It's hard to be a mega-company and not be evil. There's just something about setting up a huge conglomerate of global reach that somehow makes a CEO want to develop viruses and weapons and evil robots, I guess. But just because a corporation is evil doesn't mean that's it's good at being evil — here are 10 companies who should have held a few evil training seminars before enacting their nefarious plans.
1) Umbrella Corporation
Whether it's the evil corporation of the Resident Evil videogames, or the evil corporation of the movies, the Umbrella Corporation should be commended for its devotion to profits over any kind of common sense. Developing an uncontrollable virus that turns people into zombies is dumb to begin with — it being uncontrollable and all — but it takes impressive incompetence to hire nothing but morons, lunatics, and actively evil people to watch over the project, ensuring it gets out and ends the world. The videogame Umbrella gets bonus points, because even though the T-virus is actually stopped, they immediately get back on that zombie horse and test a new uncontrollable plague in Spain.
A Xenomorph is kind of like a zombie virus, when you think about it. They're both pretty much unstoppable killing machines that people think they can turn into a profit, despite the almost 100% certainty that they'll die in the process, all their customers will die in the process, or both. In Alien, W-Y intentionally sent the Nostromo to LV-426 to check out the Xenomorph without warning them, basically ensuring that the mission would be a disaster. In Aliens, they set up a colony on LV-426 and told them to investigate the remains of the Nostromo, again without warning them of the Xenomorphs, again ensuring everyone dies and nothing is accomplished. Why not just send in the damn marines in the first place? And don't get me started on the Weyland Corporation of Prometheus, who used all their resources to send one dickish old man into space so he could be bludgeoned to death by Michael Fassbender's head.
3) Primatech Paper Company
Also known as "The Company," the preferred nomenclature for evil corporations everywhere, this fake business from Heroes was started with the noblest of intentions: to avoid a future catastrophe like the one that happens at Camp Coyote Sands. This meant tracking the world's superpowered population, and eliminating the dangerous ones — which, sure, is evil, but not strictly incompetent. But if you can explain how 1) developing the Shanti virus, which can kill 93% of the population, or 2) blowing up New York City, counts at all as "avoiding future catastrophes," then congratulations, because you're smarter than every Primatech employee ever featured on Heroes.
4) Resources Development Administration
The generically named corporation of James Cameron's Avatar (admittedly, it is a perfect name for a company that wants to find a material called "unobtainium") had a very odd plan for dealing with the native Na'Vi of the planet Pandora. They first decided to bioengineere fake Na'Vi bodies and insert people's consciousnesses into them so they could explore the planet and deal with the natives, and then, as soon as one of these "avatars" goes native and attacks a bulldozer, they just bomb the shit out of everything. If they were going to start killing the Na'Vi at the least provocation, why didn't they just do that in the first place instead of spending all that time and money on the Avatar program?
5) Rossum Corporation
Dollhouse's Rossum Corporation started out evil, but it didn't turn incompetent until late in the game. The evil came when the company developed the technology to mind-wipe humans and insert other personalities and skills into them, and started renting these "dolls" to people, often to have (technically unwilling) sex with them. Also evil: When they started offering to insert people's minds into other people's bodies, thus effectively allowing the very, very rich people who could afford the process to be immortal (at the mere cost of the poor people who's bodies they stole). This was stupid, as this proliferation allowed the Chinese government to steal their technology, who used it to, uh, create a phone call that turned everyone who heard it into insane murderers, causing the apocalypse. Admittedly, the Chinese government doesn't come off too well here, but it's Rossum's fault for valuing profits over the end of the world.
6) Tyrell Corporation
The Replicant-making company from Blade Runner has a unique business plan: Making artificial intelligences so complete they often think they are human, and certainly know enough to fear their own death. The one difference is that replicants don't have empathy, so they're all sociopaths with no compunction about killing. Then they design these replicants to die in four years. So they are, in essence, creating bitter murderers with nothing to lose. I can't imagine how that might be trouble.
As far as businesses go, LexCorp is extremely successful, and its owner, Lex Luthor, is extremely smart. Why is it on this list, you ask? Well, imagine how much more successful LexCorp would be if its founder didn't spend half of the company's resources on trying to kill Superman? No more suits of battle armor, no more kryptonite mining, no more elaborate traps — if Lex redistributed his "Kill Superman" budget, he could probably solve every non-superpowered problem in the world. And then he would be a bigger hero than his foe.
8) Cyberdyne Systems
Given how many different timelines the Terminator franchise has, the actual deeds of Cyberdyne vary from movie to movie to TV show to whatever. But the basic fact is this: They develop an artificial intelligence smart enough to control all of the military's offensive and defensive capabilities, including its nuclear arsenal, and then forgot to make sure it wouldn't freak the fuck out if someone tried to turn it off. Hell, even a line of code that read "killing all humans = bad" apparently never made it on their to-do list.
9) Spectacular Optical
Albeit more of a crazy government conspiracy disguised as a company than a real company, this corporation from David Cronenberg's Videodrome produces the self-titled show, full of actual torture and live murders, to give secret brain tumors to the horrible people who would deign to watch such filth, killing them off and purging society. Given the terrifyingly large audience of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, I think we can safely say that if the Videodrome program were real the planet's population would be dead of inside a week. To paraphrase H.L. Mencken: "No one even went broke underestimating the viewing habits of the American public."
10) Omni Consumer Products
Where to begin? The company that created RoboCop is ridiculous. First of all, it's in the business of making robotic police officers, despite most of its executives being involved in criminal enterprises; that's like a bear running a company that makes bear traps. And that's Omni at it's smartest; in Robocop 2, they decide to turn a criminal into a RoboCop, as if that wasn't the most transparently bad idea ever. In Robocop 3, while on the verge of bankruptcy, they create an army of "urban rehabilitators" with orders to pretty much kill everybody, as if no one would notice. But you know what's most insane about Omni? They bothered to do any of this in Detroit.