Dracula vs. Darth Vader? Khan vs. Keyser Soze? Rocky vs. Rambo?
What would happen if you took every butt-kicking, name-taking, trash-talking movie character in the history of the cinema, locked them in a steel cage and announced that only one would be coming out alive? These are the questions that your MTV News Movies team ponders in the wee hours of the morning as we lie awake in our "Star Wars" Underoos. And now, we've decided to find as answer once and for all.
For the next several weeks we'll be fully exploring the toughest of the tough, all in the name of crowning the Greatest Badass of All Time. Through lists, your votes and analysis, we'll be whittling down the contenders, leading up to the big announcement at New York's upcoming Comic-Con.
Today, we begin the process by looking back on the heroes and villains of the '80s and analyzing what they'll be bringing to our battle royale against the other decades. With apologies to Gordon Gekko, RoboCop, General Zod and the others who didn't make the cut, here are our top picks for '80s badasses who could go all the way:
The Terminator, John Rambo, Mad Max, Snake Plissken: Throughout the '80s, these four classic characters formed the Mount Rushmore of badasses. Each would go on to appear in multiple films, slaughter dozens of would-be adversaries and deliver many instantly quotable taglines. Mess with these bulls, and you'll get the horns.
Conan The Barbarian, Marion "Cobra" Cobretti, Martin Riggs, Jack Burton: To some, these are the second-string '80s icons for Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell. To others, these four could totally take down Rambo, Max, Snake and the Terminator. In our duel to the death, they're guaranteed to bring a lot of stubble and flexed muscle.
Boba Fett: A one-man band of badassness, this mysterious "Star Wars" bounty hunter wasn't so much about what we saw him do, as the damage he had the potential to inflict. A carbine rifle, a rocket pack, a grenade launcher, armed-to-the-gills wrist gauntlets and so much more, all crammed into a suit of Mandalorian armor that makes Captain America's shield look like Silly Putty. Will George Lucas' repeated need to demystify Fett (the prequels, the special editions) come back to haunt Han Solo's hunter? Or will he return to his '80s heyday?
John McClane: In 1988, Bruce Willis ran over broken glass, jumped off an exploding building, and ho-ho-ho'd his way to a machine gun. In the process, he transformed the modern-day action hero from monstrous, revenge-seeking musclemen (Schwarzenegger, Stallone) to normal-looking guys overcoming great odds (Keanu Reeves in "Speed," Nic Cage in "The Rock"). Don't count McClane out of this contest, as he's proven over the years to be a true fly in the ointment, a monkey in the wrench and a pain in the ass.
Indiana Jones, Han Solo, Rick Deckard: It's the ultimate Harrison Ford face-off, and since our survey will also include the '90s, we'll throw Jack Ryan into the mix later. When Reaganomics reigned, however, it was Ford's characters from "Blade Runner" and the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" films that gave us hope for a better, more badass existence. Decades later, we now know that Han dances with Ewoks, Deckard was likely a replicant, and Indy was escaping nuclear bombs in refrigerators well into his 60s. Will such blemishes hinder their badass campaigns?
Ashley "Ash" J. Williams: How popular is Bruce Campbell's iconic character? Nearly 30 years later, Sam Raimi is still teasing us with promises that Ash will once again rise from the dead himself. But even if the next "Evil Dead" movie were to pull a "Crystal Skull," it's hard to imagine it ruining the legacy of Campbell's wisecracking, chin-leading everyman. Groovy.
Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead: Let's be honest here: Out of every possible badass we could name, it's the horror ones who'd likely be the last man standing in a true death match. Could Rambo fire an explosive arrow into the heart of Freddy? Could John McClane finally stop Jason's repeated ability to come back from the dead? Whether these three horror icons will get bonus points for their sheer invincibility is anyone's guess, but this much is certain: It sure is hard to vote against a needle-faced Cenobite nicknamed "The Black Pope of Hell."
Tony Montana: Say hello to our little badass. First, he made the money; then he got the power, and then he got the women. Al Pacino's iconic "Scarface" character represents the modern American dream in more ways than it might seem — after all, who among us hasn't fantasized about going down in a hail of bullets, firing a machine gun and screaming about all those "cock-a-roaches"?
Nada: A dark-horse candidate from the 1988 cult classic "They Live," rowdy Roddy Piper has a fondness for five-and-a-half minute fight scenes, exploding aliens and dark sunglasses. He has come here to kick ass and chew bubblegum — and he's all out of bubblegum.
From James Bond and Darth Vader to Lara Croft and Ellen Ripley, we need your help determining which movie characters should be called the Greatest Badasses of All Time. Head over to the MTV Movies Blog to submit your own pick, and stay tuned to MTV.com as celebrities weigh in with their own lists. We'll begin unveiling the top 10 on January 26, so check back to see if your pick made the cut!