Among the many ingredients of a great Bond movie is the villain’s lair. Over the years, the primary antagonists in Bond movies have proven to have decent tastes when it comes to homes and bases. That’s because they usually have lots of money to acquire the most luxurious pieces of real estate.
For Bond villains, crime does pay. That’s until Agent 007 shows up. The majority of the villains live with numerous henchmen too, hence the need for large spaces. Though the villains’ bases are normally hidden or well-guarded, Bond always finds a way to sneak in and cause plenty of damage.
10 Kentucky Stud Farm
Auric Goldfinger is among the top Bond villains when the ranking is done by wealth. In Goldfinger, he had a large farm in Kentucky where he almost slashed Bond into half using a laser. His plan was to nuke Fort Knox, a plan he named “Operation Grand Slam,” so that that all of America’s gold reserves would be useless, leaving him as the only major gold supplier.
Goldfinger’s ranch was a model of opulence. It had an overly long runway, fitting for a Boeing but only meant for his private planes. There were stables full of well-bred horses, a boardroom perfect for displaying evil plans, and even a laser torture system.
9 Blofeld’s Volcano Lair
It takes a special kind of baddie to live in a volcano and the best villain in the franchise did just that in You Only Live Twice. Apart from being a hidden base of operations, the volcano lair served as the launch site for SPECTRE’s spacecraft, the Bird One.
The lair had a retractable steel roof that resembled a natural lake and this made it impossible for anyone on the outside to figure out what was going on. It had radar-jamming features, meaning no detection from jets. To top that, there was a piranha-filled pond too.
8 San Monique
In Live And Let Die, the franchise went with a head of state as the villain. Dr. Kananga, aka Mr. Big, was the Prime Minister of the fictional island nation of San Monique. He ruled the nation with an iron fist, using its poppy fields to grow opium.
Unlike other Bond villain bases where resident(s) have little to no fun, San Monique was always vibrant, thanks to its numerous activities and celebrations. A wide variety of animals can also be spotted.
7 Drax’s Space Station
Moonraker is regarded as one of the most absurd Bond movies of all time and part of that has to do with Hugo Drax having a ridiculous villain motivation. Drax’s plan was to take some of his trusted friends to space then wipe out the Earth’s population using nerve gas before returning to repopulate it.
Setting up a base outside Earth’s atmosphere was indeed a bold move. Space journeys aren’t completed in a single day and Drax knew he’d have accomplished a lot by the time anyone tried to stop him. At the station, Drax had all the weapons needed to defend himself, including plenty of laser technology.
6 Isthmus City
In Timothy Dalton’s last Bond movie, License To Kill, Franz Sanchez was an influential cartel boss in the fictional Republic of Isthmus andnd his base was Isthmus City.
Having control of a whole city was indeed a remarkable feat. Isthmus had several lucrative businesses all owned by Sanchez. The most notable ones being the Banco de Isthmus, the El Presidente Hotel, and the Casino de Isthmus.
5 Trevelyan’s Stealth Train
In Goldeneye, disgruntled former MI6 employee Alec Trevelyan preferred a mobile base rather than a luxury one.
Like most other Bond villains, Trevelyan wanted to remain undetected. He chose to use the train in Russia since there were many similar Soviet trains that had been used during the Cold War. The train came fully equipped with a work area, a master bedroom, and a weapons storage room.
4 The Disco Volante
Like Trevelyan, SPECTRE board member Emilio Largo preferred to not reside in a normal house. Instead, the Thunderball villain had a luxury yacht.
The Disco Volante was more advanced than most ships of the ’60s. It had several sleeping quarters and dining rooms. It was also large enough to house over 50 submarine craft. Its best feature was its ability to detach into two separate vessels, a front hydrofoil boat and a rear cocoon structure. This way the hydrofoil could move at a higher speed, enabling Largo to flee.
3 Scaramanga’s South China Sea Island
It was easy for in-demand assassin Francisco Scaramanga to afford his own private island since he charged $1 million per kill.
Scaramanga’s lair wasn’t as crowded as those of many other Bond villains. He was a loner so there were only four people present, including his henchman, Nick Nack, whose inclusion makes one of the biggest differences between the movie and the book. The island had a mirrored labyrinthine maze where the assassin practiced his shooting. There was also a Solex laser unit that could destroy incoming planes.
2 Crab Key
This Caribbean island was owned by one of the most intelligent SPECTRE members, the nuclear scientist Dr. Julius No in the first-ever James Bond movie, Dr. No.
The first Bond villain should get plenty of credit for setting the bar high when it came to the bases. Crab Key had a penitentiary inside, to make sure nuisances like Bond regretted ever showing up. There was a nuclear reactor too, aimed at destroying U.S missiles as soon as they were launched.
The Spy Who Loved Me had a villain who loved the water. He was one of the key reasons why the movie was great. Shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg was the lord of an underwater empire named Atlantis, situated off the coast of Sardinia, Italy.
Like a building from a sci-fi utopia, Atlantis had many great features. It could rise above the ocean or remain submerged. The elevator also had a hidden trapdoor that the antagonist normally used to drop expendable associates inside a pool of sharks.
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About The Author
Philip Etemesi (782 Articles Published)
Philip Etemesi is an author, journalist, screenwriter and film critic based in Nairobi. Kenya. As a child, he preferred watching movies like The Goodfellas instead of Home Alone. His girlfriend constantly has to pull him from the front of the TV but he just keeps returning. Stubborn dude! An animal lover, Philip also has a pet giraffe called Refu.