“Time of the Monkey” features two of the most sinister villains the series has seen so far: Joyce Harris (S. Epatha Merkerson) and Irene Smothers (Judith Light), a pair of fiercely funny felons who grow cannabis in their closet and seem like the coolest old ladies on the planet until you find out that they tried to kill some prep school kids with homemade crockpot bombs. Joyce and Irene give Charlie a real run for her money, almost managing to kill her after a lengthy battle, and they manage to kill two people before eventually getting caught. They’re both terrifying and surprisingly likable, which is something of McKee’s specialty.
McKee’s first feature, “May,” stars Angela Bettis as May, a socially awkward outcast who has a tough time making friends and fetishizes people’s body parts. Bettis’s performance is incredible, but McKee’s script and direction depict her sympathetically even when she’s monstrous, making her a truly compelling character in spite of her horrific actions. Most of his movies feature some kind of wicked woman — whether it’s Pollyanna McIntosh as the titular character in the grotesque and gory “The Woman” or the spellcasting sisterhood at the center of “All Cheerleaders Die” — and McKee knows how to make even the most malicious woman into a fully-formed and fleshed-out character, which rules! There are loads of shows and movies about male antiheroes and sympathetic villains, so seeing more ladies get their shot at being baddies is always a treat.