Monday, August 29, 2016

Why You Should Read: The Tick

The Tick.  A character created by a by young Ben Edlund, a fan of superhero comics during the 1980s, which was one of the most influential decades for superhero comics.

The 80s gave us creators like Frank Miller and Allan Moore, who pushed the envelope of what was and wasn't acceptable to depict in comics.  These individuals thumbed their noses at the Comics Code Authority and all the regulations that made sure comics stayed squeaky clean and kid friendly.  So much of what is going on in comics and superhero movies now is a result of the 80s.

Early issues of Ben Edlund's original run of 'The Tick' walk a line between affectionate parody that outright mockery of the darker and edgier comics of the time.  At one point the Tick declares: "I'm a SUPERHERO!  I don't want to STOP crime!  I just want to FIGHT it!"  These were funny and relevant when they were written, and in a post Christopher Nolan society where people are still throwing around buzzwords like 'Grounded' and 'Gritty' in relation to superheroes 'The Tick' is still as funny and relevant as ever.

The increase of violence and the brooding nature of heroes in superhero comics is parodied.  The Tick spends a lot of time standing on rooftops and narrating his own adventures in third person Film Noir dialog.

"He some sort of pagan god or deposed tyrant.  Staring out over over the city he's sworn stare out over..."

"Blood covers the city like a big red afghan..."

As a Daredevil fan I particularly enjoy issues #3 through #5:  'Night of a Million Zillion Ninja,' 'A Big Fight' and 'Early Morning of a Million Zillion Ninjas'.  This story arc introduces Oedipus, a thinly veiled Elektra parody.  The Tick joins Oedipus, her old guy mentor Shing, and Paul the Samurai in their battle against the incompetent Ninja forces of darkness.  "Ninjas aren't dangerous.  They're more afraid of you than you are of them..."  This story arc also introduces the Tick's sidekick Arthur.

Superman and transparent Superhero disguises are also mocked.  The Tick dons a hypnotic tie over his costume in order to convince the general public that he to is an ordinary citizen rather than a nigh-invincible superhero.

One thing about The Tick, the original issues do have a bit of salty language, so it's not as kid friendly as it may seem.  I picked up a reprint of the first issue on Free Comic Book Day a few years back, and they altered a lot of the dialog to make it appropriate for all ages.  It must have been a little shocking for parents who went out and bought the comic for their kids afterwords.  It's mostly just PG-13 language though, no F-words or anything, but I do feel like it's something you should be warned about.

Probably my favorite thing about The Tick is how quotable it is.  "Speak up Amigo, I can barely hear you over the roar of this yawning abyss!"  It's a bit like 'The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra' or 'Galaxy Quest' for me that way.  There is no wrong time to quote The Tick.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Tarzan Triumphs (1943)

So I just recently watched my first ever Johnny Wiesmuller Tarzan movie.  'Tarzan Triumphs' features a lot of firsts.  Not only is this the first Wiesmuller I watched, but it's the first in the series to feature the Nazis as villains, and the first in the series in which Jane is absent.

Although Jane is mentioned, she is replaced by a Jungle Princess named Zandra, who is played by Frances Gifford of 'Jungle Girl' fame.  Gifford is a big part of why I wanted to watch 'Tarzan Triumphs'.

Overall, this movie was much higher quality than I was expecting.  There's not a single gorilla costume in this picture.  Not that I have anything against people in gorilla costumes - quite the opposite in fact.  But 'Tarzan Triumphs' features trained monkeys, an elephant, crocodiles...

This clearly had a bit of a budget.  The quality makes it clear why the Johnny Wiesmuller series was so popular and long running.  And it's more than just the budget.  Although it does have a lot of the cheese you would expect a Tarzan movie to have - Tarzan speaking in one to three word sentences, the fact that Tarzan
and Jane named their adopted son 'Boy' and Jane was okay with this - the story is pretty well crafted.

The movie starts with Boy, who has wandered off into the jungle on his own contrary to Tarzan's instructions.  He finds a cliff overlooking the lost city of Palandrya.  Being the accident prone jungle boy that he is, Boy slips off the edge and needs to be rescued by Princess Zandra who happens to be passing through.  But the rock ledge they're standing on starts to give way, and they are both saved by Tarzan. 

 After this casual chance meeting that will drive the entire rest of the movie, Tarzan and Boy return to their tree house.  Tarzan had been going into town to get a letter from Jane.  She writes of the Nazis in war torn Europe, establishing the historical context, and explain Jane's absence.  Two birds, one stone.  Cheeta the monkey steals some fruit from the other monkeys, but Tarzan makes him give it back.  This seemingly cutesy throwaway moment is also important later.  Pretty solid beginning that shows the writers know what they're doing.

A group of Nazis parachute into the jungle, planning to invade Zandra's lost jungle city so they enslave the natives and steal all of their natural resources.  However, one of the Nazis is separated from the others.  He's the one carrying the radio, which the Nazis need to communicate with Germany.  He lands in a crocodile infested lake near Tarzan's tree house.

Tarzan rescues the Nazi, who manages to convince Tarzan that he's a lost explorer.  Cheeta is fascinated by the radio, and steals a vital part of the transmitter.

Meanwhile, the natives welcome the Nazis with open arms.  The leader of the Nazi expedition had been to the lost city before, and managed to convince the natives that he was a friend.  This parallels the Nazi now living in Tarzan's camp.  Personally, I thing the story would be more compelling if the Nazi in Tarzan's camp turned out to be sympathetic because Tarzan saved his life, but that's not the case.

Turns out the natives were a little too trusting.  Zandra's father
and brother are murdered, and in true Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition, the leader of the Nazis wants to make Zandra his bride.  She manages to escape, but she is pursued.

Meanwhile, the Nazi in Tarzan's camp is pretty fed up with the way Cheeta keeps messing with the radio, and he chases after the monkey with his gun.  Boy isn't too happy about this, as Cheeta is his pet.  Long story short, the bad guy ends up falling off a nearby cliff.

Tarzan discovers Zandra's distress and saves her from the pursuing Nazis.  She tries to talk him into saving her people, but he wants nothing of war and the world of men.  Boy is convinced that if Zandra - and this bit is kind of weird and creepy - acts and dresses more like Jane, Tarzan would be willing to help.  This awkward part of the movie makes it look like A: Tarzan is cheating on Jane in her absence and B: Boy thinks his adoptive mother is easily replaceable.  Boy's scheme fails to work however, and Zandra decides to return to her own people.  Tarzan tries to stop her because he believes it's too dangerous.

While all this is going on, the Nazis are searching for their radio.  They find Tarzan's camp and the radio, but the part Cheeta stole is still missing.  They interrogate Boy, and decide to take him back to the lost city.  Tarzan chases after them, swinging through the trees.  They shoot at him and he falls.  The Nazis search for his body, but the monkeys from the beginning cover him with leaves.  Zandra finds him and nurses him back to health.  Boy being captured finally lights a fire under Tarzan, and he and Zandra go to the lost city to fight some Nazis.

I thought this was a really good story.  That said, far to much of the movie is devoted to the monkey Cheeta doing something cute and/or funny, while Tarzan and Boy point and laugh.  This reminds me a bit of the later 'Thin Man' movies, which contained a good bit of filler featuring Nick and Nora's dog Asta.  Also I was a little disappointed by Princess Zandra.  She only gets a few action scenes - particularly compared to her alter ego Nyoka.  Tarzan is pretty lousy as a heroic figure.  I know the heroic journey requires the protagonist to first reject the call to adventure, but aside from rescuing the Nazi paratrooper from the crocodiles and then saving Zandra from the Nazis, Tarzan doesn't start being heroic until the last 20 minutes.  I know extreme anti social tendencies and self imposed isolation are a part of what make this version of Tarzan tick, but he looks a bit like a jerk for not helping Zandra save her city from the Nazis faster.

I read somewhere that this was the most violent of all the Johnny Wiesmuller Tarzan movies.  I found this one part to be a little shocking: In the climax Boy picks up a gun and shoots one of the Nazis.  I know this movie was made during WWII, so the mindset was one of 'Everyone must do their part for the war effort,' but it's a little disturbing to see an 8 to 12 year old shoot somebody without showing any signs of remorse.  Granted, any jury would rule this as self defense, but it's still kind of jarring.  I guess you 'had to be there' living through the war for this storytelling decision to feel appropriate.

'Tarzan Triumphs' is a pretty solid jungle adventure movie.  I can see now why the classic Tarzan pictures are considered classics, and I could definitely see myself watching more.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Real life Scooby Doo..?

You may have noticed that I've been posting pretty regularly since mid April of this year (2016).  You may have also noticed if you'd been paying particularly close attention that I usually post of Mondays.  Today is not a Monday. It's a Friday.

"How dare you Geekboy!" you find yourself exclaiming.  "A blog schedule is not something to be taken seriously!"  You take out your vintage style pocket-watch and tap it to emphasize how late this post is.  Also, you say 'schedule' funny, because you're suddenly a cranky middle aged British man with mutton chops.

Truth be told I was on vacation in Virginia with my family for most of this week.  In our many travels we stopped at Grand Caverns, which we soon learned is the oldest touring cave in the US of A.

One of the rooms on the tour is called 'Dante's Inferno'.  Our tour guide told us a cool story about this part of the cave.  She told us about how miners found some valuable minerals in this section of Grand Caverns, and they wanted to keep their cache a secret.  So they started a little ghost story to keep the tourists away.

The miners noticed that their candles would go out when they reached a certain part of the cavern.  It was easy to convince everybody that it was 'Evil Spirits' that blew out the candles, even though it was a natural phenomenon.  You know what this sounds like?

Yep, that's right.  It sounds like the plot for a classic episode of 'Scooby Doo, where are you?'  Buried Treasure of some kind, and a creepy story to keep everyone else away.  The only things missing is the miners never dressed up in ghost costumes, never said "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!" and also, there are no meddling kids.

My favorite part of this tour was where they turned all the lights out.  And I know what you're thinking.  "But Geekboy," you say as you roll your eyes, "They always turn all the lights out."  And they do.  Every single time.  I think it's a requirement of being a cave tour guide.  But our guide did it in a way I'd never seen before.  She lit a candle first, showing us what it would have been like for the original spelunkers exploring these caves in the 1700s.  Then she had one of the kids in the tour blow out the candle.  Normally turning out the lights is like a cheap jump scare in a horror movie.  It's there to get an extreme reaction from the audience.  But this time it wasn't like that.  It was subtle and classy, and when she turned the lights back on we got to see just how much those early spelunkers were missing by exploring these caves in the candlelight.

If you're in the Virginia area, make sure you take in a cave or two.  And if you've seen a few caverns before, feel free to leave your favorite memories in the comments.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Thoughts on: Suckerpunch

I know I've talked about Zack Snyder's 2011 film 'Suckerpunch' a few times before on this blog.  But since it's a movie that I can't seem to shut up about, maybe it's time I wrote down all of my thoughts on it.

*DISCLAIMER* This movie features a lot of adult themes that I'm not going to shy away from.  At the end of the day it's basically a story about sex, sexual abuse, and sex in the media and I don't plan to just ignore that elephant in the room.  The theatrical release may be rated PG13, but this story is clearly intended for mature audiences and I cannot in good conscious recommend seeing it if you are under the age of 18.  Also, I'll be getting into spoilerville in this post.

Like all Zack Snyder's films, this one is rather divisive.  Everyone tends to either love or hate it.  I knew this was a love it or hate it type deal going in.  I also knew the basic plot synopsis going in, so I didn't really find jumping between parallel worlds confusing and knew about the twist of a downer ending going in.  And I still didn't know what to make of it the first time.  Did I love it?  Did I hate it?  I honestly couldn't tell.  It was an exhausting and emotionally draining movie to watch.  But I had a sort of sick fascination with it and couldn't wait to see it again.  What did that say about me?  Was I a weirdo for 'enjoying' what may just be a horrible movie?

So I watched it again.  And again a year or so later.  After the third time I made up my mind.  Suckerpunch was a work of art.  It transcended storytelling and became something greater.  It was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me though.  I was a little afraid to tell people about the movie, thinking they might watch it, hate it, and think I was weird for liking it.  So I had to hedge a little bit.  "I just love this movie.  But you'd probably hate it.  Don't see it.  And if you do and don't hate it outright, make sure you watch it more than once."  That's right guys.  The ol' Geekboy suffers from major self esteem issues when it comes to what he likes.

Suckerpunch is all about repeated and parallel themes shown to us in three different realities.  In the 'real world' our nameless protagonist is having the worst day ever.  Her mother has just died, her evil stepfather is sexually abusing her and her younger sister, and she accidentally shoots and kills her sister in an attempt to protect her from the stepfather.  The stepfather takes heh- 'steps' to cover up what he's been doing.  He has our heroine committed to the local sanitarium.  Once there he bribes an orderly, who we'll come to know as 'Blue,' to forge an order to have our heroine lobotomized so she'll be an unreliable witness.  He's effectively covering his tracks, and up until the end of the story we're led to believe he might just get away with it.

Pause the review for just a second: One of the things I like about Suckerpunch is how it can correct my perspective when I'm having a bad day.  "You think you have it rough Geekboy?  What you're going through is nothing compared to the main characters in Suckerpunch!"

Now, we're about to jump to the second world.  Are you ready?  3, 2, 1, JUMP!  Okay.  We're now in a dance hall.  The inmates of the asylum are now dancing girls, the staff of the asylum are sleazy mobsters who 'own' the girls.  The inmates are given 'names' in this reality.  Bond Girl style stage names such as Babydoll, Sweetpea, Rocket, Blondie, and Amber.  Also, our heroine, Babydoll, gets her first line of spoken dialog in this reality.  Interestingly enough, she's more 'real' in this imaginary world than she is in the 'real' world.

We are introduced to Sweatpea, 'the star of the show' and a bit of a diva.  She resents everything about Babydoll.  Sweatpea would be completely unlikable if not for her relationship with her younger sister Rocket.  Rocket is a dreamer, a little flighty, and a little naive.  She forms a bond with Babydoll early on.  It's revealed later that Rocket was a runaway, and that Sweetpea followed her in order to protect her.

Babydoll rescues Rocket from an abusive cook in a scene that parallels the abuse scene at the beginning of the movie.  This starts a sisterly relationship that is key to the entire rest of the movie.

Babydoll is ordered to 'dance' by Madame Gorski (Dr. Gorski in the 'real' world).  Gorski delivers some pretty inspirational dialog in this scene.  "You have all the weapons you need.  Now fight!"  This phrase is repeated throughout the movie.  So Babydoll 'dances' and we enter the THIRD reality.  This is a visually spectacular fantasy, science fiction, steam/dieselpunk world.  Our first glimpse of this world is a Japanese Temple/Dojo.

Babydoll meets a wise old man who tells her how to find freedom.  He gives her a list of items she needs to acquire in the 'real' world.  A map of the asylum, a way to start a fire and open the automatic doors, a knife, a key, and a fifth thing 'a great sacrifice'.  The old man takes on a mentor role, and in some ways he actually parallels Madam Gorski.  After fighting some awesome mecha samurai Babydoll returns to the dance hall reality.

Blue and all of the other mobsters are entranced by the dance.  Sweetpea, being the diva that she is, feels threatened by this and resents Babydoll even more.  Babydoll reveals that she has a plan to escape the asylum/dance hall.  Rocket and Amber are enthusiastic, Blondie is reluctant, and Sweetpea downright refuses to help.  It's not until Rocket reveals to Sweetpea how Babydoll protected her that Sweetpea will even listen to the plan.

The plan is pretty simple: Babydoll will 'dance' to distract the mobsters, and the other girls will steal what they need to escape.  Each time Babydoll 'dances' we switch to another fantasy world.  The first fantasy was a Dojo, and each fantasy that follows is a war-zone.  The first dance was practice, and all the ones that follow, Babydoll is fighting for freedom.  In the war-zone reality the stage names take on a new meaning.  What had been Bond Girl names now become feminine army nicknames.  Also, each girl who is stealing the object while Babydoll is 'dancing' faces a special peril in the war-zone reality.  In the first war-zone Sweetpea is surrounded by zombies while she's getting the map in real life.  Amber is attacked by Orcs while she's stealing the cigarette lighter in real life.

Also, the first war-zone has another parallel to the attempted rape scenes earlier in the movie.  Rocket is separated from the rest of the group and completely surrounded by zombies.  Sweetpea goes completely berserk, mowing down zombies with her machine gun to save her sister.  Sweetpea steps into Babydoll's shoes as Rocket's rescuer in this scene.

Unfortunately their actions don't go unnoticed.  Blue is suspicious, and after he confronts our heroines, Sweetpea and Blondie are scared off.  Babydoll, Rocket, and Amber decide to go through with the plan.  Blondie spills her guts to Madam Gorski, and Blue overhears them.  Sweetpea changes her mind about helping.  "Somebody has to make sure you don't get yourself killed," She tells Rocket.  Ouch.  If you've seen the movie already you'll appreciate the tragic irony of that bit of dialog.

This time things go wrong.  A short in the radio's wire causes the music to stop, breaking the spell of Babydoll's dance.  The cook whom they are stealing the knife from realizes what's going on tries to stab Sweetpea, but Rocket jumps between her sister and the knife.  This parallels not only the death of Babydoll's sister, but Babydoll's sacrifice that is still to come.

Rocket is pretty much my favorite part of this movie.  She's the catalyst that makes the story work.  She represents everything that Babydoll is fighting for, everything that she's lost, and everything that she will ultimately be willing to give up.  And she brings the main characters together.  Rocket, Babydoll, and Sweetpea form a sort of Freudian trio.  Rocket, with her naivety, idealism, and knack for getting herself into trouble is an Id.  Sweetpea, with her caution, protective nature and cynical realism is the Superego.  And Babydoll is the Ego who moderates between the two and actually get things done.

So.  Everything has fallen apart at this point in the story.  Rocket is dead, Sweatpea is a hysterical mess, Amber and Blondie are murdered by Blue, and then Blue tries to rape Babydoll.  Here we have another parallel to the attempted rape in the beginning.  Only this is the first time that the victim fights back.  In a fulfillment of those arc words "You have all the weapons you need!" Babydoll reaches for the knife they stole, stabs Blue in the shoulder, and steals the key around his neck.  After everything she's been through already in this story this is so satisfying.

Babydoll rescues Sweetpea, and the two decide to escape.  They start a fire to open the automatic doors, and use the map and key to find the exit.  Even though they're still dressed like dancing girls, the building they're escaping from looks much more like the asylum then the dance hall.  When they reach the gate they discover it's heavily guarded.  Babydoll remembers what the old man said.  A fifth thing is needed: a sacrifice.  She distracts the guards so Sweetpea can escape.  After all, Sweetpea is the only one with a family to go home to.

And now we come to the twist ending.  After everything she's gone through to escape, Babydoll is lobotomized after all.  You as an audience are left to believe that there's no hope for her at this point.  But Dr. Gorski and the Lobotomy doctor realize that something is wrong.  They discover that it was Blue who forged Dr. Gorski's signature, and the police arrive to arrest him just as he's about to abuse Babydoll one last time.  Blue spills his guts to the police about Babydoll's stepfather.  We are left knowing that justice will be done, and the wrongdoers will be punished appropriately.  This wouldn't have happened if Babydoll hadn't allowed herself to be lobotomized.

Sweetpea is shown at the bus stop.  She is stopped by the police just as she's about to board the bus.  She is saved by the bus driver, who is the same old man who kept appearing in the fantasy world.  This calls everything into question.  What exactly was real in this movie?  Everything?  Nothing?  Does the old man represent some higher power?  A guardian angel?  That seems the most likely answer given Sweetpea's opening narration: "Everyone has an angel.  A guardian who watches over us.  We can't now what form they'll take.  One day an old man, the next day a little girl.  But don't let appearances fool you, they can be a fierce as any dragon."

Now I mentioned at the beginning of this post that this movie is about sexual abuse and sex in the media.  Zack Snyder has gone on record to say that he was trying to make a statement about how women are portrayed in popular culture.  And what he does in this movie is compare sexual abuse, prostitution, and sex in the media.  He's basically saying that THEY ARE ALL BAD THINGS.  I don't know what Zack Snyder's religious beliefs are, if any, but this reminds me of the Bible verse: "But I tell you, any man who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28.  A lot of people who don't like this movie completely misinterpreted Snyder's intentions and call the movie sexist.  So how effective this movie is in conveying it's intended message is debatable.  Frankly the family friendly sci fi comedy Galaxy Quest does a better job conveying the same idea with 2 seconds of humorous dialog from Sigourney Weaver's character.

I called Suckerpunch a work of art at the beginning of this post.  Here's why I think that is.  Zack Snyder doesn't give us the ending we expect or want.  A happy ending in which everyone escapes would have compromised the story.  He gives us the ending that fits the story even though it may upset the audience.

Also the story is so ambiguous as to what is real, and if everything we're shown happened or if it happened the way we were shown.  This has led to countless fan theories.  Is Babydoll real?  Or is she a figment of Sweetpea's imagination?  Did Rocket really die?  Did she die before the story started?  Is she actually the ghost of Babydoll's sister?

This ambiguity is another part of why some people hate Suckerpunch.  They find it confusing.  But it doesn't really matter what happened.  50% of art is what the artist brings to the table.  The other 50% is audience interpretation.  So any and all interpretations are valid.

Love or hate Suckerpunch, it will force you to think.  And if you don't get anything more out of the story than gorgeous Zack Snyder visuals, that's fine.  But you could get more out of it than that.  And you may find something new each time you watch it.  Suckerpunch is one of my all time favorite movies.  That might make me a weirdo.  But I'm okay with that.


Monday, August 1, 2016

On Villains... Part 2:

A while back I talked about some of the most influential love-to-hate-em villains of my childhood:  Murdoc from TVs MacGyver and Lord Sinister from Lego: Adventurers.

Today I'm going to cover a couple more bad guys from my formative years.  Let's take a look.

When I was a kid there were basically two kinds of people: Those who were reading Harry Potter and those who were reading A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Me and my siblings fell into the Series of Unfortunate Events camp.

In the first of thirteen books, the three Baudelaire children become the three Baudelaire orphans.  After discovering they are the heirs to an enormous fortune they are thrust into the clutches of their evil relative and legal guardian Count Olaf.

Count Olaf spends this and the next 12 books trying time and time again to steal the Baudelaire fortune through any means necessary.  Impersonation, Hypnotism, framing our heroes for murder, Sending them down a rocky mountain cliffside road in an out of control carnival wagon...

The list goes on and on.

I haven't seen much of the 1914 cliffhanger serial 'Perils of Pauline' but I imagine it's melodramatic formula had some influence on 'Series of Unfortunate Events'.  Plot synopsis?  Pauline is an heiress set to inherit a fortune.  However, she decides to travel the world before she settles down.  Mr. Koerner, who is in charge of handling all of Pauline's money, decides she should have an 'accident' while she's off adventuring.  Somehow Pauline escapes or is rescued from each trap he sets.

I wasn't really into serials yet when I was into 'Series of Unfortunate Events', but looking back on it, the cliffhanger serial was an obvious inspiration for the books as well as the 2004 movie.

Book 4, "The Miserable Mill" involves tying an individual to a sawmill, which is one of the things everyone thinks of when they think off serials an melodramas, although the only serial I can think of that uses this as a plot device is 'G-men vs the Black Dragon'.  As the book progressed, the stories began to end in cliffhangers, such as the aforementioned wagon ride from 'The Carnivorous Carnival'.

This made following the books as they were being published a lot of fun.  I remember waiting so impatiently for the next installment.

The movie adds a cliffhanger with a sequence where Count Olaf locks our heroes in a car parked on the railway tracks.  I only really started thinking about the books being patterned after 'Perils of Pauline' when I re-watched the movie awhile back.

Jim Carrey plays Count Olaf in the movie, and he has a knack for stealing the show making you cheer every time he's on screen, even though he's the bad guy.  He does the same thing as Riddler in 'Batman Forever'.  Count Olaf is an over-the-top humorous in the books, but Carrey's unusual mannerisms turn it up to eleven.

Our next villain for today is Professor Ratigan from the 1986 Disney movie 'The Great Mouse Detective'.  In this parody of Sherlock Holmes, Ratigan is less like the Moriarty of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, and more like a cross between Snidely Whiplash and the classic Bond movie villain.  You know how in a James Bond movie the bad guy has pet Sharks, Piranhas, or Alligators?  Ratigan feeds people to a giant cat.

Ratigan has crafted an elaborate plot to usurp the mouse queen's rule over England.  But first he has to get his nemesis, the heroic Basil of Baker-street, out of the picture.  For this purpose he has crafted an elaborate Rue Goldberg machine that involves a phonograph record that triggers an elaborate deathtrap when as the song plays.  Oh, and did I mention that the song is 'Goodbye so Soon,' the best (in my humble opinion) villain song in Disney history?  Vincent Price does the voice Ratigan.  Everything is better with Vincent Price.

So, this is probably less of a 'Geekboy's Favorite Villains' post as it is a 'The Origin of Geekboy's obsession with Cliffhanger Serials' post.  Oh well.  Tell me about your favorite childhood villains in the comments.