Wednesday, June 18, 2008

5 Off The Top Of My Head - Whither The Monsters

With Stan Winston's unfortunate passing this week, I got to thinking on the state of the movie monsters. Stan gave us the Alien Queen and the Predator and Pumpkinhead and on and on... basically, he gave us a slew of iconic creations that will live in moviegoers imaginations and haunt little boys and girls nightmares for a very long time. Do we have those sorts of rad monsters any more?

So, limiting my choices to the 2000's, I dug around in my brains for my favorite monsters of the decade (so far). Now, when I say "monsters," I imply an inhuman, ghastly, monster-riffic appearance, not a monstrous human being like Patrick Bateman or Mick Taylor. With that in mind, here are the five I thought of:

The Pale Man, Pan's Labyrinth - Undisputed; the champ. Give credit to Del Toro (not to mention the genius beneath the make-up, Doug Jones) for a long future ahead of sleepless nights for ourselves and our children and our children's children with this fine fella. I expect loads more creature-y goodness from Del Toro with Hellboy II as well.

The Crawlers, The Descent - Director Neil Marshall gives these mole-people monsters just enough of an evolutionary bullshit back-story to make them seem credible enough, and then let's them run amok with a kinetic shit-storm of gore-hued horror. The make-up work is damned fine - the opaque skin and eyes, ruddy and slick, is shudder-inducing. And then there's the lady one...

The Mouth of Sauron, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - This creep only shows up in the extended DVD version of this flick, but I'll be gosh-darned if he isn't scarier than every single orc, Ringwraith, Fell beast and Sauron himself all thrown in a blender and set to "Terrify". That... that mouth. Ugh!

Grendel, Beowulf - While I haven't revisited the film since it plucked my eyes outta my head in IMAX-3D, the bit that lingers most favorably is Crispin Glover's alternately heart-breakingly sad and back-smashingly scary performance as the monster Grendel. (Grendel also benefits the most from his character not having to look fully human, and therefore not being as dead-eyed as the rest of the cast.)

The Medeiros Girl, [REC]
- That is not The Medeiros Girl pictured above, but rather a character reacting to The Medeiros Girl; not enough people have seen [REC] yet for me to go spoiling the film's creepiest surprise. But let me just tell you, I am not shitting you that this girl deserves her spot here. Holy effin' shit! Ahhh!!!

Now what am I forgetting?
Let 'em rip in the comments;
I know I've spaced on tons of great work.


J.D. said...

I re-watched Pan's Labyrinth yesterday, and I couldn't believe I forgot how fucking terrifying that entire scene was! Fucked the fuck up, for sure.

Bea said...

AH! The Mouth of Sauron! Maybe chopping of its head wasn't the kingly thing to do, but Aragorn had my FULL support. (Sorry I'm such a geek.)

That...THING from "The Fair-Haired Child" installment of "Masters of Horror." Oh my GOD. I will never recover. The hideous face, the joints that didn't seem like they were attached to anything, HOW QUICKLY IT FUCKING MOVED. Ugh, I think I need to go lie down...

Also, I found the mutant vampires from "Blade II" rather awful.

Anonymous said...

I whole-heartedly agree with your choices (Mouth of Sauron! Ack! I rewound that part at least a dozen times to marvel at its ghastliness) but I should add the bug-human hybrids from Silent Hill. Pyramid head guy was pretty freaky as well, but it could have just beenn his ominous blade...