January 16, 2008

Top ten most evil villains of the 80s.

10. Gargamel
This guy was a smurfin' smurf-hole! If you were blue and a few inches tall, no one was quite as dastardly as amateur sorcerer and cat enthusiast, Gargamel. I'm not really sure why every potion that Gargamel tried to concoct had "minced Smurf" as its key ingredient...but it did...so it was "batten down the toadstools" week after week for the gentle Smurfs. Poor oral hygiene and a hoarse tabby for a companion made Gargamel all the harder to stomach. Secretly, we all know that Gargamel had a little "thing" going for Smurfette, but just didn't quite know how to impress her. Making a Brainy and Hefty stew was all he could come up with to get the attention of his miniature crush. Gargamel may have been cartoon, but led us all to develop a broad distrust of all middle-aged, robed, bald hermits that lived with cats and practiced quasi-witchcraft (which prior to the Smurfs' run, we were pretty OK with)

Evil rating-5

9. Ma Fratelli

Ma Fratelli, eloquently described by Andy Carmichael as a "gross old witch" was the matriarch of the nefarious Fratelli gang. Not only adept at robbing banks and plugging feds, she also had a knack for trying to kill kids. If these actions aren't painting the most rosey picture of Ma Fratelli...I should also add that she kept a third son, Sloth, a hideous freak who smelled, I'm told, "like Phys-ed", chained to a wall in a dank basement. Mother of the year material, right? Well, what if I told you that Ma's own neglect and buttery fingers made Sloth into the "man" that he is? Thankfully, Ma was brought to justice in the end, along with two of her sons. Apparently, years later she was thrown from a train. Ma Fratelli was a bad egg, no doubt — but ultimately, never much more than a murderous puppetmaster who had her two non-freak (and much more agile) sons carry out her every whim. Couldn't you have at least offed Corey Feldman?

Evil rating-5.5

8. The Noid
They say that you can mess with somebody...harass them...threaten their family; even poison their dog — but you DO NOT mess with a man's pizza. The Noid took this conventional wisdom and spat in its face. The Noid would mess with your pizza. Then he would laugh. A destructive and dangerous prankster, the Noid would stop at nothing to make sure that your pizza experience was a disastrous one. More unsettling than this is the fact that the Noid is still at large. His last public sighting was a Budbowl V, but many experts maintain that he is hiding out somewhere in Afghanistan, plotting a string of pizza chain bombings. Don't think a pogo-sticking, bunny-suit-wearing imp is a real threat? Trust me, you'd do well to avoid the Noid... at any cost.

Evil rating-6

7. John Kreese
As a Vietnam-vet and owner of a small karate dojo...you'd think that John Kreese would really be a solid guy. Not so. John Kreese ran his "Kobra Kai" dojo like Darth Vader ran the Deathstar. This guy was ruthless. Teaching his underlings to win at any cost — Kreese's "classes" were ripe with taunting, choking, punching and deadly leg-sweepings. If you didn't play by Kreese's rules or failed to win a bout? Sensei would lovingly choke you out in the parking lot, like the loser you were. Karate Kid III showed us just how dastardly Kreese could be, as he employed his equally sinister Vietnam pal, Terry Silver (a toxic waste "disposal" kingpin, if you were wondering) for a needlessly-complex plot to buddy up to Daniel Larusso and then humiliate him by having his legs swept time and again in front of half of Reseda, California. Larusso's crime? Having beaten Kreese's star pupil years earlier in the All-Valley Karate tourney. No longer heading up the dojo — Kreese's power has become limited...but if you think that he's changed his stripes and is giving his enemies mercy. Think again.

Evil rating-6.5

6. The Libyans

If you were in a mall parking lot at 2 A.M. in 1985...there was really nothing you'd rather see less than a Vanagon loaded with angry Libyans. These guys were known to carry rocket launchers and showed absolutely no regard for human life or small photo huts. The only thing that rivaled the storied bloodthirsty nature of the Libyans was their thirst for plutonium rods. Clearly these guys weren't after plutonium for its time-traveling properties — but rather, to enslave all of western civilization. Complete with 5 o'clock shadows and menacing scowls, the Libyans were simply not a group to screw with. Great Scott!

Evil rating-7

5. Jareth, the Goblin King
Powered by voodoo and dark, dark dance magic — Jareth ruled his goblin kingdom with an iron fist. By "iron fist", of course, I mean: "prancing around and singing with puppets". Jareth kidnapped babies and committed vocal atrocities...all the while sporting a Tina Turner hairdo and wearing a codpiece. Jareth's cruelest invention, the bog of eternal stench, cursed those who ventured in with a lifetime of ungodly B.O. Being both evil and creepy vaults Jareth into the 5 spot on this list. If his babynapping and serenading of 15 year-old girls is any clue as to what was really going in the goblin kingdom — let's just say that Jareth probably had to "register" whenever he changed his address and darken his porchlights on Halloween.

Evil rating-7.3

4. Skeletor
The original Goth. Skeletor was last seen vying for the title of "Master of the Universe"...but was never truly master of his domain. Skeletor ruled over dark legions of aptly named Beast-men and Mer-men, but really never needed them as he possessed serious sorcery skillz and could basically check in on He-man's every move like he was watching Big Brother. Where He-man rode a cowardly green tiger who on occasion morphed into Battlecat, Skeletor's feline ride was purple, plush, and 100% bad-to-the-bone...all the time. Skeletor, of course sported the ultimate evil accesories, however — a skeleton face and a high-pitched cackle. The only thing scarier than Skeletor was the big-screen adaptation of He-Man, starring Dolph Lundgren...but more on him in a second.

Evil rating-7.5

3. Russia
In the 80s, Russia was like Rosie O'Donnell is today: a large, shady entity that seemed to encroach further into our consciousness each day whilst draining our resources, espousing questionable values and financing flamboyant Broadway musicals. Shall I go on?! Are you not entertained?! The Russians were simply everywhere in the 80s, and they were menacing. Not only did they try to get the best of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 3 and Rocky 4, they threatened our best and brightest high-schoolers with dawns that were an unnatural shade of red, our best and brightest "top guns" with intolerable Kenny Loggins' soundtracks and provided "b" material to zany prop comics and Robin Williams. Worst of all? They made the Ronnie Reagan very upset. After offering the U.S. a Yakov Smirnoff sacrifice, the cold war eventually cooled off...but the country everyone loved to hate seems to be trying to claw back into their coveted position again. We're all pulling for you, Russia!

Evil rating-8.0

2. Ed Rooney
Nothing is worse than trying to spoil a kid's day off (well, if you are the actor who played Ed Rooney in FBDO, there might be one or two things worse) but I digress. Ed Rooney was every teen's worst nightmare: a principal who lived to make your high school years absolutely miserable. Throw in a creepy mustache and that annoying red-headed lady from Small Wonder and you have a veritable cornucopia of horror for young adults. You thought Cameron's dad was hard-nosed? Rooney takes on police, attack dogs and car crashes to land Ferris in detention. Finally defeated by the authorities and Jennifer Grey's nose...Rooney slunk away in shame on the school bus — but the hatred in his eyes told us that he would never quit trying to be a major buzzkill for teens in the greater Chicago area.

Evil rating-8.3... Rooney's "off-screen" shenanigans —9.5

1. The 80s
Yeah, that's right...the 80s. The decade that gave us all of these dastardly villains also gave us: Rick Astley, New Coke, ColecoVision, the SuperBowl shuffle, Kimmy Gibler...you get my point. The 80s were the most horrid of villains...the kind that are amongst us, but we don't even know it. Those who had the sad misfortune to live through the 80s wore member's only jackets and side spiked their hair...blissfully unaware of the atrocities that were being inflicted upon them all the while. The 80s made this list possible...and that is a crime in and of itself. If you survived that tumultuous decade, I salute you. If you are still wearing parachute pants and listening to Steve Perry — it is much, much too late for you. Godspeed.

Evil rating-10