Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Strange Creatures from Filmland (Part 4)

One of the many creatures from Spookies (1986)

Since my “Strange Monsters of Filmland” posts have turned out to be so popular, I thought you guys would enjoy another one. There’s so many more monsters to go around! So here I leave you with another batch of strange cinematic creatures, hope you find this list useful when the time comes to see a cool monster flick!  By the way, if you wanna see more monsters go here!

Film: House (1986)

Creature:  Ex-wife Witch

Comments: House is all about this writer who goes away to a house he’s inherited from his late aunt to write his novel. Unfortunately, this house is a haunted house that drives people crazy by making them face their personal demons. The film offers up some pretty amusing creatures, one of them is this witch you see pictured above, who by the way used to be the protagonists wife! Should he shoot her? Is it really his ex-wife? Or is this house playing tricks on him again?

Monster Quote: “Where's you're son Roger? He's Dead!”

Film: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Creature: Demonic Rabbit 

Comments: Twilight Zone: The Movie is an anthology film and one of the stories is about this little boy named Anthony who has the powers of a god! Anything he wishes for comes true! Problem is he’s just a child! He lives in a house with his family, whom he hates. And if there’s one thing you should never do is piss off a kid with the powers of a God! When he gets angry, he brings all the Warner Bros. cartoons he watches to life! As a result, we get this crazy fucked up version of Bugs Bunny amongst other cartoony yet monstrous looking beasties! 
Monster Quote: “I know you have a power, a gift that makes you special. You better be careful, for one day it might be too big for you to control.”

Film: The Gate (1987)

Creature:  Demon from Hell

Comments: The Gate is all about these kids who unwillingly do every rite necessary to open up a gate to hell, right in their backyard! It isn’t long before all matter of demons, zombies and midget monsters start roaming around their living room! At one point, a gate to hell opens up right in the middle of their living room and this gigantic demon pops out to spook everyone!

Monster Quote: “We accidently summoned demons who used to rule the universe, to come and take over the world”

Film: Night of the Creeps (1986)

Creature:  Midget Alien

Comments: Night of the Creeps is like a sci-fi flick from the 50’s, mixed with a zombie flick, a detective flick, a slasher flick and an alien invasion flick, all rolled up into one big fat cinematic blunt! You see, in Night of the Creeps, this crazy alien scientist pictured above creates these slugs that crawl in through your mouth and procreate in your brain! Then, when all the new slugs are ready, your head blows up and a gazillion alien slugs roam free, looking for more brains to procreate in! Crazy huh? What? You haven’t seen this flick yet? What are you waiting for? Go see it now!

Monster Quote: “Zombies, exploding heads and creepy crawlies…and a date for the formal. This is classic Spanky!”

Film: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Creature:  Mr. Hyde

Comments: This film is based on Alan Moore’s comic, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which essentially brings together all these classic heroes all in one story. This is why we get Allan Quatermain, The Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, Tom Sawyer and finally, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They all get together to stop a villain from taking over the world, you know how that goes. One of the coolest moments in the film is when Dr. Jekyll takes a potion and turns into the monstrous Mr. Hyde. This movie is hated by many, but I honestly find it to be tons of fun. And with gnarly monsters like Mr. Hyde to make things all the more entertaining? Sign me up.

Monster Quote: “You can’t shut me out forever, drink the elixir!”

Film: The Fly (1986)

Creature:  The Fly

Comments: On this David Cronenberg remake of the classic horror film, we meet Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist who’s just figured out the secrets of teleportation, by experimenting on himself! Unfortunately, when he teleported himself, a fly got into the telepod with him and voila! Now he is half human, half house fly! He goes through some amazingly gross transformations, but the end result is the horrendous (yet cool, ‘cause monsters are cool let’s not forget about that!) creature you see pictured above.

Monster Quote: “I am an insect, who dreamt he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over and the insect is awake”

Film: The Monster Squad (1987)

Creature:  The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Comments: In Monster Squad, Dracula is reuniting all the classic monsters from the Universal Monsters movies to aid him in taking over the world! Imagine that, a world, ruled by Dracula! So anyhow, one of these creatures is The Creature from the Black Lagoon! Honestly, this is one of my favorite interpretations of that monster; it was done by Stan Winston studios, and as you can see, the creature rocks! It really looks alive on film.

Monster Quote: “Creature stole my twinkie!”

Film: Leviathan (1989)

Creature: Leviathan

Comments: So once upon a time during the late 80’s James Cameron was shooting The Abyss (1989) and every studio in the world wanted to do their copycat version of this big ass movie that Cameron was making for 20th Century Fox, so Carolco made Deep Star Six (1989) and MGM made Leviathan (1989), which was a mash up of two much better films: Aliens (1979) and The Thing (1982). But still, Leviathan had creature effects designed by Stan Winston, which is why the end result kind of baffles me because it just doesn’t look all that great on film, in my book anyways. The film worked better when it kept the creature in the shadows, the big reveal was kind of a letdown. Still, the film has it’s moments and the art direction and set design are impressive. 

Monster Quote: “That’s just great, you’re telling me we’ve got a goddamn Dracula in here with us?”

Film: Dreamscape (1984)

Creature:  Humanoid Snake

Comments: Dreamscape is all about these scientists who’ve built a machine that allows you to go into peoples dreams. In order to help these machines, they need people with a certain mental disposition, they gotta be psychics! So anyhow, at one point one of the psychics enters a childs mind to try and help him overcome his fear of nightmares and the creatures he confronts in them, amongst these creatures the child encounters in his nightmares is the humanoid snake pictured above. By todays standards the stop motion animation is pretty awful, but still, the idea behind the creature is kinda nuts which is why I included it here.

Monster Quote: “In this world Alex, you’re nothing. And me, I’m God!”

Film: Hellraiser (1987)

Creature: Demon from Hell

Comments: Hellraiser is one of those films that’s filled from top to bottom with makeup effects, gore, monsters and demons. In it, a girl named Kirsty comes into contact with the Lament Configuration, a puzzle box that when solved opens the gates of hell wide open. One of two things happen, strange creatures known as Cenobytes come and get you so they can take you back to hell and torture you for all eternity, or you wonder into hell out of curiosity, which is what Kristy does when she solves the puzzle. Upon her wonders through the hallways of hell she encounters many dark, strange vistas, one of them is the strange creature pictured above! This strange creature chases her straight out of hell and into the real world!

Monster Quote: “You solved the box, we came. Now you must come with us, taste our pleasures.”

Film: The Princess Bride (1987)

Creature:  R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size)

Comments: In The Princess Bride, the good guys are escaping the bad guys and at one point they decide to hide in ‘The Fire Swamp’ a swamp that has three inherit dangers: The Flame Spurt which is a burst of fire that comes out of the ground every couple of seconds and can be avoided by this warning sound it makes before it bursts, the lightning sand, which is basically quicksand, and the R.O.U.S.’s, which are these savagely huge rats. Basically, imagine what a man sized rat would be like and that’s an R.O.U.S.

Monster Quote: “Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.” [Immediately an R.O.U.S. attacks them]

Film: The Unnamable (1988)

Creature:  The Unnamable

Comments: Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name, The Unnamable is the story of this woman who during the 1880’s has this horrible looking baby that is so ugly that they don’t even know what to name it, so they call it the unnamable. The creature murders its own family and ends up locked up in the dungeon of a house. Fast forward to 1988 and a group of curious teenagers, who have heard of the legend want to find out if it’s true. Of course, we all know what happens once they get there. The creature is real and so is the mayhem. Even though the film isn’t all that great, I always liked the way this creature looked.  

Monster Quote: “They are all dead!”

Film: Little Monsters (1988)

Creature:  Boy

Comments: The idea behind Little Monsters is very similar to Pixar’s Monsters Inc. (2001), that of a magical world where monsters live and train to scare the beejezus out of kids everywhere. Fred Savage becomes best friends with Maurice, one of the monsters played by 80’s comedian Howie Mandel. Little Monsters is ultra cheesy and has some cringe inducing dialog, but the monster underworld offers up a lot of strange creatures; one even played by Rick Ducommun. One of the weirdest monsters is a character called ‘Boy’, the leader of the monsters. At one point his face is ripped off and we get the beautiful looking beastie pictured above. A cheesy movie no doubt, but a nightmare inducing one if you saw it when you were a a kid!

Monster Quote: “We’re the reason brothers hate their sisters”

Film: The Church (1989)

Creature: Winged Demon

Comments: Michelle Soavi’s The Church is a film about how these overzealous Christians killed and buried all these people that weren’t Christian, and then built a church on top of their buried bodies! Christians can be quite morbid sometimes!  So anyhow, fast forward a few hundred years and a group of people get locked inside of this church with absolutely no way of getting out! On top of things the angry spirits of all the people that were buried start attacking everybody! At one point, one of the demons manages to lure a lady to have sex with her on top of an altar!  This is one of the strangest images on this film, and it isn’t the only demon to get some on this film either!

Film: Coneheads (1993)

Creature: The Garthok

Comments: So when the Coneheads return to their home world, they are put on trial for not having conquered earth. In order to pay for their failure Beldar Conehead must battle The Garthok, the cool stop motion animation creature pictured above. This was one of the last times that stop motion animation was used in a major motion picture; cgi was just starting to take over with the release of Jurassic Park (1993), from here on in it’s all cgi all the time in monster movies!

Monster Quote: “Therefore you will Narftle The Garthok!”

Film: House (1986)

Creature: Winged Skull

Comments: I know this is my second monster from House (1986), but this one is just too weird not to be mentioned. At one point in the film, Roger Cobb, the films protagonist has to make his way down this portal that leads into a pit of darkness. As he descends into darkness, hanging from a rope, suddenly a winged skull appears, takes Roger’s shotgun and shoots him with it. The visual is pretty crazy, and if I’m not mistaken, Sam Raimi used this exact same creature during the opening credits of Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987). 

Monster Quote: “Damn! Come back from the grave and ran out of ammunition!”

Film: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Creature: Gargoyle

Comments: This is an anthology film, and one of the stories is called ‘Lovers Vow’ and it’s all about this artist who stumbles upon a gargoyle in the back alley of a seedy part of town. The gargoyle makes the artist a proposal, he will grant the artist incredible success and wealth, but in exchange, the artist must promise never to talk about their encounter, he must never talk to anyone about the gargoyle. The artist accepts the deal, but can he keep his promise? What will happen if he breaks it? 

Monster Quote: “If I let you go, you must swear you will never see your sorrow, never say you heard me speak, never tell anyone how I look, never repeat what I have said; a promise, forever.”

Film: Night of the Demons (1988)

Creature: Possessed Angela

Comments: Night of the Demons is all about Angela, a nerdy goth girl who throws a Halloween party in Hull House, the house that all the kids are afraid of. You know, the house that everyone says is haunted, only this time, it really is! Angela invites a selected few to her Halloween bash, but you know how stupid teens can get, so they decide to do a séance, on Halloween night, in a house that is crawling with demons! It isn’t long before the teens start dying in gruesome ways and Angela becomes possessed by demons from hell!

Monster Quote: “Blessed be the sinners, for the Day of Atonement is at hand”

Film: Deep Star Six (1989)

Creature: Crustacean

Comments: So yeah, this is the film that was to compete with James Cameron’s The Abyss (1989), but of course, we all know which film ended up being the better film of the two. Funny story about this movie is that James Cameron actually asked the filmmakers of Deep Star Six to delay their film so it wouldn’t compete with The Abyss, but the filmmakers behind Deep Star Six went ahead anyway and released their film before The Abyss. In my opinion Cameron had nothing to worry about because while they are both “underwater monster movies” they are also vastly different in tone. Cameron’s film is more epic and grand in scope while Deep Star Six is a b-movie all the way, more of a sci-fi horror film, a straight forward monster flick with a creature that looks like an ancient crustacean beast.

Monster Quote: “Eat this, you big sack of fish shit!”

A scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)


Kaijinu said...

Awesome list again! And it's good to see someone enjoying the underrated League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! Such a clever concept!

And after seeing that fish thing in Leviathan, I think I'm ready to see it now!


I think the big demon in Hellraiser is called The Engineer.

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, a lot of people seemed dissapointed by it, but me, I was having a blast with it.

Leviathan is one of the better Alien rip-off's, the only problem is when they finally show the creature in the end, it's a bit dissapointing because it looks stiff and robotic.

Design wise it looks cool, but to me, in those last moments of the film it just failed to look alive. It's better than Deep Star Six though! And it's a good film for the most part...the sets are pretty impressive, totally inspired by Aliens.

Thanks for commenting Kaijinu!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yeah i don't think Cameron had anything to worry about. Stan Winston ' s worst stuff is better than 90% out there.

Franco Macabro said...

Agree man, the thing with the creature from Leviathan is that the whole film maintains this mistery about it, all we see are tentacles or parts of its body, but when they show they whole thing..it's lackluster, but as you say, even on a bad day Stan Winston's work shines! Of course I've seen worse looking monsters...on worse films.

I do love the tentacles they made for this movie, there's this one scene where we see the tentacles of the creature slithering through the hallways of this underwater mining rig and it just looks awesome!

At the end of the day, Leviathan is a good monster flick, but the monster in the end could have been handled a bit better is all.

I mean, what say you guys? Am I talking bullcrap?


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