Dark cloud on the horizon
Dark cloud on the horizon

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Dark cloud on the horizon

On Monday - June 14th, 2010 17:05:48

Well, the attempt at foreshadowing the upcoming chapter’s setting and subject matter might have failed, but at least the villain of that piece is now officially pre-introduced. This is a classic trick B-movies employ to create interest in a sequel. Sometimes it works.

In the cases in which it fails so massively that the sequel doesn’t just interest nobody, but isn’t actually even shot, it leaves you with a strangely open-ended movie with a rather pessimistic outlook for the heroes - one of the few ways villains ever get to “win".

And in cases in which the sequel is shot, there might still be all kinds of inconsistencies between the villain’s pre-introduction and his ultimate appearance in the sequel, due to changing actors or extensive script rewrites in the meantime. Assuming that our villain here is representative of his later self, a perceptive sleuth could deduce the following traits from his short appearance:
- male (or otherwise possessing externalized gonads)
- vengeful (regarding as-of-yet-unknown past loss or injury)
- villainous in ways both large (steals candy from kids) and small (kills paid informers for no good reason)
- likes to scheme in front of a wall featuring way too many monitors (but don’t they all?)

As regards our dear, departed paid informer, these are always plentifully available in B-movie Land. Highly competent and ubiquitous, they work for whoever pays the most, which are always the bad guys. I think the readiness with which B-movie scriptwriters pre-suppose the existence of a caste of such people at every place and time speaks to their deep-seated paranoia of being spied upon by their neighbours. Despite their high usefulness and inexplicable loyalty, they suffer a high rate of attrition at the hands of villains’ frequent need to establish or re-establish their ruthless, murderous villainy. Killing any number of them doesn’t really make a villain irredeemable, however - being professional snitches, their deaths don’t put much weight onto the conscience of an anti-hero, at least according to the scriptwriters. But don’t think you could kill these beings unpunished! You might not receive a penalty as such, but if you don’t return the spies you’ve taken out in good, working condition, you’ll lose your deposit on them!

And, yeah - the villain just took the life of a sentient being to cover up his tracks collecting a piece of information he could have gotten by calling the university front desk. If you think that doesn’t make any sense, you still haven’t understood that being a villain is all about style.

More on Thursday.


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