There could be a reason why this scene from Austin Powers would be cut from the American version of the film. It might have gotten the movie a rousing chorus of boo’s to start with since it wasn’t even close to being the same level of silly as the film, and it could have made people scratch their heads trying to think about what the heck the director was thinking trying to add in a touching moment to something that was supposed to be a there and gone moment. Austin Powers after all was a hugely successful spoof movie that was popular BECAUSE it was a spoof.
Giving feeling to spoof movies isn’t a bad thing but when you focus on characters that are there for a matter of a few seconds at most then you really risk making people wonder what the big deal is. So yes, in a humanistic sense the henchman that got steamrolled was in fact another living, breathing person until his internal organs got crushed and forced out of every possible orifice by the overwhelming pressure of the steamroller. But he was also a person that chose to work for a man called Dr. Evil. Really, when you see on the hiring form that your superior will be Dr. Evil, or you even get wind of what you do and who it’s being done for, wouldn’t you stop to think that it’s not a good idea? Yes I’m going with the goofy aspect of this, just go with it.
Plus, henchmen don’t really warrant a lot of attention in any movie unless they’re specialists that can gnaw through iron bars, cut the head off of a statue with a hat, or have some other strange but interesting quirk to them. Like Nigel Powers would say “You haven’t even got a nametag, you’ve got no chance!”. Let’s face it, henchmen in movies like this are a dime a dozen, pretty much like any no-name ensign on Star Trek that gets disintegrated, blasted, or otherwise taken out the moment they land on a strange planet. Those are the kind of characters you wish would be able to say “Wait, I have no name or tag at all. Heck with this, I’m gone!”. That might spice things up a bit and really give the audience a good laugh. But if you’re a henchman of Dr. Evil and you wear the same outfit as a rent a cop then chances are that there are several hundred more of you and you’ll be dropped without a second thought.
The way in which this one happens though is kind of brutal, you know, once they finally get to the crushing part, about a minute or two during which he could run or walk out of the way. Holding up your hand and screaming “Noooo!” while a machine that’s doing upwards of 1 to 2 miles an hour barrels down on you doesn’t seem optimal for a guy with no name tag. Oh well, onto the next henchman.