Top 10 Evil Movie Wizards

Script written by Nick Spake It’s time to embrace the dark arts. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Evil Movie Wizards. For this list, we're taking a look at individuals with magical abilities that use their powers for wickedness, whether they're voodoo witch doctors, sorcerers, or some other sort of supernatural villain. Special thanks to our users Callum Prentice and Simon Dreesch-Ro for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Evil Movie Wizards

It’s time to embrace the dark arts. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Evil Movie Wizards. For this list, we’re taking a look at individuals with magical abilities that use their powers for wickedness, whether they’re voodoo witch doctors, sorcerers, or some other sort of supernatural villain.

#10: Shang Tsung
“Mortal Kombat” (1995)

This evil sorcerer hosts the Mortal Kombat tournament, and is out to conquer Earth in the name of his Emperor, Shao Kahn. Shang Tsung is an expert shape-shifter, and can take the form of any of the Mortal Kombat combatants, making him not only a powerful wizard, but also one of the tournament’s most formidable fighters. A brilliant and manipulative villain, Shang Tsung bends the tournament rules as far as he can in order to win. Every fight against this sorcerer is a duel to the death, and not only does he take his victim’s lives, but their souls as well.

#9: Jareth the Goblin King
“Labyrinth” (1986)

If you saw Jareth walk down the street, you’d probably assume he was an eccentric hair stylist, fashion designer, or David Bowie playing dress up. But, in actuality, he’s the king of the goblins who causes a world of trouble for a young Jennifer Connelly in “Labyrinth.” While he’s prone to making people regret what they wish for and is something of a sexual predator, his fabulous singing chops and over-the-top persona will put a spell on anyone. Jareth is the one wizard on this list you’d kind of want to hang out with, but he’s still so deliciously evil.

#8: Mola Ram
“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)

The high priest of the terrifying Thuggee cult is an intimidating figure himself, strutting around his evil lair wearing an imposing skull-like headdress and commanding over his disciples with little more than a facial expression or a stern word. Able to control others, even Indiana Jones himself, with the help of a special elixir known as the blood of Kali Ma, Mola Ram uses his powers in an effort to see the entire world bow down to Kali. Overconfident and determined in his quest, Mola Ram is so single-minded he’s not above human sacrifice to achieve his goals. Other wizards; eat your hearts out. Or he might yank it out for ya.

#7: The Horned King
“The Black Cauldron” (1985)

Here’s a Disney villain that doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as he deserves and many would argue that you could say the same thing about “The Black Cauldron.” The Horned King is a bit like Skeletor, only, y’know, legitimately intimidating. With a whispery voice that always echoes, a demonic face that’s often hidden in shadows, and hellish eyes, his presence is guaranteed to send a shiver up even the bravest warrior’s spine. It’s a devilish marriage of stunning Disney animation and the great John Hurt’s voiceover performance.

#6: Loki
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2011-)

Derived from Norse mythology, Loki has been part of our popular culture for eons. However, it’s Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s defined the character for this generation, demonstrating that superheroes and supervillains are developing their own mythology. A sly trickster that’s constantly throwing his enemies for a loop, this mischievous god proves to be a worthy opponent for his adoptive brother and the Avengers. Cocky, classy, and equipped with a delightfully devious grin, you can always count on Loki to liven things up.

#5: Thulsa Doom
“Conan the Barbarian” (1982)

When a character’s last name is Doom, is there even a slight possibility that they won’t grow up to be evil? This wizard is so ruthless that he’ll decapitate a mother in front of her young son without a hint of empathy. He leads a cult that enslaves people’s minds and, in his spare time, takes on the form of a snake during orgies. To each his own, we guess. James Earl Jones naturally brings a commanding presence to the role with his trademark booming voice and a permanent, dead glare of confidence in his eyes. We’d be tempted to jump off a cliff ourselves if he asked us to.

#4: Emperor Palpatine
“Star Wars” franchise (1977-)

If force lighting and mind control aren’t wizardry, we don’t know what is. The king of all space-wizards, this guy went from being the last of the Sith Order to Emperor of the entire galaxy in a single generation; a feat he achieved by manipulating galactic politics openly as Senator Palpatine and from behind the scenes as Darth Sidious. There’s no denying how brilliant and sinister this villain really is, and even when he’s just sitting around rambling, he manages to be both dignified and menacing at the same time. The emperor tempts us all to convert to the dark side.

#3: Jafar
“Aladdin” (1992)

Every aspiring Disney villain wishes they could be as fiendish as Jafar. He both looks and sounds like a slithering snake, making one of his later transformations quite appropriate. A master of deceit and disguise, Jafar uses his black magic to manipulate his way up the political ladder, going from advisor, to sultan. Of course, he goes a little too far when he uses one of his three wishes to become an all-powerful genie himself. While Jafar’s aspirations for total domination result in his own downfall, watching his rise into power is simply hypnotizing.

#2: Saruman
“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)

With a daunting stature and rich voice, the late great Christopher Lee was born to play Saruman. Hoarded up in his fortress for a majority of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the white wizard commands an army of Orcs and even manages to take control of the King of Rohan from afar. Of course it’s Saruman who’s truly a slave to the Dark Lord Sauron and the palantír. Like many corrupt, evil wizards that try to climb to the summit of power, Saruman eventually falls victim to defeat – figuratively and literally.

Before our top pick works their black magic on us, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Leezar
“Your Highness” (2011)
- Doctor Facilier
“The Princess and the Frog” (2009)
- Sardo Numspa
“The Golden Child” (1986)
- David Lo Pan
“Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)

#1: Lord Voldemort
“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)

Lying dormant for years after failing to kill an infant Harry Potter, the Dark Lord is one of the world’s greatest sorcerers, able to command groups of Death Eaters to join him in his quest for blood purity in the wizarding world. Finally, after years of buildup, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is resurrected in Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. And, boy does he just ooze evil wizard! Powerful, influential, and with a snake-like visage, Lord Voldemort is everything that makes a dark sorcerer great. What adds another level of malevolence to him, however, is that his prejudices, philosophies, goals, and backstory parallel many real life tyrants, ensuring that witches and wizards dare not speak his name and earning his spot as our number one pick.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite evil movie wizard? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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