There are two types of foreign villains when it comes to American movies. You've got your British villains, because of the Revolutionary War, and you've got your Russian villains, because of the Cold War. And once in a while, Hollywood throws in a German villain, because of the second World War. But today, we're taking a look at the Russians—the members of the fallen USSR who made for so many over-the-top bad guys in our favorite American movies!
Teddy KGB, "Rounders"
If you look up "Over-acting" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of John Malkovich in "Rounders," playing Teddy KGB. He's ostensibly Russian, but his accent moves wildly between something close to Russian, to something unlike anything ever uttered anywhere in the universe. Witness his "I stick it in you" scene towards the end of the movie, where his over-the-top Russian-ness is on full display. Plus, he was a bad dude, and a hell of poker player, even if he had a pretty obvious tell.
Boris The Blade, "Snatch"
According to the narrator, Turkish, Boris is "as bent as the Soviet sickle and as hard as the hammer that crosses it." That seems a pretty apt description for a man who is almost impossible to kill. He's also an arms dealer, and he's also the in the murder-for-hire business. These are all pretty nefarious things, but on top of that, his guns that he sells are generally pieces of broken crap. "Boris the Sneak Effin Russian" indeed, Turkish.
Ivan Vanko, "Iron Man 2"
Malkovich on the list of over-acted Russian villains, we have Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, known colloquially as "Whiplash" in the action blockbuster "Iron Man 2". To be honest, it'd be tough to tell what the hell country Ivan is from if the movie didn't beat you over the head with the fact that he's Russian. Rourke's accent is ridiculous, but we have to admit, that F1 car scene was pretty badass. Too bad it was kind of downhill after that.
Ivan Drago, "Rocky IV"
Russian bad guys tend to fall into two categories: the ridiculously animated and the super-strong silent types. Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren and some guttural Russian and English brought to life the personification of the Cold War with Ivan Drago, the Soviet Express. Fortunately, Rocky Balboa was available to help save Democracy for the whole world and help aid in the collapse of the Soviet Union. According to Frank Yushin, "Rambo II"
With a cast iron jaw and a nefarious background courtesy of the Russian KGB, Rambo had a formidable muscle-bound foe to take on in the second installment of the "Rambo" saga. Sly Stallone loved his gigantic Russian bad guys, didn't he? Look out for "Rocky VII," when Rocky goes back in time to actually box Mikhail Gorbachev, in which he punches the port-wine stain right of that Russkie's forehead.
The Russian, "The Punisher"
Kevin Nash, of NWO fame, probably won't ever win an Academy Award for his acting. But still, he's a big menacing dude, and the Punisher nemesis known as The Russian was right up his alley. Another guy in the line of "super-huge silent Russian villains," The Russian showed up to put the smack down on Frank Castle's ass to the strains of a little classical music. It was the best scene in a forgettable movie and we can thank The Russian for that.
Yorgi is a bad dude, and the movie goes out of its way to make sure you understand this point. He's the head of the Russian Mafia, he's tattooed, he likes Rammstein, and he's also commissioned the construction of a bio-chemical weapon. Plus, he's Russian, and in case you didn't know by now, Russian equals bad. In the ridiculous world of Vin Diesel's "Yorgi fits right in. Which means he's stupid, loud and actually kind of pointless. "Welcome to the Xander Zone!"