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 Midget, Rediscover the 80s, Return to the 80s post and podcast, Stuck in the 80s podcast and post, Old 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!”
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.