Friday, March 15, 2013
Friday, March 08, 2013
In any event, anyone who's been following the posts this week had to know who was coming last...The Big Man...Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. I would put Vladimir up there with the best in terms of villains based in excess. Though there is no mention of his disfiguring skin disease in the book, it is hard for me to see him otherwise, and was a coup for corruption shorthand by David Lynch in the film. Also, though it is perhaps one of the biggest over-the-top, sumptuous scenery chewing performances of all time, it is damn near impossible for me to imagine anyone but long-time character actor Kenneth McMillan in the role. (For something a little more low-key, I always liked McMillan as the aging safecracker in The Pope of Greenwich Village with Mickey Rourke.) The title for this entry refers to a line by legendary actor José Ferrer as the Padishah Emperor who calls for the Baron as if requesting someone deliver a three-week old piece of roadkill.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Our second Harkonnen is the middle child...and my personal favorite for whatever reason...Count Glossu Rabban, known as "The Beast," the tyrannical governor of the spice planet Arrakis. Though Rabban is a fairly minor character in both the book and the film, he plays a pivotal role in catalyzing many of the major and minor story arcs . In the original film, he's played by one of the all time great character actor bad guys, Paul L. Smith. Smith was the big scary dude in everything from playing Bluto in Popeye (1980) to the evil prison warden in Midnight Express (1978).
Monday, March 04, 2013
Even then, I had a weird soft spot for the bad guys, The Harkonnen. So we kick off this week with the youngest of the clan: the "golden boy" Feyd-Rautha, who, in a turn of stunt casting, was played by Sting. Nowadays he might be thought of as soft, unoffensive adult contemporary radio fodder but in the mid-80's, with that shock of red hair and a considerable feral snarl, he made for a satisfying sort of punk rock villain.