We have always marveled at how movie villains are able to recruit employees who are willing to work 24 hours a day, kill and maim many people, be treated callously and most likely be killed themselves. The dictionary says a henchman is an unscrupulous and ruthless subordinate and the villains in the Batman movies have an endless supply of these guys. Not only are they willing to kill and die for their crazy bosses they also subject themselves to wearing outlandish getups.
Here is our tribute to The Henchmen of the Batman movies.
The Joker has a number one henchman and his name is Bob the Goon. Unfortunately most movie villains have little tolerance for errors made by henchman and Bob the Goon is "fired". Bob was played by actor Tracey Walters. The rest of the henchmen wear leather jackets with a Joker patch. Dancing is another job requirement.
You can't get much better than this. The Penguin has two sets of henchmen. He has some really strange circus performer people to help him carry out his evil deeds AND he has real penguins who are ready to kill for him! The circus performers live in the Penguin's Lair which seems to be underground in the sewer and they have to be in the cold to keep the penguins happy.
As for the penguins were they real? Yes some of them were and the folks at PETA were not happy. Here is a news story about the protest.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An animal rights group is protesting "Batman Returns" for using real penguins and fitting them with plastic weapons and other gadgets.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it would protest outside the Hollywood theater where the $80 million sequel had it's premiere party today.
Danny DeVito stars as The Penguin who is assisted in his evil deeds by an army of real penguins, puppets, actors in bird suits and computer generated animals.
"It must be very frightening for penguins, who are used to wide open spaces and diving freely into ice water. to be strapped into missile gear," said Dan Mathews PETA director of special projects.
But the group also said it didn't believe any of the three dozen birds were mistreated during filming.
A Warner Brother's release said the penguin's headgear consists of " very lightweight plastic which the real animals quickly became used to."
The man who was the penguin wrangler on the set claims the birds were given the star treatment "they were given a refrigerated trailer, half a ton of ice a day and they had fresh fish delivered daily. The entire set was cooled to 35 degrees for them"
The henchmen who work for Harvey Dent AKA Two Face are burly men who wear two sided ski masks.
Imdb lists twenty four actors who are credited as "Harvey's Thug" We checked on their careers and found most of them are still being cast for roles like Minion #1 and characters named Rico but we were very impressed with the career of Jim Palmer who seems to have done stunts in every major movie you can think of - Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones . . . he's done them all.
We think Mr. Freeze's henchmen have the worst job environment of all. In addition to their criminal skills they have to do group song fests, wear strange eye makeup, be really good ice skaters and work in freezing conditions. Robin calls them the hockey team from hell.
Poison Ivy has perhaps the best henchman ever. He is supernaturally strong, he does her every bidding and he doesn't talk. He is Mr. Bane. Bane is played by a 6'4" actor and wrestler named Jeep Swenson
The Joker is a very dangerous man to have for a boss. His henchmen do not seem to live very long. They wear very scary clown masks
Here are some of the masks on exhibit. Some of the henchmen have names like Dopey, Happy, Grumpy and Chuckles.