Monster movie fans rejoice. We have a new creature feature to look forward to, the Nordic horror romp, Troll Hunter, smashing its way to the big screen June 10th (currently on VOD). Let us celebrate the mayhem-to-come with a look back at some of cinema's best beasts.
Recently, I asked professional associates, horror fans, and random irritated people at the supermarket to list for me their favorite movie monsters. I was happy to get some unexpected answers. I added my own opinions to the mix, and - with analysis and calculations only I have been trained to perform - I've arrived at the Top Ten Monsters Of Motion Picture History.
Now, I could list 'em for you in order of popularity, in order of film release, or simply in random order. But, hey, these are monsters! It's way more fun to pit them against each other in ferocious battles to the death!
Let the skirmishes begin.
Ymir, the monster in Twenty Million Miles To Earth (1957) VS. Kong in King Kong (1933)
Ymir is from Venus, the planet named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty - traits that this alien seems to lack. Kong is a native of Earth, but his adventures somewhat parallel Ymir's, giving both monsters similar combat training. Ymir wins an impressive battle with an elephant, while Kong takes down a fierce dinosaur. Ymir ends up climbing to the top of Rome's Colosseum, while Kong scales the Empire State Building. Ymir's species endures the atmospheric pressure of Venus, which is 92 times greater than Earth's, while Kong endures the pressure of the entertainment industry.
Furthermore, Ymir is a stop-motion creature animated by Ray Harryhausen, while Kong is a stop-motion creature animated by Willis O'Brien, Harryhausen's mentor. This match might just end in a draw.
By the way, check out this entry of "Surviving Cinema" - my official blog, right here at the FEARnet - for more data to crunch when determining who would win between a hideous Harryhausen creature and an O'Brien beast.
Cyclops in The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958) VS. the Monster in Cloverfield (2008)
This also may be a pretty even bout - both creatures are big and scary. Cyclops is another Ray Harryhausen stop-motion creature, while the more-destructive Cloverfield Monster is computer generated. And this - the fact that Cyclops actually exists - may give him the edge he needs. That's not to say the Cloverfield Monster has no skills. He can probably file his taxes online and successfully avoid spam on Facebook; tasks a pre-computer-era Cyclops would surely fail at.
The Brundlefly in The Fly (1986) VS. the Crate Monster in Creepshow (1982)
The Crate Monster is intimidating with that big mouth full of teeth - and his unsavory disposition may erode Brundlefly's confidence. However, Brundlefly was, at one time, a brilliant scientist, giving him the ability to outsmart the less-educated Crate Monster (who I hear has earned no more than an associate's degree). Furthermore, Brundlefly appears to be more physically agile compared to the Crate Monster, who is surely in poor physical shape after being confined to his small box since 1834. Between the Crate Monster's ability to spill a lot of blood, and that charming habit Brundlefly has of barfing corrosive vomit, this may be less of an enemy throw-down and more of a major gross-out.
Medusa in Clash Of The Titans (1981) VS. The Thing in The Thing (1982)
Yet another Ray Harryhausen being, fiendish Gorgon Medusa may actually be difficult for The Thing to conquer, as fearsome and seemingly unstoppable as he is. Medusa (a hair-stylist's worst nightmare) could simply turn The Thing to stone by looking at him. Sure, The Thing could try to assimilate Medusa, but assuming he could get to her without making eye contact, he'll have difficulty dodging her deadly arrows. More troublesome is the fact that Medusa's shed blood can transform into giant scorpions! Assimilate that, Mr. Smartything.
The Skeleton Warriors in Jason And The Argonauts (1963) VS. The Humanoids in Humanoids From The Deep (1980)
For our final match, instead of a one-on-one fracas, two teams will square off. The Skeleton Warriors (more Harryhausen creations) may seem frail compared to the husky fish mutants, but let's not forget that the Humanoids are in a Roger Corman movie - which means they are likely being held together (barely) with duct tape and paperclips. More importantly, only three Humanoids exist (two of which are not convincing enough to be used in close up) so only through clever, deceptive editing do they appear in numbers great enough to trounce the Skeleton Warriors. I don't think the Skeletons are going to fall for this subterfuge. I see them confidently sharpening their blades and grinning maniacally.