In Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the James Bond series, “M” testifies to the continued value of MI6. Confronted by a presiding minister – “It’s as if you insist on pretending that we still live in a golden age of espionage” – M replies:
“I suppose I see a different world that you do and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I’m frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They’re not nations. They’re individuals. Look around you. Who do you fear? Do you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No. Our world is not more transparent now. It’s more opaque. It’s in the shadows. That’s where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves: How safe to you feel?
Kind of makes you long for the good ol days don’t it? When our enemies were more known to us. Never fear Mutant Fam, Joe Bob is here. In this classic Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In column, the critic from Grapevine, Texas, gave us the complete guide to bad guys in the movies – at least as they stood in December of 1992. So sit back, relax, and take in this first installment, complete with Columbians, cannibals, and gangs from the mean streets of NYC. ‘Cause there’s nothing like a little vintage villiany to remind us that Bob from Accounting ain’t all that bad.
Guide to Movie Bad Guys: Hombres Numero-Uno Through Numero-Four-O
Columbians. The best bad guys come from Colombia: greedy blood-thirsty drug lords with bad complexions who sneer a lot while they walk around their mountain villas wearing Japanese kimonos. They always have a girlfriend named “Marissa.” Colombians are now more popular than . . .
New York drug gangs. You still see a few coked-up pimps who get rich off of selling crack to elementary school kids, but the only guy who could do this convincingly was Wesley Snipes, and Wesley is now a GOOD guy. And the New York drug dealers are not necessarily bad anymore anyhow. At any moment they can turn out to be undercover New York cops working hard to save their people from drugs. (Ice-T, Mario Van Peebles, etc.).
Redneck hillbilly cannibals. One of my favorite bad guys is the overweight gap-toothed weasel named Hiram who lives in a shack and keeps innocent women chained up in his tool shed, where he can occasionally go out and poke em with a stick and fatten em up for the family picnic.
Real cannibals, from South America. This is so politically incorrect that I haven’t seen it done for ten years, but there used to be a kind of movie where anthropologists would go down to the Amazon Forest to prove cannibalism didn’t exist, and, of course, they’d end up as Swanson’s TV dinners for the local tribes. These guys have yellow gunk painted across their noses, grass skirts, and they carry feathered spears.
Next Up: Hombres Numero-Five-O through Numero-Ten-O including Nazis, mercenaries and the mob.
© Joe Bob Briggs from “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In,” December 4, 1992