The 7 Most Underrated Movie Henchmen

When you think of great movie henchmen-in other words, villains in the service of other nastier, most likely stupider villains-you probably think of guys like Goldfinger's Oddjob, Jack Palance in Shane, or Art Garfunkel. But what about those cinematic henchmen who defended their masters, tried (and failed) to beat up the good guys in the penultimate fight scene, then drifted into cinematic obscurity? Not only did these poor bastards have to endure the embarrassment of being merely the second-evilest person in the movie, but they never even scored the ironic foothold in the national consciousness that they so clearly deserved.

In honor of those lost legends, presents the top seven movie henchmen who never became popular, despite their obvious and overpowering awesomeness.

#7. Snake Walker from The Muppet Movie (1979)

The evil Doc Hopper needs someone to whack Kermit the Frog, and, not seeing any other reasonable means to kill a felt puppet, hires the sinister, harpoon gun—toting Snake Walker. After putting Snake on the payroll, he politely introduces him to the rest of the crew:

Doc Hopper: This is Snake Walker. Tell 'em what you do, Snake.
Snake: [removing goggles] Kill frogs.

While that might sound like a rather limited skill-set, and though the full-body speed skater's unitard he wears under his clothes might seem a bit excessive, we're not asking questions. That's because it turns out Snake is one determined, evil-looking son of a bitch. Killing frogs is what he does, and while business has admittedly been slow, it's about to pick up.

He's ultimately stopped by the gigantic gamma-irradiated Muppet called Animal, which itself sounds like it should be the creature in a Peter Benchley novel. But you can bet that Snake Walker is still out there somewhere stalking Kermit even to this day, the Boba Fett of the Muppet universe. It's comforting to think of Kermit, even while romancing Miss Piggy or engaging in witty conversation with Gonzo, constantly casting an eye over his shoulder.

#6. Maximillian from The Black Hole (1979)

The hulking, vaguely humanoid robot Maximillian was the henchman of Dr. Hans Reinhardt (a villain whose primary character trait, it seems, was having crazy blow-dried hair. In this he excelled). Maximillian is a Swiss army knife of destruction, with laser arms, whirling blade arms, a juicer, a blow-drier (for his boss), more laser arms-you name it, he's got it and is probably going to use it to murder you. Plus, he never says anything; he just stares at you and follows you around-even to the bathroom, waiting patiently outside while you do your business.

Even Maximillian's own boss is a little freaked out by Maximillian. And with good reason: When the shit inevitably hits the fan later in the film, the big red robot leaves Dr. Reinhardt trapped beneath some wreckage and hops into an escape craft. Every robot for himself, sucker!

In the psychedelic ending of The Black Hole, Reinhardt is trapped in Maximillian's body, standing atop an infernal landscape. Owned! Who's the boss now, smart guy? Maximillian-King of Hell, fools!

#5. Mr. Joshua from Lethal Weapon (1987)

Gary Busey, as he tends to, lends a certain authentic psychotic intensity to the role of Mr. Joshua, the blond chief enforcer of the criminal mercenary Gen. McAllister. The first thing you should probably know about Mr. Joshua is that he's wound a little tight, like a Ritalin kid with an automatic weapon. So you probably shouldn't laugh at his name. (Is Mr. Joshua really the best they could come up with? Did he used to be a talking owl that befriended children in a magical forest?)

At one point, at his boss's request, Mr. Joshua holds his forearm above a lit cigarette lighter just to prove how hard he is. (There's got to be a less permanently disfiguring way to illustrate this. Maybe a bench-press contest?) Later, when he is supposed to be sneaking around, he screams "It's fucking Christmas!" and shoots a TV set playing the old classic A Christmas Carol with his assault rifle. While it's unclear whether that moment was scripted, or just footage of Gary Busey at the on-set Christmas party, one thing is certain: Mr. Joshua needs to chill the fuck out.

Of course, he's on a collision course with Mel Gibson's equally crazy Det. Martin Riggs. The two maniacs finally go hand-to-hand on Danny Glover's front lawn in a frenzy of elbows and headbutts while a bunch of cops stand around and watch. (Hey, it's Los Angeles.)

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