The 10 most truly, utterly evil things in sci-fi

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

No question, sci-fi is full of badasses. But there's bad, and then there's evil—so for the 27th of our 31 specials for the 31 days of Halloween, we're taking a look at true, black-hearted evil so far removed from humanity that it can't even be called sadistic or cruel, because those petty human emotions would just get in the way.

Check back tomorrow at noon for a look at the most cursed objects in sc-fi, fantasy and horror.

AM from "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison

Once you read this short story you will never forget AM, a genocidal, world-spanning computer that keeps some pet humans alive—forever—in order to torture and mutilate them. Forever. Frankly, AM makes Skynet look only a little worse than Windows Vista.

The Cube from Cube

Is the Cube truly evil? It's a box that wants to kill you, but that describes a lot of things (like cars and Box from Logan's Run). More than a box, though, the Cube is a maze of death traps that tantalizes its victims with the slim chance of escape. And that's where its true evil lies—because people inside it have two choices: face down trap upon deadly trap, or lie down and die of thirst.

Armus, aka the Skin of Evil, from Star Trek: The Next Generation

The phrase "pure evil" is usually hyperbole, except in the case of Armus, a creature formed from all the evil and negative emotions of an entire race. Those enlightened beings then left Armus all alone on its planet, which was cruel, if you ask me. So maybe they weren't entirely successful at exorcising their tarry demons. It's easy to sympathize with Armus' plight, thus demonstrating the power of Star Trek to make us feel empathy even for pure evil.

Red Lectroids from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Here's what Buckaroo himself says about Red Lectroids: EVIL! PURE AND SIMPLE! FROM THE 8TH DIMENSION! Which is strange, because by all appearances Red Lectroids are bumbling nincompoops who couldn't fry an egg in the Mojave Desert. But if Buckaroo says it's so, it's so.

Everyone from Star Trek's Mirror universe

Looking for villainy? How about an entire parallel universe of selfish, scheming, churlish, underhanded, cutthroat, murderous, lecherous, backstabbing, double-crossing, liverish, lowdown, corrupt, nefarious, petty, spiteful and darn rude people who look just like you and all your friends. But slightly cooler.

Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars

Here's a guy who blows up inhabited planets to make a point. Just because they are in his way. Compared to Tarkin, should we really be afraid of Darth Vader? What's Vader going to do that's so scary? Choke someone from a foot away? Build a protocol droid?

Daleks from Doctor Who

Unlike so many robotic/cyborg life-annihilators that lack all emotion, the Daleks exhibit a healthy ability to feel. But they only feel hate. And they feel a lot of hate, although maybe they wouldn't be so cranky if they had legs.

Berserkers, created by Fred Saberhagen

Yes, there are a lot of machines out there that hate humans, but Berserkers always bring their A game. First, they want to destroy all organic life, down to the microbe. Second, they are planet-sized starships. Third, they are self-replicating. Imagine a gigantic Death Star with the mind of a Dalek that can reproduce. That's a Berserker.

Evil Whatzit from Event Horizon

The baddie that haunts the starship Event Horizon is completely ethereal, but it's bad, bad, bad. It sends the crew into a festival of torture, mutilation and cannibalism, then goes all subtle on the rescue party, giving them visions of the loved ones they have lost and betrayed. When is an experimental warp drive ever going to open a portal to the dimension of pink fluffy happiness?

Galactus from Marvel Comics

Vengeful gods are a problem, no question, but they are generally on your side. Galactus, though, is a god who has no need of worshipers--except as salt on the planets he eats. And because he's telepathic, unkillable and can teleport entire galaxies, the best policy to adopt with him is: Avoid. Which isn't easy, considering he's 28 feet tall and weighs 18 tons.

And while you're in a Halloween state of mind, why not check out:

Day 1: 19 amazing Star Wars pumpkins

Day 2: Our 9 favorite crazy zombie kills of all time (video)

Day 3: 10 scariest Stephen King novels

Day 4: 14 great Cthulhu toys that make devouring souls fun

Day 5: 15 haunted cereals that will scare your dentist

Day 6: 20 great costumes to dress up your pet

Day 7: 21 (mostly) sexy female stormtroopers (NSFW)

Day 8: 9 movie and TV clowns that scared the hell out of us

Day 9: 10 creepy movie kids even Angelina Jolie wouldn't adopt

Day 10: 6 most awesome Stephen King horror films (plus 3 that sucked)

Day 11: 16 horror movie posters so gruesome they make our eyeballs bleed

Day 12: 16 hot movie and TV vampires who turn us into willing victims

Day 13: 20 awesomely hot Slave Leia costumes (slightly NSFW)

Day 14: 14 lamest horror movie killer costumes (What were they thinking?)

Day 15: 9 of the grossest, goriest X-Files creatures

Day 16: 11 splatterific exploding head scenes from the movies

Day 17: 15 of the most disgusting Halloween candies you can buy

Day 18: 19 freakiest movie and TV neighbors from hell

Day 19: 11 most disturbing Treehouse of Horror segments from The Simpsons

Day 20: 9 rampaging space zombies hungry for our sci-fi brains

Day 21: 10 most nightmarish movie prom nights

Day 22: 11 scary, goofy and just plain revolting movie possessions

Day 23: 13 kick-ass moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Day 24:13 real haunted houses you can visit in the U.S.

Day 25: 15 ghoulish apps you can download to your iPhone

Day 26: 20 hot film and TV witches and warlocks that cast a spell on us

Day 28: The 15 cursed movie objects you NEVER want to own

Day 29: 14 most twisted original Twilight Zone twist endings

Day 30: 16 sci-fi costumes that would definitely get you fired (NSFW)

Day 31: 12 awesome sci-fi Halloween moments, real and fake