Illuminations
Page 4 of 14

Typically, villains kill as a means to an end. Their real objective may be to acquire power and/or permanent financial independence. Shooting a hostage, for example, can demonstrate to the proper authorities that the situation is serious and money is required promptly. On some occasions, the motives are perversely altruistic. Many inexcusably dull films provide us with misunderstood bad guys who resort to murder because the world does not work correctly and they decide that acts of terrorism will shock us all into the right frame of mind. Often, the killer feels regret about ending someone else's life and we, the audience, are supposed to feel sorry for him.

Fitch is not one of these villains. He relishes murdering a fellow human being as much as eating a delicious steak. His indifference to any moral prerogative makes him seem more genuinely evil and, therefore, more threatening. We are not asked to question his sorry upbringing or to hesitate for the chance that he might turn good. Fitch likes what he does and frees us to be entertained by his fiendishness without guilt. Established as an irredeemable rogue, Fitch must be stopped by our heroes—giving us the added satisfaction of witnessing his inevitable punishment.

Some guys are villains because they simply enjoy killing people. Fitch fits this model with one exception: his vampiric acts don't seem to reinvigorate him. While he finds mental fulfillment in his work, his body appears to be withering away, awash in the pale tones of a figure who rarely leaves his casket. This physical condition does not come from unseen guilt, but from usage—the way a gun looks after years of effective service. The government certainly found a place for Fitch in wartime and the private sector is willing to exploit his talents during this period of prosperity. There really is no lack of demand for the likes of Fitch, and the attrition shows.

Illustrations Copyright 2001 Jonathan Woods. All Rights Reserved.
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This website Copyright 1996-2017 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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