Every big-time bad guy needs an underling. Good help is hard to find when it comes to reliable henchmen, because these guys seem as disposable as an old diaper. But there have been a few henchmen who have stood out as terrifying, memorable baddies. The seven movie henchmen on this list not only know how to carry out the machinations of evil overlords, but they also do it with a scary style that leaves an indelible mark on their targets. At least until the good guy kills them, right?
Clarence Boddicker, "
Kurtwood Smith was totally awesome as Clarence Boddicker in "RoboCop", as the Himmler-esque henchmen under OCP's top man, Dick Jones. His performance was as evil as it gets, including the scenes in which he blows a cop's hand off with a shotgun and when he callously shoots a man in both knees before blowing him up with a grenade. The fact that Clarence was just a really smart guy with evil intentions and not some ridiculous muscle-man made him even more terrifying.
Igor, "House of Wax".
Before he starred in the interminable "Death Wish" movies, Charles Bronson got to show his acting chops as Igor in the Vincent Price vehicle "House of Wax". Charles' talent cannot be understated, as playing a deaf-mute while still being scary is no easy feat, but it's probably because he's a silent henchmen that he's so terrifying. Leaving the audience to wonder just what twisted thoughts might be running through the mind of the stone-faced Igor ramps up the terror in this classic.
Wez, "The Road Warrior".
Being The Humongous' personal dog of war is challenging. While his boss, Lord Humongous, was pretty ridiculous even by post-apocalyptic Outback standards, Wez seemed right at home in the "Mad Max" universe. Vernon Wells plays bug-eyed bad guys as well as anyone, and he helped strike fear into the hearts of oil-hungry settlers in the Australian Outback. His spitting, rage-fuelled antics after his girlfriend's death courtesy of a boomerang is a terrifying sight to behold.
Jaws, "The Spy Who Loved Me".
No list of the most terrifying movie henchmen would be complete without an appearance by a Bond villain or two. Richard Kiel's performance as Jaws certainly caught viewers' attention back in 1977, if for no other reason than the fact that he stood seven feet, two inches tall. But Jaws' gaunt height was only the beginning of his aura; it was his set of cobalt teeth that really cemented his place as one of the most terrifying movie henchmen of all time. To this day, it can be argued that no other Bond henchmen has had such a lasting impact.
GoGo Yubari, "Kill Bill, Vol. 1".
Sure, she might weigh 90 pounds, but that's 90 pounds of psychotic schoolgirl rage directed at whoever O-Ren Ishii wants dead. In real life, Chiaki Kuriyama is a former model turned pop star, but to Western audiences, she'll always be known as the murderous GoGo Yubari, the chick who disembowled a guy and came within seconds of killing The Bride in Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1", proving that henchwomen can be scary, too.
Everyone remembers Bela Lugosi's take on the character of Dracula, and for good reason. But Dwight Frye's maniacal turn as Renfield in Tod Browning's 1931 version of Dracula is equally good. Frye was adept at playing crazy characters, and Renfield might be his craziest. Want proof? The man ate bugs. And not only that, he lamented eating flies, pining instead for big, juicy spiders. That's definitely gross and more than a little terrifying.
Bond villain number two on this list might not be as tall as Jaws, but he's not any less terrifying. Played by Hawaiian-born Harold Sakata, Oddjob was a brutal force for Mr. Goldfinger. Everyone remembers the scene where he decapitates a statue with his razor-sharp bowler hat, but Oddjob is also capable of other feats. He's able to crush a golfball with his bare hands, and during his battle with Bond, Oddjob shows himself to be nearly invincible. Only with the power of electricity is Bond able to defeat Oddjob.