10 James Bond Fates Worse Than Death

9. Drill Torture - James Bond (Spectre)

Spectre Drill Torture
Sony Pictures Releasing

Towards the climax of 2015's Spectre, Bond is held prisoner by the villainous Franz Oberhauser, who promptly has him knocked out and strapped to an elaborate-looking torture device. Oberhauser proceeds to describe the exceedingly precise and cruel torture he intends to enact on Bond, using a minute drill to probe parts of his brain to subtly mess with senses such as sight, hearing and balance.

Eschewing a broader, more visceral form of torture, the scene is tense and blood-curdling, with Oberhauser (soon revealing himself to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld), moving onto Bond's fusiform gyrus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in face recognition.

Blofeld's meticulous and sadistic genius is demonstrated to chilling effect. Bond escapes the torture before Blofeld is able to truly anything truly horrifying or long-lasting on him, but it hardly bears thinking about the lengths Blofeld would likely have gone to. His intention is clearly not to kill Bond, but to render him a shell of his former self, with little concept of the world around him and likely without a working bladder.

Bond, of course, is defiant throughout. He even goes so far as to taunt Blofeld, urging him to get on with it, as "nothing could be worse than hearing him talk".


Neo-noir enjoyer, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.