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.

What’s Your #Fave80sCar?

So, several bloggers and podcast folk have stuck their collective heads together and decided to talk about 1980s pop culture cars and vehicles via the #Fave80sCar hashtag on twitter. The brain-child of 80s Reboot Overdrive features a cross-section of like-minded geeks waxing nostalgic about stand-out or personal favourite vehicles that blew us away in movies, TV and games from the 1980s.

Check out the cross-over blogs from Realweegiemidge, Return to the ’80s Part I Part II, 80s Reboot Blog and the 80s Reeboot Overdrive Podcast!

It was hard limiting myself but as I didn’t want inflict “War & Peace: 1980s Car Edition” upon you here are my top five vehicles in no particular order. Feel free to drop me a list of your favourites via my fast paced Twitter Account or main Facebook Page. Enjoy.

B is for Batmobile

#Fave80sCar Batman 1989 Batmobile

The hype for Batman (1989) was through the roof, I was at college so myself and a few mates hit our local ABC Cinema and sat down to watch a new kind of superhero movie. Dark, twisted, action packed and heaps of fun. The casting was spot on, the sets and effects were exemplary, the music was inspired and the new Batmobile was awesome. Built specifically for the movie the car was constructed using a Chevrolet Impala chassis, Chevy V8 engine and modified 1970 Corvette body. Movie merchandise included action figures, die-cast vehicles and the cool missile launching Batmobile toy by ToyBiz.

#Fave80sCar Batman 1989 ToyBiz Batmobile

E is for ECTO-1

#Fave80sCar Ghostbusters ECTO-1
Winter 1984 and I went to watch Ghostbusters with my parents. They were a little shocked by the sprinkling of colourful metaphors from the offset of the movie but I’m glad I got to enjoy this ride at the cinema. Funny, scary, tongue-in-cheek comedy horror featuring the outstanding ECTO-1. Created by Steven Dane, ECTO-1 and ECTO-1A are a Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse Combination mounted on a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Professional Chassis. Kenner would go on to release ECTO-1 as part of The Real Ghostbusters toys and action figures line.

#Fave80sCar Kenner Real Ghostbusters ECTO-1

K is for KITT

#Fave80sCar Knight Rider KITT

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.” As a teenager in the 1980s this was the THE car you wanted to be seen cruising the streets in. Cool and fast with an array of weapons and gadgets which including “Turbo Boost” and a frickin “Laser”, K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) is a fictional computer that controls the high-tech Knight 2000, a black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am T-top. The voice for KITT was provided by actor William Daniels. ERTL produced several diecast KITT models in various sizes including this large 1/16 scale version.

#Fave80sCar ERTL Knight Rider KITT Knight 2000
A is for Aliens APC

#Fave80sCar Aliens APC

The school holidays of 1986 were in full swing, my mates decided we should try and sneak in underage to watch Aliens (Cert 18) as we were all fans of Alien. We put on our “oldest” clothing and strutted in with deep voices “Four tickets to Aliens please.” which led to instant success. In retrospect, it was the middle of the day and the screening was empty so the cinema were probably glad we turned up. I’ll never forget the scene with the Facehugger that launches at the side of the stasis tank causing me and my friends to shout “whoah!” simultaneously.

Back to cars… Aliens is my favourite movie, it blew me away at the time and it still does to this day. The APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) is a heavy duty bit of kit that takes some serious punishment from acid, fire and rugged surface driving before finally giving up the ghost. Gutted we never got to see what kind of punishment the weaponry could have dished out to the pesky Xenomorph infestation on LV-426.  The APC is based on a four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, 635 hp Hunslet Air Towing Tractor, acquired from British Airways at London Heathrow Airport.

#Fave80sCar Aliens APC

A is (also) for Airwolf

#Fave80sCar Airwolf

Okay, so this defo isn’t a car but as kick-ass helicopters go this one is top of my list with Blue Thunder running a close second. With a killer main theme by Sylvester Levay, this high-octane cold war action show really grabbed my interest in the 1980s. Airwolf was derived from a Bell 222, a twin-turboshaft helicopter produced for the civilian market.

I bought the Crash Smash! Airwolf game for the ZX Spectrum and several years later picked up the large and small ERTL diecast vehicles. It was without doubt a mean machine.

#Fave80sCar ERTL Airwolf

That’s my top picks but there are so many more I could have included including Back to the Future DeLorean, A-Team Van, Street Hawk, Automan’s Car, The General Lee, ThunderCats Thundertank, Transformers, MASK, Tron Light Cycle, Christine, Mad Max 2, Spy Hunter, Magnum’s Ferrari, Fall Guy Truck and Miami Vice. Iconic cars as far as the eye can see, the 1980s officially rocked!

#Fave80sCar 1980s Blog Podcast Crossover Event, November 17 2016