The 1980s was a great decade
for Ranjeet as he crossed over
from being a henchman and second-string villain of the 1970s to
one who could take on heroes all
by himself. With his shirt unbuttoned well past his chest, and his
jaw frequently slack with a bullying laziness, he wore his rapist
persona loud and proud.
In much the same way as it
used Impalas in chase scenes
to impart a sense of the foreign and exotic, Hindi cinema
used the Australian Christo
throughout the 1980s as the
nefarious face of white-man
evil. Most frequently playing a
British officer or a gold smuggler, Christo was effective and
undeniably awesome in films
like Mard, Disco Dancer,
Qurbani, Geraftaar, and,
most memorably, as the plunderer of Indian temples Mr
Wolcott in Mr India.
Before he became
Govinda’s comic sidekick
in the 1990s, Kapoor
rose through the 1980s
embodying the spirit of
the brash son of a moneyed father, a young
scion who knew no limits. It was a relevant
character-type in our
cinema, and Kapoor
played the spoilt and
arrogant with much flair.
And while it must be
admitted that despite all
his machine-gun toting
antics in Naseeb, he
remains a second-string
villain, Kapoor makes it
to the list anyway
because he played Lex
Luthor in the atrocious
Om Puri One of the finest actors in the history of our cinema, Puri didn’t have the looks for a mainstream leading man but often enjoyed playing the sinister and the deceitful. Often someone who could make the hero uneasy just by how he enunciated his line, Om’s villains were always a treat for the audience. A popular favorite is his drunken builder act as Ahuja in Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, below.
Danny Dengzongpa Around since the 1970s, Dengzongpa truly hit his stride as villain in 1980 with the release of The Burning Train, where he proved to be a baddie worthy of taking on several A-listers in one go. An array of vile parts followed, as the Sikkimese actor took on stereotypical stock vil- lain characters — corrupt cop, dacoit — and gave them enough texture and brutality to make them effective as well as chilling.
A smooth-looking bad guy, his characters were a blend of both ladykiller, literal and figurative, as well as buffoon.
Ever-clownish in fight scenes, Chopra
was frequently pummeled by all and
sundry, running back to his evil father
figure wailing about vengeance. In the
1980s, he had quite a run with films like
Naseeb, Andha Kanoon, Betaab, Mard