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Jul 152015
 

There are many different villains in pop culture. Some live on to become as iconic as the heroes who fight them while others, not so much. So I put together a list of old villains from movies and TV shows that seem underrated, but still stand out as favorites of mine.

#10) Mouser from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Originally featured as a bomb-throwing boss from the Super Mario Bros. 2 NES game, this talking mouse often serves as King Bowser Koopa’s right hand man. Mouser is a stooge but a worthy adversary. However, he hasn’t been featured in the Super Mario Bros. franchise for a long time, among other old characters that seemed to have disappeared off the radar. I wonder why that is.

#9) The Witches from the Volcano of Gloom from My Little Pony (1986 version): They are known as Hydia and her two daughters Reeka and Draggle and come from a long line of evildoers. This trio, along with their giant spider monster Ahgg, is intent on turning the world dark, dank, and dreary and the little ponies are the only ones standing in their way. The witches were the main villains on My Little Pony the Movie (1986) and the ten-part episode The End of Flutter Valley. After that, the witches never returned. It would’ve been nice if they did but this series was not known for its consistency when it comes to villains.

#8) Hurricane Harry from Cool McCool: It does seem that the villains on this show are very similar to the ones in the Batman franchise. That’s mainly because the series was co-created by Bob Kane, the original creator of Batman. However, Hurricane Harry stands out the most. His lungs are so powerful that a single deep breath can easily affect the world’s weather. The most impressive example is when Harry shows his ability to inhale the power of the sun and spit fire like a dragon. It’s unknown how Harry acquired this power to begin with, but it is enough to overlook his lisp.

#7) Jean- Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) from The Fifth Element: Gary Oldman has had quite a few villainous roles before. Unfortunately, this was not labeled among his best. Zorg is an industrialist who believes that preserving life comes from destruction and chaos. He may come off as a lame villain at times, but don’t underestimate him. Zorg is ruthless and never likes to be disappointed by anyone. When that happens he won’t hesitate to blow you up.

#6) Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Batman & Robin: I know this sounds strange since Mr. Freeze is a popular Batman villain. However, this particular version is often frowned upon due to the fact that this movie was constantly mentioned as a box office flop, based on many reviews. Sure his dialogue mostly consists of ice puns but Mr. Freeze is highly skilled. He can move around smoothly in that extremely heavy suit and his freeze gun is amazing. It can encase people and objects within ice in only a matter of seconds. The special effects really blew my mind, especially when compared to the effects used in this movie’s predecessor Batman Forever. Seriously, how can you not find this interesting?

#5) Velasca (Melinda Clarke) from Xena: Warrior Princess: This amazon warrior from season 2 was the adopted daughter of Queen Melosa and intended to be queen of the Amazons. When Gabrielle was selected as heir, Velasca became incredibly jealous. Soon after, she ate ambrosia and became a goddess completely intent on killing Gabrielle. Velasca was eventually plunged into a lava pit along with Callisto, leaving the possibility that they would both return. Although Callisto did return in the third season, Velasca didn’t. There were plenty of opportunities to bring Velasca back throughout the series run but it never happened. Any ideas why?

#4) Beastur from My Pet Monster: He’s the evil master of Monster Land and always pops into the real world in his many attempts to bring Monster back with him. The confrontations are always big chases, but I always liked how Beastur keeps getting sent back to Monster Land when he’s defeated. He does have his hilarious moments too and that’s what makes Beastur so memorable.

#3) Tweeg from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: It’s no surprise that this troll grunge makes this list. Although Tweeg’s biggest evil trait is his greed, many of his evil plots are focused on trying to meet the standards of MAVO (The Monsters and Villains Organization) as well as his troll mother Eleanor. Tweeg is sneaky and cunning, but even with a group of bounders serving him Tweeg always seems to fall short. He can’t even hit anything with a cannonball. Sometimes you just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.

#2) Prince Gasket and Archerina from Power Rangers Zeo: The oldest son of King Mondo had fallen in love with the daughter of King Aragon (not featured in the series). Since their families were at war with one another, the two of them eloped. That scenario is much like in Romeo & Juliet, except that Gasket and Archerina mostly lived in hiding from their fathers. These two are both skilled fighters intent on conquering the Earth and ruling the Machine Empire. Once King Mondo caught up with them, Gasket and Archerina retreated and were never seen or heard from again. It leaves you wondering what could’ve become of this duo since they only appeared in 10 episodes out of 50.

#1) Prime Evil from Ghostbusters (1986 version): Who better to take the top spot than the Ghostbusters’ biggest archenemy. This creepy character is intent on taking over the human world and has many different ghosts and ghouls serving him. Of course, Prime Evil has his comedic moments also. He takes insults as compliments, struggles to say “Ghostbusters”, and has a hot temper when putting up with his henchmen. Unfortunately, with the other version of Ghostbusters completely overshadowing this series, Prime Evil went down with it but he’s one villain I’ll never forget.

Special Note: It wasn’t easy putting this list together since there were so many underrated villains to choose from. I was also going to include Scorpina from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as an honorable mention, but after learning the reason behind her disappearance from voice actress Wendee Lee at Anime Festival Orlando 2011, I’m going to let that one pass.

Apr 062012
 

Before Xena: Warrior Princess, there was an old classic movie that’s along the lines of the Conan franchise. It’s called Red Sonja and it stars Brigitte Nielsen in her first movie role as the noble warrior woman.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is in this movie also, but not as Conan this time. He plays the warrior Kalidor. As far as I can tell, the only real difference is that Kalidor wears a shirt, a red one that goes well with Sonja’s red scabbard and what her horse is wearing.

Red Sonja and Kalidor face different dangers on their quest to retrieve a magical talisman that the evil Queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman) steals from a temple filled with priestesses and warrior women after her soldiers attack. I must admit, I have never seen so many warrior women getting hurt and killed in battle, even for an old 80s movie.

Their first stop is the kingdom of Hablock, where they meet two additional allies, young Prince Tarn (Ernie Reyes Jr.) and his servant Falkon (Paul L. Smith). Now Prince Tarn is a spoiled brat, which only makes the quest tougher, especially for Falkon because he’s easily intimidated. But you have to admit, Tarn sure can fight.

Later, a storm brews and the group takes shelter in a cavern. Tarn finds a pearl and orders Falkon to get it out, only to end up facing a mechanical serpent that was sent by Gedren no doubt. It’s easy to determine that the serpent was mechanical with the swords clanking on it throughout the battle because what kind of wild serpent would actually wear armor.

After making it to Castle Berkubane, Red Sonja and the group encounter countless soldiers as they work their way to the top and to Gedren herself. Do you think the room with the talisman has enough candles, even if light is what gives the talisman its power? Of course this movie takes place in a time before electricity was invented.

I liked this movie for its adventure and sword wielding action. I do remember hearing about a new Red Sonja movie that was in the works a while back, but nothing has been mentioned about it for a long time. Any idea about what’s going on with it?

Jan 282011
 

In the fourth installment, Batman & Robin, the dynamic duo goes up against Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Chris O’Donnell returns as Robin with a different suit, but George Clooney is Batman this time around. Personally I thought Val Kilmer was the better Batman.

The action is a lot smoother. Batman and Robin have amazing jumping skills and Mr. Freeze’s freeze gun has a way cool effect. (Pun intended.) Arnold Schwarzenegger also makes it look so easy to manuver in that heavy armor. The role fits him perfectly.

Pamela Isley was a scientist before she drowned in toxins and chemicals that turned her into Poison Ivy. Now she is a temptress that can control plant life and kills people with her kisses. She’s not alone though. Helping Poison Ivy is Bane (Jeep Swenson). He is a very strong villain that’s all muscle and no brain, which is the right type bodyguard for a villainess.

The lovely Alicia Silverstone plays Barbara, Alfred’s (Michael Gough) niece, who becomes Batgirl. I looked forward to seeing her in this film after I enjoyed seeing her on Clueless. Here, I get to see her kicking Poison Ivy’s butt. Unfortunately, that’s the only time Batgirl fights anyone.

It seems like Bruce Wayne has a different girlfriend in each film. He’s like James Bond when it comes to commitment. This time he’s dating Julie Madison (Elle Macpherson). Now where did she come from? And what happened to Dr. Chase Meridian from the last Batman movie?

Even though this movie was considered a box office flop, I still really enjoyed it. The dynamic duo has become the dynamic trio. I could have seen another sequel coming from this, featuring more of Batman’s archenemies. Like Harley Quinn, perhaps? Now there’s an opponent for Batgirl.

Jul 302010
 

Sylvester Stallone is well known for his action roles from such franchises as Rocky and Rambo, but one of my most favorites was in Demolition Man. Stallone stars as top police officer John Spartan, who has a reputation for blowing up buildings, but not on purpose. Spartan claims that it just happens while doing his job.

“Send a maniac to catch one.” That’s Spartan’s motto when he goes up against the psychotic but comedic Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). After Spartan gets hoodwinked while apprehending Phoenix, he is sentenced to a cryogenic prison, which keeps him young so he can serve his 70-year sentence. I guess that’s one way to keep the prisoners from misbehaving or attempting suicide.

Thirty-six years later, Los Angeles has changed… a lot, thanks to Governor Raymond Cocktou (Nigel Hawthorne). It may appear more peaceful, but the new laws appear stricter. The funniest is whenever anyone swears, (Beep!) they get a ticket.

As it turns out, Phoenix was also cryogenically frozen. After waking up, he fights his way out and kills anyone who gets in his way. A group of six unarmed officers find him and approach with extreme assertiveness. Like that’s really gonna work against a criminal like Phoenix, especially with the new skills he has with computers and martial arts. How did he get them? That’s the mystery.

The only officer who remains fascinated by the 20th century brutality is Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock). It was she who suggests setting Spartan free so he can go after Phoenix and recapture him. I admit that Huxley’s material needs work, but she proves very useful working with Spartan with her knowledge about the 20th century.

The number one radio station in town plays mini show tunes, which are kiddy commercials. It’s hilarious when Huxley sings along with them, which annoys Spartan. Another amazing factor was that all restaurants are “Taco Bell” because it was the only one to survive the franchise wars. Now here’s something unusual. Arnold Schwartzenegger was once president, but this movie was made in the early 90s long before he became governor of California.

The last remaining criminal types, led by Edgar Friendly (Dennis Leary), choose to live underground in order to avoid these strict laws. Unfortunately, it means starving to death and stealing groceries. When Spartan and Huxley join forces with them, the mystery about Phoenix begins to unfold.

Soon Phoenix takes over the cryogenic prison and attempts to unthaw every prisoner there to become part of his personal army. It’s all up to Spartan to stop him. All I can say is, this final battle proves to be both exciting and perilous.

This movie is definitely a sci-fi comedy classic. Yet I don’t see how three seashells have replaced toilet paper. At least Spartan knows an easy way to get some, just use plenty of bad language.