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Evil company names.

What are some great examples of evil-sounding company names? Names that sound almost cartoon/video game evil-y (Like Umbrella corp.)

Bonus points if they actually exist, and are inherently evil in their name alone. (i.e. not evil by association. Like Microsoft. Har! See, I mocked Microsoft. I'm an individual!)

(Via The Colbert Report, which I've justed started a-watchin'.)
posted by oxford blue to Grab Bag (87 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Lynx Chemical.

A chemical plant near where my track team used to practice. I always thought it would be a great place for a shootout in a James Bond movie.
posted by dondiego87 at 6:46 AM on September 22, 2007


Danger, Inc. -- Makers of the T-Mobile Sidekick
posted by SpecialK at 6:57 AM on September 22, 2007


I always thought that "Industrial Light and Magic" was pretty sinister sounding.

Not to mention "Industrial Smoke and Mirrors"...
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:00 AM on September 22, 2007


Raytheon. Makers of the real, honest-to-god pain ray.
posted by The Bellman at 7:01 AM on September 22, 2007


Whacking Hut.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:15 AM on September 22, 2007


Colostrum -- creepy evil
posted by maxpower at 7:20 AM on September 22, 2007


I remember being shocked when I saw the Wackenhut guys doing security in New Orleans right after Katrina. Never heard of them until then, and to see them standing guard in front of the ruined shotgun houses was surreal, not in the least because of that company name. Who and what were they guarding--they treated civilians like the enemy.
posted by subatomiczoo at 7:23 AM on September 22, 2007


There is a cafe in Seattle called the Victrola and it makes me think that it should be a hangout for bad guys.
posted by banannafish at 7:25 AM on September 22, 2007


Colostrum?? As a nursing mother, I must disagree. Nothing at all evil about one of the most nutritious substances on earth. As far as evil sounding companies go, Haliburton comes to mind. Shudder!!
posted by pearlybob at 7:36 AM on September 22, 2007


Landor is this big corporate brand developer company. I always thought that sounded pretty sinister.
posted by cusack at 7:40 AM on September 22, 2007


My favourite is Albatross Insurance. If only they did marine insurance, it would be perfect, but life insurance is sinister enough.
posted by happyturtle at 7:42 AM on September 22, 2007


Oops... forgot link: Albatross Insurance
posted by happyturtle at 7:42 AM on September 22, 2007


If you think "Haliburton" sounds evil, I think you're falling into the trap of confusing your pre-existing associations with a word with the word itself - in the same way that people often think that every single word is an onomatopoeia ("but 'dog' just sounds like what a dog is, emotionally, and so does 'cat', and 'frog'! I mean say it: 'frog' ... doesn't it just evoke a frog?" ... yes, of course it does, but because you've learned the meaning of the word.).

If Haliburton manufactured cute japanese toys and was customarily written in a pink bubble font, you'd have a gut feeling that it was a happy joyful sounding name.
posted by dmd at 7:43 AM on September 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wolfram & Hart.
posted by WCityMike at 7:48 AM on September 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Always thought that "The RAND Corporation" was a creepy name. "Wang" was always good for a chortle.
posted by jquinby at 7:56 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


This can't be good.
posted by cashman at 7:57 AM on September 22, 2007


Would you believe that "KAOS" was an evil organization bent on world wide domination? They missed it by that much.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:08 AM on September 22, 2007


Placon Corporation
posted by cuban link flooded jesus at 8:08 AM on September 22, 2007


I've always found that the most evil companies are actually those that only use initials or last names, providing absolutely no indication of what they're into. That said (and along the lines of Blackwater), Executive Outcomes is ambiguously creepy. Also maybe Havoc (video games). Or perhaps Steptoe and Johnson (lawyers)?
posted by B-squared at 8:09 AM on September 22, 2007


I found the Wikipedia note on the origins of the name Weyland-Yutani interesting. Maybe you can come up with a name that implies a megacorporation spanning a couple of continents. Then again, "Hutchison Whampoa" doesn't sound all that sinister to me.
posted by tss at 8:25 AM on September 22, 2007


Anything with "Amalgamated" in the name. Even (especially?) Amalgamated Sugar Company.
posted by aparrish at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2007


Would you believe that "KAOS" was an evil organization bent on world wide domination?

Yes. Yes, I would.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2007


Raytheon
posted by 517 at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2007


I was working a trade show two weeks ago.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries" was near out booth.

The name reeks of deep Gibsonian techno-evil to me (and awesomeness, too)
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:36 AM on September 22, 2007


I've always liked Borg-Warner. Sounds like a company that makes systems for detecting ("warning" of) cyborgs. Of course they actually make auto parts.
posted by kindall at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2007


Nascar; Mannatech; PetMed Express; Plantronics; NutriSystem

Anything ending with "Holdings"

A lot of company names made up of words shoved together with capitals in the middle end up unintentionally creepy.

Food Lion - who'll be eating whom?
posted by amtho at 8:54 AM on September 22, 2007


I always thought Yoyodyne sounded a bit sinister. The real life company's disappointing on that aspect.

Have you browsed Wikipedia's 'list of fictional companies' for inspiration? I agree that Amalgamated helps. Amalgamated Biscuit, for instance, does indeed sound like it's got factories full of people with machine injuries to me.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:57 AM on September 22, 2007


Rentokil
posted by fire&wings at 8:58 AM on September 22, 2007


TheRapistFinder.com isn't a great domain/site name.
posted by sirliberal at 8:59 AM on September 22, 2007


International Business Machines.
posted by dobie at 9:05 AM on September 22, 2007


I always thought it would be cool if Kimberly Clark was an ass kicking, female James Bond. Who cleaned things.

Also, just the opposite of what you're asking, every time some very strange or potentially dangerous situation comes up, my manuals instruct me to notify Bettis for guidance. I always imagined Bettis was a kindly old grandmother, who would reassure me that everything would be ok.
posted by ctmf at 9:13 AM on September 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Skunkworks
posted by Mapes at 9:16 AM on September 22, 2007


Cutler Hammer sounds kind of sinister to me.
posted by ctmf at 9:18 AM on September 22, 2007


Kimberley Clark is the feisty sidekick of secret agent Armitage Shanks.
posted by fire&wings at 9:28 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Acme Corporation Wile E. Coyote frequently purchased Acme products via mail order. His Acme arsenal included weapons, rockets, springs, giant magnets, iron-laced bird seed, and other devices for his inventive and endless attempts to catch the Road Runner.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:30 AM on September 22, 2007


Not quite what you're looking for, but there's the famous law firm, MoFo. I love the way Morrison and Foerster, instead of being mortified by the fact that people would address it by the vulgar abbreviation MoFo, cheerfully embraced the nickname.
posted by jayder at 9:42 AM on September 22, 2007


Cereberus Capital

A shady umbrella corporation with a shady umbrella corporation name.
posted by boots at 10:11 AM on September 22, 2007


From the Simpsons: "...brought to you by ILG: selling your body's chemicals after you die. And by Li'l Sweetheart Cupcakes -- a subsidiary of ILG."
posted by Jeff Howard at 10:24 AM on September 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Exxon. Two Xs is a double helping of negativity. Really, what was wrong with "Standard Oil of New Jersey"?

Roche. Because it sounds too much like things you don't want crawling around in your medicine. (People who work there call the lunch wagon out in the parking lot "The Roche Coche".)
posted by Quietgal at 10:26 AM on September 22, 2007


I think a lot of companies with Human in the name end up sounding pretty evil, i.e.:

Human Assets
Human Biomolecular Research
Human Emulation Robotics
posted by pombe at 10:30 AM on September 22, 2007


Hertz.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Union Carbide
posted by hototogisu at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2007


When Pepsico spun off its restaurant division (which including Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken), they new company they formed was called Tricon Global. Amusingly, their NYSE ticker symbol was YUM, which is what they eventually changed their name to in 2002.
posted by mhum at 10:49 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why Tricon / YUM wouldn't call themselves KenTacoHut is beyond me...
posted by deCadmus at 11:04 AM on September 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


"NutriSystem" sounds less like a diet company, and instead a secretive organization that makes synthetic foods in slurry form to feed your prisoners/slaves/clones/etc.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:08 AM on September 22, 2007


...anything ending with 'holdings'

I'm not certain that Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding fits the bill.
posted by deCadmus at 11:09 AM on September 22, 2007


"Whatcha doin' tonight?"

"Girling."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:15 AM on September 22, 2007


IG Farben
posted by doctor_negative at 11:25 AM on September 22, 2007


Monsanto, Dow Chemical.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:35 AM on September 22, 2007


I'm not certain that Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding fits the bill.

Sadly, I think Koç ought to be pronounced less like "cock" and more like "coach."
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:40 AM on September 22, 2007


Connected Ventures
posted by specialfriend at 11:58 AM on September 22, 2007


Anything with -dyne makes me think Cyberdyne Systems from the Terminator.

They were gobbled up by Wachovia, but the brokerage company Wheat First Butcher Singer sounds pretty evil.

Their ownership of Fox News notwithstanding, the name News Corporation sounds very government institution like part of 1984.

How about the opposite? Bob Barker Company, surely it has to do with the lovable host of The Price is Right and animal rights activist? Nope, prison supply company.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:07 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Amgen
posted by clh at 12:08 PM on September 22, 2007


Back when I was in high school and drew comics all the time with my friends, "Progen Corporation" was our made-up sinister corporation. Looks like there is a "Progen Industries" in existence.
posted by pravit at 12:18 PM on September 22, 2007


I think it's hard to come up with a more evil sounding name than Kaiser Permanente.
posted by gsteff at 12:22 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


SLORC was the self-chosen name of the military junta governing Burma. It was an acronym for State Law and Order Restoration Council . They eventually figured out that it gave away the fact that they were evil, and now they go by SPDC (State Peace and Development Council). People still know they're evil, though.
posted by alms at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2007


The one that always gets me is Omnicom. The fact that they actually do help decide nearly all commercial and advertising messages through their countless subsidiary companies only adds to the Orwellian creepiness. From their own site:
Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) is a strategic holding company that manages a portfolio of global market leaders. Our companies operate in the disciplines of advertising, marketing services, specialty communications, interactive/digital media and media buying services.

posted by anildash at 12:31 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Even without the history of chicanery, "News Corp." has always given me a chill. Kind of sounds like the news is something they manufacture, doesn't it?

the corpse in the library - !!! I would say the station's level of evil depends on how pretentious any given hour's student DJ is. Swear to god, I once heard a gal on there say, "and if you've heard of kraftwerk, I applaud you."

You from Oly? E-mail's in my profile.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2007


My company's Name is CRM Holdings Limited.

Thank God for DBAs
posted by Mick at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2007


CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet
posted by blaneyphoto at 1:14 PM on September 22, 2007


Mercy Corp. Great organization, but it sounds like Dr. Kevorkian's company.
posted by equipoise at 1:17 PM on September 22, 2007


Absorption Corp is a company that I always assumed was created to gobble up human life as we know it etc.
Turns out they make kitty litter.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:26 PM on September 22, 2007


Praxair, a huge supplier of air you can't breathe.

industrial gases, that is
posted by Quietgal at 1:42 PM on September 22, 2007


Sanrio.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, EatTheWeak: your e-mail isn't in your profile. Mine is, though. (I used to have a not-terribly-evil show on KAOS).
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:17 PM on September 22, 2007


Strange Engineering. I used to laugh every time I drove past their old digs in Evanston. That's more Our Man Flint than James Bond, if you ask me, though.

Despite tss above, I think that Hutchison-Whampoa does have an unpleasant-sounding name, which may be why it's been the focus of all those Panama Canal conspiracy theories. The most direct evil it does, most likely, is losing lots of shipping containers in the ocean ...

Messerschmitt was pretty evil (slave labor) and was an awesome name for a fighter plane. I don't know that I'd say it sounds evil, just ... fast. (Another cool Nazi company name was Telefunken, but that's probably just because of the later popularity of "funk". Plus, it's just fun to say the German way.)

Per anil dash, I've always thought that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was a horrible name. It sounds like Howard Stern's King of All Media boast, for one thing. Another poorly chosen name was the Baby Bell Pacific Telesis. Seems to me it would subtly remind people of "electrolysis" and other medical procedures, rather than telecommunications. (By contrast, all the subcompanies that ended in "Bell" had a name with excellent associations. The word makes you think more of the item than a man, thus church bells or just music.)

Getting back to evil. Is there a more generic-sounding, faceless name than Network Solutions? Is it any surprise, with a name like that, they became legendary for opaque customer service?
posted by dhartung at 2:21 PM on September 22, 2007


Gore makes medical textiles, among other things.
posted by Anisoptera at 2:38 PM on September 22, 2007


Grynn & Barrett
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:43 PM on September 22, 2007


Sepracor, makers of Lunesta. Vartan Gregorian is actually an academic dude, but his name evokes James Bond villains. As above, any word with Amalgamated or Global attached to it works. Kaiser Permanente for sure.
posted by MadamM at 2:46 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hooker Chemical
posted by bluesky43 at 3:11 PM on September 22, 2007


Genetic Savings and Clone was a great creepy-funny name for a company that folded in 2005.
posted by nicwolff at 3:28 PM on September 22, 2007


I agree, "News Corp" just gives me the heebies - what they actually do gives me the jeebies on top.

I used to work at a place called Terragen Discovery.

Sigma Aldrich

Merck Frosst

Zymo Research

Abraxis Biosciences

Axis Shield

Biochrom AG

...

Here's a link to Cederlane - click on the dropdown menu and company after company name will leap out at you.
posted by porpoise at 3:40 PM on September 22, 2007


Oops, Cederlane, that is.
posted by porpoise at 3:40 PM on September 22, 2007


Omega Landscape
posted by SPrintF at 4:20 PM on September 22, 2007


Aramark isn't particularly creepy, but their office location in 'Aramark Tower' certainly is.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 5:26 PM on September 22, 2007


Cease Funeral Home
posted by TungstenChef at 5:27 PM on September 22, 2007


I think Cyberdyne is itself a reference to (literary/filmic) Yoyodyne. I was really stunned when I found out there were real companies named that.

My campus was taken over by Aramark, and I say they ARE creepy.

My brother-in-law lives near Goodbody Mortuary, which just sounds like they ought to have been the bad guys in some episode of Buffy.

The SF Bay Area seems to attract intentionally malevolent-sounding company names, such as Giant Killer Robots, Slave Labor Graphics Publishing, Chaosium, Nihilistic, Secret Level, and Cryptic Studios.

On the other hand, these companies probably weren't supposed to sound disturbing, but they do to me: Hyperpia, NeuroSky--oh, and don't get me started on all the engineering/biotech companies where I live! Intematix, Genitope, Bio-Rad (not to mention related companies Ciphergen and Vermillion!), Volterra (I know it's a town in Italy, honest), EverDream (bad guys in a cyberpunk novel, eh?), etc.
posted by wintersweet at 6:59 PM on September 22, 2007


Chiron Corporation
Triple Canopy
Gazprom
Aramco
posted by thrako at 9:32 PM on September 22, 2007


Foxconn
Viacom
Batrus Hollweg
posted by gemmy at 9:42 PM on September 22, 2007


You could always go for CIA-front company DynTek.

Hint: when they say "consulting", just insert "mercenaries".
posted by Avenger at 10:52 PM on September 22, 2007


Hmmm....on second thought, they seem to be mostly into IT and networking now.

I do remember that they supplied the Kosovars with "advisors" back in '99 and the Colombian government with crop-eradication aircraft until very recently.

Interesting....
posted by Avenger at 10:55 PM on September 22, 2007


HOLY SHIT. Disregard those posts. I got the wrong DynTek.

Here's the real one: DynCorp.

Still sounds omnious, as it should. Heres the wikipedia article.
posted by Avenger at 10:59 PM on September 22, 2007


I always thought SynCrude was a pretty fitting name for an evil oil company.
posted by Jaybo at 11:41 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Genzyme is pretty evil.
posted by Maastrictian at 11:53 PM on September 22, 2007


My first trip to Dallas I was surprised to drive past "R H Dedman Hospital"...
posted by nonliteral at 11:56 AM on September 23, 2007


I think that company names that sound "generic-brand" (ie Cola brand cola) are sinister because they don't sound like real companies. The names are too obvious. I'm looking at you, General Motors, General Electric, General Atomics...
posted by crinklebat at 10:22 PM on September 23, 2007


I have always found the word "klaxon" to be pretty evil-sounding. There is a company called Klaxon (website is down) but "Klaxon Kommunications"? I can't decide if it's creepy or silly.
posted by nekton at 5:24 PM on October 10, 2007


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