|Stormtroopers are a perfect example.|
Then I started to view henchmen from a filmmaker's perspective. They're awesome. I discovered three specific traits of evil henchmen that are particularly cool in my mind.
Budget. If I'm making a violent movie, a lot of bad guys will need to be sacrificed. That means hiring a lot of extras. But if I use the evil henchmen approach, they will all wear full-body uniforms. This way, I can make twenty uniforms and have the same guys play them in every scene. I can hire one actor to die four times on screen.
Audience morality. If your audience is mostly normal, they probably have a conscience. And, if they're mostly normal, they're not a huge of fan of murder. When you're protagonist gets a little trigger happy, he can start to look like a bad guy. But if the audience doesn't see the face of his victim, it's not so big a deal. Let's use Star Wars as an example. The Empire's stormtroopers have their faces covered. They don't seem very human so I don't relate to them. But the rebel soldiers have their faces exposed. I see that they're human and I connect with that. I don't want to see them die.
|German army around 1939. Not actually communists, but you get the idea.|
Next time you're watching some totally awesome movie, think about the henchmen. They're a big part of some films and we often take them for granted.