Villains - For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Aris Kristatos: One of the best-defined villains of the series, the role of Kristatos is played with great skill by Julian Glover. Kristatos is a well-regarded shipping magnate who, nevertheless, uses his profession to carry out illegal smuggling. The first contact with Bond shows that he is going to be helpful, attributing all his crimes to his long-time rival Columbo in the hope that 007 will eliminate his enemy. Later, however, it is discovered that he is double-crossing the British and working on behalf of the Russians. With Bond fully clued-up Kristatos tries to kill him by keel-hauling the agent with Melina and, in the course of this, gaining the ATAC to sell.

Throughout the film we see another dimension to this character; he sponsors Bibi Dahl, whom he hopes to become Olympic champion at figure-skating. His description of this to Bond leave him with water in his eyes. In the end though he is killed by Columbo on St. Cyrils, Kristatos' mountain hideout. His murderer is left to sponsor the young hopeful.

Eric Kriegler: A ruthless KGB agent who doubles as an East German skiing champion, Kriegler is used by Moscow to forcefully guard the ATAC at St. Cyrils until General Gogol comes to collect it. He tries to kill Bond during a long and, perhaps, exhaustive ski chase which includes a ski-jump and bobsleigh run. Bond gets the better of him, though, when he kills Kriegler in a tough struggle at the hideout.

Hector Gonzales: Kristatos employs this Cuban hitman to murder the Havelocks just before they get a chance to retrieve they ATAC for MI6. Bond encounters Gonzales when he is caught spying on the assassin's Spanish estate. Bond escapes the clutches of the Cuban's henchmen and gets away with the help of Melina's excellent aim with her cross-bow - she hits Gonzales just as he is diving into a swimming pool, prolonging a reaction from the people surrounding the pool for a few vital moments.

Emile Leopold Locque: Another hitman in the employ of Kristatos, Locque is well renowned in the Brussels underworld (he escaped from prison by strangling his psychiatrist. He kills Countess Lisl and MI6's agent in Italy - Ferrara. This last murder is avenged by Bond personally in a brilliant chase with Locque's car. He shoots the assassin leaving his car to dangle precariously over the edge of a cliff. In a surprisingly tough sequence for Roger Moore's version of Bond, 007 pushes the car over the edge thus ending Locque himself.

General Gogol: For once, General Gogol is more of an enemy to the operations of MI6 in retrieving the ATAC. He flies to St. Cyrils to collect the device from Kristatos personally. He is disappointed because Bond choses to destroy it instead of handing it over, but does not seem too fussed - seemingly preferring to get back to Rublevitch, probably!

Bald-headed Villain In Wheelchair: If this isn't Blofeld then I don't know who it is! This seems to be an obvious "killing-off" of the Blofeld character in readiness to the threat from the rival Bond film Never Say Never Again. He could not be called Blofeld for legal reasons, I presume, yet he is it in all but name.

This villain comandeers the helicopter that is taking Bond to an 'emergency' for MI6. By remote control, the villain electricutes the pilot and operates the craft from the gasworks to where he eventually leads Bond. There Bond is sent on a frightning white-knuckle ride until he discovers the wires that are over-riding the controls. He takes control and, using one of the helicopter skis, picks up the villain and drops him into a chimney stack. In the final few seconds of the villain's life he pleads with Bond, offering him a "delicatessen in stainless steel". Why this is offered no-one has explained! This performance is undermined by a poor delivery from the villain, but I think it made for one of the more interesting sequneces of the series... it was very well directed.

Conclusion: A strange collection of villains ranging from cultured Kristatos to odd-ball "Bald-headed Villain in Wheelchair", For Your Eyes Only is packed with good performances. Locque rightly makes you hate him, as does Kriegler, whereas we eventually get to like Gogol, as always, when he relents. A fvery mixed bunch indeed, but nothing wrong there...

8½/10

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© Fastrac Publications June 2000. Site written and maintained by Fastrac007. Last updated 2nd March 2001.