5 Great Supervillains from the Movies

6d6 is pleased to welcome film reviewers Colin & Mitch to the blog with five great bad guys from the movies. Some will be familiar but one or two may surprise you.

Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (Max von Sydow)

A long career in top-notch arthouse fare becomes redundant as Max von Sydow trades playing chess with Death for becoming death personified in the shape of the gloriously evil Ming the Merciless. Pathetic earthlings and other puny races quiver in fear as he unleashes hot hail, tsunami and the dreaded bore worms on any playthings that takes his fancy.

Kau from Heroic Trio (Anthony Wong)

As sidekick of the aptly named Evil Master, Kau is the henchman par excellence in Johnny To and Ching Siu Tung’s comicbook grimfest Heroic Trio. Lush day-glo visuals and over-the-top wirework can’t disguise the remorselessly depressing plot but Kau tries to alleviate the misery by being complicit in kidnapping and irretrievably corrupting the city’s children, decapitating useless minions with a cage on a chain and memorably responding to having one of his own digits severed… by eating it.

Darth Vader from Star Wars (Dave Prowse)

Half Jolly Green Giant, half gravely voiced James Earl Jones, Vader’s embracing of the dark side of the force sees him as the ultimate sidekick of the ambitions of the leaders of the evil empire. His ‘sorcerers ways’ are used to good effect.

Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian (James Earl Jones)

All gravely voiced James Earl Jones Thulsa Doom is the Kurtz in Conan’s own Heart of Darkness, embracing the dark side by heading a cannibal cult and changing into a giant snake using his ‘sorcerers ways’. Extra evil points are awarded for slaughtering a small boy’s mother in front of his eyes and sentencing the child to years of toil without diction lessons.

Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (Margaret Hamilton)

Green skin, flying monkey minions, evil cackle, ‘sorcerers ways’ and a dogged determination to pursue her goal – persecute a child and kill her “mangy little dog”! Genius, my pretty.

Film critics Colin and Mitch (aka Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc) are authors and broadcasters who have been writing together for over 12 years. They have written more than 10 books about film directors and genres, the latest is about the marvellous films of Japanese animators Studio Ghibli. Their website is at www.colinandmitch.com where you can also check out their capsule tanka film reviews.