I thought it fitting that I would do a quick countdown of my favorite villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This show, while a cult hit and often overlooked or ignored because of its title, has had a massive influence from books written about the verbal lexicon expressed to actual cartoon characters on Disney shows.
Part of the memorable charm, in addition to the characters and story, were the diversity of villains and varied makeup design. Some worked a ton and others… like Doublemeat Palace not so much.
Let’s get onto the countdown!
First Appeared: Season 2’s “School Hard”
Why: Even before Angel, Spike was the first vampire that really balanced that fine edge of villain and likeable. You knew he was evil by almost being lured into biting Xander, nearly killing Buffy multiple times with eager satisfaction, and kidnapping Willow in Season 3. On the flip-side, he had a very human adoration towards Drusilla, his female companion and displayed emotions ranging from love to hostile jealousy during the season.
First Appeared: Season 2’s “Ted”
Why: Yeah, it’s blatantly obvious what he is during the episode. John Ritter absolutely nails it and channels the cheery father of the year type with a very creepy bad side that only Buffy sees. It works on the Stepfather/Child Abuse themes in the episode (including an unsettling scene on a mini-golf course) but the creepiness factor is really when Ted tries to physically abduct Joyce and kill Buffy to get her out of the way.
#3: Vampire Willow
First Appeared: Season 3’s “The Wish”
Why: Not only was she a vampiric form of a beloved Scooby member but Alyson really gave the role a chilling nonchalant air. This character is one of the very few vampires, especially female vampires, given a realistically dark edge. Vampire Willow admits to torturing Angel via D/S preferring to be dominant to him and subservient to The Master. She also takes great joy in being a vampire causing The Master to remark at one point, “I remember that lust for the kill.”
#2: Der Kindestod
First Appeared: Season 2’s “Killed By Death”
Why: It’s a demon that sits on kids and kills by using its eyeballs as suckers. Did I mention that only kids or people with really high fevers can see it? And it parades around in a hospital in which it evidently killed Buffy’s cousin? Also it just really, really looked like something right out of a fairy tale nightmare that you, as a kid, would not want to see. Not even sure I’d want to see it now.
#1: The Gentlemen
First Appeared: Season 4’s “Hush”
Why: They scared Amber Benson off the set while eating food. Real life aside, there was something just unsettling and creepy about their gliding through the air and the fact that they never talked. Their menace relied purely on atmosphere and their physical presence and it totally worked. Worth mentioning is that the Lead Gentleman, Doug Jones, had dentures put over his own teeth just to make sure that we knew his eery grins were all him. Thanks, Doug!
So there you have it. My five favorite villains from Buffy. Feel free to comment below!