There’s been a wide and colourful gallery of James Bond villains over the decades, filled with unique individuals that tried, and failed, to best our man 007. From hooked hands to golden guns, steel jaws to burnt-out gums, each villain steps up to the challenge filled with that hearty confidence that’s born from years of superiority, before finding that in James Bond, they've more than met their match.
Although the specifics of their rises and downfalls vary by the villain, there’s one area in which every one of them seemingly excel; the ability to design epic secret lairs that make even the most lavish dwellings on Grand Designs look like squalid shacks.
With uber-expensive construction costs, and usually housed with enough explosives to destroy small planets, Bond villain lairs are often physical extensions of their own undeniable, far-reaching power and sky-high statuses (among criminals, that is). Their bases are such meticulously designed feats of architecture, in fact, that they can seemingly never resist showing James Bond around personally, instead of killing him.
Their towering, grandiose bases not only enable them to conduct their fiendish plots in privacy, they also serve somewhat as points of pride among Bond villains. No one can truly be a member of that exclusive club unless they have a bombastic oversized lair to match their lofty ambitions.
It’s truly a shame that most of these epic lairs end up blown up.
10. Scaramanga's Island Hideout (The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974)
Francisco Scaramanga wasn’t the only villain to make an evil lair on his own private island, but he surely did it with the most style. His tropical little getaway hidden in the South China Sea is devoid of unnecessary components, such as buildings and facilities for the hosting of unwieldy fleets of bumbling henchmen.
In fact, all Scaramanga needs is a labyrinthine maze in which to practice the art of killing, and a diminutive manservant to fulfil his every need. That, along with a simple power plant and a silently smooth operator to run it.
When not honing his command of the golden gun with which he earns his living, Scaramanga spends his time developing and researching technology to help him move out of the standard assassination game and expand into the evil megalomaniac business, including a solar-powered laser cannon.
Scaramanga makes no secret of his ability to live lavishly, as at a million dollars a contract for his services, he can afford to. What’s more, think of the money he saves on payroll with a workforce of only two people.
His island is one of the few Bond villain lairs that 007 fans can actually visit in real life, although his carnival-themed funhouse is sadly not included.