?Plants are really otherworldly if you think about it. Living, bloodless beings that infest our domain, sometimes towering formidably above us, sometimes inspiring shitty M. Night Shamaylan movies (and no, none of those plants are on this list). It’s no wonder that when writers need a alien, inhuman source of inspiration for their monsters, plants are usually at the top of the list, ranking only under insects and Nazis. Although they seem to currently be on the side of good in humanity’s war against the zombies, there’s no telling when the vegetable menace will re-awaken. The following all stand as reminders of the evils such malevolent greenery can be capable of. Keep in mind, we’re rating based on evil, cunning, and overall intelligence, not just power. And if you’re wondering why there are no trees are on here, it’s because there are so many evil trees they’re getting their own list later. Trees are bastards.
10) The Killer Tomatoes from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Say what you will about the groan-inducing films that contained them: these things were pretty fucking tenacious. Able to adapt to land, water, and France, they made life hell for the people of Earth and kept John Astin employed for three whole films, eventually developing little squished faces and nasty teeth. They aren’t very bright (they very nearly mistake a man in a tomato suit for one of their own) but the unsettling jittery noises they make are the stuff of nightmares, not to mention shitty cartoons. As a side note, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, which features a be-mulleted George Clooney and no real killer tomatoes, is one of the funniest stupid movies ever and deserves to be seen a lot more than it is.
9) The Krynoids from Doctor Who, “The Seeds of Doom”
A pastiche of a couple of other specimens on this list, these single-minded carnivorous “galactic weeds” start out as pods but soon grow into larger, far more horrifying forms, like a humanoid-shape and a giant leafy elephant-thing. What keeps them so far down on the list? Well, not only are they culled from older, more original examples, they take a backseat to Harrison Chase, the episode’s wonderfully Bond villain-esque human baddie, and one of the few evil horticulturists you’ll ever see. His speech about the “cruel practice of Bonsai” is almost more memorable than the rampaging plant monsters he unleashes upon the world (or at least his front yard).
8) The Triffids from The Day of the Triffids
Are they Soviet genetic experiments? Aliens? Mutants? It’s never made clear. Whatever the origin, these giant pitcher plant/scorpion hybrids are phenomenally deadly, capable of subduing a foe within seconds. Of course they kill; that’s not surprising. The creepy part is they hunt. And unlike other mindless conqueror plants, Triffids know exactly where to strike on a human body, which gives it plenty of extra time with which to stalk and sting its blind British prey.
7) The Thing from The Thing From Another World
?An “intellectual carrot” from, evidently, another world, this creature was mad, bad, and impervious to bullets. Although he didn’t actually kill that many people, he was a right nuisance to the scientists that discovered him and refused to go without a fight. There’s also evidence of at least a little intelligence, as he actually seems to regard Dr. Carrington’s final plea before smacking him down.
6) The Vines from The Ruins
These creepy things may not have visual appeal going for them but certainly make up for it in craftiness. Even while being trapped in a Mayan temple for an untold amount of years, they still managed to evolve some devious tricks for offing wayward college students. Case in point: their habit of replicating sounds (including speech), so as to lure the unsuspecting into their grasp. That’s some Terminator shit right there. While they clearly have your basic dreams of infection and domination on their mind, they are more sadistic than most killer plants, choosing to toy with and taunt their prey before striking. Also, they infect people and grow inside them, which we’ve seen before but rarely as disgusting as it is here.
5) Biollante from Godzilla vs. Biollante
Because Godzilla wasn’t terrifying enough, some asshole scientist decided to create a genetic crossbreeding between the big guy and a plant (there’s also some human DNA mixed in there somewhere). The result is a messy but highly amusing thing with way too many mouths. It holds its own in battle and causes a respectable amount of destruction, and while it doesn’t seem to have a specific goal in mind, it’s fucking Plantzilla. Its mere existence is villainy enough.
4) Lyekka from Lexx
As an example of evil plantdom, Lyekka was an interesting case: a telepathic space-faring plant that joined the crew of the Lexx as an ally, taking the form of captain Stanley Tweedle’s childhood sweetheart. She was sweet and polite, and aided the crew in their war against the evil scientist Mantrid and his legion of flying robot arms. She also had no qualms about devouring innocent humans, and made it very clear that unless the Lexx crew helped her find food when she was hungry, they were next. By the time the show reached its execrable fourth season, Lyekka (or another version of Lyekka) was an all-out villain, leading her species to conquer the Earth and apparently even growing to Biollante-esque size to accomplish her goal (as in the video above). I say “apparently” because I can barely bring myself to watch the good episodes of Lexx, let alone the horribly unfunny later ones. Just trust me when I say she counts. And yes, this is probably the first and last time you will see Lexx mentioned on Topless Robot.
3) El Seed from The Tick
Like a mix between Antonio Banderas, Che Guevera and Bob the Angry Flower, only not as competent, El Seed gets points for coming up with a serum that turns us “monkeys” into vegetables, and for assembling a fearsome army of living corn ready to do his bidding. Along with his oddly alluring assistants, The Bee Twins, Seed endlessly endeavors to initiate some sort of plant uprising, and while he’s never successful, his ambition is pretty admirable, as is his catchy flamenco theme music.
2) Poison Ivy and The Floronic Man (tie)
?Ivy may seem like a no-brainer, but she’s not as far gone from humanity as you might think. Although she comes up with lethal schemes and usually thinks nothing of killing, she also genuinely cares about plants and is not incapable of friendships (the No Man’s Land arc even cast her as a caring mother-figure for God’s sake!). She possesses an extraordinary amount of sway, but can still be reasoned with. Sometimes.
Dr. Woodrue, The Floronic Man, not so much. He gives up his humanity completely, going bat-shit and attempting to eliminate all non-plant life on the planet. Too bad he neglects to consider the importance of the little things, like how animals are vital to the Earth’s eco-system and all that. Still, despite ethical differences, he and Ivy are ultimately kindred spirits and practice similar styles of crime, so let’s call it a tie.
1) Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors
It may be the obvious choice, but there’s really no contest. Sure, Audrey II may seem like just another evil alien being bent on world domination. Yes, Biolante is bigger, Poison Ivy is sexier, El Seed is more commanding. But where she shines is in the depths of her (its?) villainy: first, she is Seymour Krelborn’s pet, then his confidant, and finally his master (and, depending on the version you see, his murderer). This plant is not just violent: it is manipulative, scheming, and deceptive. She’s the Iago of intelligent plant monsters, coaxing innocent humans into cruel and horrible acts, all the while pretending to be nice. Plenty of plants have invaded Earth, but none of them planned things quite as well.
You know another thing? None of the others succeeded, either.