Thursday, September 19, 2013

Questionable Bond No. 13

Sometimes you just can’t find good help. That’s when you call EZ Hench and you take what you can get.

Question: "Name the worst Bond henchman."


Andrew's Answer: It’s hard not to say May Day (Grace Jones) from A View to a Kill. Of course, it’s just as hard not to name the henchmen in the Timmy Dalton films. . . except I can’t remember their names. But I’m actually going with someone who many people like, but who I think is just awful: Jaws. Let’s see, a tall man with dental problems who finds love in outer space. Uh... no.

Scott's Answer: Believe it or not, no one immediately comes to mind. But I will go with May Day (Grace Jones) from A View to a Kill. She's... well, she has presence. I'll give her that. Oh, and then there's the diminutive Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize) from The Man with the Golden Gun. Ya know, I can't put my finger on it but I just can't take him seriously as a henchman. And you lose your henchman credentials if Bond can put you inside a suitcase!

19 comments:

Dave Olson said...

Mister Kidd and Mister Wint from Diamonds are Forever are about as bad as it gets. However "progressive" it may have seemed at the time to have one of the first gay screen couples, it just looks stupid now.

Knick Knack was also similarly dumb in Golden Gun. How threatening can you be if you don't even come up to my balls? (Well of course there's a danger THERE, but he's not getting anywhere near The Jewels.)

Xenia Onnatop would have been a pretty bad henchwoman in Goldeneye if she hadn't been played to the hilt by the scrumptious Famke Jannsen. Like the admiral who is her first onscreen victim, I would have died with a smile on my face. And, as he probably thought as well, "It was worth it."

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, Interestingly, a lot of people think Kidd and Wint are some of the more interesting villains. I think they are ok. They are kind of creepy, but too campy to carry it through.

Agreed about Knick Knack. He's just another element in that film that shouldn't be there.

K said...

Professor Dent from Dr. No. I mean come on, a professor? - What? Is he going to grade Bond to death? Put him on detention?

AndrewPrice said...

K, He'll use his evil professory ways.

Anthony said...

I thought Kidd and Wint were hilarious and awesome. They came across as bored, sadistic professionals and managed to be both memorable and grounded (relatively speaking) which is more than I can say for 99.99999% of Bond's antagonists.

The crappiest henchman that springs to mind for me is Whisper. He's a chubby guy with no physical skills and whose gimmick is that he can only speak in a whisper. Bond didn't even pay him the compliment of killing him.

There's a whole bunch of crappy Dalton era villains (the terrorist who loves but can't feel, the media mogul who starts wars, the big blonde guy who is so much of an expert on pain he doesn't feel it, Diamondface the albino Korean terrorist) but they were surrounded by crap, so they don't come across as badly as Whisper (who was alongside a death god and a man with a hook for a hand).

Tennessee Jed said...

Jaws is the worst by far. Boooooooh! I think knick knack was the character's name from Fantasy Island.

5minutes said...

Oh, there are so many...

If we stick with top-level henchmen, I'll agree with Jaws. He's useless other than being big and strong and dentifriced. May Day was bad, but mostly because Grace Jones is a terrible actress. I actually liked the role - she just didn't have the chops to make it happen. Mr. Stamper from "Tomorrow Never Dies" is pretty weak, too.

But there's a big one most people are missing: Zao from Die Another Day. He's terrible. He has all the menace of an overripe tomato. And he dies by being impaled by an ice chandelier.

As for 2nd-tier henchmen, Whisper's utterly useless (as is just about everyone in Live and Let Die with the exception of Tee Hee - seriously, what exactly does Baron Samedi do other than laugh entertainingly?), the girls in A View to A Kill are screen filler, and most of the guys in Moon's crew are fodder. But the most useless, IMO, is Wayne Newton's Prof. Joe Butcher in "License to Kill". Now, while I have a soft spot for that movie, that role exists for no real reason other than to give Wayne Newton a paycheck and the chance to say he was in a Bond movie.

K said...

Agreed about Knick Knack.

I have to defend Knick Knack here. Scaramanga didn't need a henchman because he was one himself - a great one I might add. He offs the one guy who could be considered the "evil genius" of the film and takes over. So Knick Knack wasn't the henchman in that film - he mainly serves drinks.

ScottDS said...

Dave -

I have to agree with Andrew. Kidd and Wint (aside from being one of the more memorable things in that movie) are wonderfully creepy in a mundane kind of way.

No doubt GLAAD would have a problem with them now (portraying gay characters as villains).

ScottDS said...

Oh, and re: Xenia Onatopp...

GoldenEye was my first Bond film (I was 12 and the franchise was back after an extended absence)...

...she will always be my first Bond villainess. :-)

ScottDS said...

5minutes -

It's been a while and I don't even remember Whisper... but I do like Baron Samedi. I don't know why... he was just fun to watch! (And he's in the final shot of the film which is one of my favorite final shots ever.)

ScottDS said...

K -

Interesting comment but my criticism remains. :-D

tryanmax said...

Sadly, I can't decide. Bambi & Thumper are completely unconvincing as... whatever they're supposed to be. Stamper, Kriegler, Necros, and Hans are all in competition for most generic Aryan. Chang, who's special talent is apparently running away. Although I think Elvis from QoS is possibly the worst. Honestly, I can only remember his name. What did he do? Anything?

On Famke Janssen, she's just a little too creepy for my tastes. Though deliciously so in Hemlock Grove. Never have cared for her as Jean Grey.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Good call. Whisper is kind of pointless. He's just fat and can't speak well.

AndrewPrice said...

5Minutes, I'm still not sure what the point to Wayne Newton was.

AndrewPrice said...

K, True. But he does try to kill Bond a couple times, so I have to count him.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I like her. :)

tryanmax said...

Andrew, really? I give a list of crap henchmen and all you can respond to are my thoughts on Famke Janssen? That's fine. I understand where your priorities lie.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry tryanmax, it's been a long day and I'm exhausted.

Post a Comment