"No more wire hangers!" It's hard to forget Faye Dunaway's intense portrayal of screen legend Joan Crawford in this adaptation of adopted daughter Christina Crawford's revealing memoir. Crawford famously had her children refer to her as "Mommie Dearest," a loving title that didn't quite suit her parenting style, if Christina's claims are to be believed. Joan was a troubled actress, fighting to remain relevant as she aged and adopting children to make herself more appealing. She wasn't naturally maternal, and distrusted all women -- even her own daughter -- so any perceived slight or misbehavior was met with harsh words and cruel punishments. Dunaway relishes her role as Crawford, turning the actress from your typical mean mom into something much more monstrous and horrifying.
Here's the thing: It's probably not a good idea to hold a fake audition as a ruse to find a new wife because the woman will inevitably find out. And if she's mentally unstable like Asami in Takashi Miike's 'Audition,' you are going to wish you used OkCupid instead. Asami has a very tragic past that's led her to do some things like keep a mutilated guy in a burlap sack and feed him his own vomit, and when she finds out her new businessman beau has played her for a fool, she brings out her fun torture kit to teach him a lesson he -- and our eyeballs -- will never forget.
And here's why you never have an affair: you end up in bed with a big bag of crazy who thinks you love her because you had sex just one time, and now she's going to make your life a living hell. Someone tell Glenn Close's character in 'Fatal Attraction' that you can't force a man to love you by attacking him, stalking his family, boiling their pet rabbit, trying to kill yourself, and telling him you're pregnant. Alex is a woman totally off her rocker and she'll stop at nothing to get Michael Douglas' character to love her, even if it means she has to die in the process.
Throw Selina Kyle off a building to try and kill her, and she'll come back 20 times crazier than she was before. A single woman whose mother -- and society -- are up her ass about getting a boyfriend before she becomes a crazy old cat lady turns into, well, a crazy cat lady in Tim Burton's 'Batman Returns.' Clad in a sexy vinyl catsuit, Catwoman terrorizes Gotham and nothing -- not even the affections of Batman himself -- is going to keep her from killing the guy that pushed her off that building. She really proves that all a mentally troubled young woman needs is a little push.
'Play Misty for Me'
Before there was Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction,' there was Jessica Walter (of 'Arrested Development' fame) in Clint Eastwood's 'Play Misty for Me.' A woman obsessed with a local radio DJ calls in regularly to have him play her favorite song, and when he makes the mistake of sleeping with and then rejecting her, she shows him she's not taking no for an answer. Walter plays the part of Evelyn Draper with a stunning mix of fragility and psychosis, driving Eastwood's character mad by attempting to kill herself, stalking him, attacking his housekeeper, and eventually attacking Eastwood with a knife -- twice! It's far more sinister than Glenn Close boiling a rabbit, that's for sure.
In 'Misery,' author Paul Sheldon gets in a car accident and is taken in by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a woman claiming to be his biggest fan. Annie is a total nutter-butter though, and is pissed at Paul for the way he killed off the main character in his popular series of novels. She keeps him bed-ridden and forces him to write a new book in which the character comes back to life, and every time Paul tries to escape, Annie torments him, eventually breaking both of his ankles with the aid of a wooden board and a mallet in one of the most cringe-inducing moments in horror film history.
Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch
'The Wizard of Oz'
You can't go wrong with a classic, like Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz.' Hamilton pulls double evil duty here as both the witch in the magical land of Oz and Miss Gultch. As the witch, she is bent on capturing Dorothy and claiming her enchanted ruby red slippers to use for evil, while Miss Gulch, a local woman in Dorothy's real world of Kansas, tries to get the sheriff to "destroy" Dorothy's adorable dog Toto after it bites her. Even more terrifying is the Wicked Witch's clan of winged monkeys, and her ability to peer into her crystal ball and watch Dorothy's every move. Creepy.
Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is a different, more relatable kind of wicked female villain. In 'Mean Girls,' Regina rules the popular girls with her manipulative, dishonest behavior and her passive-aggressive attitude. She keeps a "burn book" in which she and her friends write cruel things about the other kids in school, and she never lets her friends wear sweatpants. It's eat or be eaten, causing Lindsay Lohan to inadvertently turn into a carbon copy of Regina when she sets out to destroy the clique from within -- a testament to the scary power of a mean girl like Regina.
'Inside' is a French horror film about a pregnant widow who's decided to stay home by herself just as she's preparing to give birth. Her life is sad and lonely enough, but then La Femme (Beatrice Dalle) enters the picture, banging on her door and demanding she give over the baby inside her. The film devolves into a nasty home invasion thriller with moments that are violent and incredibly difficult to watch, as La Femme shows us just how she plans to get that baby out of our young protagonist's belly. Hint: it involves scissors.
'Harry Potter' Series
Sure, Voldemort is a really evil guy (he even made our list of the most warped movie villains of all-time) but Bellatrix LeStrange (Helena Bonham Carter) is absolutely unhinged. There's nothing quite like a villain who is also mentally insane and completely irrational, without one sympathetic bone in her body. Bellatrix relishes in killing people the same way a kid might enjoy stomping on fire ants, terrorizing Harry Potter and his friends relentlessly and mercilessly. She's also responsible for mercilessly torturing Neville Longbottom's parents, and killing the beloved Tonks and Harry's godfather Sirius Black. That woman is into some nasty business.