"We've been expecting you, Mr. Bond."
We've all heard that before. The dozens of nefarious gentlefolk who have at one time or another attempted to do away with Agent 007 over the course of the past half a century have all, invariably, at one time or another, been anxiously awaiting his arrival. In the comfort of some giant egg-shaped chair, or any other elaborate luxury. They're willing to dish out all the funds necessary to not only keep extensive surveillance on the super spy, but to have ready the most ornate presentation when he does inevitably show up. It must cost a lot to be a Bond villain.
Let's take a look at Dr. Julius No, Bond's first enemy from Dr. No:
Bionic hands — a onetime payment for the surgery and materials, with consistent payments for upkeep... plus all the metal stuff he buys, and destroys, just to show people how strong and menacing he is.
SPECTRE membership — admission fees are bound to be plentiful, not to mention the inevitable chore of hosting union book club meetings at his house (supervillains can shovel down a ton of ranch dip).
Crab Island — secret lairs don't come cheap, especially when they take the form of waterlocked landmasses. Funding his own residence, including food and electricity, is enough of a financial headache, not to mention transport to and fro' and all of the evil amenities included (such as decontamination showers).
Nuclear reactor — it's a nuclear reactor! Aren't entire governments scraping their samoulians together to try and muster up one of those?
Poisonous spiders — generally one of the most unaffordable entries in your pet store visits.
Henchmen — Lots of 'em.
Next, the iconic Auric Goldfinger, from Goldfinger:
Gold body paint — enough of a supply to keep around in case disloyal cronies need to be taken down by means of epidermal asphyxiation.
His Country Club — maintaining all the amenities of a country club, golf course included, warrants a pretty penny... especially when you're constantly losing inordinate sums of money betting on card and golf games
Atomic explosives — Kind of the same deal as the nuclear reactor. Where the hell are these guys even finding this stuff? Who actually sells atomic bombs?
Odd Job — never mind paying him a fair salary, but it must cost a good deal to supply that fella with countless tuxedos and razor-tipped bowler derbies. And to feed the gigantic brute? Forget about it.
Communicating radio/earpiece — comparatively, this doesn't really deserve mention next to an A-bomb... but they're not exactly cheap.
And how about Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the menace who pursued Bond through From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, and For Your Eyes Only:
Presidency of SPECTRE — while the job probably comes with a few good tax breaks, you've got to imagine that Blofeld's careeral climb cost him a good deal in campaigning, contributing to a variety of evil events and fundraisers, and all the schooling he'd need to obtain the degrees necessary to even be considered for the position.
Volcano base — Well, this is actually pretty feasible... oh, wait, no. It's not. It's insane.
Autogyro — When's the last time you even saw one of these? They're not only high-tech, they're rare.
Bacteriological warfare — apprehending, containing, and distributing toxins for the purposes of infecting the human race is a specific brand of terrorism that requires a whole lot of chemical resources.
Identical clone — This is getting ridiculous.
The cat — Pets are expensive. But worth it.
So considering the plentiful funds these and other men (and one woman!) have shelled out to ensnare that pesky James Bond, this warrants the question: why? Why are these fiends so obsessed with this one man? Obsessed to the degree of dedicating the entirety of the extensive bank accounts to destroying him?
We almost feel bad for these Bond foes. Julius, Auric, Ernst... perhaps they were once good men. Men with hopes and dreams. Men who wanted to invest their intellect and ambition into a worthy cause. Nobody is just born evil, so what happened to these poor souls to make them go so rotten? And how could they ever have foreseen such an incessant nuisance as 007?
The monetary price of facing off with James Bond might be plentiful. But the emotional price? The cost of self-worth and lives spent in a fit of rage? That can't even be quantified.
Catch Skyfall in theaters now!
[Photo Credit: United Artists (3)]