1980s Movie Villains

It’s been a weird and wonderful month so here is my weird and wonderful 80s League 80s Movie Villains (late entry) post for March 2017.  There are so many amazing 1980s evil doers to pick from so I went for the first villains to spring to mind and had to reel myself in as the list got longer and longer. I’ve listed my choices in alphabetical order.

The 80s League are a bunch of like minded and creative types who enjoy writing and chatting about all things 1980s including movies, TV, music, fashion and so much more. You can check out all the other related 80s Movie Villains posts and podcasts via the links here – Real Weegie MidgetRediscover the 80sReturn to the 80s post and podcastStuck in the 80s podcast and postOld School Evil and 80s Reboot Overdrive.

Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Starting with an inept, yet tyrannical, villain. Dark Helmet didn’t know an asshole from his elbow but managed to, somehow, command a starship and was feared by his crew. Mostly becasue he enjoyed using his ring to dole out corporal punishment to the privates, literally. Played to perfection by Rick Moranis, Dark Helmet’s prowess using Schwartz was only matched by his stupidity and love of dolls. “They’re not dolls! They’re action figures!”

1980s Villains - Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

1980s Villains - Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The flip side of Dark Helmet, a skilled warrior, leader and downright evil dude. Darth Vader is a bad-ass. Yes, he doesn’t always win but in the final duel of this movie he methodically rips Luke Skywalker apart, made even more evil by his final revelation, after slicing off Luke’s hand. Willing to overthrow his own master, freeze folk, break deals and take massive risks involving asteroid fields in a bid to rule the galaxy, Vader is an outstanding 1980s villain.

Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

1980s Villains - Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

The Joker as I like to picture him, a crazy villain with a lust for power and money who will happily kill his own men, and thousands more to get what he wants. Utilising gadgets, weapons, trickery and subversion, Nicholson’s Joker is a triumph of comic book evil. “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? I ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.”

Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

1980s Villains - Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

May Day is a fictional bodyguard and enforcer employed by Max Zorin and acts as the secondary antagonist of the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill. An original character, created specifically for the film, she was portrayed by actress Grace Jones. A strong and deadly opponent that bests Bond and several other agents throughout the movie, May Day has a change of heart after being abandoned by Zorin and helps Bond foil his plot.

Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

1980s Villains - Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

No beating about the bush, Ming is one evil dude. From his fist appearances in the 1930s he has been the long standing enemy of Flash Gordon. Ming is a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo and all it’s people. He is infatuated with Dale Arden, whom he plans to marry, and has little regard for life, willing to have his own daughter tortured and enslave entire planets. Possibly the best maniacal laugh of the 1980s, Ming pulls no punches in this wonderfully camp movie, produced by Dino De Laurentiis.

Last, but not least… Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

1980s Villains - Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

Skeletor was the primary villain in the 1987 live-action Masters of the Universe film, portrayed by Frank Langella. As this was a motion picture, Skeletor was allowed to be far more menacing than the cartoon version. During the course of the movie, Skeletor captures Castle Grayskull and imprisons the Sorceress. Later, he absorbs the power of the Great Eye and transforms into a golden-armored warrior god, but is ultimately defeated by He-Man. Rather than dark purple, he wears all black, and his costume is less scant, covering his entire body with a robe and a flowing cape. Langella’s performance is highly regarded by fans and critics alike.

1980s Crushes

For February 2017 the 80s League have put together blogs and podcasts on the subject of 80s Crushes. I’ve never been a “crush” kind of guy but have included a selection of ladies that I look back on fondly for various reasons. Some becasue I enjoyed watching them in movies or on TV and others becasue they were my only access to scantily clad glamour models at the time.

You can follow the #80sCrushes hash tag on Twitter and fellow 80s League articles and podcasts including 80s Reboot Overdrive PodcastRediscover the ’80sRealweegiemidget, Return to the 80s and Return to the 80s Podcast. Got all that? You have? Good, then I shall begin.

My starter for ten is the very lovely Kim Cattrall from the movie Mannequin (1987), one of my guilty pleasures becasue it really is very cheesy. Kim goes through several fashionable 80s looks and various states of undress during the movie which is basically just boy meets mannequin, mannequin becomes girl when nobody else is looking and several chase scenes featuring Captain Harris from Police Academy. Next!

Kim Cattrall in Mannequin (1987)

Sticking with another movie from my guilty pleasure list, my next crush is actress and singer Olivia Newton John as the muse Kira from Xanadu (1980). Xandau is a fantasy musical that features some amazing musical numbers and pop songs from ELO and tracks written for Olivia Newton John by producer John Farr. We even get an alternative 80s track by The Tubes and a memorable final performance by Hollywood legend Gene Kelly who teams with Olivia on “Whenever You’re Away From Me”. Olivia goes from floaty rollerskating muse to a hot disco chic by the end of the movie, even rocking a leopard print mini skirt and knee high leather boots.

Olivia Newton John as the muse Kira from Xanadu (1980)

As an alternative look at 1980s life in the UK I’ve picked two models that became (in)famous in the computer gaming community for lending their image to titles of the time, namely Maria Whittaker for Barbarian I & II and Corinne Russell for Vixen. The promotional imagery used for both these games caused a bit of a stir at the time and I remember the posters quite vividly. “Sex sells” as they say and it certainly helped raise the profile of these games, amongst other things (fnar, fnar).

Maria Whittaker - Barbarian II
Corinne Russell - Vixen

My final choices are two space vixens with attitude from the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which ran from late 1979 to 1981. Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala and Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering, one an evil but incredibly hot space princess with attitude and the other a dedicated, motivated pilot and soldier who also happens so be a smoking hot blonde / brunette with attitude. I was younger at the time this show first aired and I only remembered the space battles but later viewings opened my eyes to a few things. As Twiki once said “BeedeeBeedeeBeedeeBeedee, what a body!”.

Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981)
Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Series 1

Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Series 2
#80sCrushes 80s League February 2017