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Evil Versus Evil / Live-Action Films

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Whoever wins, we lose.note 

  • We Are the Night - The vampires kill innocent people, though they prefer the blood of evil men, which creates some scenes of this trope.
  • Bad Santa:
    • Bad Santa has a trio of store robbers (two of whom are a mall Santa Claus and a mall elf) being extorted by one of the mall's security officers, Gin, into handing over half (and he seriously emphasizes Half) of all the money they steal from the mall's safe plus taking home whatever material goods they steal so long as he wants it. They obviously don't appreciate this extortion, and run him over with a truck then bury his body in a desert.
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    • In the sequel Bad Santa 2, the robbers again try double-crossing each other once they succeed in pulling off a heist that involves stealing cash from a well-guarded charity.
  • Bad Teacher pits the lazy, rude and verbally to even physically abrasive Gold Digger Elizabeth Halsey (an English teacher) against the next-door English teacher Amy Squirrel who is a Cloud Cuckoolander Control Freak wanting complete dictatorship over the school.
  • Day of the Dead (1985) - This film takes place during a zombie apocalypse that wiped out almost all of humanity and the last humans alive hide out in an underground bunker. At the end of the film, the heroes (Sarah, Billy and John) get thrown in front of the zombies as bait and having their friend Dr. Fisher shot dead by the main villain Captain Rhodes and his soldiers, suddenly the zombies in hordes of hundreds are unleashed into the underground bunker where Rhodes and his soldiers are, thanks to Miguel out of suicide and desire to get revenge on Rhodes. Miguel's plan for revenge easily works, as while the heroes escape to freedom, Rhodes' men get eaten alive while Rhodes himself gets gunned down by the special zombie Bub, before also getting eaten alive by zombies as well.
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  • Freddy vs. Jason - Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street is pitted against Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. Both are mass-murdering serial killers. The winner is fuzzy, but on the whole most people find themselves siding with Jason, even if he does have many, many more kills. Even the heroes end up rooting for Jason over Freddy because they decide Jason is the Lesser of Two Evils between them. There was also a pragmatic reason for the protagonists supporting Jason over Freddy: while Jason may have had a bigger body count, he's generally less dangerous because he tends to stay in Camp Crystal Lake unless directly provoked, but Freddy actively hunts for victims and can kill you anywhere in the world as long as you're asleep.
  • Superman II - Lex Luthor tries to team up with the 3 Kryptonian criminals (General Zod, Ursa, Non) so that he can be ruler of Australia, and offers to giving them Superman in exchange. Luthor of course isn't too mindful of manners or careful of what he says to the three, and Zod and Ursa increasingly hate him more as the movie goes on for his impertinence. In the end, Lex ultimately gets the three all defeated unintentionally after Superman deceives Lex into using a glass crystal to remove the three's powers and they all get killed within seconds.
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane - Michelle, the movie's protagonist and damsel-in-distress, is forced to choose either staying in an underground bunker for the rest of her life with a dangerous madman, Howard Stambler, or fight off ground-burrowing monstrous aliens that have taken over the earth's surface.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Megatron vs. Sentinel Prime. After successfully launching a Deception invasion upon Chicago that results in the deaths of Ironhide and numerous humans, Megatron brags to Sentinel Prime that they can rule Cybertron together. Sentinel Prime claims that he will rule Cybertron by himself and to assert dominance, goes to rip out a chunk of Megatron's face off. This would later result in Megatron deciding to get retribution on Sentinel (and ironically sparing his arch-nemesis Optimus Prime from getting killed in battle by Sentinel) screaming, "THIS IS MY PLANET!". While Megatron can kill off Sentinel Prime, he realized that he can't do the same to Optimus Prime, making him resort to feign offering truce with the latter. Optimus responds by ripping Megatron's head off as revenge for his many evil-doings, especially for tearing Jazz in half. Sentinel doesn't get a better ending, as Optimus also kills him with gunshots to avenge Ironhide and Que. Still, Megatron won since he lived on to return in Age of Extinction as Galvatron and then as an upgraded, even stronger Megatron in The Last Knight.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction - Cemetery Wind decides to create their own Transformers and exterminate the Autobots, but Megatron's mind infects their drones and as Galvatron, he commands them to destroy humanity and take the Earth for themselves.
    • Lockdown even mentions that he hates Decepticons and Autobots equally because he thinks all they do is cause destruction wherever they go, having no interest or regard for whatever they're fighting over. It's possible Lockdown killed off some Decepticons off-screen. Though Lockdown does just about whatever a Decepticon does, so this also makes him a Hypocrite.
  • Transformers: The Last Knight - Quintessa vs. Unicron. Quintessa vows to extinguish Unicron (a planet-devouring entity whose physical body is home to planet Earth) because he is the ancient enemy of Cybertron. However, Unicron has been dormant for millions of years and it was extremely unlikely he would ever wake up on his own again but Quintessa proceeded on plans to destroy him anyways, and she even helps Unicron wake up by bringing Cybertron to Earth's orbit.
  • Suicide Squad (2016) - This trope may be the main plot point of the whole film. Here, it's Amanda Waller and her team Task Force X made up of murderers and criminals (consisting of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and El Diablo) vs. Enchantress and her protective big brother Incubus. Enchantress knew very well that the Suicide Squad were also bad guys like she is and while it's not known if she was being sincere, offered to them that if they agree to join her side and accept her as their new leader, she will grant their wishes of becoming rich, successful criminals and having their arch nemesis Batman dead.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - Shredder vs. Krang. Shredder tells Krang that once the Technodrome assembles, they can rule the earth as a pair. However, Krang complains that the earth belongs only to him and when Shredder starts patronizing to him about keeping promises, Krang loses his temper and screams he won't share. Shredder responds by drawing out his arm blades, but before he can cut Krang apart, he gets frozen and locked away into Krang's "toy chest".
    • Just before that happened, Shredder did just about the same thing to Baxter Stockman what Krang did to him.
  • In Rampage: Capital Punishment, Bill Williamson spreads a nationwide message across the United States that they should take revenge upon Saudi Arabia for funding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the live interview that follows after the message, Bill further condemns Saudi Arabia as they give women no rights and execute gays. Williamson, however, stockpiled on firearms in order to kill close to a hundred people in his hometown and robbing a bank and his rampages aren't much more justifiable than 9/11 or the Saudi executions, as he only did so out of anger over his own financial issues. Regardless, Bill still rationalizes what he did was minuscule compared to 9/11 attacks and that a few sacrifices had to be made to bring attention to the issue of overpopulation and economic inequality.
  • Sadako vs. Kayako - The ghost from the Ring, who kills people in 7 (or 2) days after someone after watching her cursed video vs. the ghost from Ju-on, who kills anyone who enters her house. This trope is actually invoked by the protagonists: to hopefully do away with both curses for good by having the two ghosts destroy one another.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick. Played straight, with a murderous escaped convict (Riddick) pitted against an Omnicidal Maniac empire (the Necromongers), except the title character is actually more of a Noble Demon. Still, the trope is referred to almost by name in the narration.
    Aereon: If we are to survive, a new balance must be found. In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil.
    • An unaired trailer for Pitch Black, the previous Riddick movie, actually had "Fight evil with evil" as its promotional slogan. In that case it was "escaped convict" vs "alien monsters".
    • In the preview for The Chronicles of Riddick in the Pitch Black DVD, it's "Bad Guys vs Evil Guys".
  • The Musical and later film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has a protagonist who murders his customers and gives his neighbor their bodies to bake into pies to sell. The antagonist is a corrupt Hanging Judge and Dirty Old Man who sentences children to death on trumped up charges and who raped the protagonist's wife after sending him away to Australia and essentially wishes to do the same thing to his daughter.
  • Jackie Brown: A crooked Air Hostess who has no qualms about holding people at gunpoint, working for gun smugglers and betraying people left, right and centre is the good guy, next to the gun smuggler himself.
  • The premise behind Payback. After being betrayed and shot multiple times, ruthless criminal and Villain Protagonist Porter returns to get revenge on his racist, sadistic, woman beating ex-partner Val, and get back the money that Porter stole from some other gangsters. Along the way the conflict between the two winds up involving Dirty Cops, the Chinese gangsters Porter and Val stole the money from in the first place, The Syndicate Val has since become a part of, low end drug dealers and a High-Class Call Girl. The call girl is the closest thing to a good person, and even she is willing to leave an innocent mark in a Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere.
    • Point Blank, an earlier adaptation of the same material, is a less explicit but at least equally suspenseful take on the same idea.
  • Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS: Most of the movie is typically good versus evil until the very end where Ilsa is killed by a fellow Nazi.
  • The Evil That Men Do (1984). Charles Bronson is a hitman hired to murder Dr. Clement Molloch, a doctor who advises South American dictatorships on how to torture people. We see Bronson carry out several cold-blooded murders, to the shock of the woman accompanying him as his pretend wife.
  • District 9 briefly has the variant where both sides in the struggle over the fate of the Prawns -both MNU and the Nigerian gangs- are utterly unsympathetic and you really hope they wipe each other out.
  • In the Loop pits Linton Barwick against Malcolm Tucker. Linton is so utterly loathsome and charmless that viewers find themselves rooting for the evil-but-charming Malcolm, even when this means willing him to help start an illegal war. The bastards.
  • The Devil's Rejects takes He Who Fights Monsters and bashes you over the head with it. Some viewers cheered on for Sheriff Wydell, however, as his depraved acts of torture were done against people who tortured and killed countless innocent people, while others sympathized with the Rejects given that they were more likable in comparison and humanized in the second half. Director Rob Zombie said there are no good guys in the film and it's up for the viewer to decide who to root for.
  • Hard Candy. A sadistic child psychopath vs. a child molester. You decide who's the good guy.
  • The Sith Order in the Star Wars films operated under the Rule of Two: There were to be only two Sith in the Galaxy, a master and an apprentice. If the apprentice wanted to become the master, all he had to do was kill his master and take the title for himself. The Rule of Two was specifically designed to prevent this trope on a massive scale, as in-fighting was as big a threat to the Sith as the Jedi were.
  • The Mask: Dorian's coup against his former boss, the gangster Niko.
  • Paths of Glory (1957) by Stanley Kubrick. Admittedly, the bulk of the film is more of a courtroom drama with Kirk Douglas as an idealist officer/lawyer being the obvious good guy, but its World War I setting and overall anti-war message could classify it as Evil Versus Evil when it comes to the two sides fighting a pointless war, with the French generals coming off as arrogant and foppish with little (if any) regard for the life of their soldiers. One could imagine their British allies, or their German opponents, being exactly the same.
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla in the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny since both were antagonists in their original films. This is the case with several of the movies depending on which one you watch. Sometimes Godzilla is just the lesser of two evils and the enemy monster is worse, with the exception of his MonsterVerse reincarnation who on the other hand is a true hero with no malice to humans whatsoever and aids them in taking down the MUTO's.
  • The MonsterVerse version of Kong has the ape evolving into the "lesser of two evils" route (he starts as a threat to the humans who get to the island... but then it's revealed there are some horrible beasts, the Skullcrawlers, who Kong helps keep in control), while adding a human evil in Packard, a military man who's warmongering bordering on obsessed. Packard starts scheming to use explosives to annihilate King Kong as revenge for killing many of his soldiers, Marlow and Conrad urge that King Kong is crucial to ensuring the Skullcrawlers die. Packard ignores this logic and claims he'll kill Kong, then the Skullcrawlers with modern yet ineffective warfare. Kong proceeds to crush Packard to death with his fist.
  • Hunting Humans had one Serial Killer hunting another.
  • In Red State the evil church is killing gays and promiscuous teens out of religious mania. Then the ATF shows up, decides they are all terrorists and decides to murder every single parishioner, including the children.
  • The main plot point of Yojimbo, and the works directly inspired by it, A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing.
  • Invoked and discussed by Augustus Gibbons in xXx by way of explaining his reasoning for recruiting criminals, although it's actually more Black-and-Gray Morality in that the proper villains are far more evil than Xander, who's more of a low-level underground figure who never sets out to hurt anyone. The only crime we see him commit onscreen is stealing and crashing the car of a zealous Moral Guardian politican.
    Gibbons: Do we drop another mouse into the snake pit, or do we send our own snake and let him crawl in?
  • Outrage is about several groups of Yakuza killing each other.
  • Bully is about a group of vapid, selfish, amoral wastes of space who conspire to commit murder. The victim is an asshole himself, but the film argues that he's only the same key played louder.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean revolves around this by the time of the third chapter Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. At least one of the factions consists of amoral, ruthless pirates. The others include an amoral/somewhat sadistic Psychopomp who is forced to do the bidding of the third side, the corrupt and megalomaniacal leader of the East India Trading Company (plus the British Navy, who is also forced by royal decree to serve the EITD but doesn't do much.)
  • The Alien vs. Predator crossover franchise is an example of this without question. Whoever wins, we lose. The first film shows the last predator teaming up with the humans — only because it was the only way he could win. He died in the end, as well as the other predators who knew of the alliance - though the comrades, on the Immediate Sequel. This is actually a bit of a subversion as neither the Xenomorphs or the Predators are truly evil, as Predators operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality based around hunting and honor, while the Xenomorphs are just animals following their instincts. In the Aliens' case though their capacity for moral action is called into question since it's repeatedly shown that they're clearly capable of intelligent thought. Maybe they also operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality. But both are villains to the viewpoint characters, humans.
  • In Starship Troopers, a federation of warmongering fascists is pitted against a merciless race of alien killers. The first movie was playing sly with the notion that it was humanity that provoked the bugs. The later films however depicted the bugs as being pretty horrible while showing that humanity was still the propaganda-heavy, war-glorifying nutcases they were in the first movie (though with a few more sympathetic characters whereas the bugs are all monsters.)
  • This is pretty much the main premise between a maverick cop and a counterfeiter in To Live and Die in L.A..
  • The Planet of the Apes film series:
    • Beneath the Planet of the Apes: From Brent and Taylor's perspective, the apes' crusade against the Mutants in the Forbidden Zone towards the end of the film (and the world) would certainly qualify.
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Koba vs. Steven Jacobs. At the climax of the film, Koba sees Steven Jacobs hanging on for life in a destroyed helicopter tilting on the Golden Gate Bridge. Angered over the years of torture and experiments he had to endure as a lab animal at Jacobs' company, Koba presses his foot hard upon the helicopter so that Jacobs inside it will fall into the Pacific Ocean and drown to death.
  • Frank and Morton in Once Upon a Time in the West. Initially Frank's just Morton's hired gun, but Frank starts thinking about settling down as a businessman - viewing Morton as more obstacle than mentor. The two spend most of the film one-upping each other, with Frank having his men "keep an eye" on Morton and then kicking him off his crutches. It culminates in Morton paying off Frank's men to kill him.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness:
    • Admiral Marcus and Section 31 vs Khan Noonien Singh, with the Enterprise crew caught in the crossfire.
    • Harrison vs. the Klingons, again with the Enterprise crew caught in the middle.
  • The Hangover Part III is centered around mobster Marshall using the Wolf Pack to get his revenge on the Sissy Villain Chow for stealing a lot of gold from him years before. At a certain point it even hits him back: Chow tells the guys a certain Mexican house has the stolen gold Marshall wants back... and it's actually Marshall's house, Chow only used them to get the half he didn't take before.
  • Crank and its sequel, High Voltage. Chev Chelios is a murdering, drug using, amoral scumbag psycho. The guys who give him what he has coming however are even worse than him.
  • Pink Flamingos is about two rivals competing on who is "the filthiest person alive". And both indulge in kidnapping, murder, etc.
  • Swordfish: While the main plot of the film itself averts this, the purpose of the Black Cell is to fight terrorism using methods far worse than those employed by the terrorists.
    Gabriel: Terrorist states, Stanley. Someone must bring their war to them. They bomb a church, we bomb 10. They hijack a plane, we take out an airport. They execute American tourist, we tactically nuke an entire city. Our job is to make terrorism so horrific that is becomes unthinkable to attack Americans.
  • Angel Heart: Private eye Harold Angel finds himself stuck in the middle of a decade-long conflict between Johnny Favourite, a murderous occultist leader who sold his soul to the devil for power, and the Prince of Darkness himself, who feels cheated out of his contract and wants revenge on Favourite.
  • Children of Men's central conflict is between the Nazi-By-Another-Name government and the well-intentioned, but backstabbing, innocent-murdering extremist rebels. No wonder everything's gone to shit.
  • The climax of Kiss of the Tarantula comes down to Susan (spider-obsessed creepy girl responsible for several deaths) vs. Walter (Her creeper Dirty Cop uncle who murdered one of Susan's accusers, thinking it would help him get into her pants.)
  • Ex Machina's central conflict is between a sociopathic scientist who kills his (fully sentient) creations without remorse, and a manipulative android who uses lies and deception to win her freedom—ultimately leaving her rescuer to die a slow, agonizing death from starvation. She is really like designer like daughter.
  • Unfriended is about a group of teenagers in a Skype chat being picked off one by one by the vengeful spirit of Laura Barns, a girl who used to be an Alpha Bitch until she was humiliated in a video and then committed suicide out of the shame. However, all of the teens are shown to be just as bad as Laura: All of them made anonymous Google accounts to bully her, Jess desecrated her grave, Val told her to kill herself after she came to her begging for help, and the Final Girl, Laura's best friend Blaire, is revealed to be the worst of all of them, being the person who shot and uploaded the video in the first place. When Laura's spirit starts killing them off, the teens quickly turn on each other, selling each other out so they can save themselves. More than one critic reported being more horrified by the depiction of the cruelty and amorality of the American millennial than by the actual premise.
  • The Prophecy has Lucifer willing to help a couple of humans with special abilities fight against Gabriel - a fallen angel who plans to create his own version of hell.
  • Sicario: A sadistic drug cartel responsible for the murder and disappearance of countless men, women and children vs. the CIA, who are propping up another cartel to power in order to control the merchandise and whose main enforcer kills countless people, including children, in order to get revenge against the leader of the first cartel. Yeah, it's a very cynical movie.
  • Directly engineered by the protagonists in Serenity. They need to get past a evil fleet. The 'Verse contains a huge fleet of murder machines who will chase anything that moves. Two plus two.
  • In Lethal Weapon 4, the cops deliberately trigger this by revealing to a faction of corrupt Chinese soldiers that their Triad business partners are trying to rip them off. Riggs takes an awfully sensible view of the subsequent shoot-out:
    Riggs: Keep your head down, Rog! Let them kill each other!
  • The protagonists of WWII film Play Dirty are a raiding party of Allied Sociopathic Soldier's who don uniforms of the enemy, loot corpses, revel in insubordination, accept bribes to bring back officers alive, (nearly) rape a German nurse, kill innocent bystanders and otherwise commit egregious and unclean deeds in the name of 'the mission.' The British brass are double-dealing crooks with the ethics of sewer snakes who sell out their own troops and generally treat the chain of command as a license to squander the lives of anyone below their ranks. What little we see of the proper British army is a trigger-happy Tommy who guns down surrendering soldiers and his largely apathetic CO. On the other side, we have the Germans who are, of course, Nazis, and are shown doing things like gunning down fleeing and surrendering enemies.
  • At the climax of Thor: Ragnarok, Hela, Odin's firstborn boodthirsty daughter, is defeated by a fiery demon Surtur who brings the Ragnarok upon Asgard, her very source of power.
  • In Deewaar, Samant and Daavar's respective criminal organisations are in conflict. Samant steals from Daavar, and neither has any qualms about murdering the other's men.
  • Tragedy Girls: Although it's not the main focus of the story, we have McKayla and Sadie (two teenage Serial Killers) vs. Lowell (another serial killer). The girls are the protagonists, and come off as marginally more likable than Lowell, due to their genuinely strong friendship and intriguing personalities, but in terms of actual morality, all three parties are utterly and completely evil.
  • In The Butchers, the serial killers start picking each other off in order to conserve the remaining victims for themselves. In particular, Gein kills Dahmer so he steal Brian from him and skin him to make a shirt.
  • The Assignment (2016): Frank is a hitman who freely admits that he's bad and has killed many people. Dr. Rachel Jane, his nemesis, is a mad doctor who experimented on homeless people for medical research, and subjects him to involuntary sex reassignment for revenge when Frank kills her brother.


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