Deathmatch 2023

As Jean de La Bruyere was wont to observe, Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.

Met him once (I am tremendously old); terrible breath, questionable shins.

Anyway, stuff him; it’s come round to June again so very. very suddenly which means it’s time for hoppity lambs, cow parsely in abundance, ruddy-faced maidens believing my sordid promises of how to get them into films, and DEATH.

As is by now tradition, the first round of Deathmatches is for Villains.

As a departure from previous years, a seeding “system” is being implemented, so the groups will differ per category. What this will establish is moot, beyond being unwise but not illegal. Apart from all the murdering.

Accordingly, the first two names in each group are seeded, based on past performance, and the next three, in the order they came out, were drawn from “The James Bond Andrea Anders Panama Hat”, available from the “good” (probably not the word) people at the 007 Store (the home of James Bond “merch”; dear God); yours for a mere £445.00. Phuyuck.

Voting to open 1 June, and for this Group stage, to close 3 June.

Group A P W D L F A GD % Points
OHMSS Blofeld
Emilio Largo
Group B P W D L F A GD % Points
Dr No
Group C P W D L F A GD % Points
Le Chiffre
YOLT Blofeld
Koskov & Whitaker
DAF Blofeld
Group D P W D L F A GD % Points
Oberhauser Blofeld
Group E P W D L F A GD % Points
Klebb & Grant
Khan & Orlov

Maybe it’s DAFs year :crossed_fingers:



Voting in Group stage for the Villains is underway, open to June 3.



Thank you as always Jim.

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With a random factor having been introduced due to seeding, every group stage will have differently composed groups. Whether this gives more a fighting chance in their… fighting, or whether the traditionally strong will win out anyway, remains to be seen.

To provide order, however, after the Group stages, the pattern of the draw will always be as follows:

Round 2 Quarter Final Semi Final Final Semi Final Quarter Final Round 2
1. Winner A v LL 1 5. Winner D v LL 4
2. Winner E v LL 5 A. Winner 1 v Winner 2 (1) Winner QF A v Winner QF B Winner SF (1) v Winner SF (2) (2) Winner QF C v Winner QF D C. Winner 5 v Winner 6 6. R-U C v R-U E
3. R-U B v R-U D B. Winner 3 v Winner 4 Death-off – R-U SF (1) v R-U SF (2) D. Winner 7 v Winner 8 7. R-U A v LL 6
4. Winner C v LL 3 8. Winner B v LL 2

LL for Lucky Losers, and these may have to be randomised to avoid an immediate repeat of a match played in the Group stage. After that, repeat matches are a possibility but such is death.

What this spews out for Villains is as below. Voting open to June 4.

Deatmatch 2023 - Round 2: Villains

Match 1. OHMSS Blofeld v Dr No
Match 2. Klebb & Grant v Carver
Match 3. Sanchez v Scaramanga
Match 4. Silva v Oberhauser Blofeld
Match 5. Stromberg v YOLT Blofeld
Match 6. Le Chiffre v Goldfinger
Match 7. Largo v Trevelyan
Match 8. Drax v Zorin

Group stage “analysis” to follow.

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With the Group stage for Villains done, the results and the form to date:

Group A P W D L F A GD % Points
OHMSS Blofeld (1) 4 4 0 0 48 8 40 86.2 12
Largo (6) 4 3 0 1 36 21 15 63.7 9
Carver 4 2 0 2 24 31 -7 44.1 6
Graves 4 1 0 3 17 37 -20 31.1 3
Greene 4 0 0 4 14 42 -28 25 0

Going to previous form here, with the two seeds in the group going through. Carver likely to be a Lucky Loser. Last year, it took a Die Another Day element to the last category to achieve a win, so that’s a “positive” I suppose. Won’t get “Sir” Gustav Graves very far, though. As for Greene, perhaps all that was inevitable but it’s not actually the worst showing and, although miserable and pathetic, an improvement on his form to date. Well done. Now go away.

Group B P W D L F A GD % Points
Drax (2) 4 4 0 0 44 20 24 68.8 12
Sanchez (7) 4 3 0 1 34 27 7 55.9 9
Dr No 4 2 0 2 34 27 7 56.3 6
Trevelyan 4 1 0 3 26 35 -7 42.7 3
Safin 4 0 0 4 16 45 -29 26.3 0

Again, the seeds through as expected although that’s not the most overwhelming show of form by Drax in comparison to previous years. Less Chopin and more Choppin’, please. Dr No generally improving and Trevelyan likely to be a Lucky Loser on that form, but continuing the pretty mediocre showing that the pretty mediocre GoldenEye has inflicted upon us across all categories in recent times. As for Safin, “not popular” and solid proof of the fallacy of newness bias. Still, not the worst performer but it’s all a bit feeble.

Group C P W D L F A GD % Points
Silva (3) 4 4 0 0 49 11 38 81.7 12
Le Chiffre (8) 4 3 0 1 42 18 24 70 9
YOLT Blofeld 4 2 0 2 27 33 -6 45 6
DAF Blofeld 4 1 0 3 25 34 -9 41.7 3
Koskov & Whitaker 4 0 0 4 7 43 -36 11.7 0

Always looking like a bit of a bloodbath, this one, and the two Craig villains run true to form. DAF Blofeld misses out on being a Lucky Loser due to some matches as tight as his bra, and Koskov & Whitaker put in such a shabby performance that it dawns on one that DaltonBond’s expression of total embarassment throughout The Living Daylights is no great surprise. As ever, YOLT Blofeld there or thereabouts in getting through to Round 2, but will find himself up against this year’s surprise package…

Group D P W D L F A GD % Points
Stromberg 4 4 0 0 39 21 18 64.9 12
Scaramanga (4) 4 3 0 1 41 19 22 68.4 9
Zorin (9) 4 2 0 2 31 29 2 51.7 6
Oberhauser Blofeld 4 1 0 3 31 29 2 51.7 3
Kristatos 4 0 0 4 8 52 -44 13.3 0

Stromberg. Even though Scaramanga has a better Goal Difference and form, Stromberg sees off both him and Zorin and tops the group. Some might think something smells fishy, but smelling fishy is his thing, not least due to his habit of dabbing his undercarriage with tepid brine. Two other shocks - Oberhauser Blofeld gets into Round 2 as a (reasonably comfortable) Lucky Loser, and Kristatos does woefully badly. Perhaps that’s not a shock, but to be beaten by Brofeld is just cuckoo.

Group E P W D L F A GD % Points
Klebb & Grant (5) 4 4 0 0 43 13 30 76.8 12
Goldfinger (10) 4 3 0 1 42 14 28 75 9
Kananga 4 2 0 2 23 33 -10 41.1 6
Elektra 4 1 0 3 20 36 -16 35.6 3
Khan & Orlov 4 0 0 4 12 44 -32 21.4 0

After the descent into insanity that was Group D, a return to order and sense. The top two being so dominant, the remainder have no chance of being Lucky Losers and Khan & Orlov continue last year’s pattern of Octopussy elements being unpopular. I mean, I don’t like it, but there some that do - surely? Always disappointing to see Kananga not squeeze through, but Live and Let Die does have other tricks up its flared sleeve.

Form table

Very early days yet, and Round 2 of these Deathmatches is often the place where form flies out of the window/drops into the piranhas.

Lucky Loser Dr No returns more impressive form than Runner-Up in Group B, Sanchez, but Dr No’s reward is to meet OHMSS Blofeld in Round 2 so… yikes.

Up to and including position 16 get through to Round 2, so DAF Blofeld misses out (just) but dependent on absolute hammerings being doled out in Round 2, could crawl his way up the form table without having to break any sweat. That, of itself, being true to form.

As far as the final two columns go, a comparison of how current form this early in the Deathmatch season stacks up against the overall form of the film up to and including 2022, taking all catgories into account. The more a villain is overachieving against the film as a whole, the more reasonable the conclusion that they are one of the film’s stronger aspects; the more underachieved, they drag the film down. Like Klebb & Grant - losers. Quite whether this really works in considering Oberhauser Blofeld’s rather startling performance so far this year does tend to collapse the theory wholesale. Is he really one of the better things about Spectre? Perhaps it’s “one of the least bad” but even then, that’s still ludicrous. Greene, Safin and Graves - overachievers and proud of it. Kristatos - jeebus.

Current form Previous form Current v Previous Total form for film Current v total
1 OHMSS Blofeld (1) 86.2 1 Business as usual 5 Overachieving
2 Silva (3) 81.7 3 Overachieving 7 Overachieving
3 Klebb & Grant (5) 76.8 5 Overachieving 1 Underachieving
4 Goldfinger (10) 75 10 Overachieving 2 Underachieving
5 Le Chiffre (8) 70 8 Overachieving 4 Underachieving
6 Drax (2) 68.8 2 Underachieving 6 Business as usual
7 Scaramanga (4) 68.4 4 Underachieving 14 Overachieving
8 Stromberg 64.9 13 Overachieving 3 Underachieving
9 Largo (6) 63.7 6 Underachieving 8 Underachieving
10 Dr No 56.3 11 Overachieving 18 Overachieving
11 Sanchez (7) 55.9 7 Underachieving 15 Overachieving
12 Zorin (9) 51.7 9 Underachieving 20 Overachieving
13 Oberhauser Blofeld 51.7 20 Overachieving 22 Overachieving
14 YOLT Blofeld 45 19 Overachieving 9 Underachieving
15 Carver 44.1 15 Business as usual 11 Underachieving
16 Trevelyan 42.7 14 Underachieving 16 Business as usual
17 DAF Blofeld 41.7 16 Underachieving 10 Underachieving
18 Kananga 41.1 12 Underachieving 13 Underachieving
19 Elektra 35.6 18 Underachieving 23 Overachieving
20 Graves 31.1 23 Overachieving 25 Overachieving
21 Safin 26.3 22 Overachieving 19 Underachieving
22 Greene 25 25 Overachieving 24 Overachieving
23 Khan & Orlov 21.4 17 Underachieving 21 Underachieving
24 Kristatos 13.3 21 Underachieving 12 Underachieving
25 Koskov & Whitaker 11.7 24 Underachieving 17 Underachieving

Still, Scaramanga, Zorin, Sanchez and Dr No (for example) all shining out from the remainder of their respective films; somehow, feels about right, that.


You are thorough!


In the meantime, the draw for the Group stage of the next category - Films - has blessed us with the below. Matches to play once the Villains have finished clobbering seven shades of [pooh-pooh] out of each other. Some interesting groups here; although they are all Groups of Death, Group A looks particularly pleasingly unpleasant.

(Seeds) based on previous years of form. Granted that No Time to Die has only participated once, but it did quite well last year. Can that be emulated this year? Hmm. How Group C will turn out is anyone’s guess. Other films grouped in the order they were extruded from the Andrea Anders cosplay-as-a-domestic-abuse-victim-for-£445.00 hat.

Group A

The Spy who Loved Me (1)
Goldfinger (6)
A View to a Kill
The World is Not Enough

Group B

Casino Royale 2006 (2)
Moonraker (7)
Diamonds are Forever
Dr No
You Only Live Twice

Group C

From Russia with Love (3)
No Time to Die (8)
Licence to Kill
The Living Daylights
Live and Let Die

Group D

For Your Eyes Only (9)
Tomorrow Never Dies
Die Another Day

Group E

Skyfall (5)
GoldenEye (10)
Quantum of Solace
The Man with the Golden Gun

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And now, a plea

Plan is to run Deathmatch over June, September and also November. Categories as follows

June - Villains, Films as a whole, Song, Bond

September - Women, Hench, Titles, Victim

November - Locations, Score, Action, X

I need some help with X - something that will apply to all 25 Eon films but sufficiently interesting to sustain a vote (ergo, no frickin’ gunbarrels). I was thinking, in a pompous way (there is no other way to think) “Overall significance to the series” ie GoldenEye might be pretty mundane as a film but bears some weight of significance which Tomorrow Never Dies might not. Dunno. Folks might already be thinking of this when voting in the “Films” category.



Brilliant snookums.

BTW - Gala did report that the “malnourished leopard” - Geoff - you left in my hotel suite’s mini-bar on my last visit to Dubai ( “Charming…Charming…” ) has been placed with a good home and children that adore him.

Carry on…

I was thinking maybe “Cinematography” but that might be too nebulous? Films like MR and SF have almost nothing in common except they both look great, and then there’s the aerial and ski-borne camerawork in OHMSS and the underwater sequences in TB (and others).

Maybe “set designs” although in my case it would end up being just a lot of Ken Adam creations battling each other.

I also considered posters, but few of the films were limited to just one, and the quality could be all over the place even within a single campaign. And arguably it falls under marketing and promotion, which isn’t technically intrinsic to the films themselves.

Or maybe “Villainous Plots,” although that could be hard to nail down; if we’re talking “most ambitious” the extinction of humanity from space-borne death globes will always trump driving up the price of water in Bolivia, but if the criteria is “what could a baddie with the proper resources actually pull off,” it’s pretty low on my list of worries.

I would say “Cars” but there are damn few worthy of consideration and we couldn’t get Bond out of the blasted DB5 for the last 20 years (and Bond never even drives in MR!).

Your “action” could maybe be broken down into more specific categories. For instance “chases” could include the helicopter vs Bond scene in FRWL, the DB5 car chase around Auric Enterprises, Bond running away from Fiona’s men at the junkanoo, Laz fleeing Piz Gloria on skis, Lotus vs Naomi’s copter, Bond racing to stop the bomb in OP, the parkour stuff from CR, etc. And “hand-to-hand combat” has numerous contenders: it doesn’t necessarily have to always go to Bond vs Grant.

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How about ‘style’. Now I know this seems like a rather nebulous category, but it encompasses a big part of ‘Bondness’ in my eyes: wardrobe, set design, those cool typically Bond moments (eg Bond checking in at the Spectre crater base) etc. For example, I would rate the oft hated QOS very highly in this regard, but FYEO, a film that I love, much lower. It could yield some interesting results.

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I love the idea of significance!

Main posters would be fine, too. They were significant once.

Film length vs entertainment factor could yield interesting results, too.

Number of puns in Bond’s dialogue could tilt towards all films Roger, so…

Thanks for these suggestions, will give them all some thought.

Round 2 is now complete, with the Quarter FInal voting now open.

Round 2 saw the departure of 3 seeded Villains - Scaramanga (4), Le Chiffre (8) and Zorin (9), and the unseeded (especially after where Bond shot him) Stromberg meeting Goldfinger (10th seed, and struggling a bit) in the Quarter Final.

First and second seed still seem on track to meet in the Final, but there’s still quite a lot of blood to be shed yet.

Form table - after Round 2

(Percentage) / Place change from Group stage
1 OHMSS Blofeld (1) 84.34 (-1.86) / -
2 Silva (3) 83.82 (+2.12) / -
3 Klebb & Grant (5) 78.36 (+1.56) / -
4 Drax (2) 73.5 (+4.7) / +2
5 Goldfinger (10) 70.76 (-4.24) / -1
6 Stromberg 68.84 (+3.94) / +2
7 Le Chiffre (8) 65.24 (-4.76) / -2
8 Largo (6) 64.8 (+1.1) / +1
9 Scaramanga (4) 60.88 (-7.52) / -2
10 Sanchez (7) 58.56 (+2.66) / +1
11 Dr No 49.66 (-6/64) / -1
12 Zorin (9) 42.9 (-8.8) / -
13 Oberhauser Blofeld 42.9 (-8.8) / -
14 DAF Blofeld 41.7 (-) / +3
15 Kananga 41.1 (-) / +3
16 Trevelyan 40.32 (-2.38) / -
17 YOLT Blofeld 39.08 (-5.92) / -3
18 Carver 38.36 (-5.74) / -3
19 Elektra 35.6
20 Graves 31.1
21 Safin 26.3
22 Greene 25
23 Khan & Orlov 21.4
24 Kristatos 13.3
25 Koskov & Whitaker 11.7

As predicted, DAF Blofeld benefited by having others do his work for him. Measure of the man. It may be that the Top Ten is now populated, given the form gap between 10th and 11th place, but the order of that Top Ten is still open. Not least because the first and fifth seed play each other in the Quarter Final.


How about formal wear, suits tuxedos etc.
Goldfinger three piece versus live and let dies Chesterfield coat.

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My suggestions for the X category are:

  1. Main Allies (i.e. Quarrel, Kerim Bey, Smithers, Pinder, Tiger Tanaka, etc.)
  2. Cars or Vehicles (which, if the latter, would include aircraft, watercraft, and spacecraft)
  3. Gadgets

and I know you have action listed, but since that is so general I’ll add a couple of more specific options:

  1. Chases
  2. Fights

Suggestion - Sacrificial Lamb

Every film has someone who gets whacked to give our hero a little extra motivation. Who is the most effective? Who have we forgotten about entirely?


My thoughts:

  1. Significance seems too nebulous–significance for starting the series; saving the series; rebooting the series; getting the series back on track and truer to Fleming.

  2. Posters–too alike in many ways, and then the decline in poster art (in general) over the years. As SAF says, posters were significant once.

  3. I like gadgets

  4. I like costuming


Semi Finals now open to vote on to 6 June.

Analysis, such as it is, follows.

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Or being the first, or proving it could work without Connery, or (with YOLT) proving you could jettison Fleming entirely and still be fine, or (with GF) establishing tropes that would be mined ad nauseum, or (with MR and DAD) establishing how far is too far OTT, or (with TSWLM) proving Cubby could successfully go it alone. Most of the entries are significant for one reason or other, but based on criteria that can really be apples to oranges. Arguably every entry is significant because they’re all someone’s introduction to Bond.

Like the films themselves, it can come down to “which one organizes the same elements in the most pleasing combination?” I agree there isn’t a ton of innovation (TMWTGG seems to have started with a tracing of LALD) but some of them could be quite spectacular. Interestingly, the two I keep on display are Peak’s TSWLM, which is crammed full of just about every cool thing in the film, and Dan Gouzee’s MR teaser that shows nothing but Roger floating in orbit (inadvisably without a helmet). They’re my yin and yang of excess and simplicity. But I agree there’s not much point in a category that only works up until TLD (or, arguably, the eye-and-barrel teaser for GE).