Monday, 7 January 2013

Things To Drop In 2013 #1: The Hare-Brained Corporate Villain

We're beginning our second week of 2013 and lots of people are pledging to drop things, like those extra pounds they put on during the holidays.

There are a few things Hollywood needs to drop to make this a healthier and happier New Year. They're not going to do it, but what the heck, I'm going to do a post a day chiding show-biz about them.

Today's topic is...


Political correctness means that Hollywood has only a limited pool of villains to choose from. The go-to choice in Hollywood is the "Corporate Villain." You know, the middle-aged white guy in the pricey tailored suit who is behind all evil the hero has to vanquish.

Corporations and the people who run them are easy targets. The corporation itself is an entity whose nature most people don't truly understand. They're sort of looked at like robots, they exist for one function, making money, which a lot of people who already have lots of money like to poo-poo on, and since writers usually have only Hollywood itself as a model, people assume they are only a hair's breadth from turning on humanity in full psycho-kill mode. The people who run corporations have a stereotype of being middle-age white males, so it's not going to get anyone organizing boycotts and protests if you declare that they embody pure evil.

Now I'm not saying they should give up on using them as villains, what I am asking is that Hollywood drop making up totally bullshit schemes for these villains.

Corporations exist to make money, so why don't writers come up with schemes that involve making money.

The most obvious example is the Resident Evil franchise. The premise of the whole franchise is that the Umbrella Corporation created and unleashed a zombie virus that destroyed civilization. 

No one involved bothered to ask the question: How do they make money from turning people into brainless flesh eating zombies that destroy civilization?

Well, I think there's someone in the company has the the notion about someday figuring out a way to turn the zombies into slave labor, but what's the point when your customer base has either been eaten, or has to live on the run, on scraps, to avoid becoming zombie chow. Even the heads of the corporation itself have to hide in bunkers to avoid being eaten by their own creation.

There's no rational motivation behind it, it's just doing evil for the sake of evil. True, their target audience only watches to see Milla Jovovich run around shooting guns in tight outfits, but they're not the only ones, just the most blatantly obvious.

I'm not telling Hollywood to completely drop the corporate villain, just that they do a little research and come up with schemes that might actually make a profit. Theft, fraud, and illegal dealings with hostile countries, are all wide open, use them for a change.


  1. talk about schemes that have some basis in reality, like sweatshops. Recently in Bangladesh workers at a plant that made goods for US stores died in a fire because basic safety measures were not taken or outright violated in order to prevent theft because they workers are paid a slave wage, all because someone wanted to squeeze out one last dollar of profit.

  2. "How do they make money from turning people into brainless flesh eating zombies that destroy civilization?"

    Wondered that myself.

  3. Gary - That's a realistic scheme, sadly, but also one of those self-fulfilling idiocies I like to complain about.

  4. In the video games, the zombie crisis was the cause of a virus Umbrella was developing for bio war experiments and it got loose. The game had a better plot than the freaking film it was based on.