Batman Returns is Max Shreck (Christopher Walken). Unlike Penguin and antihero Catwoman, there is not an ounce of sympathy to him at all. He is a corrupt businessman, hiding behind a philanthropic persona as he carries out his devious plans behind Gotham's back.

Furthermore, he pushes his secretary Selina Kyle out of the window and manipulates the Penguin for his own personal gain. Shreck is not only one of Burton's best villains but he could have worked well as an original Batman character.

7 Joyce (Edward Scissorhands)

The promiscuous Joyce (Kathy Baker) is not a villain that immediately comes to mind for many. That is because she doesn't appear evil at first glance. The housewives all fawn over Edward Scissorhands when introduced, but it is Joyce that stands out - for the wrong reasons.

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She clearly lusts for Edward and when he flees in fright from her advances, she spreads terrible false rumors, which contribute to everyone rejecting Edward. What makes Joyce even more despicable is that she gets away with her crimes unpunished. Whilst perhaps one of Burton's least likable characters, Joyce is one of his best lowkey villains.

6 Walter Keane (Big Eyes)

Burton's only villain to be based on a real-life person is Walter Keane. Big Eyes is a biopic about Margaret Keane, an artist famous for her paintings of big-eyed subjects - and her husband, Walter, who shamelessly took credit for her artwork for many years while posing as an artist when he couldn't paint himself.

That's enough for him to be a villain already. Yet Christoph Waltz adds a new level of abhorrence to an already awful person - badly mistreating Margaret while hiding behind a false smile for his spectators.

5 Oogie Boogie (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

One of the most memorable villains in Burton's oeuvre is Oogie Boogie (voiced by Ken Page) from the classic stop motion tale, The Nightmare Before Christmas. As the only truly dangerous being of Halloween Town, Oogie is feared by all the other residents.

Although he doesn't capture Santa Claus himself, he keeps him captive without Jack's knowledge with every intention of eating him! Despite a screen time of about ten minutes, Oogie packs a real punch with his bold personality, his distinct neon aesthetics, and one of the best villain songs ever.

4 Joker/Jack Napier (Batman)

Burton's first venture into the Caped Crusader with the 1989 Batman bought audiences the screen's second portrayal of the Joker after Cesar Romero in the 1960s TV show - and it is magnificent!

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The Joker is played with devilish glee by Jack Nicholson and he easily steals the show. In fact, Nicholson's performance as the Joker was so brilliant that it overshadowed Batman himself. Particular highlights are when he and his goons trash the art museum to Prince's 'Partyman' and the final showdown in the Burtonesque cathedral of Gotham.

3 The Martians (Mars Attacks)

Although it boasts a stellar ensemble cast, the real stars of Mars Attacks! are the bulbous-headed Martians. Communicating in distinct "ACK-ACKs" and armed with lasers that turn people into fried neon skeletons, they are a deadly threat whilst remaining hilarious and entertaining to the point where the audience almost routes for them to win (except the unforgivable act of killing the President's dog).

And let's not forget the femme fatale Martian Girl, who glides along in a ghost-like manner with a rather eerie unblinking stare.

2 Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice)

Burton's most famous villain is without a doubt the ghost with the most himself, Beetlejuice, and it's understandable why. With his iconic black and white striped suit, and a sterling performance from Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice is a pure delight to watch.

He is funny, nasty, boisterous, and also amusingly disgusting (the wedding ring with the finger still attached, anyone?). Yet it is because of this that Beetlejuice is not only one of Burton's best and most lovable villains but one of his most popular characters of all time.

1 The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot (Batman Returns)

Brought to life with an excellent performance from Danny DeVito, the Penguin is a true Tim Burton reimagination - the civilized monocled crime lord in a tuxedo from the comics and the 1960s television series has been transformed into a bestial Burtonesque villain.

Although despite his monstrous appearance and horrific plans, the Penguin is both a comical figure and an extremely tragic one to the point of sympathy. Max Shreck may be the most villainous of the villains in Batman Returns but it is the Penguin that stands out the most.

NEXT: 10 Things That Still Hold Up In Tim Burton's Batman Movies Today

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