And because of Gary Oldman, of course!
I cannot possibly think of villains without thinking of Lena Olin's Mona De Marco. While the trailer for Romeo is Bleeding suggests that the film is nothing more than a ridiculous camp fest, her portrayal of the sadistic Russian hitwoman is mesmerizing and scary. With ease, she oozes every aspect of evil.
She can be the stoic, gravelly voiced baddie who bides her time, waiting for the perfect moment -- her eyes not missing a thing. She can be the seductress, using her beauty to easily prey on Jack's (Gary Oldman) continually wandering eye. She can be the villain who never gets killed -- not swayed by a shot to the arm, or other wounds that challenge her. But her most memorable evil -- her most villainous aspect -- is her adoration of real, intimate, bodily violence. She's not some bad gal with firepower. Her violence is within her, her weapons being the things lying around, or her own body. And she loves to give pain. She doesn't just smile -- violence makes her happy.
Take the scene after the jump (strong language warning!): She starts to choke Jack, and as he struggles for air, she laughs -- not just a giggle, but an eruption of pure, seemingly sexual, delight -- the throaty laugh, eyes closed, back arched. When Jack finally breaks free, her panting body looks post-coital, not post-choking. He hurts her. She keeps fighting. She chokes him with her legs, and then frees herself. It's almost absurd, but not in the carefully crafted fictional way -- it seems just crazy enough to be true, like Peter Medak pulled a real villain off the streets to play Mona. In one package, she's the femme fatale and the tough-as-nails baddie.