One of the things that makes the Bond franchise so great is the colorful villains and their insane plots to take over the world. But just as entertaining are the henchmen. The muscle. These characters may not be the head honchos, but often they’re the ones Bond fights directly. And they’re certainly every bit as colorful as the main villains!
So click through to check out my list of the top ten henchmen of the Bond franchise!
10) Baron Samedi: Geoffrey Holder, “Live and Let Die”
Great Look and concept, very intimidating. Did he do anything except look scary and laugh? Not really, unless you count getting killed and resurrecting, only to get killed again right away. Still, he’s memorable enough to just make the cut!
9) Zao: Rick Yune, “Die Another Day”
Great look and origin - his face was scarred and embedded with diamonds in incident with Bond. He’s the adversary in one of the series’ best car chases. The movie was bad, certainly, but as far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t Zao’s fault.
8) Nick Nack: Hervé Villechaize, “The Man With the Golden Gun”
Creepy and cool. Villechaize isn’t just diminutive, he also has that raspy, accented voice. I’ve always wished that “Man with” had been able to make better use of him. Still, a very colorful character, and definitely one of the most ignominious ends in the franchise!
7) Necros: Andreas Wisniewski, “The Living Daylights”
Not a memorable character in terms of cartoonish looks or gimmicks, but very much involved in all the action. He threatens Bond numerous times, and has a great final battle with him. A great example of how to use a Henchman in a story.
6) May Day: Grace Jones, “A View to a Kill”
May Day probably isn’t as “Over the top” as you remember her. In fact, she might be the best thing this movie has going for it (not saying a lot). Jones gives her a unique look, and she’s a menace for most of the movie. One of Bond’s creepiest hook-ups though.
5) Pussy Galore: Honor Blackman, “Goldfinger”
Pussy would definitely rank higher if this were a list of “Bond Girls”. As a henchman though, her “color” is entirely in her name. She definitely poses a challenge to Bond, and the two enjoy a sexually charged battle for supremacy! Some points lost for turning good!
4) Xenia Onatopp: Famke Jansen, “Goldeneye”
Gorgeous, dangerous and gleefully evil. Jansen helped generate that Goldeneye “Bond is Back!” sensation almost as much as Brosnan himself. Her crazed enthusiasm somehow works without going over the top. One of my fave Femme Fatales of the franchise!
3) Red Grant: Robert Shaw, “From Russia With Love”
Deadly AND devious, Grant is shown killing Bond in the opening of the film… only to have it revealed that it was actually a stand-in. Still, the tone was set. This was Bond’s equal. His fight scene with Bond is undeniably one of the series’ best.
2) Oddjob: Harold Sakata, “Goldfinger”
Hat wearing (and throwing) assassin. Of Japanese descent, but born in Hawaii, Sakata was an Olympic silver medalist in weight lifting, and a pro wrestler. He brought a great, stocky look to the character and launched the series’ penchant for outlandish henchmen.
1) Jaws: Richard Kiel, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, “Moonraker”
Appeared in two movies, had a great look, and was literally unkillable. He survived bullets, sharks, and numerous falls from great heights. Richard Kiel’s metal mouthed strongman became an icon of the franchise. Now, if only they had never turned him “Good”!
Some quick notes: I consider Rosa Klebb too high ranking in SPECTRE to be a henchman. She’s pretty much the main villain of that film, even though she still reports to Blofeld. Fiona Volpe is gorgeous and deadly, but couldn’t overcome the wild personas ahead of her. Vargas, also from Thunderball, is too bland… Speaking of Vargas, “Mr Vargas”, Vincent Schiavelli, is great as Dr. Kaufman… but his appearance in “Tomorrow Never Does” is far too brief, unfortunately!
So there you have it folks! The top ten Bond Villain Henchman. What do you think? Any that I ranked too high? Too low? Did I leave any off that gnaw at you? Let me hear it!!
And don’t forget, if you’ve got Bond related reviews or posts that you’d like to share with everyone, send them may way (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inclusion in the Bond Month Blog-A-Thon! I’ll be posting Bond related links from other bloggers every Friday until the release of “Skyfall”!