In movies, the villains are always a tone of fun, but there even more fun when there’s that small supporting villain at their side. The henchmen hardly ever say anything, do anything but for some reason they always seem to leave an impression. It’s like they offer that little extra coolness that makes the main villains feel more complete. So here’s to all the small guys, and that little touch of evil that always goes a long way.
#10 The Rhino from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
I always pictured the Spider-Man universe as one where villains can just spike up randomly from anywhere, and for the most part we get that in the films, but there aren’t enough minor villains that can just show up once and have no bearing on anything else. Well, in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” we finally got one in the form of the Rhino, a crazy armed robber with a super robotic mech-suit, and played by Paul Giamatti. The character would have been satisfying enough, but it’s Paul Giamatti’s off the rail and cartoony performance that makes him so entertaining to watch. In fact, I actually thought he was more fun than most of the main villains we usually get from the Spider-Man movies.
#9 Maugrim from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”
When the magical world of Narnia is taken over by the sinister White Witch, she dispatches her own secret police force to insure that everything stays in her order. The leader among them is a wolf named Maugrim, who’ll never hesitate to do nasty deeds in her favor. There’s just something very fitting about a wolf serving as a witch’s right hand guard. His confrontation with Peter also marks an important turning point in the film, where our young hero becomes a man and honored knight after clashing with Maugrim in battle. Just for that novelty alone, Maugrim always stood out as one of the most memorable of the Narnia supporting villains.
#8 The Drej Queen from “Titan A.E.”
In this action packed Sci-Fi adventure from the early 2000’s, a group of human survivors find themselves battling a malevolent race of aliens called the Drej. Leading their reign of terror across the galaxy is their sinister Queen, who never amounted to the status of main villain, because two other villains took center stage. Regardless, this vial empress has one of the most unique alien designs I’ve ever seen, and a consistently menacing screen presence which makes her brief appearances in the film stand out.
#7 Bellatrix Lestrange from the “Harry Potter” series
The Harry Potter series is no stranger to memorable villains, and even their smallest baddies can make an impressions. Case and point, the twisted and nasty Bellatrix never stood out as a main antagonist, but she came off as far more sadistic and menacing threat then even the franchises leading foe. This is actually the performance that introduced me to Helena Bonham Carter, and while she’s done a lot of credible things in her carrier, I’ll always remember her best as this savage witch that never made it past the side lines, but always left an impact.
#6 The Witch King of Angmar from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Taking the lead in the final war for middle earth is this shadowy ring raider simply referred to as the witch king. Just look at this guy, he’s more imposing then any of the main villains. In fact his design almost gives a false impression that he is the main antagonist, even though he’s just a pawn. The Ring Raiders were already awesome evil henchman, but it’s their horned general that really stands out among them.
#5 Emma Frost from “X-Men First Class”
With her seductive beauty, diamond skin, and silent menace, Emma Frost completely stole the show, despite her limited screen time. The X-Men films have had a fair share of memorable supporting villains, but Emma Frost has always been a favorite of mine, and actress January Jones really shines in the role. Actually, she’s one of the most enjoyable female villains I’ve seen in years to come from a comic-book adapted movie. Calm, cool, collected and always on top of things, this is one evil henchman you really shouldn’t underestimate.
#4 Boba Fett from the “Star Wars” series
Was there ever any doubt that he’d be on my list. The mysterious masked Bounty Hunter Boba Fett had a total of three speaking lines, and at best six minutes of screen time, yet his legacy has grown and evolved like any other classic Star Wars character. Over the decades of novels, video games and comics, Boba Fett has become quiet the dimensional villain slash anti-hero, but we fans will always remember him best as that one guy who just stood in the corner, and completely owned every frame he was in.
#3 The Twins from “The Matrix Reloaded”
Here’s another case in which some minor henchman with limited screen time still left a lasting impression. The Matrix was the biggest Sci-Fi action franchise of the early 2000’s, with sensational action scenes, and memorable, albeit one dimensional characters. Somehow, it’s these two pale faced, slow talking twins who I always remember with the most fondness. With a special power to transform into spectral like ghosts, and some fancy fighting moves, they not only owned every scene they were in, they also set a template for how awesome evil henchman can be.
#2 The Evil Emperor Zurg from “Toy Story 2”
Showing up for a total of 3 minor scenes in the whole film, Emperor Zurg somehow still stands out as one of the most memorable villains from my child hood, and the one character I always looked forward to seeing the most in “Toy Story 2”. With one heck of a cool design, a deep robotic voice supplied by the film’s director, and occasionally parodying Darth Vader, this one note villain had an all around cool factor that simply thrilled me every time he was on screen. Plus, after all these years, that one scene with him ascending up the elevator still stands out as one of the coolest sudden villain arrivals I’ve ever seen.
Before I reveal my #1 favorite, here are some Honorable Mentions ...
Lady Deathstrike from “X2: X-Men United”
Colonel Ernst Vogel from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
Jaws from the “James Bond” series
Lurtz from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
The Viceroy from “Star Trek Nemesis”,
The Child Catcher from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
#1 Arnold Toht “The Gestapo Guy” from “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Of all the supporting villains I can think of, no one quiet stole the show from the main antagonist quiet like this creepy Gestapo agent. The famous adventurer Indiana Jones has had many memorable villains, and in “Raiders of the Lost Arch”, his arch foe came in the form of a rival archeologist named Belloq, but that’s not the bad guy we remember, oh no, it’s always the Gestapo guy who comes to mind first. Played by Ronald Lacey, and heavily inspired by the great Peter Lorre, this nasty little German agent has all the classy stuff. A sickly voice, his signature glasses, hat and all black attire, chain weapon that’s really just a coat hanger, and a memorable death in which his face gets melted off by angry spirits. This is the guy who also stands out on the poster, and is that rare minor character who’s become a memorable movie villain in his own right.