And, of course, that got me to thinking: what about all the other cars driven by movie bad guys? We've seen some excellent bad-guy movie cars over the years, and today I'm honoring fifteen of them. Those of you who were outraged by what I missed in the last list (yeah, I got all your venomous emails about the exclusion of Vanishing Point Challenger- a movie car I love dearly, believe it or not- last time around), prepare for further jaw-droppingly egregious omissions!
Here we go, in no particular order of preference, the Jalopnik Sinister Fifteen Movie Cars! Thanks to the Internet Movie Car Database for most of these images.
Bill Duke's 1990 Chevrolet Caprice
Payback, 1999. Crazy Mel Gibson has been in quite a few good car movies, in between drinking shots of holy water and shaking his fist at the Vatican, and this minor neo-noir masterpiece has plenty of Jalopnik-Grade™ rides. For corrupt cops, you just can't beat the good ol' Caprice.
Albert Popwell's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado
Magnum Force, 1973. After Popwell's character Drāno-izes a ho who holds out on his money (this execution method inspires the line "That shows a certain sense of style" from Clint Eastwood), he meets his doom in this gorgeous pimpmobile at the hands of vigilante motorcycle cops.
Bob Skokes' 1968 Chevrolet El Camino
Suburbia, 1984. I totally spaced on the punked-out Ford LTD from this classic film in my last list, but the El Camino driven by the bitter dog-slaughtering laid-off autoworkers can make this one!
Paul Newman's 1958 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible
Hud, 1963. Newman's character of Texas rancher's son Hud Bannon stands as one of the meanest amoral bastids in motion picture history, and his (pink, according to the dialogue in this black-and-white film) '58 Cadillac suits that character perfectly, given the landscape of pickup-drivin' good country people.
Conrad Veidt's 1926 Mercedes-Benz Modell K
Casablanca, 1942. Nazis in movies are always sinister and/or evil (unless you're Leni Riefenstahl), and there's only one vehicular choice for them in Vichy-governed Morocco: Mercedes-Benz!
Lord Humungus Motor Pool 1973 Chrysler Valiant VH
The Road Warrior, 1984. With all the outstanding baddiemobiles in this movie, how do you choose one car? In the end, the quad-pneumatic-arrow-gun turret gave this Valiant the edge.
Drive-By Shooters' 1986 Hyundai Excel
Boys N The Hood, 1991. It's hard to imagine an '86 Excel even running, much less holding together long enough to facilitate a drive-by, but sometimes the cinema viewer needs to break out the ol' suspension-of-disbelief thing.
Emmett Walsh's 1966 Volkswagen Beetle
Blood Simple, 1985. I can't make any movie list without something from Los Hermanos Coen, and it's hard to come up with an ickier bad guy than the unnamed VW-driving detective in their first film.
Dennis Hopper's 1968 Dodge Charger
Blue Velvet, 1986. It's hard to imagine a scarier bad guy than Hopper's Frank Booth, who huffs from a mysterious can of compressed gas, beats women, and hits the road in a completely evil beater Charger.
Emile Meyer's 1956 Ford Fairlane
Sweet Smell Of Success, 1957. This incredibly dark movie- which pretty much bombed when released, but is now regarded as one of the all-time greats- wouldn't have been complete without the corrupt Fairlane-driving cop doing dirty work for the Walter Winchell-based Burt Lancaster character.
Larry J. Blake's 1948 DeSoto Custom
Sunset Boulevard, 1950. What do the burly and ominous repo men coming after William Holden's Plymouth drive, as they attempt to de-wheel (and maybe de-kneecap) him in the City Where Only A Nobody Walks? Yessir, a stolid DeSoto.
Ann Blyth's 1942 Pontac DeLuxe
Mildred Pierce, 1945. Dan Savage says it's the greatest film ever made, and he may be onto something. Based on a novel by master crime writer James M. Cain, this film features a sporty little Pontiac convertible driven by the thoroughly evil- yet utterly shallow- character of Veda Pierce.
David Patrick Kelly's 1955 Cadillac Hearse
The Warriors, 1979. The gang costumes alone make The Warriors worth watching, but the supremely evil '55 Caddy hearse driven by the Rogues vaults it into all-time Bad Guy Movie Car greatness. "War-ri-yers… come out to play-ee-yay!"
Robert Mitchum's Model T Ford
Night Of The Hunter, 1955. I really wanted to use a car driven by Mitchum in Cape Fear, because his character in that film is so terrifying as to make De Niro's version in the Scorcese remake seem like Mr. Rogers by comparison, but Max Cady takes the Shoe Leather Express instead of getting wheels. No problem, though, because Mitchum's character in Charles Laughton's directorial masterpiece is damn near as menacing (and even slimier), and he does drive.
Robin Williams' 2002 Toyota Echo
One Hour Photo, 2002. Williams' creepy, obsessive character managed to purge all the happy from the image of the cute lil' Echo.