If the old storytelling axiom is true, and heroes are measured by the villains they battle, then Brad Pitt is sure to join an elite list of fictional protagonists, thanks to the bad guys everybody loves to hate – the Nazis.
After massaging, and re-massaging the script for over a decade, Quentin Tarantino promises his upcoming film, “Inglourious Basterds” will be worth the wait. And again, based on his choice of baddies, we’re betting it will be too.
We here at Mania have decided to present a list other brave men who have gone up against the Nazis and taken out as many as they could.
1- Kelly’s Heroes
Hell yeah, I want to kill Nazis with Dirty Harry, Kojak, Archie Bunker, Jack Bauer’s real-life father, the Love Boat’s Captain Stubing and Mr. Warmth himself, but killing Nazis is just a side game for these guys.Sure there’s plenty of Nazi-killing in this flick. You can barely go 5 minutes without a Nazi getting blown up, shot dead or having some part of some part of an old building fall on him, but Kelly’s Heroes is not so much a movie about retribution as it is remuneration. Kelly (Clint Eastwood) along with Big Joe (Telly Savalas) Crapgame (Don Rickles) Oddball (Donald Sutherland) and the rest have come to the realization that while war is indeed hell, that shouldn’t preclude them from using a little American ingenuity to make a nice tidy profit for their efforts.This film is more about thumbing your nose at authority, and getting a little something extra for the effort than ridding society of the schemes of evil men, but it does not lack in Nazi body count.
In the end it’s comforting to realize that even soldiers with an SS emblazoned upon their lapels can agree with a Yankees dogface that $875,000 dollars each (that’s 1940’s money) is worth more than the basic human dignity of an entire race of people…. Wait. That can’t possibly be the message… is it?
2- The Boys From Brazil
Ok, admittedly not a ton of dead Nazis in this flick, but if you’re only going to get to see one Nazi die per movie, Dr. Josef Mengele has to be at least number two on most lists.A couple of thyespian heavyweights are on display here too. Sir Laurence Olivier plays the role of the aging Nazi hunter; Ezra Lieberman while the part of the malevolent Mengele went to the typically gallant Gregory Peck. It may be a bit off-putting to watch Atticus Finch speak fondly of Der Führer in a clipped German accent, but the fact Peck had always played protagonists made this portrayal all the more chilling.One thing the readers might appreciate and at the same time not expect from a movie starring Olivier and Peck; it’s about cloning. That’s right. Peck’s Mengele took DNA samples at the behest of his leader for the exact purpose of having a “the right Hitler for the right future.”Mengele meets his gruesome end immediately after finally coming face to face with one of the 94 Boys from Brazil clones. Confused by the carnage, young Bobby Hitler walks in on the aftermath of what must be the bloodiest old man fight on film. Lieberman somehow convinces Lil Hitler that Mengele killed his father, and the tiny terror allows a small army of Dobermans to rip the nasty doctor to shreds. The ending (not to be given away here) is even creepier.
3- The Dirty Dozen
What’s a good Nazi-killing movie without racists, rapists and murderers - and that’s just the good guys. Lee Marvin leads a lovable band of ragtag misfits (assuming you can classify murder and rape as ragtag) on a top-secret mission to infiltrate and assassinate a number of high-ranking Nazi officials in their quaint little French chateau. Seen as a suicide mission, the American military brass place Major John Reisman (Marvin) was placed in charge of 12 U.S. soldiers who were doing nothing of any importance other than sitting in the brig, waiting to be executed for their own heinous offenses against humanity. Alone these dozen degenerates are among the worst bunch of reprobates to ever roll out of a bunk for revelry, but together, they just might clean the finely crafted clocks of those calamitous Krauts but good.Donald Southerland and Telly Savalas are once again enlisted as are football legend Jim Brown, George Kennedy, Trini Lopez, big Clint Walker and quite possibly, the baddest man of them all, Charles Bronson.What chance do the Nazis have when we have the murderous Archer Maggot (Savalas) on our side? Couple that with the fact that the greatest athlete to ever carry a pigskin can easily outrun German bullets, and Reisman’s direct orders were to train them, excite them, arm them and turn them loose on the Nazi high command.Yes, there were a lot of dead Nazis by the movie’s end, but a good percentage of the original dozen were killed off in the process as well. Of course the biggest war crime committed in the name of the Dirty Dozen was that Erik Estrada was allowed to suit up for a role in the 1988 made for TV movie, The Dirty Dozen; The Deadly Mission.
4- Captain America
While Superman and his buddies at DC would jump into the fray on occasion, Captain America was created with the sole intent to mix it up with the Axis, and he also didn’t mind getting a bunch of Nazi blood all over his gloves. Hell, Cap even socked ol’ Adolf in the jaw once. Not sure how that slimy little Nazi got away, but those old school Germans were crafty. You have to give them that.We all know the story by now, scrawny patriot Steve Rogers is classified 4F by the military, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to serve his country. Rogers happily agrees to injections and oral doses of a Super-soldier serum and ironically, the blonde haired blue-eyed all-American boy is also transformed into the Aryan ideal. Bigger, faster, and stronger, Rogers is now a nearly perfect human being. And while this is all fine and good as long as he uses his new superior body for killing the enemy, he is not allowed to play left field for the San Francisco Giants.It’s unknown how many Krauts Cap and his perfectly non-powered, non-trained, very vulnerable to bullets, teenage sidekick Bucky took down over the years, but it’s a fair bet Cap stopped placing notches on his mighty shield because he either ran out of room, or because it’s a bitch to put notches into a vibranium shield.
5- Indiana Jones
Indy has been fighting Nazis before anyone on this list. It’s probably a good bet that Indiana has scraped with more Nazis than any other archaeologist in the history of archaeology. It’s an established fact that Indy doesn’t like snakes, and there’s none more slithery than rival archaeologist René Belloq. Not a Nazi in the true sense of the word, Belloq doesn’t mind doing business with bastards if the pay is good. Hmmm. Come to think of it, he doesn’t seem that much different than Kelly or any of his heroes.Of course everybody remembers Major Toht’s very famous face meltdown, but let’s be serious; Indy played a pretty passive role in that ghastly execution. God gets all the glory for blasting his holy flame through the midsection of the Gestapo officer’s crew. What seems to get overshadowed, when talking about Indy vs. the Nazis, is his amazing display of fisticuffs on the runway. Moments after dispatching a formidable wrench-wielding foe, Indy comes face-to-nipple with the burliest, baldest, baddest Nazi ever captured on film. Go ahead, kick this guy in the nuts. He barely blinks. About the only thing he’s not impervious to it seems is a rotating propeller blade. Luckily, one is provided just in the nick of time. While technically not Indy’s kill, he was the closest to the body at the time of death, so the judges rule in his favor. Sounds like a great time to kiss the girl, and live happily ever after, and please forgive the Short Round quote, but sadly, for Mr. Jones Has no time for love. He’s got company. And it’s even money they’ll be Nazis.
Joe Oesterle is an award-winning writer and illustrator, but what he often fails to mention is that many of those awards were won on a New Jersey boardwalk. Pick up his latest books "Weird California" and "Weird Las Vegas" in any Barnes and Noble near you, and look for his next book, "Weird Hollywood," due out soon. www.JoeArtistWriter.com
Mania is the premiere online destination for fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and anime entertainment. It is the largest community offering profiles, video, science fiction movies, sci fi TV, art, sci fi comics, photos, cheats, blogs, science fiction books, forums and feedback. Mania offers insider entertainment industry info and original content for science fiction, fantasy, and horror entertainment genres including: video games, comics, gadgets, movies, television, toys, music, books, DVDs and more.