Top 10 Evil Presidents In Movies

Script written by Craig Butler

Presidents may be the leaders of their countries, but that doesn’t always mean they’re good men – on the big screen, at least! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Evil Presidents in Movies. For this list, we’re looking at cinematic presidents who are actively evil or do evil things.

Special thanks to our users JordanMcA for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Craig Butler

Top 10 Evil Presidents In Movies


Presidents may be the leaders of their countries, but that doesn’t always mean they’re good men – on the big screen, at least! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Evil Presidents in Movies.
 
For this list, we’re looking at cinematic presidents who are actively evil or do evil things. And sorry, no real-life Presidents are included, even if it’s in a fictional context. Also, since most of these presidents suffer an inevitable downfall, a spoiler alert is in order. 
 

#10: Max Jacob ‘Frost’ Flatow Jr. 
“Wild in the Streets” (1968)

Youth culture exploded with a vengeance in the 1960s, and “Wild in the Streets” accurately reflected the sheer panic that many felt at the time. Its wildly improbable story revolves around the successful efforts of teenager Max Frost to lower the voting age to 15 – after which teenagers take over the country. Soon after spiking the water with LSD, Frost becomes President and things get really hairy for anyone over 35. These old geezers are rounded up and sent to camps to be re-educated as good citizens – a process which includes involuntary and regular doses of hallucinogens. Some of Frost’s innovations have good consequences, but his dictatorial style proves once again that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
 

#9: The President
“Wag the Dog” (1997)

Evil cinematic Presidents generally come in two kinds. There are those who commit evil themselves and those who hire others to do it for them. The unnamed – and rarely even seen - President in “Wag the Dog” belongs to the latter group. When this commander-in-chief’s unsavory sexual appetite inspires him to try to get frisky with an underage girl scout-type, there’s potentially dangerous fallout. He calls in Conrad Brean, a master spin-doctor, to take care of the mess. Brean then sets up a diversion with the President’s approval: create a fake war with Albania. Brean’s plot, which the President endorses, demonstrates a willingness to bend the truth, people’s lives and all morality for political ends.
 

#8: Greg Stillson
“The Dead Zone” (1983)

Leave it to Stephen King to come up with one of the most unusual evil presidents on this list: a President who doesn’t even exist – yet. The film adaptation of “The Dead Zone” deals with a man, Johnny Smith, who can see a person’s future just by touching them. When he shakes the hand of Greg Stillson, a U.S. Senatorial candidate, he sees that one day, Stillson will be President. He also sees that if Stillson is elected, he will start a nuclear war that will devastate the Earth. Fortunately, when Johnny tries to shoot the candidate to prevent this, Stillson cowardly holds a baby up to protect himself – thus ending the potential president’s evil career before it starts.
 

#7: Lord / President Business
“The LEGO Movie” (2014)

In “The Lego Movie,” there’s little difference between government and industry, both of which are ruled by a man known as both Lord Business and President Business. Said man is obsessed with perfection. He likes everything done in assembly-line order. There’s no room in his world for individuality, imperfection, or inefficiency – and he’s ruthless about keeping his world functioning like a well-oiled machine. Business is so obsessed that he intends to use the mystical and mysterious Kragle to freeze the world into an image of perfection. In a delightful twist appropriate for a children’s movie, Business turns out to be modeled after the obsessive father of an actual young child – who learns he needs to be less business-like with his son.
 

#6: The President of the United States
“Canadian Bacon” (1995)

As in “Wag the Dog,” the President in “Canadian Bacon” needs something to boost his approval ratings. In real life, a photo op with some cute kids or a major tax cut might do the trick. In this over-the-top satire, however, the president desperately turns to war. His attempts to start a new Cold War are met with frigid resistance, and his desire to fight terrorism is dismissed. And so he sets his sights on Canada, the U.S.’s friendly neighbor to the North. Using a typical campaign of misinformation – or lies, to you and us - things snowball out of hand. Eventually, a nuclear war is narrowly averted – and the President gets thrown out of office at the next election.

#5: President Alan Richmond
“Absolute Power” (1997)

When a ruthless President’s career is on the line, he will stop at nothing to save his own skin. That’s the case with President Alan Richmond, memorably played by Gene Hackman in this political thriller. See, a little problem came up. He was screwing his friend’s wife – not a particularly nice thing to do - when things got a little out of hand. The Secret Service overreacted and all of a sudden Richmond has a dead body on his hands. Richmond covers things up, but there’s a witness he didn’t know about. And so he orders more deaths. But don’t worry: the morally bankrupt President eventually gets his comeuppance – much to the delight of all watching the film.
 

#4: The President 
“Escape from L.A.” (1996)

Some people are such obviously evil demagogues that it’s hard to believe they were ever elected as a leader – although history is filled with real life examples. The President in “Escape from L.A.” is one of these power-mad dictator types. Set in the future, he gets elected on a platform that insists that God is punishing America for being sinful. After his election, he implements a strict moral code that outlaws alcohol, tobacco, cursing, and lots of sex. Those found guilty can choose death or deportation to the dangerous hellhole that Los Angeles has become. Oh, and he’s also planning to use a special device that will enable him to take over the world. You know, typical evil stuff.
 

#3: Lex Luthor
“Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” (2009)

As anyone with even a passing familiarity with Superman knows, Lex Luthor is one seriously evil dude. Yet somehow, he manages to convince the people of the U.S. to elect him President in this direct-to-video animated flick. Once in office, Luthor arranges for the villain Metallo to be killed and frames Superman for it. Luthor then places a bounty on the Man of Steel’s head. In the meantime, he’s prevented Superman and Batman from destroying a giant Kryptonite meteor heading to Earth. Luthor plans to use missiles to destroy it so he can be a hero, but his plan backfires. No biggie – he’s happy to let the meteor destroy most of life on Earth, so he can rule over what’s left. Yep, he’s one seriously messed-up President.
 

#2: President Coriolanus Snow
“The Hunger Games” franchise (2012-15)

In “The Hunger Games” movies, President Snow is the big baddie. He rules both the Capitol and Panem with an iron hand and takes immense pleasure in the annual deadly tribute games. Snow cruelly manipulates people for his own ends. When Katniss defies him, he promises to kill her family and friends if she doesn’t do as he wishes. He’s made threats like these to others, sometimes forcing them into prostitution in order to save their loved ones. And, of course, he relishes watching the people get killed during the course of the Hunger Games. Because, after all, it’s his hunger for evil that’s being fed.
 
Before we reveal our top pick, here are some honorable, or in this case, dishonorable mentions:
President Fields
“Executive Power” (1997)
 
President Stone
“Astro Boy” (2009)
 
Stone Alexander
“Megiddo: Omega Code 2” (2001)
 

#1: President Skroob 
“Spaceballs” (1987)

Sure, “Spaceballs” is a typical anything-for-a-laugh Mel Brooks spoof – but that doesn’t mean that a character can’t be evil even as we’re laughing at him. That’s the case with the supremely evil President Skroob, played with great comic malevolence and silliness by Brooks himself. The ruthless ruler of the planet Spaceball, Skroob is also in charge of the mighty Dark Helmet, who does much of his dirty bidding. This includes stealing air from the planet Druidia, which would, you know, not be so good for that planet. He also commands the destruction of that planet, which again is not so nice. Fortunately, he gets paid back for his evil – by being stranded on the Planet of the Apes.
 
Do you agree with our list? Who do you think are the most memorable wicked cinematic presidents? For more presidential top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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