Thursday, August 4, 2011

Villains Redux, Part 2

Greetings from rustic Whitehouse Ohio!  For your entertainment today, I give you part 2 of my recycled post about movie villains.  Hey, if you never saw it the first time, it’s not a rerun to you!


Last post I began running down my list of favorite villains, starting with Monsters. This installment will be a little lighter, covering two smaller lists of “Comedic” Villains and “Character” Villains.

Comedic Villains
3. Hedley Lamarr, played by Harvey Korman in “Blazing Saddles

Harvey Korman stepped out from the Carol Burnett show to portray a brilliant comedic villain, foil to Sheriff Bart and confidant of the “Gov” (Mel Brooks). No word if Tim Conway was unavailable.

Key quote: “I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down. I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists!!” (See below for full effect.)

2. Kim Jong Il, voiced by Trey Parker in “Team America: World Police”
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the guys that do “South Park” did an action movie that makes fun of the lunkheads that blow up the entire city in pursuit of the bad guys, and the weenie Hollywood establishment that protests their methods. And they did it all with marionettes.

The brains behind this particular bad-guy operation is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. He is played with a broad Asian accent and he gets most of the good lines. Then after numerous scenes of depraved brutality, he gets the show’s big number, the somber lament, “I’m So Ronery”.

Key quote:
I'm… So… Ronery / So ronery / So ronery and sadry arone / There's no one / Just me onry / Sitting on my rittle throne / I work rearry hard and make up great prans / but, nobody ristens, no one understands / Seems rike no one takes me serirousryyyyy / And so, I'm ronery / A rittle ronery / Poor rittle me.
See below for Kim’s assault on UN Inspector Hans Brix… I mean, Hans Blix.

1. The French Taunter, played by John Cleese from “Monty Python and the Holy GrailIn a movie with so many bizarre characters and memorable scenes, this guy is completely stands out with his over-the-top French-accented insults.

Key quotes: (too many to list just one): “I’m French!” Why do you think I have this outrrrrageous accent, you silly king?”
“You don’t frighten us, English pigdogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur King; you and all your silly English kennn-iggits!”
“So, you think you can out-clever us French folk with your silly knees-bent-running-about-advancing behavior. I wave my private parts at your aunties, you cheesy lover second-hand electric donkey bottom biters”
Both scenes in which the French Taunter appears are in the clip below.

Character Villains
3. Catwoman, played by Julie Newmar on the TV show “Batman”Oh, my. This “villain” had my little 6-year-old world all screwed up. I know she was always setting deadly traps for Batman, but me-yow, even my tiny elementary-school brain could see she was fiiiiine. Even Batman just wanted to get her up to the Bat Cave. (Nope… no jokes about the Bat Pole… must… resist…)
There have been a number of Catwomen… Eartha Kitt? She predated Julie Newmar but I never saw her play the role. Lee Merriweather played Catwoman in the 1966 movie… she was OK, but something just wasn’t quite right. Michelle Pheiffer? OK, you got me there… she was also fiiiine. But also stone cold crazy. Lastly, Halle Berry in the 2004 movie… Fine, but the movie was so bad it doesn’t really count. No, my heart belongs to Julie Newmar and my mixed up 2nd-grade memories.

Key quote: (Batman) “Oh Catwoman… Catwoman, will you never learn?

Catwoman comes in at about the 1:20 mark, and makes me want to do things to her of which the ASPCA would not approve.

2. The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”
Why so serious?” Because this was a serious role, that’s why. I saw the Dark Knight in the theater last year and you just couldn’t take your eyes off the guy. The role was richly written and brilliantly acted. I used to think that Jack Nicholson’s Joker was the gold standard… he had it way over the TV version. But the thing is, you always knew it was Jack Nic. He never stopped being Jack. I don’t know where Heath Ledger went during the filming of that movie, but he was gone and only insanity was left, along with that lizard tongue.

Key quote:Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little emotions. In... you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?

1. Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
This is what you get when you cross a mean, small-minded bureaucrat with unfettered power. The reason she gets this ranking from me is that I know people like this, sans that magic. The shallow veneer of civility can only hide so much. Putting people like this in charge of children is like putting a necrophiliac in charge of the Coroner’s Office.

Key quote:As I told you, Mr. Potter, naughty children deserve to be punished.”


Coming soon: the “Regular-People” Villains.

(Well, coming as soon as I write it.  This is where the series stopped in 2009.)

15 comments:

  1. I love the French taunter! I saw Spam-a-lot this past November and the staged version was even funnier than the movie one.

    And the Dolores Umbridge in the books is even creepier. Great villain.

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  2. Jessica,
    I SO want to see Spamalot. I wish they'd just put it on DVD or something... French Taunter cracks me up every single time.

    I remember once, back when I was married, we went to this local restaurant and our waiter sounded EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Seriously... we could barely look at each other without cracking up. I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to keep from laughing in the guy's face.

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  3. For regular people villains, I put in an early nom for Nurse Ratched.

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  4. Wow, real people may be the toughest category. There's also Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men and, of course, there's Hannibal Lecter. Good luck with that one.

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  5. Bagger,
    I have the list written, I just never expounded on it. Looks like I'll have to now... Never saw No Country, so that one's out. Hannibal is definitely on the list. Probably Top 5. Or higher. I never thought of Nurse Ratched, but that's a good one.

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  6. I'm not sure why OHIO would make you think of villains, but okay.

    I think Dolores Umbridge is one of the best villains of all time. I found her MADDENING. And I really love to really hate a villain.

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  7. Mundane,
    Ohio really didn't have anything to do with it. I just wanted to run some of my favorite posts that never got read.

    As I kind of said, Umbridge makes such a good villain because there are people out there like her right now, acting like petty little tyrants. We all know one, at least.

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  8. I love Harvey Korman! LOVE him. Throw in Tim Conway and I'm a happy girl. And we are definitely a Monty Python family. My kids both love it. My dad likes this kind of silly stuff, so I grew up watching Monty Python, Mel Brooks (History of the World Part II, oh my hell), and our all-time favorite, The Jerk.

    And Imelda Staunton was absolutely amazing! She made you squirm in frustration - you forgot it was a movie. I think I hated her more in the movie than the book, and that it saying something.

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  9. Gina,
    They totally should have had Tim Conway in Blazing Saddles.

    I grew up on Mel Brooks, but I didn't find Python until college, and then, it was just the records. But I just adored the absurdity right off the bat. As soon as I heard The Argument Clinic, that was it. I was hooked.

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  10. Wonder Full silly good fun! Apt distinction for Heath Ledger who "disappears...". That's a real actor. Yes. We are always aware of Jack Nicolson, Clint Eastwood, Sandra Bullock and many others who play themselves no matter what role.

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  11. Mary Ann,
    For Sandra Bullock, I'm always willing to overlook that fact... I'm too caught up in the yumminess.

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  12. What's really blowing my mind about this post is that MY HUSBAND COULD HAVE WRITTEN IT. That's weird. Although I think he may have picked Eartha Kitt over Julie Newmar. I'll have to double check on that one. but he HATES Umbridge, and LOVES Hedley Lamarr.

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  13. Red Pen Mama,
    That’s the cool thing… there are villains you love and villains you love to hate. Hedley and Umbridge are perfect examples of that.

    I don’t think I ever saw Eartha Kitt play Catwoman, but no matter. Julie Newmar was purrrrrrfect, in the cat suit and out. (Which differentiated her from Batgirl, who was only hot in character.)

    Lastly, what can I say… your husband obviously has taste.

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  14. The Guy and I just watched Blazing Saddles a couple days ago, and we laughed our asses off at that monologue! And now we're on a Gene Wilder kick. We're watching See No Evil, Hear No Evil as I type this!

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  15. Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
    There were so many good parts to that movie, I had a hard time deciding on which bit to use. I hope you were watching the movie uncut… I hate when a station like The Family Channel runs it. They basically cut out everything funny, so you’re left with a stupid drama about railroad workers.

    If you’re working the Gene Wilder thing, I hope you included Young Frankenstein. (That’s Fronkensteen.)

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