Sunday, July 8, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Movie Monsters

I promised it, and here it is. My top 10 Favorite Movie Monsters. Yeah, I know I said Top 5, but I was having to much fun doing it! Before we get to the list, a few points:

1) I debated long and hard, and finally decided to allow human-like monsters, as long as they were definitively not human-looking.  So make-up jobs are allowed, but simply sticking someone in a William Shatner's mask is not.

2) Similarly, "monster" should be taken literally. Very despicable humans, such as Lecter, don't count.

3) I must have seen the movies. Which means your favorite might not be on there simply because I haven't seen the movie yet. Pinhead looks wicked, but I haven't had the chance to watch Hellraiser yet, so he is not on this list.

And now, the list itself:

10 - The Gremlins (Gremlins, 1984)

My 19th-century history book was right! Mohawks ARE evil savages!
In all probability among the first monsters children are exposed too, those little critters might not be especially strong or menacing, but it takes only a handful of them to destroy an entire small town. Destructive, foul-tempered but so wicked looking, the Gremlins are both nightmarish and a perfect fit for any child's toy box. In addition, all my US readers have Stripe here to thank (in addition to a heart-ripping Thuggee priest) for the invention of the PG-13. 

9- Chucky (Child,s Play, 1988)

And here goes my sleep night

I first saw this pic when I was 4. It took me 15 years to be able to look at it again. And even now, as I am typing this, my heartbeat is getting faster. Chucky terrified me for so long, I still have a flight reflex. 

So, why is the cause of so many sleepless nights not rated higher? Because last year, I finally watched a Chucky movie - Seed of Chucky. And I laughed my ass off. The Chucky puppet is not that scary in motion - the posters make him look much, much more scary than he really is. But in honor of the trauma he caused me, he belongs on this list.

8- The Other Mother (Coraline, 2009) Played by Teri Hatcher

Spider-Mom, Spider-Mom. Does whatever a spider can

If there is one thing children's love, it's their mother. So imagine their reaction when said mother turn into a spider demon - pant-wetting terror. I know, I've seen it. I was a man grown the first time I saw this movie, and I still a got a strong "Do Not Want" feeling. It really is a terrifying design, with mechanical hands, dark button eyes, spider legs, hunched posture and devilish grin.  It's also a design that would only work in stop motion, and you have to give props to a monster which can use the power of its medium to the fullest.

7- The Grand High Witch (The Witches, 1990) 

Madam? I think you have something on your nose.
Angelic Huston always looked like a witch, so it made sense when she got into a relationship with the devil himself, Jack Nicholson. But then, in 1989 they ended that relationship, and then Jack Nicholson became played a scary psychopathic clown. Angelica Huston, not one to be overshadowed by an ex, decided to show everyone that she too could be scary. She won that one, hands down. 

6- Brundlefly (The Fly, 1986)  

Hi, I'm a,a,a fly, yes, a human, a human fly.  Yes.
Who would have thought that by mixing a common, tiny housefly, with your standard issue Jeff Goldblum, you would get a terrifying monstrosity from hell able to dissolve any men to goo in a matter of seconds??!!! 
But what really puts Brundlefly apart from other monsters is its tragedy. Seth Brundle is no mad scientists. He is simply a normal man of science who tried to better the world, and instead became his worst nightmare. Which means that when Brundlefly is killed, you can't help but shed the tears in the middle of two shout of joy

5- The Pale Man (Pan's Labyrinth, 2006)

Hey, Listen! Yes, Navi, I KNOW where to shoot!

Yes, I know the real monster of Pan's Labyrinth is Captain Vidal. But let's face it here, even with a Glasgow smile, no fascist tyrant could make me soil my pants faster than this screaming hellspawn here. Guillermo Del Toro once again offer us a original design that is both terrifying and cool-looking. I pity any young child who got to watch this movie because of the trailers.

4- The Thing (The Thing, 1982)

Spiders have eight legs, not six, you idiot!

Unlike all the others on this list, the Thing is scary because you never know where it is. Yes, the designs of the various variations of the monster are all cutting-edge horror, but the really terrifying thing about the Thing is that you never know where it is going to spring up and in what form. It's a jack-in-a-box of the worst kind ever.

3- Godzilla (Gojira, 1954)

I'm not rampaging, I've just lost my glasses!

Okay, this one doesn't really need a justification. He has had a longer longevity than any of the other monsters on this list. It's instantly recognizable. And the kids simply adore him. All hail the King of Monsters! He's only third place because he helped people as often as he has eaten them, which killed his scary vibe.

2- The Clown (Poltergeist, 1982)

Next to that, the Joker is pretty nice fellow
Poltergeist is pretty unique among Hollywood movies because it shows normal,responsible parents smoking pot. And you know why it shows you that? To explain why the hell they bought this monstrosity to their son, that is why! From the moment it is introduced, you know this thing is gonna become dangerous later on. And then the house is cleaned and the movie seems to be almost finished. And then, this bastard from hell shows up and sends everyone screaming. This monster gained all his terrorizing power from a clever game of build up, red herring and false sense of security.

1- The Xenomorph (Alien, 1979)

Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal
Okay, this one was predictable. I had already decided it was going my number one, and then I asked people at io9 for ideas, and when they all gave me this one as their number one, I knew it had to be there. It's simply one of the scariest creature ever put on film, be it either in facehugger form, as a chestburster, as a grown up killing machine, or as a Queen. Superbly adapted from the paintings of one seriously deranged H.R. Giger, the Nostromo's eight passenger is a terrifying combination of organic, technological and sexual terrors. And it hasn't been one-upped yet.

That is it for this week. Whew, you know what? I think I could have added 5 mores. Ah well, maybe another time. Any choices you are not happy with? Other movies you want to suggest to me? Well, it's your turn to speak now. So, comment away!

P.S. Thanks to the io9 community who suggested monsters: Naradance, MANTARAYS, Omgwtflolbbqbye, Reavyn 29, transitnap, muensonate, acrousey, CatVonAwesome, Dr Emilio Lizardo, Steezy McFresh, Thoitax, Re Hs, Exploriens, Gingerkid87, Zuldim, Quasi Hatrack, Knight_of_Pentacles

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