Follow TV Tropes


Villain Song / Live-Action Films
aka: Film

Go To

  • Anna and the Apocalypse: "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" is a very hammy song sung by the Big Bad, Savage, as he prances around gleefully and watches Anna and her friends try to fight off the zombies he set on them.
  • Unusually, "Marley and Marley" (yes, there's two of them just so they could put Statler and Waldorf in the movie. The new one is named Robert) from The Muppet Christmas Carol is a posthumous villain song, but still counts.
  • The Albert Finney musical version of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge, has "I Hate People" for the title character, which should be self-explanatory, and later, the toe-tappingly nasty "Thank You Very Much", in which everyone who owes Scrooge money gloats over his death in the Bad Future. The latter song gets a light reprise upon Scrooge's redemption.
  • Labyrinth... since the Big Bad is played by David Bowie, pretty much the entire movie was designed as a vehicle for villain songs. Dance, magic, dance!
  • The Jungle Book (2016) has two villain songs. The first is "Trust In Me"; a single line of it is in the film proper, but the full version is sung over the end credits by Kaa's voice actress, Scarlett Johansson. The other villain song is "I Wan'na Be Like You", King Louie's song, a bright, jazzy number, sung by Christopher Walken about how he has a desire for man's red fire, so he can take over the jungle.
  • Several Beatles classics became Villain Songs in the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The actual quality of the musical interpretations are a mixed bag. The treatment given to "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by Steve Martin is best forgotten, as is a version of "Mean Mr. Mustard" sung by robots. On the other hand, Aerosmith's version of "Come Together" has outlived this movie and become one of their signature songs.
  • Advertisement:
  • Across the Universe uses "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" as a Villain Song — quite effectively. For the entire Vietnam War. There's also Eddie Izzard's spoken word version of "Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!".
  • "Main Hoon Don" from the Bollywood movie Don; in a twist, it's sung by someone who has to impersonate the villain. Or so we thought.
  • Veruca Salt's destructive "I Want It Now" number in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is the last musical number not sung by the Oompa-Loompas, possibly because they were too busy at the moment trying to stop her. It also doubles as (yep...) an "I Want" Song, after a fashion.
  • James Bond:
    • Although he doesn't sing it himself, Necros, The Dragon from The Living Daylights gets a thoroughly badass Villain Song called, "Where Has Everybody Gone?" It's always playing on his Walkman when he's about to strangle people with the headphone wires. And his Leitmotif is the instrumental version of the song. The song fulfills the criteria of the Villain Song, in that while the Big Bad is a fairly low-key Smug Snake, Necros is the main physical danger to Bond throughout the movie, manages to get away with a surprising amount of successful assassinations for a Bond Villain, and gets a spectacular, over-the-top final fight/death scene.
    • Advertisement:
    • The theme for GoldenEye is an interesting cross between a Villain Song and an Obsession Song.
    • And another Bond example: the theme to The World Is Not Enough by Garbage is, after you've seen the film, an obvious Villain Song for Elektra King.
  • It only makes it onto the soundtrack, but since it's a particular character's theme, it still counts: "Turkish Delight", a G-Rated Drug addict's lament sung from a tweaked-out Edmund's point of view, is by far the best song on The Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack. (How much of a villain Edmund is is, granted, questionable, but he's still the most villainous of the Pevensie kids.)
  • "Gollum's Song" from The Two Towers soundtrack, sung by Emiliana Torrini. (It was originally written for Björk.)
    • ...which plays as Gollum plots the demise of the hobbits, but the lyrics tell a different story.
  • "New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme)" from the New Jack City soundtrack, by Ice-T.
  • Highlander: The Kurgan has a theme song entitled "Gimme The Prize," but only part of it is heard during the movie.
  • Battle of the Bulge gives Col. Hessler and his men ''Panzerlied'' as their theme.
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has "Sweet Transvestite" and "You Better Wise Up, Janet Weiss!". Much of "The Floor Show" could also count, as it is basically Frank singing, dancing and having a pool orgy with main heroes brainwashed by him, but it's pretty ambigous.
  • "World War II Boy" from The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, sung by an offscreen Jamie DeFrates as the Mad Scientist walks back to his lab from the beach at the beginning of the film. Only counts if you interpret the lyrics to be about escaped Nazi scientist Doctor Leopold and him "planning re-veenge on [his] friends!''
  • "Professional Pirate" and "Shiver My Timbers" from Muppet Treasure Island. The former is sung by (for good measure) Tim Curry, and the latter ends with Captain Flint opening fire on his own crew with two flintlock pistols. And this is in a Muppet movie. Produced by Disney.
  • In Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, corrupt fast food tycoon General Lee Roy gets the songs "Generous General", an upbeat folk song where he smoothly denies accusations that his food is unhealthy, and "Murderous General", a dementedly bouncy number where he declares what he thinks the new white meat is to the protagonists.
  • The movie version of The Little Prince has "A Snake in the Grass". And with Bob Fosse playing the Snake, the choreography is definitely show-stopping.
  • Following the Rule of Funny, this turns up at the end of The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, an otherwise non-musical Affectionate Parody that presents him as a likable Villain Protagonist played by Peter Sellers. Not only does he succeed in his quest to create the elixir he needs to regain his youth and strength, he then unleashes his master plan for world domination: rock music. (The film is set in the 1930s.) The finale has him performing in full Vegas-era Elvis style garb "Rock-A-Fu", a distinctly early-1980s tune that gets both the goodies and baddies dancing, and forces Nayland Smith (also Sellers) to admit that at last, Fu's won.
  • "Secret of Survival (in a Very Nasty World)", sung by the Weasels to Mole when he's lost in the Wild Wood in Terry Jones' version of The Wind in the Willows.
  • "The Witch Is In The House" by the Wicked Witch of the West in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Miss Piggy nearly outdoes Curry's performance in Treasure Island. (Jokes about Piggy being a Large Ham are obvious, but if you make them she will hunt you down.)
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has Gold for Rotti Largo. Mark It Up showcases the villainous Luigi and Pavi, but isn't as much of a showstopper as the others, so it only sort of fits this trope—especially because they're only trying to one-up each other and probably don't even consider themselves that bad.
    • Rotti also gets Things You See in a Graveyard, complete with plenty of gloating and cackling.
    • Amber Sweet has Come Up And Try My New Parts, in which she proves her willingness to use her body as a tool, as a borderline Villain Song (especially for those fans who want Grave-Robber and Shilo to end up together.) It was actually cut from the theatrical release because it was too good.
    • The Repo Man has "Thankless Job". It's Anthony Stewart Head with a voice like Christian Bale gargling broken glass, dancing and twirling away as he sings about organ theft, then gutting a person and using him as a human glove puppet... TO JOIN IN WITH THE SONG. It's preceded by a much more sympathetic "Legal Assasin", in which The Repo Man blames himself for everything he's done and for everything he does now, but eventually gives in to his sadsistic nature.
    • "Who Ordered Pizza?" and the following "Night Surgeon" feature the most of movie villains encouraging The Repo Man to kill Blind Meg. And while he eventually refuses, it's not before he slits a random person's throat while singing creepily.
    • Arguably also "We Started This Op'ra Sh*t" for GeneCo as a company; it's certainly the most scenery-chewing number in the film, and features Rotti, Luigi, Pavi, and various GeneCo employees and customers generally hamming it up.
  • In the film Troll a song called "Cantos Profane" is performed by Torok the troll's minions.
  • In the live action adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Jim Carrey as The Grinch sings "You're A Mean One Mr Grinch", which is traditionally an example of "The Villain Sucks" Song.
  • The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland has Mandy Patinkin singing "Make It Mine".
  • Despite being a very low-level and banal form of evil, Sharpay and Ryan get one in each of the three High School Musicals, but it's only in the third one where "I Want It All",' is one of the big show-stopping numbers.
    • And some people prefer these upbeat songs to the ballad-y ones by the protagonists.
  • While more Grouch than villain, Oscar sings the "Grouch Anthem" at the beginning of Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird : "Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain! Just stand up and complain!"
  • Forbidden Zone had both "Witch's Egg", an "I Am" Song by Susan Tyrrell, and "Squeezit The Moocher", an "I Want" Song sung by Danny Elfman as Satan. Both scenes are very awesome.
  • In Suicide Club, the psychopath Genesis sings a downbeat rock song with his minions in an abandoned bowling alley while his other minion rapes and stabs a woman trapped in a bedsheet sack. Good stuff.
  • "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Jason couldn't sing, so he had Alice Cooper do it for him.
  • Hans Conreid brings on his large ham with the songs "Get-Together Weather" and "Do-Mi-Do Duds", AKA "Dress Me", an unconventional Camp Villain Song, while his many minions and staff of the Terwilliker Institute sing "Terwilliker Academy" and "The Elevator Dungeon Song"; in The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, the only live-action movie by Dr. Seuss.
  • In both the film of Pink Floyd's The Wall and the album that inspired it, the three songs in the third act sung by the fictional Pink's fascist persona: "In the Flesh", "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting for the Worms". In addition to being a comment on the stupidity of fascism and bigotry, using holocaust imagery to show just how far our protagonist has fallen, they are also over-the-top villain songs sung with a sense of insane glee with some of the catchier melody-lyric parings (to the point that you start singing a split-second before realizing that some of the lyrics aren't for polite society).
  • The Return of Captain Invincible features at least two. "Evil Midnight" is sung about Christopher Lee's character ... Mr. Evil Midnight by him and his nemesis Captain Invincible, and is a combination Villain Song (Mr. Midnight's part) and "The Villain Sucks" Song (Captain Invincible's part). "Name Your Poison is sung BY Mr. Midnight, and is one of the highlights of the film.
  • Carolyn' car radio sing-a-long of Bobby Darin's Don't Rain On My Parade in American Beauty
  • The song about The Spanish Inquisition, "The Inquisition", from Creator/Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I. After some opening narration and a brief air of seriousness, it comprises the entire segment.
  • "O Death" sung by the Klansman in Red in O Brother, Where Art Thou??
  • This list isn't complete without Dr. Evil's memorable rendition of "Hard Knock Life". DOMINO, MOTHERF** KER!
  • The self-titled "Floop's Song" from Alan Cumming's Depraved Kids' Show Host in Spy Kids, which doubles as a Disney Acid Sequence.
  • In the sci-fi parody The Creature Wasn't Nice (AKA Spaceship), the titular monster stops his rampage long enough to sing a little ditty entitled "I Want To Eat Your Face".
  • In the early Adam Sandler movie Going Overboard, General Noriega briefly sings "It's A Sad Sad World When Your Head Looks Like A Pizza". Yes.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Matthew Patel gets the Bollywood-esque "Slick". It's also the only musical number in the entire film and has the cast gaping in confusion as he performs it.
  • The antagonists of both Camp Rock movies tend to have better (or maybe just catchier) songs than the protagonists.
  • The Gremlins in Gremlins 2: The New Batch organize their own rendition of "New York, New York" with the Brain as lead vocals.
  • The Golan/Globus production of Red Riding Hood had two. The Big Bad Wolf gets "Good at Being Bad". The wicked duke (It Makes Sense in Context) gets "Man Without a Heart".
  • In The Apple, corrupt music executive Mr. Boogalow gets a couple of musical numbers. "How To Be A Master" is the one that most fits the definition of a villain song thematically, since it has him extensively bragging about how successful being evil has made him ("Reaching the top is such a long, hard climb/Millions of people stand and wait in line/Do you think I got there being patient and kind?").
  • Freddy Krueger had (oddly enough, the rap numbers) "Are You Ready For Freddy?" and "Nightmare on My Street" made to coincide with the release of one of his films.
  • Angela's briefly raps in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland.
  • Prom Night (1980) has a surprisingly subtle and dark version of this trope. Pay close attention to the lyrics in the slow song during the credits. It's sung from the killer (Alex)'s point of view, despite having a female singer. "There never was a turning back. Now it's time to fade to black."
  • In Popeye, Bluto sings "I'm Mean" as he tears apart the Oyl household after Olive stands him up.
  • Although he's not a central villain, Nick Duran from Street Trash has a hilarious closing credits song available here. There's not really any spoilers to speak of, since this "plot" has little, if anything, to do with the rest of the movie.
  • Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 has a mad scientist and his two brawny henchmen sing about Zoom Gas.
  • Bugsy Malone had "Bad Guys" in which Fat Sam's thugs sing about how they're "just the best at being bad."
  • In EuroTrip, the main character's girlfriend is cheating on him with a member of a rock band, and said member writes a song about how he's screwing her while the protagonist is totally oblivious to it. Then he performs the song right in front of him!
  • Tommy has several, given that the entire thing is sung-through. The main villain, Tommy's wicked stepfather Frank, gets "Bernie's Holiday Camp," which introduces him and his sleazy attempts to mack on Tommy's mother, and a part of the song "Welcome," is about his plan to make Tommy's holiday camp overpriced. She eventually turns out okay, though. As far as supporting villains go, there's "The Acid Queen" for, well, the Acid Queen. For Cousin Kevin, there's "Cousin Kevin." Wicked Uncle Ernie gets "Fiddle About," where he "sings" about molesting the protagonist while he can't see or hear him. Towards the end of the film, Ernie also gets "Tommy's Holiday Camp," where he overprices the fees to get into Tommy's holiday camp and the related Tommy merchandise to rip off Tommy's followers. "Pinball Wizard" is a subversion; it certainly seems like it should be one of these, given that it's arguably the most memorable number in the film and it's sung by the arrogant pinball guy opposing the protagonist, but the song is actually about the opponent being impressed by the protagonist.
  • The Muppets has "Let's Talk About Me," which really has to be seen to be believed.
  • The Villain Song in Muppets Most Wanted, "I'm Number One (You're Number Two)", is pretty awesome and basically Constantine just singing about how superior he is compared to Dominic.
  • In Casablanca, Big Bad Strasser and his men briefly sing a patriotic tune in Rick's club... which is then drowned out by "Marseillaise," sung by the club's other patrons led by Victor.
  • In Chicago, "All that Jazz", "The Cell Block Tango", "When you're good to Mama" and "All I care about" for Velma Kelly, the murderesses of Cook County Jail, Matron Mama Morton and Billy Flynn respectively.
    • Actually, every song in the production is a villain song with the lonely exception of "Mr. Cellophane".
  • The film adaptation of the Russian play The Shadow (loosely based on Andersen's fairy tale of the same name) contains the song "Speak To Each In His Own Language" sung by the Living Shadow. In the song, The Shadow explains how wonderful it is to fool and intimidate everyone.
    Shadow: Just lend me your ear,
    And if it's not deaf, I already know what to put in it!
    • Another song from the same song "Shadow Triumphs", sung The Shadow in the Darkest Hour consist of the Living Shadow gloating before his former master in the hammiest, most over-the-top way possible (an approximate translation):
    I crawled through mud and over naked wire without shock or shame,
    I'm not picky at all, I'm so flexible and subtle.
    And I know all about the shadowy side of the world!
    That's why your friends are now my friends!
    That's why your loved one is now mine!
    That's why your head is now in my hands!
    So, who is now prostrated at whose feet?
  • The Russian film Masha and Vitja agains the Wild Guitars, contains the villains' introductory song "We are the Wild Guitars". Notably for being about the only time "hard rock" songs were allowed on Soviet TV (at least in mainstream production).
  • Another Russian film, "Secret of the Snow Queen", contains the song I don't Care, which is about how a person shouldn't care about anything but herself. Subverted later when we find that, while those manipulated by the Queen indeed don't care, The Queen herself actually does care - she is just deeply in denial about it.
  • The Russian adaptation of Peter Pan contains, of course, Hook's song. Among other, he comments that he hates all children.
  • There's actually one of these in Inherit the Wind, sung by the fundamentalist townspeople who have organized into a lynch mob, and it's set to, of all things, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. "We'll hang Henry Drummond from the sour apple tree!" indeed. Fortunately, nobody actually gets lynched.
  • "We're the Spaceballs" in Spaceballs, although being a comedy, the placement is deliberately off. It's sung during the evacuation of Spaceball 1.
    Cause what you got is what we need and all we do is dirty deeds
    We're the Spaceballs, Watch Out! cause we're the Spaceballs
  • The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers has the song "Jeepers Creepers", which the movie was named after. He doesn't actually sing it, but he whistles it!
  • Phantom of the Paradise has several, depending on your perspective of who the real villain(s) is (or are). If one assumes that the murderous titular character is the villain, then there's his first song, "Faust", about selling one's soul for love, and "Phantom's Theme". If one considers the antagonist Swan to be the real villain, there's "The Hell of It", which plays over the credits. There's also "Life at Last", sung by drama queen Beef.
  • The Rocky Horror "companion" film Shock Treatment has "Farley's Song". And it is awesome. Also, Farley's part in "Duel Duet".
    • The henchmen get three: "Little Black Dress," which showcases their temptation of Janet; the eponymous "Shock Treatment," wherein they gloat to a captive Brad Majors about the upcoming launch of their evil reality show; and "Oh Look What I Did To My Id," in which they are revealed to be actors instead of real doctors.
    • Janet, while being a diva superstar, becomes somewhat antagonistic, and her number "Looking For Trade" definitely has the characteristics of your average villain song.
    • Janet's father, being a satire on conservative homophobic jingoists, gets "Thank God I'm A Man".
  • The Hobbit (2012 version) featured the Great Goblin singing the Goblin's song from the book. Oh so very badly.
    • The Extended Edition features the full song.
  • The villain Barnaby in the Francoeur version of Babes in Toyland gets "We Won't Be Happy 'Til We Get It" along with his henchmen in which all three are cheerfully villainous and happily list off the lengths to which they will go if they can get even a dime out of it.
    • Barnaby later has the solo "Castle in Spain" which isn't exactly a traditional villain song, but considering part of it is about the reprehensible things he'll do for the heroine if she marries him it probably counts. The worst bit is that he thinks he's being charming and clearly doesn't understand how repulsed she is by not only the prospect of marrying him but the fact that he plans to, basically, become an even more evil slumlord than he already is in order to support her and himself in a life of luxury.
  • Leprechaun in the Hood ends with the titular creature rapping about how bad he is. "Lep in the Hood, Up to no gooooood"
  • Annie:
    • "Easy Street", as in the musical, but it is now a duet between Guy and Hannigan.
    • Miss Hannigan's "Little Girls" may also qualify, although she does eventually get a Heel–Face Turn, and the song itself had been rewritten to make Hannigan seem more sympathetic.
  • Team America: World Police has Kim Jong Il sing "I'm so Ronery", which also counts as a Villainous Lament.
  • Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny features "Beelzeboss", which is amazingly over the top even for the film. The lyrics consist of Satan himself singing about how awesome he is and how he's going to enjoy taking one of the band members back to Hell as a sex slave.
  • In Mississippi Burning, Agent Anderson playfully recites a Klan song while he and Ward drive into Mississippi.
    Now, I'm listening you communists, niggas and jews
    Tell all your buddies to spread the news
    Cause the day of judgement will soon been nigh
    As the lord in this wisdom looks down from high
    Will his battle be lost by mixing the races
    We want beautiful babies, not ones with brown faces
    Never, never, never, never, I say Cause the Ku Klux Klan is here to stay: Never, never, never, never, I say
    Cause the Ku Klux Klan is here to stay:
    Anderson: I hope these Ku Kluxers are better at lynchings than they are at lyrics.
  • Disney's Descendants has "Evil Like Me", sung by Maleficent. In the number, she convinces her daughter Mal to follow in her footsteps and join her in conquering the kingdom of Auradon.
  • Inbred has "Ee By Gum", sung by the titular clan of twisted inbreds.
  • Batman (1989) has "Partyman" and "Trust," though these are treated as source music rather than as actually being sung by the Joker, though he does a little lip synching; in the case of "Partyman," his goons Left the Background Music On while vandalizing Flugelheim Museum.
    • Batman Returns has its closing theme, "Face to Face," which is sung from the Catwoman's perspective.
  • After three installments of the Beach Party series with harmless gang leader Eric von Zipper as its most popular, critically acclaimed character, he finally got a song in Muscle Beach Show with the thoroughly harmless, comical "I Am My Ideal".
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange infamously sings "Singin' in the Rain" while torturing an old writer and raping his wife.
  • If you view the St. Trinian's students as Villain Protagonists (not all that unreasonable), the St. Trinian's Chant would be this. It fits pretty well in any case, with the girls revelling in the mayhem they cause. The original film series' school song also fits:
    Maidens of St Trinians, gird your armor on
    Grab the nearest weapon, never mind which one
    The battle's to the strongest, might is always right
    Trample on the weakest, glory in their plight!

    St. Trinian's, St. Trinian's, our battle cry!
    St. Trinian's, St. Trinian's, will never die!

    Stride towards your fortune, boldly on your way
    Never once forgetting there's one born every day
    Let our motto be broadcast, "Get your blow in first"
    She who draws her sword last always comes off worst!
  • In a similar vein as "Gollum's Song", Shin Godzilla has "Who Will Know", a One-Woman Wail/chorus track that explores Godzilla's emotions that plays in a sequence that culminates with Godzilla using his atomic breath and beams from his spines and tail to destroy the military, the Prime Minister and his cabinet and blackout Tokyo.
  • The documentary That Sugar Film ends with a catchy instance of this trope titled "That Sugar Song". Mr Sugar wears elaborate pink outfits and sings about how he's in everything. The music video of it is available on YouTube.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack has "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)", which is used by Ego as a metaphor for his feelings towards the universe and as justification towards his Expansion, and and "Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang", which plays when the Sovereign join the Battle on Ego's Planet to exact revenge on Yondu and the Guardians.
  • Shows up in Fury (2014) of all things. The SS show up in the movie being preceded by the sound of them marching and singing the song SS Marschiert in Feindesland. Due to the lyrics of the full version of the song from real life, this is also a clear-cut case of a Card-Carrying Villain song as well, as the beginning part they sing specifically calls it an "evil song".
  • Return of the Jedi has a possible variant in the form of the song that the Max Rebo Band performs at Jabba the Hutt's palace ("Lapti Nek" in the 1983 theatrical release, "Jedi Rocks" in the George Lucas Altered Version). The band's level of "villainy" is up for debate, but they're part of Jabba's entourage and we see Jabba grooving along too.
  • The Finnish fantasy film Rolli – Amazing Tales has two villain songs. In the first one, "Roskanheittäjien messu" ("The Trashers' mass"), the Trashers preach how they serve with their littering their hideous deity known as the Great Trash. The second one — "Suuren Roskan tuho" ("Destruction of the Great Trash") — is sung by the Great Trash himself as he's dying and the Trashers' base is crumbling.
    • In another Rölli franchise film, Rollo and the Spirit of the Woods, Lackey is the lead singer of the rolleys' two most malevolent songs: "Lakeijan Manaus" ("Lackey's Incantation") and "Sotaanlähtö" ("To War"), though the latter is just the former with a slower tempo. Though not played in the movie, Lackey has in the soundtrack his own song in which he flaunts his superior intelligence compared to the other rolleys, appropriately named "Lakeijan laulu" ("Lackey' song").
  • Hobbs & Shaw: The song "Even If I Die". Heard during the London chase scene or the credits. Is written by Idris Elba, who also portrayed Brixton Lore a.k.a Black Superman

Alternative Title(s): Film


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: