I’m on my fifth migraine in as many days and this is my second attempt at the illo today. (If I’m feeling particularly masochistic I’ll post the first one tomorrow in the comments.) So this is a truncated writeup. More truncated than usual anyway.
James Earl Jones played two of my favorite villains. Even if he was only the voice for Darth Vader in Star Wars, what a voice! That made the character at least as much as David Prowse’s physicality. Darth Vader was frightening to me as a kid, but also kinda cool, you know?
Thulsa Doom in Conan, though. Man. That dude was just TERRIFYING.
I mean, yes, he turns into a snake at the end and that’s just never a good idea, but before then he was this enigmatic and terrifying figure. And that moment when he kills Conan’s mother with the sword Conan’s father had forged? Cemented him as one of the greatest cinematic monsters for me. Those eyes, boring into you, making you drop your sword, making you think it was all over. And then the same look on his face as he gazes at the bloody sword, something almost like pity or love or… shit, I dunno, how do you interpret snake-wizard guy expressions? Creepy. That’s what it was.
Not a word. Not a single sound from that magic throat. Scared the crap out me.
Kinda still does.
What about you? What’s your favorite James Earl Jones performance (monstrous or otherwise)? And did Thulsa Doom scare you? How about when he was a snake? (Again – bad idea.)