Top 10 Screen traitors

Watch your backs, as we countdown the most duplicitous weasels in geekdom...

Don't turn your back for a second...

Here they are, selling out their grannies for a lick of a better lolly…we’ve let off anyone with kidnapped children/spouses/dogs etc, and we’re allowing no alien possession, robot substitutes, etc. This is a parade solely of those infamous characters from sci-fi and horror who burned their buddies for the main chance…

10: Kent Brockman The Simpsons ‘Deep Space Homer’, E15/S5 Kent, how could you? When Homer’s lust for potato chips unleashes a horde of mutant insects upon Springfield, it looks like curtains for the human race. Reporting the matter on his daily news show, Springfield’s most morally elastic anchorman closes his announcement of the invasion with “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.” When it looks like the invasion is off, Brockman slyly tears down his ‘hail ants’ sign and makes a sheepish retraction.

9: Lando CalrissianThe Empire Strikes Back (1980) Billy Dee Williams sells out old buddy Han and imperial refugees Leia, Chewbacca and the droids in the famous ‘dining-hall sting’ on Cloud City in episode 5 of Lucas’s epic saga. The reward? Vader promises that the empire will leave Calrissian’s lucrative mining operation alone, then reneges on the deal like the dirty rotten Sith rat he is. Both Vader and Calrissian redeem themselves later in the series, but one question remains unanswered – did the rebels actually sit down and have a meal with Darth after the door came down?

8: Alec TrevelyanGoldeneye (1995) Having been apparently shot in a two-handed sabotage mission with James Bond, 006 (Sean Bean) turns up later picking over the treasures of the soviet empire, determined to have vengeance upon the government and the country that he blames for his parents’ death.

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7: Gaius BaltarBattlestar Galactica (USTV 1978/80 – 2003/08) Both John Colicos and James Callis have portrayed the intergalactic ‘inside man’ plaguing the colonial fleet’s fortune’s behind the scenes. The Colicos Baltar was motivated by greed, whereas the Callis traitor is far more ambiguous and conflicted, and entered into conspiracy with the Cylons initially through sexual infatuation with ‘Number Six’ (played by Tricia Helfer). Both have brought down devastating destruction on their own people, however.

6: Natalya Hostel (2005)“I get a lot of money for you, and that makes you MY bitch.” Eli Roth’s harrowing and almost-seminal torture-porn has more than a few untrustworthy characters, but Barbara Nedeljáková’s temptress-turned-traitor made the biggest impression because of the afore-quoted line, a response to Jay Hernandez calling her a ‘bitch’ for selling him to the torture-farm.

5: Benny Total Recall (1990)“Hey man…I got five kids to feed!”. Mel Johnson jr not only betrayed the good guys on Cohagen’s Mars tourist colony, but also the mutants who were helping them, since he reveals himself to be a mutant too, when rebels corner him along with Arnie. Turns out the duplicitous cabby not only has no wife and no kids (despite his endless litany on the matter), but no morals, as he hands Quaid over to evil Ronny Cox in an airlock. Arnie gets him back later though, in one of the very few proctological killings ever to grace (?) the silver screen.

4: Donald Pleasance Fantastic Voyage (1966) Donald Pleasance is the slimy, sweaty mole in Richard Fleischer’s tale of miniaturisation. When a scientist with vital knowledge is shot down by the Russians whilst crossing the Iron Curtain, a team of US scientists is sent into his body in a miniaturised submarine to remove a fatal blood-clot. Trouble is, the Russians have chosen claustrophobic nutcase Pleasance to help sabotage the mission. But jut-jawed leader Stephen Boyd cripples the sub with a laser when Pleasance makes his suicide-run, and the oily little weasel is suffocated by giant antibodies in the wreckage.

3: CypherThe Matrix (1999) All traitors in sci-fi movies end up compared to Judas Iscariot, but the religious overtones in the Wachowski brothers’ first (and best) tale of rebels vs. robots give Joe Pantoliano’s turncoat a particularly ‘new testament’ flavour (Though ‘cipher’ means ‘key’ in code-speak, it also signifies ‘nothing’ or ‘zero’ in mathematics, a further reference to possession by the devil). When Cypher pulls the plug on the VR-immersed Nebuchadnezzar crew, he wonders if he’ll actually be able to turn out Keanu Reeve’s lights, since prophecies say that it’s impossible. As it turns out, it is – Cypher didn’t do a thorough enough job on Tank (Marcus Chong), who peremptorily wakes up and fries the skunk.

2: Dennis NedryJurassic Park (1993)Seinfeld fans would have known that Wayne Knight was up to no good, even if his first scene in Spielberg’s block-buster hadn’t revealed it. I mean, this is Newman we’re talking about. Aggrieved at having his huge pay-check docked by Richard Attenborough for a few on-the-job goofs, computer nerd Knight decides to sell Jurassic Park’s billion-dollar dino-embryos to rivals. Trouble is his escape plan goes wrong, putting the pioneering tourist complex at the mercy of its exhibits. Payback comes in the form of a ruffled, poison-spitting dinosaur that sneaks into Knight’s escape vehicle.

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1: Carter Burke Aliens (1986) Loveable sit-com star Paul Reiser suited up in yuppie-grey to play the ambitious Weyland-Yutani executive who sells out Ripley, Hicks and even little Newt so that the company can get their hands on that lucrative alien DNA. Realising he is rumbled, Burke locks the besieged group in the room where aliens are attacking. For this grim betrayal, Burke is promptly despatched by a Giger nasty at the next airlock.

Why not head on down to the comments field and add your own sleazebag?