Friday Feature: The Five Best Nazi Hunters by @lexx2099

Ever since Tarantino’s Basterds carved up critical opinion as though it was 1940s Berlin, Nazi's have been back on the menu as cinema's go-to big bads. We figured it was a perfect excuse to crack open the beers and watch a few two-fisted, boy’s own adventure WWII flicks. It’s all very well going on about Rambo and Arnie in Predator, but when it comes to kicking goose-stepping Nazi ass, you need a different calibre of hero entirely.

Join us then, as we don goggles and fleece-lined RAF jacket, pop a pipe in our gob, and, in our very best BBC English, concoct some cockamamey mission to rescue Winston Churchill’s secret exploding cigars from a Bavarian castle. This type of who dares wins needs a very special set of protagonists, so join us as we bring you the best: Nazi Fighters!

Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark

Nazis... He hates those guys. In between all the religious iconography/claptrap and occasional subcontinental detours, we sometimes forget that those are Nazi faces getting melted off by Jesus, and Dr Henry Jones Jnr is the ideal earthly apostle of two-fisted SS head cracking. He’s interested in history for it’s own sake and is more concerned with filling a museum than winning the war, but that hasn’t stopped him from working as a triple agent in both World Wars, stealing a U-boat, disfiguring senior SD officials in bar fights, punching a bald Nazi Ubermensch through a plane propeller and even banging into little Adolf himself at one point. Dr. Jones is a man of science, but that doesn’t mean he won’t shoot first and commune directly with Jehovah later. His fedora-topped silhouette makes him the ideal operative for jungle and desert warfare, and he may even let you keep a few camels at the end of it all.

Nick Rivers – Top Secret!

OK, so a light blue high-school wind-cheater isn’t your typical choice of uniform and neither is waiting until 1955 to get involved, but that doesn’t stop teen surf and song sensation Rivers from sticking it to the Hun in fine fashion. An innovative display of weapons (an enormous, high-voltage dildo) and a range of superb disguises (a pantomime cow) mean he’s perfect for deep cover work. Whether it’s ordering flaming Hog’s balls for dinner, or crashing a submarine into a castle, Rivers may not have much upstairs, but he knows exactly how to combat history’s most notoriously uptight armed force-with Rock 'N’ Roll baby!

Morris Shaeffer – Where Eagles Dare

Any gun fetishist worth his salt will know that a standard German-issue ZK-383 submachine gun generates around 65lbs of recoil force per square foot. That’s enough to break your wrist. At one point during classic whack-a-fascist-fest Where Eagles Dare, Clint Eastwood’s Lieutenant Morris Shaeffer holds one in each hand and mows down an entire legion of sausage-munching right wingers in a hail of lead. Lets face it, on a mission this stupid, you could probably use an ultra-violent killing machine with a dry sense of humour, and Shaeffer gets our vote. Pause for a moment if you will to consider the film’s poster. Look at it! Where Eagles Dare has absolutely everything a WWII flick needs, fist fights on the top of cable cars, Michael Hordern shouting, beautiful double agents – it’s got everything. The fact that it’s got sod all to do with the realities of conflict and absolutely everything to do with the blitz spirit makes it even better, and when it comes to wiping out truckloads of limping, eye-patch wearing SS fairies, Morris is the best there is.

Hellboy – Hellboy

An unusual choice, to be sure, seeing as he is himself the product of obscure Axis technology and Satanic powers from beyond the veil of sleep; but that doesn’t mean Big Red can’t be trusted. Fitting surprisingly easily into the Germanic pantheon - he has a penchant for LederHosen and comes equipped with his own Alpenhorn – the cigar chomping demonoid will come in handy when you need to punch through the wall of Castle Wolfenstein. Of course, it’s been widely and accurately reported – mainly on the ‘Fortean Times’ message boards – that Hitler’s stinking lapdogs were well into the Harry Potter side of things, so having someone who knows his Tuetons from his tentacles probably couldn’t hurt either.

Vasily Zeitsev – Enemy at the Gates

If there’s an abiding lesson to be learned from history; “Don’t F**K with Russia” has to be up there. Vasily may or may not believe in uniting the proletariat, but he sure likes to shoot people in the head. Whether it’s taking Ed Harris down with a well-placed bullet to the bonce, charming the combat fatigues off Rachel Weiss’ perfectly formed Soviet issue bottom, or facing down an incensed Bob Hoskins, Zeitsev is a man who thinks fast in a crises. Every team needs a sniper, and with the addition of Jude Law’s ill-equipped peasant sharp shooter, this squad just got a whole lot better looking, and a whole lot more dangerous too.

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