As I sit here, wearing this monocle and methodically rubbing my handlebar mustache, I reflect on the cornucopia of onscreen movie villains: some good, some bad, and some forgettable. The sign of a truly great villain? None other than an awesome and truly malicious scheme. But instead of honoring the smartest of the smart, the craftiest of the crafty, today I’ve decided to point out those movie villains who’ve earned a seat on the tiny bus to evil school. They may have had big dreams, but really they just deserved an even bigger safety helmet. I humbly present, the Top Five Most Improbable Movie Villain Schemes. *Presses fingers together and cackles*
The entire Saw series is essentially like a really long and twisted reinterpretation of Mouse Trap–you know, the old board game that your siblings always lost the pieces to. Well, if catching a plastic mouse via a Rube Goldberg device is ridiculous, how about basing an entire movie franchise around it?
Sure, the marketing team behind the Saw movies want you to believe that they’re a clever and grim indictment on a society hell bent on consumerism, but really they’re just a collection of plot holes and totally improbable schemes that would have no chance in hell of working in real life. To clarify (and to spoil), the serial killer/psychopath Jigsaw wants to reform people by placing them in a series of deadly traps. The point? They’ll appreciate life once they’ve almost lost it. Now that’s all well and good, but the amount of coincidence and luck necessary for these little plots to be carried out is is flabbergasting. Yeah, like being in a reverse bear trap of doom would really get you to kick your heroin habit. Good for you, nutbar. Have a cookie…
None of Jigsaw’s overly elaborate, nefarious schemes would ever work in reality and that’s why they earn a spot on this list. In fact, it’s more likely that Duke Nukem Forever will get released or Brett Ratner will make a movie that doesn’t involve a wise-cracking Black guy. Gosh…sometimes the Saw franchise just makes me long for the classic, nicer days of torture porn–like those tasteful snuff films I used to make in my basement…I mean…uh…hey, what’s that!? *runs away*
After the success of the Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel segued his popularity into a brand new action franchise–the triple-wank worthy xXx. In the movie, Diesel plays Xander Cage, a renegade tough guy who is commissioned by the U.S. government to bring down a terrorist organization called Anarchy 99 run by an ex-Russian soldier named Yorgi (which when said really fast sounds just like “You’re Gay”). Possible subtext? Hmm?
Anywho, Yorgi’s master scheme is to destroy major world cities by–now stick with me here–using an automated submarine that launches chemical weapons. Now, I hate to be a Debbie Downer here, but there are a couple of things that are inherently moronic about this plan. First off, good ole’ Yorgi’s organization is called “Anarchy 99.” A little obvious, don’t you think? Perhaps it’s not the best idea to name your super-secret, lawless, terrorist organization “Anarchy 99.” That’s like playing Magic the Gathering in high school and not expecting to get your ass beat. Granted, you are dealing with Vin Diesel, but maybe some more time should have been put into the whole “naming” meeting. Second, a fricking submarine? Maybe I’m just a purist, but can’t these terrorists do it the old fashioned way? With, I don’t know, a car bomb or a bus bomb or some other type of land-based bomb? No, they have to get all fancy schmancy on us and use an automated submarine. Well la-dee-dah, Your Majesty! Good luck with your flux capacitor, you pretentious jerks…
Catwoman, Laurel Hedare
Back in 2004 Warner Brothers studio executives (i.e. a bunch of white guys in suits who have never actually seen a movie), thought it would be a good idea to give the character of Catwoman its own intellectual property. “Batman, did really well! Why don’t we give Catwoman a shot. Heck, we can even throw some hot actress in there and hire a bad French music video director! Awesome! Now, let’s go back to molesting strippers and snorting coke off each other’s necks!”
Well, sadly, like most real life villains, their delusion became a reality. Catwoman’s release was met with public apathy and numerous whiney forum posts from the nerd community. Beyond the fact that the main character had absolutely no resemblance to her comic book counterpart and that it was critically slammed, the movie just happens to feature one of the most improbable, and altogether idiotic, villain schemes. Laurel Hedare (played by Sharon Stone as she slowly drifts into obscurity) is a cosmetic mogul who is pushing a product into store shelves that initially makes the skin look more beautiful, but overtime causes it to decay if not continually applied. So, basically it mimics the horrendous and altogether devastating effects of malicious, habit-inducing drugs. Except…you know…it’s a fucking beauty product!
Apparently, Sharon Stone’s malicious plot forces people to continually buy her product in order to survive…so she must be hellbent on making a ton of money in order to take over the world, or alternatively turn Mary Kay salespeople into malicious, soul sucking psychopaths bent on total domination…on second thought, she’s already too late on that one. In any event, I guess you could give the writers some credit for at least coming up with a scheme that’s relatively unique, albeit completely illogical. Then again, c’mon! Killer cosmetics? Retarded much?
Moonraker, Hugo Drax
For the most part, pretty much any James Bond movie deserves a spot on this list. When it comes to improbable villainous schemes, this franchise pretty much has the market cornered. In Moonraker, however, the crazy meter gets amped up to 11. Hugo Drax, a billionaire space shuttle mogul (apparently these exist) attempts to destroy all human life by launching a deadly toxin into the earth’s atmosphere. He plans to survive this biological smack-down by hiding out in his giant, secret space station where he just happens to have transported several “genetically perfect” dozen young men and women. The goal? Have these super-beings create a master race to eventually repopulate the earth. So, in other words, he’s sort of like Hitler, but with a quirky penchant for disco fashion and an odd desire to see some uncensored space humping. In any event, set your phasers to “completely, f-ing impossible.”
Signs, The Aliens
Now, technically the “aliens” in Signs aren’t villains in a traditional “I-want-to-hold-the-world-for-ransom” sense, but when it comes to sheer improbability and stupidity their scheme unquestionably wins the Special Olympics. For the uninitiated, in the movie, Aliens–who are allergic to water–attempt to take over the Earth, which is in fact 71% covered in water. That’s like me heading to the local gay bar to pickup chicks–the odds really aren’t in my favor, and even if I find one, “she’s” still probably a dude.
Signs is made even more improbable by the addition of random crop circles that the aliens use to “communicate” with each other. So, the aliens may have mastered the space time continuum and inter-galactic travel, but they need to make crop circles in order to talk to each other? Communication technology hasn’t seemed that archaic since the last time I saw Zach Morris use a cell phone on Saved by the Bell. Seriously folks, cavemen accomplished more by grunting and clubbing each other on the head.
I realize that there are those out there who defend this movie by saying “it’s not really about the aliens, it’s about a man’s rediscovery of faith.” Well, that’s all well and good, Mr. Fancy pants, but at the end of the day, if that’s the point of your movie, why the hell do you even need Aliens in the first place? And, if you are going the extra-terrestrial route, why not at least make them seem relatively smart? Or at least smart enough to make choices that a race that has mastered intergalactic travel would make?
I’m just glad that after this movie M. Night Shyamalan went on to other, more important, films like Lady in the Water, The Village, and The Happening…Oh…wait…never-mind. *sad trumpet sound*
Ivan Kander is the handsome and debonair cohost of his very own video podcast. Check it out at www.lucky9studios.com/worstmovieever. He is a megalomaniac that is planning on taking over the world.