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Every Bond Villain Plan, Ranked by Insanity

List RulesVote up the James Bond villains with the most ludicrous plots

Plots by James Bond villains all inherently have the same elements: a maniacal scheme, unlimited resources to accomplish it, with layers of needless complexity, henchmen in identical uniforms, delusions of grandeur, and of course, the inability to kill James Bond. But beyond all that, a good Bond villain plot needs to be insane. It should involve world domination, genocide, vast sums of money, and being so over-the-top that the viewer buys it not in spite of it being crazy, but precisely because it's crazy.

Every Bond villain has a scheme, and they're all crazy. But some are much crazier than others. Sure, SPECTRE wants to extort vast sums of money from the world, but is that crazier than Moonraker's Drax wanting to wipe out the population and start over with a master race? And Goldfinger loves gold, but does he love random killing as much as A View to a Kill's Max Zorin?

With the 25th official Bond film, No Time To Die, around the corner, here's your chance to rank every Bond villain's insane scheme by how insane it really is.

  • 1

    Hugo Drax in "Moonraker"

    The Plan: From his giant space station orbiting high above the earth, industrial tycoon and eugenicist Hugo Drax seeks to wipe out the entire human race using a deadly toxin engineered from a rare orchid. Once the planet is cleansed of inferiors, Drax and his master race will return and repopulate the world.

    How Crazy Is It? It's beyond crazy. A truly ridiculous movie like Moonraker needs a truly ridiculous plot powering it, or the whole thing is just a slog. Drax's neo-Nazi genocide scheme makes the grade. Oh, it makes no sense at all, and is totally unfeasible. But since when has anything related to James Bond, particularly Bond in the '70s, needed plausibility to be good?

    Nutty plot?
  • 2

    Max Zorin in "A View to a Kill"

    The Plan: Genetically engineered by the Nazis and employed by the KGB, super-rich industrial guy Zorin plots to detonate a huge bomb under a key junction in California's fault lines, flooding Silicon Valley and leaving him as the world's sole manufacturer of microchips.

    How Crazy Is It? Strip away the trappings and Zorin's scheme is really just the same "rich guy makes more money" plot that other Bond baddies employ. But it's those ludicrous trappings that make Zorin's scheme a Hall of Fame Bond villain plot in terms of insanity.

    Zorin is certifiably nuts, killing his henchmen in droves and spouting quips like a madman. His scheme doesn't just involve destroying one fault with a bomb, it involves destroying the biggest fault with a nuke. It's got an Amazonian hit-woman, a mad Nazi scientist, rigged horse races, international assassins, and a fight above the Golden Gate Bridge. Evil plans don't get much crazier.

    Of course, in the real world, Zorin's scheme would actually have zero chance of success, because microchips aren't actually made in Silicon Valley, they're made overseas using cheap sweatshop labor. But in the Bond world, it's cracking mad.
    Nutty plot?
  • 3

    Stromberg in "The Spy Who Loved Me"

    The Plan: Anarchist shipping kingpin Karl Stromberg steals two nuclear submarines from the UK and Soviet Union. He plans to use their missiles to nuke the superpowers, who will blame each other and finish the job. He's also constructed a massive underwater city to house the new society that will arise from the ashes of the world he's destroyed, riding out World War III safely under the sea.

    How Crazy Is It? A total rehash of the "get the superpowers to nuke each other" plot of You Only Live Twice, Stromberg's genocidal scheme falls apart not because of Bond (well, there's that), but because of one simple bit of science: water isn't fallout-proof. The radiation from thousands of nukes would almost certainly poison the oceans and make his undersea city uninhabitable. Oops.

    Nutty plot?
  • 4

    Unnamed Asian Country in "You Only Live Twice"

    The Plan: An anonymous Asian empire (ie, China) hopes to provoke World War III between the U.S. and Russia, and employs SPECTRE to orchestrate the theft of their space capsules using a volcano rocket base in Japan. They'll blame each other, out come the nukes, and not-China-but-totally-China will be victorious.

    How Crazy Is it? Utterly. It also doesn't make a ton of sense. Why would not-China assume that they won't be affected by the fallout from a nuclear war? What kind of post-nuclear horror world would they be dominating? And what does SPECTRE get out of the whole thing? Money? Power? Status? Absolutely nothing?

    You Only Live Twice began the tradition of Bond films deviating almost entirely from the plots of the books on which they're ostensibly based, as the book's plot about a Japanese suicide garden was considered dull and unfilmable.

    Nutty plot?