Villains we loved -- What we loved about Hannibal Lecter, Hook, the T-1000, and Cruella Devil

Evil wore a plush fur coat this year. And smoked a big cigar. And had some pretty nasty eating habits. Admit it-you loved to hate these virtuoso villains:

On the Lamb
We feared for Clarice Starling, the FBI trainee who sought the help of mondo-carnivore Hannibal ”the Cannibal” Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. With cause. In Lecter, Anthony Hopkins created a monster as horrifyingly human as Norman Bates — and as brutally nightmarish as Leatherface. Plus, he stayed with us when we left the theater, and whispered to us when we were alone, late at night.

Causing Nightmares
Freddy Krueger, you razor-clawed, wrinkle-jawed, sharp-tongued bastard son of 100 maniacs, you. News on the street is, this year’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is the last of the six Nightmare on Elm Street flicks (which have earned a dreamy half-billion dollars worldwide so far). And Freddy is missed already. Robert Englund, you’re wanted in makeup.

Going to the Dogs
Tallulah Bankhead on laughing gas. Animal rights groups’ worst nightmare. Cruella DeVil was one nasty piece of work by any name as she prowled for puppies in 101 Dalmatians. The chain-smoking harpy with the black-and-white shocker coif was the evil heart of Disney’s heartfelt 1961 classic, and a big part of the rereleased movie’s success as a summer hit.

Getting Hooked
Could this guy curl a lip, or what? Also raise a ridiculously thick eyebrow, twirl a mustache — and brandish the best claw this side of Freddy himself. Dustin Hoffman’s foppish Hook is the Don King of Neverland, bringing a showman’s flair to the ultimate pirate-Pan face-off. For baiting Peter at every turn, this captain deserves a hand.

Trembling in Fear
He’s one smart madman with a huge cigar clamped in his teeth. Cape Fear‘s Max Cady (Robert De Niro) throws cold water on the middle-class complacency of Nick Nolte’s family by vowing to ”save” them from their sins — and terrorizes his wife and daughter in the bargain. One of the vilest villains in recent memory, Cady is tattooed, stinky, and fascinating.

Terminator, Too
Those lips, those eyes! As Terminator 2‘s T-1000 robot, Robert Patrick’s cold, dead stare made Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a warm fuzzy. A large, powerful warm fuzzy. But it was the computer effects that made the T-1000 special: He bled through bars. He turned an arm into a sword. He blobbed back together every time he took a bullet. On the outside, we were rooting for the kid he was hunting, but deep down we were thrilled every time he metamorphosed on-screen.

In the Hood
Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham was so gleefully wicked that preview audiences roundly preferred him to Kevin Costner’s good-guy title role in Robin Hood. The result: Producers snipped out some of Rickman’s scene- stealers. Scoundrels, zounds!