After a coupla weeks off so ya’ll could start laying bets in Vegas on the three films to be shown on Joe Bob’s Red Christmas, LAST CALL the Drive-In Blog returns with installment numero-two-o of Joe Bob’s classic guide to movie bad guys – at least as they stood in December of 1992. This week we’ve got AWOL Nazis, African mercenaries, perpetual Viet Cong fighters (because some part of the war in ‘Nam – like the drive-in – never dies), corrupt psychotic cops and the good ol Mob.
Guide to Movie Bad Guys: Hombres Numero-Five-O Through Numero Nine-O
Nazis who have NEVER BEEN FOUND. Just like professional rassling, the movies have sort of lost interest in Nazis. I think it was when somebody figured out that any Nazi officer who was alive in 1945 would now be at least 80 years old, and so these movies are getting really tough to cast. Even if you can find a guy who’s planning the comeback of the Reich from his unassuming home in Paraguay, you’ve got to make that deal with Jessica Tandy to play his wife.
Mercenaries in Africa. These are always guys who have gone to Africa and built secret fortresses in the desert or the jungle so that they can kidnap the beautiful daughters of millionaires and take them there and hold them ransom so they can raise money to finance wars in the Middle East. While they’re at it, they usually kill a few natives, slaughter some elephants, and start going so crazy that it takes a whole platoon of retired Marines to storm the fortress, kill 400 henchmen, and rescue the girl.
Lunatic Viet Cong officers who don’t know the war is over. These are the guys who are still holding the 3,000 missing-in-action American prisoners that Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris still haven’t been able to rescue after six movies. They usually have a single name, like “Colonel Hong,” and a nickname, like “The Butcher.” They like to string up Americans and ram hot bamboo sticks through their TOES. (It’s always some weird part of the body, like the toes, so you’ll know it’s a weird ancient form of torture that no American has ever heard of.) If you can’t find a Vietnamese guy to play the torturer, you can always hire Henry Silva.
Corrupt psychotic cops. An increasingly popular bad-guy type, this pure-dee mean nightmare in blue should be played by Charles Napier or Wings Hauser. He preys on the innocent, kills junkies when he’s used them up, takes money seized from drug busts, and puts his partner in a situation where he can get killed. In the last scene, he pulls his gun on his partner and says, “That’s right–it was me all along. Sorry I have to do this, Paul, but business is business.” And then somebody drops a cement block on his head and riddles his body with machine-gun fire.
The Mafia. These poor guys are totally passe. Sure we have an occasional flick like Goodfellas that brings them back in all their Technicolor brutality, but, let’s face it, that’s more fantasy than reality these days. Ever since Gotti’s gone to prison (and now gone to dead), we’re talking guys sitting around old folks homes trying to chew their applesauce. A once proud bad-guy tradition has entered its twilight years.
Next Up: Joe Bob paints the town red with a Friday the 13th that demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas.
© Joe Bob Briggs from “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In,” December 4, 1992