If you’re one to frequently use your imagination, it’s easy to conjure the dreamlike image of the running of the Maleficents where everyone in The Moors makes a run for it as dozens of the horned villainesses chase after hapless souls. Yes, chalk that up to Freudian imagery if you will, at least in the analogy between horns and bulls. There’s simply something about horns and spikes in villains that makes them look more devilish, which may not have ever been the point. In some cases, they’ve been used to merely distinguish them from the protagonists, and perhaps as a weapon.
Regardless, we still have to wonder what they’re intended for sometimes when they aren’t used for battle. Some of these past movie villains with horns and spikes still have a little mystery about them and what the proper context was supposed to be.
The Monsters in the Original “Godzilla” Franchise
If you’ve seen any of the original Japanese Godzilla movies, you know how much each monster in that original franchise had spikes as perhaps a nod to how we envisioned real-life dinosaurs. Even Godzilla has some spikes on his tail, though it’s nothing compared to some of the sideline monsters that either followed him or became his nemesis.
Those who remember Gigan from the old Godzilla movies know how many spikes and horns he had. While essentially a dragon with those wings on the back, he came close to impaling Godzilla more than a few times. No human being would want to fight Gigan singlehandedly without putting on spiked armor first.
Let’s also not forget that Godzilla had a spiky sidekick by the name of Anguirus who was a nemesis at first, and then became an ally. He had enough spikes on his main body to impale numerous monsters at once. Not that any monster would want to impale that many Kaiju all at once.
As for more Godzilla baddies, Destoroyah arguably had the most villainous spikes of any other creature. With a particularly long horn on the front of his head, the others possibly had horn envy, while also striking fear in those making a run for it ahead of Destoroyah.
We can’t escape looking at the more human villains who happened to have spikes and horns. Other than Pinhead in “Hellraiser”, the horns on “Star Wars” character Darth Maul may be the creepiest of all if not equal to Maleficent. Just about everybody who saw the initial prequels to “Star Wars” knew that character would be the most talked about of any next to Jar-Jar Binks. Ultimately, Darth Maul didn’t survive in the movie, unless he has offspring from his home planet of Dathomir who show up in “Episode VII” and beyond.
Not surprisingly, the animated series “The Clone Wars” had Darth Maul survive to a point where his sliced body was rescued and his lower half turned into a cyborg. After the character became iconic, George Lucas probably kicked himself for killing off the character. There’s no guarantee he’s alive later since all the expanded universe stories will be considered unofficial.
This villain from the 2010 animated hit of the same name is a perfect example of using spikes on everything without any intended purpose other than to intimidate. With Maleficent seemingly doing the same thing when her power supersedes physical use of her own horns, you can only use so many spikes and horns before it starts looking excessive. Megamind is a comedy, of course, so the idea of having spikes coming out of the side of Megamind’s head is one that’s tailor-made for laughs.
Even better, Megamind uses spikes on all of his nefarious weapons as a way to distinguish himself from Metro Man. Stop and think, though, that Megamind obviously has a bigger brain than Metro Man based on the size of his head.
Whether you choose to believe Maleficent’s horns make up part of her brain, you can’t necessarily call the horns evil since it was a natural trait of her species. It’s an interesting concept that also goes back to the Godzilla Kaiju and Darth Maul in finding routes to better understanding of similar characters. It’s there where we find out how ambiguous evil can become only because certain characters naturally acquired the universal appearance of what evil looks like.