This week we look at the wonderful villains who make movies so much fun: the bad guys who make life miserable for our heroes and so many others, but who certainly enliven the film-going experience for all of us. Interestingly, all of these bad guys come from literary sources -- novels, pulps, and comics.
|Dr. Fu Manchu|
Dr. Mabuse first appeared in the 1921 novel, Dr. Mabuse der Spieler by Norbert Jacques and became a bestseller. The silent and sound films made by German director Fritz Lang made the character even more popular. Mabuse was turned into a Dr. No-type villain in several sixties films, including The Death Ray Mirror of Dr. Mabuse, and in 2013 there was a terrible film about him, Doctor Mabuse, which starred several original Dark Shadows cast members.
Diabolik was an Italian comic book/graphic novel character who first appeared in 1962, and was in the tradition of Fantomas and Mabuse, especially the former. Danger: Diabolik was, to my knowledge, the only film featuring the character.
I had planned on including a recent movie about Sumuru, Sax Rohmer's villainess, so the ladies would have equal time, but ran out of time, although what I've seen so far of the movie did not make me want to rush to see the rest.