Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, Moriarty. All great villains, all people who
are damn good at their job. Sure the good guy always wins but they get
the odd victory or pull off something that makes you think they are a
credible threat to the hero. These guys are A list bad guys. Today I
want to talk for a bit about the not so greats, the villains that should
have given up a long time ago, the guys who you just can’t take seriously –
the B listers.
In order to compile this list I invested a great
deal of time and thought* and came up with a couple of criteria.
They cannot be spoof villains, so Dr Evil and The Monarch for example
do not qualify.
2. They have to have become a foot note in villanry.
If they still have an active TV or Film series then are at least doing
With these criteria in mind lets look at (in my
opinion) five of the best B listers.
1. The Hooded Claw**
Sylvester Sneakly had a tough gig, his Nemesis was the cartoon equivalent of Paris Hilton (Penelope Pitstop ) and lets be honest we would all struggle against those odds. What I love about this guy though was his elaborate and outlandish plans to kill Pitstop. A piano on the head wasn’t good enough for him, oh no, it would have to be a piano tied to a rope which would release a school of mice, who would eat through another rope, which would release the man eating crocodiles who would devour her. I think if he had spent less time on his traps and more time just trying kill Penelope he might have won, but then he wouldn’t have been such a class act.
Now if I’m honest this guy is actually my favorite villain of all time and is the main reason I still think Masters of the Universe has some merritt. Skeletor is one of the campest villains ever to grace our screens *** when in fact he should be one of the scariest. He has a skull for a head for crying out loud, that alone should make him A list, but no, he chooses to ride around on a giant purple Cat and come up with the worst evil plans imaginable. I think Skeletor is the Micheal Scott of villains, well meaning but ultimately a looser – and that is why I love him.
3. Raistlin Majere
Raistlin’s name should be said with the same reverance we reserve for Gandalf and Merlin. He not only single handedly stopped a war (and a god from entering the world) but later went on to kill all the gods and become one himself. I think if his story had been told by better writers he would be far more famous than he is now. Sadly he is relegated to the B list and bad fan fiction (as I discovered while trying to find this image.)
4. Vilos Cohaagen
Not only are you evil enough to triple the price of air but somehow you have convinced Arnold Schwarzenegger to be your chief henchman. Now that takes some first class villainy right there. Cohaagen is a villain from the mold of Lex Luthor but sadly has never reached the same level of fame as his peer. But answer me this has Luthor ever used the phrase “Home in time for cornflakes?” of course not, he couldn’t pull it off, but Cohaagen could and that’s why he makes the list (that and letting midgets die from lack of air).
5. Prince Vigo
Gozer is a tough gig to follow, I mean how do you top a 50 foot marshmallow man? Vigo took his best shot but ultimately failed to be any real kind of threat. He had the credentials; he ruled over a kingdom with an iron fist, he had to be hung, shot, disemboweled drawn and quartered in order to be killed, he was able to keep his spirit alive in a painting and he could posses people. Sadly he made some poor choices, like choosing to posses Janosz Poha for one. Vigo could have been great, but instead he ended up being covered in a sticky goo and transformed into a half naked painting of Bill Murray.
So there you have it, some of my favorate lesser villians. All I ask of you gentle reader is that next time you see Vader or Luthor hogging all the limelight spare a thought for these guys. After all no one else is going to.
* I thought about it while I finished painting the
fence in my back yard this morning.
** One day I will make my live action version of this film staring Micheal Emmerson as The Hooded Claw, Sarah Michelle Geller as Pitstop and The Undertaker in the dual role of the Bully Brothers.
*** No the campest, that of course is Bennett from the film Commando.