The Horsemen of the Hypocalypse: A Revised Guide for Evil Overlords Tedd Roberts

The Horsemen of the Hypocalypse: A Revised Guide for Evil Overlords

Tedd Roberts

 

My friends and I have often been called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  After all, between us we have mad scientists, mad medic, mad pilot, mad students and mad beer guy.  Oh, that’s five – no wait – really, it’s eight.  Eight Horsemen – except two are women…  Of the Apocalypse – well, only theoretically… and as scientists, that should really be “hypothetically” since we haven’t actually tested it…  The Hypothetical Apocalypse, then – the Hypocalypse.

The Eight Horsepersons of the Hypocalypse…

…Because these days, a mad scientist needs friends: a safety officer (medic), emergency transportation (pilot), minions (students), and refreshing adult beverages (beer guy)!  When the time comes to unleash our zombie plague and take over the world, we have someone covering all bases – entomology for insect vectors; medic for the human vectors; the “thingy in the brainy”; Intel, for, well, intelligence; transport and aerial vectors, and a musician to create a truly epic soundtrack!

Being an evil mad scientist sure has changed from the “Good Ol’ Days” when an extinct volcano, piranha pools, big red button on the laser and a white Persian cat were all that were required to be a “good” Evil Overlord.  OSHA regulations and Workplace Safety have decertified volcanic lairs due to silicosis and radon.  Piranha pools require yellow-painted safety rails, a protective screen cover, water-surface motion alarm and Animal Care and Use certification that the piranha will not be mistreated in any way.  The Big Red Button which triggers the City Destroying Laser or rockets requires positive action locks, should be in a separate room behind multiple security stations, and should be painted a psychologically-soothing mint green.  Don’t *even* get started on the Environmental Impact Statements, Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), Unmanned Aircraft System registration and space treaties!

Oh, and by the way, cat hair and delicate electronics don’t mix.  An Evil Overlord with a cat will have to strip, shower and don a clean-room suit before entering the Control Room.  It’s rather difficult to be seen as an imposing Evil Overlord while wearing white footie-jammies and a hair net.  [Not to mention that a truly hairless cat just doesn’t set the right tone. – the Entomologist]

What’s an up-and-coming mad scientist to do in this age of regulation, oversight and Environmental Health and Safety Inspections?

Sure, there’s a list out on the Internet of Evil Overloard Do’s and Don’t’s – Don’t monologue, don’t have a big red button, do hide the self-destruct, do provide a generous retirement plan for your minions.  However, it is the opinion of the Eight Horsepersons of the Hypocalypse that the list just doesn’t go far enough!  Consider the following, instead…

Volcano Lairs:

No, no, a thousand times, no!  Have you every *been* in an extinct volcano?  They are hot, dirty (black dust gets *everywhere*) and too far away from civilization.  Merely “dormant” volcanoes are prone to become un-extinct when the so-called “Hero” sets off your Doomsday Bomb and releases the plug holding back all of that pent-up magma.  Extinct volcanoes tend *not* to have that pressure, rather, they have a disturbing tendency to collapse into the empty magma chamber, ruining all of your laboriously collected artwork and tasteful interior decorating.

Instead, consider a nice tropical island *without* a volcano!  Waterfalls are nice.  The sound of water falling is an excellent white noise cover for your activities and they provide a natural way to get rid of the waste heat from your laboratory, manufacturing and electronics.  They are also just plain soothing – after a long, hard day of planning World Conquest, don’t you deserve a relaxing frozen drink beside a beautiful waterfall?

On the other hand, tropical paradises with waterfalls – like extinct volcanoes – are usually so darned far from civilization.  It’s awfully hard to pop into Trader Joe’s or Starbucks when it’s a minimum 8 hour flight back to the city.  [Of course, you will need to have your own pilot – be sure to treat them well – but that will be covered later! – the Pilot]. Consider finding a nice inner city neighborhood that can use a tidy influx of jobs and capital.  [Call it ‘Urban Renewal,” renovate historic buildings, and you can probably get the government to pay *you* for the job! – the Biomedical Graduate Student]

[Indeed, revive that urban area enough and the Starbucks and Trader Joe’s will come to you! Plus if you revive say Detroit, which is already an international shipping port, who’s going to notice your large shipments of weird things required by your plan? – the Entomologist]

[Invest in state of the art transportation equipment – or better yet, invent your own! But ensure that your transportation staff is given plenty of time to learn and practice upon said equipment before any sort of evil plan is put into place. And remember, ergonomics is not just the study of human transactions! Design your badass escape vehicles to work well with their human operators. Style counts! – the Pilot]

[Better yet, form your own charity that has an air wing which provides airlift capacity to other charities in cases of emergency or hard to reach areas.  Other charities and the government can help fund your private air force! – the Biomedical Graduate Student]

 

IACUC and IRB panels

These days, a Biomedical Researcher can’t scratch their nose without filing regulatory paperwork [What is the duration of scratching?  How many layers of dermis will be disturbed?  Is the scratching device FDA approved?] One advantage of being an evil genius mad scientist is doing away with all of the regulatory burden and oversight of the academic and corporate researchers.  Unfortunately, that is a dangerous precedent, considering that the Hero can shut you down with a simple phone call to the USDA!

Create your own certification authorities: Environmental Health and Safety department (EH&S, with Chemical Safety and Radiation Safety review boards), Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (IACUC, for animal research), and Internal Review Board (IRB, for human studies).  The committees need a charter, a set of standard operating procedures to be employed throughout your organization, regular meetings and minutes, and both internal and external advisors who are experts in the field – clinicians for the IRB, veterinarians for the IACUC and a Health Physicist/Chemist for EH&S.  The beauty of this plan is that as long as the committees follow appropriate regulations for their review procedures, they can decide that creating Rodents of Unusual Size is a perfectly legitimate and ethically sound laboratory procedure and the government cannot say otherwise.  In fact, you can probably get government grants to pay for the administrative costs and compensate your external advisory board members!

 

No Outsourcing

Sure, it’s a cost-saving measure, but absolutely no outsourcing.  Hire professionals to build your headquarters [Note, *not* a “lair,” you need to avoid keywords such as this to maintain a low profile in the intelligence databases – the Intel Graduate Student].  Professionally designed interfaces will avoid many of those inconvenient “back doors” which can be exploited by the Hero and Government Agents. [However, beware that this is no guarantee! – the Intel Graduate Student]  Keep in mind that there have been cases in the news lately in which government has ordered a company to unlock or provide an “official” back door into the system.  This is why you want to hire your own developers!  A good Design Engineer will ensure that the Weapon Activation and Self-Destruct mechanisms are totally separate – preferably in separate rooms, cities or even continents!

Have a business plan and stick to it.  If you don’t have a business plan, check with your bank, your insurer, you investment counselor for a recommendation.  Don’t have any of those?  Get them! Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!  Seriously, there’s a Wharton Business School graduate out there desperately in need of a job.  Hire the help you need.

Invest in small businesses.  Monopolies are not necessarily a good idea.  You won’t face resentment from local business owners if you are their main customer. [Nobody wants to go out of business because the company that they relied on for income got forced into divestiture by the court! – the Biomedical Grad Student]

In addition to Design Engineers, don’t forget the Architects!  [Remember that architecture affects morale.  Do not give into the temptation to build ugly buildings based on the Brutalism of the 1970s.  Instead look at the factory and lab designs of the Victorian Era with an eye towards modern OSHA requirements. If the research permits it, install windows for natural light.  Use tasteful (and tactical) landscaping around your buildings.  Build paths and gardens, perhaps with outdoor lunch shelters. – the Entomologist]

Hire the best.  Pay the best.  Get the best.

 

The Peasants are Revolting: Improving Minion Morale

Unless you have a few million cloned little yellow – um, creatures – to do your bidding, you need to consider an investment in the health and well-being of your minions.  Slave labor is not a good idea.  It is against international conventions, breeds resentment, offers too many opportunities to the Hero, and in the long run can cost more than you save. [Not to mention, it attracts the attention of every law enforcement agency between here and Interpol. – the Intel Grad Student]

Pay well.  Happy minions are loyal minions.

On the other hand, be very careful with termination procedures.  If a minion needs to leave your service, it is counterproductive to simply eliminate them.  It’s bad for morale.  Instead, offer a generous retirement plan and build a retirement village within your “arcology” [Note: *not* a “compound” – see above re: specific Intel trigger phrases! – the Intel Grad Student]

[Offer retaining fees for minions.  If injured on the job or unable to continue due to, say bad knees, don’t just pay the insurance claim, pay for retaining fee.  Even if they can’t continue with your company after they can serves as sources of information if they go elsewhere. – the Biomedical Grad Student]

Promote healthcare and good hygeine – have a generous health plan, low deductible insurance, well equipped hospitals and clinics, health education plans and outreach clinics.  Don’t neglect your own health and hygiene, either. Get some rest. After all, “if you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything!” Get the best treatments for yourself – medical and cosmetic.  A bald head, pointed goatee and a penguin-like waddle are dead giveaways.  Visit the health club, get a trainer.  Stay fit so that you can outrun anything.  Keep in mind that the Hero is looking for the bald, fat guy with the white cat – be the ripped rock star and mess with his head.

Cover the relatives as well as your minions:  A sick relative needing an expensive surgery can lead to a serious security breach.  Counter-intelligence loves to find a weakness in your minions’ home lives.  Close those gaps and secure your borders.  [*Always* listen to the medic/doctor.  If the Doc says “avoid this condition” – you’d damn well better avoid it lest they decide to enforce their orders with creative pharmaceuticals and genetic agents! – the Medic]

[Partner with a local university, preferably a research university.  Support their research in fields that you are interested in – it’s not outsourcing if it’s supported by your generous endowment!  But, don’t forget to fund other areas so that it is not obvious what you are interested in.  – the Biomedical Grad Student]

Endow scholarships for all students to compete for, but also offer tuition remission programs as a benefit to employees. Provide jobs and vocational training.  When the Hero comes looking for information, your investment will pay off in security and loyalty.  When everyone works for you, *wants* to work for you, and is happy and satisfied, they’re pretty much guaranteed to tell the Hero that “there’s no one here by that name!” [Nothing ensures loyalty like paying for someone’s kids to go to a high quality university! – the Biomedical Grad Student]

Support local churches, law enforcement, emergency services, and the military.  The community is going to have a hard time seeing you as a bad guy if you are the sponsor of the local interfaith council, the guy that bought the town a pair of police dogs and the new fire truck, as well as the guy that accidentally ran over, backed up over and ran over again the incompetent head of the local VA hospital.

Invest in charities.  [Don’t forget to sponsor feel good legislation – it’s for the children. – the Medic].  Sponsor the local fair, scout troops, 4H, FFA.  [Sponsor summer internships for promising future plant and animal breeders and skilled tradespeople – after all, even Jabba had a skilled (and loyal) handler for his Rancor! – the Entomologist]

[Sponsor internships in research labs with genetic engineering as well as veterinary medicine and animal behavior – what’s the point of creating vicious attack-sea-bass with “fricken’ lasers” if you can’t control them? – the Beer Guy]

Invest in quality martial arts and weapons training.  No one needs site security that can’t hit a bullet with the broad side of a barn.  Remember: “only stormtroopers could be so precise” and that “storm troopers can’t hit anything”?  It’s a fine balance between merely *appearing* incompetent (while being supremely competent) to lull the enemy into false confidence – and appearing competent to discourage the enemy instead.  Hire the best trainers – better yet, send your own minions off to train and achieve certification as trainers.  It will be a sound investment in your own security, and the morale boost from intramural competition is another plus.  Martial arts promotes defense and is a healthy activity.  Skill academies for the kids will help raise the next generation of loyal minions, and provide stress relief for the adults in a safe [and secure – the Intel Grad Student] environment.

 

Patents and Intellectual Property:

Learn from Monsanto – use lawyers, but also maintain good public relations.  [Don’t hire, clone your own legal staff and send them off to the best schools and internships – the Beer Guy]

Have your scientists and/or engineers come up with some interesting things as a result of their research for you?  Why not help them patent those products? [An additional revenue stream will benefit you and your researchers! The Entomologist].

Diversify, diversify, diversify.

All of the above takes money.  If your factories and laboratories are producing high-demand products *in addition* to your secret weapons, zombie virus and potent hallucinogens, you’ll have multiple built-in revenue streams to support your core business and provide jobs and job security for your minions and their extended families.

 

Monologuing:

Avoid overly long explanations. We understand – you wouldn’t be an Evil Overlord if you weren’t smart and a bit egotistical. You’ve worked hard for this moment, and it’s important to take a little “me time” to really enjoy it. All well and good – but make sure you’re gloating is short and to the point.

Use bullet points or an outline, no more than can fit in 10 point Arial on a 3 x 5 index card [Avoid Powerpoint! A bored audience is a dangerous audience. – the Medic] Stick to your card with very little variation. You don’t want to give your nemesis any way to derail your train of thought to distract *you* – studies show that’s when the nemesis is liable to use a hidden gadget to escape his bonds. [The main thing you have to keep in mind is this: Is the euphoria of gloating worth the potential of losing everything? – the Beer Guy]

If you really *want* to monologue, you can do it as long as you keep operational security in mind!  Details of your secret plan?  Oops, that was the one you discarded six months ago.  Location of the bombs?  Sorry, I forgot that my GPS was malfunctioning!  [Remember to have fun with it, too.  If the “hero” does escape, there is nothing funnier than watching him try to get to sub basement 13 to disable the hydrogen feed for a project cancelled 6 months ago.  It will keep him occupied and out of the way while you finish your real plan. – the Biomedical Grad Student]

[A good counterintelligence campaign works wonders even when you don’t monologue.  Having the hero chase after superweapons or headquarters that don’t exist is extremely helpful for accomplishing your goals without interruptions.  – the Intel Grad Student]

 

Your Own Epic Soundtrack

Be a patron of the arts. Don’t steal that Rembrandt, buy it.  Support the auction house.  Endow the Museum and get them to build a branch in your community – that way you *and* your minions get to enjoy the fine art.

Support the symphony.  Endow music and art scholarships, encourage the company band, orchestra and chorus. [Not to mention the company softball team and family picnics. – the Pilot]

Hire a composer to write your theme music. [There are composers writing *awesome* music for commercials, video games and Twitch streams.  They can write one for you, too. – the Music Intern] Remember the individual themes that John Williams wrote for Star Wars?  Whose theme was more epic? Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker?  Luke’s theme was pretty and inspiring, but The Imperial March was *majestic*!

Hire that composer.  Like that movie music?  Find out who composed it and go from there.  [Go to You Tube and Twitch.  Pick something, listen, try again.  When you find something you like, track down the composer.  They’d be happy to make some money doing what they love. – the Music Intern]

Always have music in your offices, factories and labs.  It sets the mood and reduces stress.  The same goes for art – you’ve had a designer create the perfect workspace, now fill it with things that are pleasing to the eye!  Avoid too much abstract, though, it might give that rare disgruntled employee too many ideas. [Not to mention motive, concealment, weapons of opportunity! – the Intel Grad Student]

 

Be the Hero of Your Own Story

Finally, keep in mind that YOU ARE THE GOOD GUY in this community.  You’ve provided jobs, education, health care and retirement plans.  When the Hero (or Government) comes calling, the community is *not* going to sell out their greatest benefactor.

To the lab tech whose wife was cured by the medical miracle your own labs produced, you are the Hero.

To the single mother of 3 whose kids received full-ride scholarships to Med School, Law School and Business School, you are the Hero.

To the Artist and Musician who can afford rent, meals and health insurance, you are the Hero.

Most of all, remember that being an Evil Overload is not just a job, it’s a calling.

Hypothetically speaking.

[Many thanks to Phil, Chris, Cathe, Kacey, Brent, Stephen and Brian.]

96 responses to “The Horsemen of the Hypocalypse: A Revised Guide for Evil Overlords Tedd Roberts

  1. You’ve come up with a lot of the same concepts that I used when writing Agony Delapour, the evil overlord of The Book Of Lost Doors. Her headquarters is a riverboat casino in a major metropolitan area, she operates by buying up companies that can provide the goods and services she needs, she started at least one charitable foundation during the course of the novels (chartered as a memorial to a minion who died in her service) and even has her own in-house band.

  2. Outstanding information, except….
    Big Red/Mint Green Button. Come on, green tends to denote ‘astringent’ (look at all those mouthwashes). Blue is the color of choice, it denotes cool and calming. Additionally, only those old-fashioned Evil Overlords rely on red and green LED/Lasers. Blue shows you are current and up to date with the high power electronics that are state of the art (or beyond).

  3. Don’t get too hung up on your REVENGE!!! Before setting up an elaborate web of betrayals, heel turns, and high tech death traps, do a proper cost/benefit analysis. You may find it a better deal to just invest in improving your market share, and get REVENGE!!! by living well.

    • Also- be sure the minions are well versed in proper field target identification and priority. When his battered and bloody fellow minion is being interrogated by the Hero after the fight scene, he must only shoot the Hero, not the fellow minion.

  4. I still think a small tropical nation is the way to go as a base location. Invest your millions, buy the politicians and the army (but don’t forget your own loyal security force, which is of course better armed and trained) and you can solve a lot of these pesky regulatory issues in one fell swoop. Also purchasing the loyalty of the neighbors is so much cheaper if they only live on $1/day.

    Plus if you do it right you can be a tax haven and get Goldman Sachs, other major financial institutions as well as high net worth kleptocrats to pay YOU money via your “Dewey, Cheatham and Howe” legal subsidiary and its brass plate factory.

    The only disadvantage is the climate which can be a bit humid, but that’s what the geo-engineering is for. Induce a new ice age and the tropics become pleasantly temperate instead of unbearably muggy. Plus, bonus, competitive tax havens like Switzerland become uninhabitable so you can take all their business

  5. Be sure HR does a thorough background check on any new hires- that new kid angling for the number two spot especially.
    Ask them specifically about their families, and look for telltale signs of trouble (dramatic pauses, flashbacks, musical stings). And be sure to check their story out thoroughly before giving them a position of trust.
    That kid may have skills (but is strangely reluctant to participate in the usual atrocities), but fairness is good in any organization. Let him go through the standard orientation and work his way up from the bottom.

    After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing than finding out the new guy you made your #2 after three days is that kid you orphaned way back when.

  6. Ah, yes, the Hamas-Hezbollah model of being the good buy.

  7. Randy Wilde

    What? No Diversity Officer? You fiend!

    • Even villains have limits.

    • A good Evil Overlord is an Equal Opportunity Employer; you want the best personnel for the job regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or species. The best geneticist is a lesbian, transgender, polynesian, Buddhist Ork, then you hire the lesbian, transgender, polynesian, Buddhist Ork.

      Competence Uber Alles.

  8. Interesting science fiction; but when the time comes, it’ll be more like Che or Pol Pot than the Stanislaus Lem Bureaucracy you envision.

  9. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    On minions of the robotic kind, while you may want a few of the imposing dangerous looking types, you may want some cute-looking cute-acting types around.

    The Heroes very likely will underestimate them and even allow them to lead the Heroes into one of your traps.

    Of course, the look of surprise on the Hero’s face when the cute robot blasts him is priceless. 👿

  10. And really? About the monologues? If you’ve got a really great one, go for it. Just. Kill. The. Good. Guy. First.

    There a whole new level of panache available here. A brilliant soliloquy delivered over the gory bits of your enemy scattered about. I mean really? Do you want your audience paying more attention to the handsome hero (with the artistically attractive bruise on his elegant cheekbone) straining against his bonds, and growling his defiance though his perfectly straight white teeth and ignoring your brilliance?

    • sabrinachase

      Stick with the classics. Shakespeare knew what he was doing–monologue to the hero’s SKULL. It looks bad-ass, and there’s no chance the hero is going to do anything sub-optimal with the information in skeletal form, right?

      • Although in that case, you might need to be careful about who is listening in on the monologue to the skull. However cool it looks, it can still come back to bite you if the younger brother of the skull’s owner still has the surveillance equipment up and running…

        I think I would go for the “I did it 18 minutes ago” or better yet, “I did it 18 months ago” variety of monologue. Don’t de-classify your plans until they’re already fait accompli.

    • kenashimame

      Richard III has the best monologues, because they’re breaking the fourth wall and making the audience co-conspirators.

      Typical scene in Richard III:
      1). Richard soliloquies about evil thing he’s going to do.
      2). Richard does evil thing.
      3). Richard soliloquies, gloating about having accomplished his preplanned evil.

    • Evil thought:

      1. Evil Overlord monologues to the hero.
      2. Hero escapes.
      3. Hero rallies his troops/allies to stop the plan of the Evil Overlord.
      4. Hero and troop/allies walk into a trap and are slaughtered.
      5. Evil Overlord looks at the remains of the hero and says “You really thought I would tell you my plans. Muhuhahaha.”

      • I think it was back in the 1980s, there was an RPG called Torg which had a regular newsletter that kind of linked campaigns together… you could play a scenario out of the newsletter, send in your group’s results, and the publisher would collate the results to figure out what happened in the “official” campaign.

        One item they had was a a plot to get groups of heroes to go into what they thought was a teleporter, but which turned out to be a disintegration chamber. I met the guy who came up with that years later at a con, and mentioned it… he said he got hate mail from players for quite some time. 🙂

  11. I just have to say, The Imperial March (Darth Vader theme) is a guarenteed laugh generator. Every single gig. C-C-C-A flat . . . and the audience gives me a surprised look and starts giggling. I don’t *think* that’s what you want as an evil overlord. Phanom of the Opera gets more respect. Suggest crowd-testing on different instruments: you want a song that gets the reaction of G-E-C-E-G-C’, or E-F-G-G-G-G-G-C’-G no matter what’s playing your tune.

    • I don’t know…I’m thinking that the most frightening presentation a truly evil overlord could do would be to play against type–cardigans, perhaps smoking a pipe, a theme along the lines of “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” just before destroying the hero in a pleasant kindly manner…

      • Mr. Rogers is an evil overlord? I knew I was right to dislike that smarmy guy and his boring show…

        • sabrinachase

          If you recall, *he* gets to come and go, and you are always…there. Ergo, Mr. Rogers is the Dungeon Master! And then he puts on his Torturing Cardigan… *shudder*

        • That’s how he won the Ultimate Showdown

        • Personally, I’ve always preferred the interpretation where Mr. Rogers was a retired sniper from the Vietnam War, and was suffering from PTSD-induced OCD and hallucinatory delusions he was sharing with the kiddies…

          I know it’s an Urban Myth, one that really kinda insults the essential decency of the real Mr. Rogers, but… Damn, does that whole theory make sense, in some resonant ways. You almost want it to be true.

          I could see a really interesting pastiche character/scene coming out of that whole fairy tale. The Mr. Rogers character, played by some totally non-action hero-type actor, blissfully living out his post-therapy dream as a children’s show host, only to have it shattered when the television station is taken over by terrorists, or some “new order” types seeking to consolidate their hold on the mechanisms of control. Followed by him having a total psychotic break, and reverting to his former self, the killing machine. Wouldn’t be a pretty sight, I’m thinking…

          Funny as hell, though.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            1. Veteran of the *Psychic* Wars
            2. There are no props and puppets
            3. If you analyze the tapes with the right sort of machine vision system, those parts of the set are simply empty
            4. The guy is inadvertently projecting his delusions, and most are receptive enough that they see it, even a hundred years from now in another solar system
            5. /*Kratman is a Dinosaur
            From our imagination

            Kratman can be your friend too,
            If you can just believe him.*/
            6. Lucky the kid with latent psychic powers was watching an ancient children’s show when the mind spiders attacked his colony.

          • There is a non-PhotoShopped picture of Mr. Rogers flipping double birds. The backstory was that he was counting down something on his fingers and ended up with the infamous gesture. At that very moment he realized what he had done, and started laughing.

          • I think that was a Steven Seagal movie. As all Steven Seagal movies are instantly forgettable it is possible I am in error.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              It’s the one where Segal is a cop who was formerly a CIA spook, wears a ponytail, breaks a lot of arms, and has a three word title.

              • Oh – that one. I never saw it. I’ve only ever seen the one with the gal with the giant bazongas.

                • Randy Wilde

                  Under Siege? I think Segal was in that. I watched it for Gary Busey (and the girl with the giant bazongas, of course).

                  • I guess — I watched it for Colm Meaney and Tommy Lee Jones.

                    I thought the bazonga display gratuitous — the much better gag would be to see it from behind her, giving us Seagal’s reaction to her dropping the top.

                    But that would have required Seagal be able to act, so they went with the<DELBeavis & Butthead weaker version.

                    • Dang. Missed the HTML close:

                      But that would have required Seagal be able to act, so they went with the Beavis & Butthead weaker version.

                • Christopher M. Chupik

                  Technically, I described about 90% of his movies.

            • Nah… You’d have to cast someone totally against the Segal type in order to really make it work. Someone you’d look at, and think “He’s utterly harmless…”.

              Guy like Jack Black, or something. Show him as the total apotheosis of the Mr. Rogers type, cardigan and all. Then, show the meltdown as he turns back into the guy he was before the successful treatment, and do a couple of flashbacks to him standing alone in the middle of some burning village among heaps of enemy dead, laughing the high, mad laughter of the utterly battle-mad.

              It could work. I can almost visualize it, but it needs someone to play the part who is a complete and utter nebbish, someone you’d never look at once and say “That guy is dangerous…”.

      • kenashimame

        So you mean the Mayor from Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    • I’d be careful about leading with G-E-C, some of the older folks may think you are a radio network.

    • Randy Wilde

      How can anyone laugh at the Imperial March?

  12. Benchmarking is a critically important area often overlooked in the Evil Overlord business model but it is vitally important to remaining at the top of your business. Carefully study and adapt the methods of other evil overlord enterprises — the US Congress, Civil Service, Clinton Foundation, e.g. — to determine areas where your program can learn from the experience of others and remain at the top of your field.

    One useful tip: hire lawyers for all positions. Yes, this can make planning meetings over-long, but it pays off when one is captured and can declare lawyer/client privilege in response to any interrogation. Besides, thanks to modern advances in philosophy and ethics you can be confident there is nothing a lawyer will refuse to do.

    • One plus up of hiring only lawyers is that neither you nor anyone else will feel bad when they are killed.
      On regulatory matters, remember most Congresscritters are lawyers and are amazingly cheap to purchase.

      • Plus, there is an amazing surplus of underemployed lawyers these days – check those Starbucks et al. that you attracted, and many of their coffee barristas have passed your state’s bar exam.

  13. Keep in mind that you will want to file all necessary tax forms and take full benefit of every loophole potentially beneficial nuance in the tax code. With your large array of interlinked enterprises you ought have no need to ever recognize a profit upon which you can be taxed and thus avoid Al Capone’s fate.

    One word of cautiion: Do Not Hire Accountants From China! Those guys couldn’t hide a pea in a watermelon patch! No, for the highest level of accounting performance you will want to recruit from the Film & Television industry. Those accountants are well experienced in utilizing all of the industry specific standards of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to ensure that your organization enjoys full benefits of the tax code without ever risking either showing a profit or enduring an audit.

  14. As a Libertarian Evil Overlord Wannabe, I find the creation of zombie hoards to be very challenging…particularly since, as a libertarian, I’m trying to design zombie hoards that will mind their own business and leave you alone.

    The biggest problem is that, just when I think I’ve succeeded, some bureaucrat busybody comes around and bites one of the zombies, and the resulting infection spreads like wildfire….

    • I find myself wondering why you’d need to create a zombie hoard… Wouldn’t most graveyards qualify? I mean, it’s already been done, and done for you… The horde is there, for the taking. No need to hoard them, either–It’s right out in the open, there on the sign.

      😉

    • Hmm…libertarian zombies. After being turned, they would chant, “You’re not the boss of me!” and would tend to shamble off in random directions, not attacking other zombies (or still-non-zombified humans) unless those others somehow manage to put themselves in the L-Z’s mouths, in which case they give them a chew on the theory that being within biting range signifies mutual consent…

      • Randy Wilde

        Wasn’t the original Haitian zombie usually used by the bokor who reanimated it in agricultural work?

        Instead of working sugar plantations, libertarian zombies would be growing pot.

        • Randy Wilde

          Oh, and lest I forget… no thread discussing zombies is complete without the obligatory Bob Hope clip.

        • Yeah. The original horror of a zombie was not the danger of one, it was the prospect of becoming one, and thus even death was not an escape from slavery.

      • The Other Sean

        I misread that as librarian zombies, which of course made me think of their haunting cry: “Booooooksss.” 🙂

  15. Hunting lions never roar. Neither should you. If you want flash and recognition, get up an act and play Las Vegas. If you must have a public front, do so through an attention seeking minion. These usually rank at the bottom of performance reviews, so there is small loss if killed by the hero.

    • Conversely, if you just can keep quiet, just order up a LARGE HAM!! and chew up all the scenery. Imagine BRIAN BLESSED, Christopher Walken, and Jeremy Irons having an overacting competition, as refereed by William Shatner. Raoul Julia as M. Bison, where any nuance is tossed into the torture dungeon.

    • Yup. The evil overlord isn’t the guy with the Fu-Manchu mustache and the high collar, it’s the guy pushing the broom over in the corner, taking in everything that’s going on…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        One of the Anno Dracula books has the heroes confront this evil overlord.

        At first, the reader assumed the man with the white cat was the evil overlord.

        However it turns out that the evil overlord was the white cat. The man holding him was just the servant. 👿

        • Randy Wilde

          However it turns out that the evil overlord was the white cat. The man holding him was just the servant.

          So, based on a true story?

    • The Other Sean

      If a public front is required, one might also consider the Iron Man 3 approach.

  16. Pingback: The Horsemen of the Hypocalypse: A Revised Guide for Evil Overlords Tedd Roberts — According To Hoyt | WyldKat's Lair

  17. The Other Sean

    Have you every *been* in an extinct volcano?

    As a matter of fact, yes, about 6-7 weeks ago, I was. El Calderon at El Malpais National Monument is a cinder cone you can climb around, up, and over (on trail) or into (off trail). It was mostly black/gray rock at the lower levels and the lava tubes, but with pea to golf-ball sized red rocks around the main cone. Dusty as all heck – a nice hike but NOT where I’d want to put my secret lair.

  18. “Consider finding a nice inner city neighborhood that can use a tidy influx of jobs and capital. ”

    Why am I getting images of (classic 60’s tv series) Batman complete with minions in coordinated, numbered, shirts?

    • Randy Wilde

      Can’t find a clip on Youtube, but there was an episode of She Spies where the bad guy went to a warehouse store to pick up some ninja day laborers to fight the good guys. 🙂

      • And my monitor is now wearing my tea. _sighs and wipes up the tea_

        “ninja day laborers” seems to be an oxymoron. I mean, don’t ninja usually work at night?

        • Oddly enough, not really. And they didn’t dress in head-to-toe black pajamas, either. 🙂

        • Randy Wilde

          Found the full episode.

          Ninja day laborers show up at about 39:30.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          I always liked the Feng Shui RPG, where you could hire ninja interior redecorators to invade your rivals’ office and forcibly redirect the flow of chi…

  19. kenashimame

    Locate your Evil lair in an important urban location like a governmental or financial hub; while it may place you uncomfortably near adversarial security forces, your adversaries also can’t just nuke you from orbit.

    • kenashimame

      There was supposed to be an Arcology following that lair. First thing I’m doing after taking over the world is destroying WordPress.

  20. I initially thought this was going to be about hype. 😀

  21. “Piranha pools require yellow-painted safety rails, a protective screen cover, water-surface motion alarm and Animal Care and Use certification that the piranha will not be mistreated in any way.”

    So no feeding members of the press to the piranhas then? Shame.

    • Where did you get that? Piranhas dentition is plenty capable of handling the fourth estate without causing them (the piranhas) any difficulty. No mistreatment there, although a prolonged diet of journolistas would probably be boring, at the least…

    • Professor Badness

      It’s okay as long as they are finely ground first.

  22. You know, it occurs to me that if you actually followed all of these and did them well, you’d eventually run into the Dr. Evil problem: your legitimate businesses serving as cover for your evil schemes would be bringing you more money and power than the schemes themselves ever could. Evil Overlording might end up being relegated to a hobby: something fun to do on weekends, but no longer your primary concern.

    • Heck, your evil overlording may end up being a liability to your legitimate business interest.
      There’s a idea- the evil overlord who needs to start over after being voted out by the board of directors

  23. Hmmm. This might amuse, on the origins of superheroes, and the differences between a Mad Scientist and the R&D of an Evil Corporation:

    http://marycatelli.livejournal.com/648365.html

  24. OH, for a return of the days of Dr Horrible…

  25. I love this. Someone has to write this…. 🙂

  26. Has anyone else noticed that OSHA terrified the evil overlords long ago enough that they all put protective shields around their Jacob’s Ladders?