Saturday, November 03, 2007

When a Man in Tights Just Doesn’t Cut It

November 07

Welcome to the second installment of “Spank That Villain”, your monthly (hey, I’ll soon be Empress of the Galaxy in my most excellent gogo boots, so I’m a busy Hussy m’kay) look at baddies. In this here column, we’ll pull out our magnifying glasses and inspect, dissect and mull over what makes a good male villain. Male because those are the ones I find attractive, sexy, and worthy of all kinds of naughty fantasies, and yes, including a good spanking. Each column will end with the Spankable Factor, or, if that particular villain would, after a good smack on the butt, be redeemable.

As much as I enjoy great-looking manlegs in tights, the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner just didn’t make my inner Chihuahua chase her tail. The dialogue was stiff, the directing clueless, the sets looked made by the same folks who brought to you Power Rangers. I thought the movie was “meh” at best. But then... A revelation! Hormonal fireworks!

Enter the Sheriff of Nottingham.

To me, that’s when the movie really started. I spent the next hour and a half waiting for glimpses of him. That’s right people: I fell in love with the Sheriff of Nottingham (played by Alan Rickman). The character is odious, despicable, revoltingly eeeveel. A pestilential villain we love to hate. So why would my legs turn to jelly and my heart become all aflutter whenever his Snarliness would grace the screen with his dark presence and demented sense of humor? Is it the most excellent hair? The cool clothes? The milky baritone? Or is it maybe his ability to cancel Christmas and still make it sound deliciously wicked? From the movie:

That's it then! Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings and call off Christmas!

That got me thinking. Why do we feel this irresistible pull to characters like him? Clearly, he’s the villain. Clearly, we’re supposed to boo him and throw popcorn at the screen whenever his snarling face occupies it. Clearly, the dude will not make it to the end of the movie. Yet we sit there wishing someone would just see the lonely guy inside who just wants a hug, some latex spray-on pants, and a good spanking because he’s been a bad, baaaad boy. Erm. Okay, maybe it’s just me.

Moving on...

Why is it that we’re so eager to forgive or redeem villains who look good? Make the same character butt-ugly, and I’ll bet my last teabag we wouldn’t have reacted the same way we had. So I ask you this:

  • Is beauty a prerequisite, or a free "get-out-of-jail" card to forgiveness and salvation in the eyes of the masses?

  • Are we more likely to redeem someone based on looks? And don't give me the contrived "oh, it's the inside that counts". Yeah, yeah, I love fluffy bunnies too. But looks, in our society, they're important. So I'm asking point blank - are we too soft on good-looking villains (fictional and otherwise)?
The Sheriff of Nottingham, as much as I would've liked to strap him to a bed and make him say "auntie", would've scored much higher on the Spankable Factor. Too bad they made him a rapist.
Spankable Factor: 60% - somewhat redeemable


Anonymous said...

A guy with young Alan Rickman looks? Alan Rickman's voice? Damn, woman--shave his head or shampoo it yourself! Rowr!


Ciana Stone said...

It's not just looks - although someone with a unqiue look certainly gets my attention. But for me it's their onscreen presence, their charisma. Like Richman's portayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham. A bit over the top in acting, but still great screen presence. Another fine example is Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear. The man was horrifying, yet so compelling that he was the character I was most interested in.

But purely from a psychological standpoint, I think it's common for women to find the villians to be appealing. They're evil, wicked, self-centered men with enough drive and passion to do anything it takes to get what they want. I guess that strikes a chore in some primitive part of women. If we equate ourselves to every other species on earth, then it makes sense. Females always go for the strongest, alpha male in the pack. That's the genes that need to be passed on to produce strong offspring. I suppose even villians still fall into that category.

And finally, I think we women just love bad boys. After all, they're such a challenge :)

Sally Painter said...

Maybe it is the entire package. Alan Rickman without his deep sexy voice would not be quite as alluring. The hair, clothes and attitude of the movie also come into play.

I think these are the dark hero qulalities needed with a large helping of redeemable tortured soul which usually translates into aka bad ass boy on the prowl that appeals the lion tamer in us hussies.

Nicole Austin said...

Hmmm...why do I love bad boys. Let me count the ways. That dark tortured soul I want to soothe is a biggie. Their passion and intensity for sure...

For me, if the villain can at some point see he's messed up and try to fix it, or if it turns out he was being bad to force the hero to be good, then he's redeemable and even more delicious. *g*