Kurt Bozwell is hands down one of the most diabolical villains in cinema history.
All great films, especially superhero films and action films, have one thing in common…
Good Burger, the Nickelodeon film of the 90’s that featured Kenan & Kel, is no exception. This film is a masterclass in creating a memorable villain.
His name is Kurt. Kurt Bozwell (Jan Schweiterman). He is the manager and owner of Mondo Burger, the gigantic burger chain that threatens to dismantle the local Good Burger across the street. What makes Kurt such a diabolical master villain is that he doesn’t just want to put Good Burger out of business, but he wants to humiliate them in the process.
On the surface, Kurt looks like he will be just a typical cartoonish type villain. A one note character with a silly agenda who makes it difficult for our heroes, especially Dexter (Kenan Thompson) who takes a job at Mondo Burger after wrecking his car (without a license) into his teachers and needs to pay if off by the end of summer. This is problematic because Dexter is a jokester and Kurt won’t have it. Kurt let’s his new employees, who are all high school to college aged students, that their LIVES are now Mondo Burger. “You can forget about your friends, you can forget about your family, because from now on, Kurt is both your mother AND your father.” This leads to Dexter saying “Kurt must look awfully strange naked.” Which leads us down the path of Dexter being fired and needing to be hired at Good Burger.
Let’s think about that line for a second though. This is a burger joint, where you are going to make minimum wage, and Kurt who is only a few years older than his employees, tells them that he is their mother and their father. That their lives are now Mondo Burger. He delivers the line with such force and power that you are terrified into doing a great job for him. He is almost a cult leader in the way he manipulates his two right hand men who go along with everything he does, because, well, it’s Kurt and he gives you really cool futuristic body suits and makes some of the biggest burgers known to man. This man has true power and charisma.
When Ed’s (Kel Mitchell) secret sauce starts bringing in a ton of service for Good Burger and making Mondo Burger look bad in the process, Kurt even tries to hire Ed and make the Good Burger sauce for Mondo Burger. Then he hires Roxanne (Carmen Electra) to try and flirt with Ed, make him fall in love with her, and then have him give her the recipe so she can take it back to Kurt. The level of evil genius is off the charts. Just when you thought Kurt couldn’t get any crazier, that his evil plan couldn’t get anymore complex, he does a few unthinkable, unimaginable things. Ones that I think Nickelodeon was incredibly brave for showing and makes me so proud to be a 90’s kid because I am not sure if they would do this today, for showing how far he would go to put Good Burger out of business for good.
Kurt catches Ed and Dexter trying to infiltrate Mondo Burger dressed as women and find out that Kurt has been putting an illegal chemical into his Mondo Burgers that increase their size. When he catches them he commits them to an asylum called DEMENTED HILLS so they can’t tell the public. Haha wow I love this movie so much!
So while Ed and Dexter are at Demented Hills, Kurt then proceeds to sneak into Good Burger and taints Ed’s secret sauce with SHARK POISON! SHARK POISON!!!!! He is caught by Otis, the old man who works at Good Burger and then has HIM COMMITTED TO DEMENTED HILLS AS WELL! This is the stuff of master villain legend.
So let’s do a quick recap of those last two events that elevates Kurt from good villain to an absolute legendary villain in every sense of the word. He has the power to send 3 people to an insane asylum, and he also wants to put Good Burger out of business so bad that he infects the sauce with Shark Poison so every customer is going to be very sick! All this while he is illegally inserting chemicals into his Mondo Burger burgers. This dude cares only about the dollar and the power that comes with it. Will stop at nothing until everyone is out of his way and luckily Ed and Dexter are able to thwart these attempts before Mondo Burger became a serious chain, endangering the lives of everyone who consumes it.
Good Burger came out in 1997 and I feel that Kurt Bozwell is still one of the very best villains in the history of movies. I think a lot of modern movies can learn a lot about studying this villain, the performance, and implement those elements into their movies. I love Nickelodeon for making this movie and I still watch it and holds up today 20 years later. If it is one thing that will carry on, its the legend of Kurt Bozwell. Thank you cinema for giving us this gift, and thank you Kenan and Kel for stopping him. The world depended on it.
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