Monsters in film can be an allegory for all kinds of stuff. Societal attitudes, prejudice, the questionable triumphs of man over nature, or just simply a huge ugly beasty monster that moves the plot along, destroying buildings and people at will. One thing is always the same though, the public never gets tired of a terrifying monster wreaking havoc on unsuspecting civilians, and seeing them try to come to terms with it. Here are 10 of my favourite movie monsters.

 

#10: ‘The Blob’ from The Blob (1958)

Is this about to attack US, or do we attack IT? With Mr. Muscle, amirite?!

The 1950’s were a lot of things; naive, homely, idyllic, but one thing they were not was massively creative, as a few entries in this list will address. First up is ‘The Blob’, not an understatement or a clever misleading name, the blob is just that – a big blob of indeterminate density and composition that bounces around a 1950’s town swallowing up it’s inhabitants. Of course it’s whole vague nature is an extremely obvious reference to the invisible and stealthy nature and threat of communism – but still, a huge blob of indestructible crap bouncing round and sucking people up is a little bit scary. If not a bit laughable. A better way to go than most, laughing as a huge blob sucks you up and deprives you of oxygen.

 

#9: ‘The Blood Parasite‘ from ‘Shivers’ (1976)

Shit BEFORE getting in the bath. Words to live by.

‘Shivers’ is legendary director David Cronenberg’s first feature film, and it includes everything people have come to expect from the man – violent deaths, disgusting bodily transformation scenes, and black as coal humour. It’s easy to laugh at the hugely dated ‘Shivers’ now, but the message is surprisingly durable, essentially an apartment block gets taken over by the deliberately questionable (and disgusting) ‘Blood Parasite’, which removes the tenants inhibitions and causes them to become maniac-sex-zombies, who groan orgasmically as opposed to the braindead zombie of yore. The story is about attitudes to sex and sexual freedom after the hippie era, while the parasite itself is an odd monster – it is small, quick and can travel through drains, making it perfect for entering orifices which may be using the toilet, or (as seen above), taking a bath. Look down the bog next time you use it – I do now, that is obviously why I’m not a sex-maniac.

 

#8: ‘The Giant Ants’ from ‘Them!’ (1954)

Not pictured: an absolutely gigantic kettle full of boiling water. FUCK you, you ant bastard.

As mentioned in ‘The Blob’, here is another classic badly named monster, ‘Them!’, taken from a little girl’s description of the massive ants (I would have stuttered…”..m..massive ants!”, not “…THEM!”, personally), gigantic ants with huge mandibles that can cut men in half. At first, giant ants seem a fairly dismissive monster, just pour some chemicals on them or set them on fire right? Well, no not really. As anyone who’s had ant problems in their garden or house knows, ants can get literally everywhere, they need just one individual to set up a new colony – the queen, and they protect her with their lives. Plus there are millions of them. Now think of a massive ant colony in the desert and pretend that the idea doesn’t scare you, if the ants spread, humans wouldn’t stand a chance.

 

#7: ‘Kong’ from ‘King Kong’ (1933)

Kong, liking what he sees.

It’s usually hard to sympathise with monsters, what with the ‘tearing people limb from limb’ and ‘destroying metropoles’ shit they usually do, but not Kong. Kong is a huge gorilla from a prehistoric island in the Indian Ocean that contains dinosaurs, and really, he should have been left there. Kong falls in love with a human woman, a relationship you could see going down the pan from the very start, but still, his courage and honour is admirable amongst a giant ape. Plus he is obviously strong as hell, somewhat of a standard feature of a genetically enormous ape.

 

#6: ‘The Predator’ from ‘Predator’ (1987)

Predator watches you masturbate. Then skins you alive.

The first ‘alien’ on the list proper (he has a spaceship – good enough for me) is also one of the most terrifying of all. An ugly warrior who travels the galaxy looking for the top predator of each planet, and hunts them for sport. It seems a horrifying idea but the film holds a mirror up to some of the main characters who see each human kill as another notch on their belt; is it really any different that predator uses superior weapons to hunt Arnie & co., when Arnie & co. had just burst into a poorly equipped rebel camp and blew all their head’s off with massive U.S. Army funded weapons? No it isn’t, not really.

 

#5: ‘Godzilla’ from ‘Godzilla’ (1954)

We've all been there though..Haven't we?

50’s Sci-fi with a cool name? What?! Well, Godzilla (Gojira, in Japanese) isn’t an American film, so maybe that’s why. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Godzilla was Japanese for ‘nuclear mutated dinosaur monster’, that would give it an apt shit name. Regardless, Godzilla is probably the most famous of all ‘monster movies’, mainly because of how many times it’s been remade, the original is still the best though. After nuclear radiation is leaked, a huge lizard monster starts appearing in Japan and wrecking stuff. That’s about it. Basically the message here is, “be wary of nuclear power and weapons. Or this shit might start to happen”. You literally never know though, do you?

 

#4: ‘The Thing’ from ‘The Thing’ (1982)

After a night of 'hand grenades'.

John Carpenter’s best film also happens to be a remake of a 1950’s sci-fi film (Seriously, you could have guessed, the Thing is another remarkably shit name), but where the remake succeeds is in it’s horror, it’s tone and it’s believable title monster. The Thing is essentially an alien monster that can take whatever shape it pleases, be it dog, spider with head of man, etc. It just so happens obviously that the monster decides to take the most disturbing forms it can – i.e. above. In the Antarctic, help seems millions of miles away, and an unbelievably manly Kurt Russell is forced to battle the Thing on his own. It really is one of the best horror films ever, and is genuinely very scary, down in part to the graphic and horribly weird ‘Thing’.

 

#3: ‘The Monster’ from ‘Frankenstein’ (1931)

Piercings these days.

The classic ‘don’t mess with God’s will and nature’ story sees archetypal mad scientist Henry Frankenstein gathering body parts from corpses and building himself a monster servant, played like a boss by king of the monsters Boris Karloff. The story is an interesting allegory for God himself, creating servants and entertainment on Earth, but accidentally giving them free will. After being injected with a dose of humanity, the Monster becomes entangled in a complicated existential woe and goes on the rampage. Who is to blame, Henry, or the monster? And who is the real monster? Henry, or the monster? No, that was too cliché, the real monster is the monster. Sorry for the spoiler.

 

#2:The Xenomorph’ from ‘Alien’ (1979)

Yeah yeah, you have loads of fucking teeth. Get over it.

Almost everything I found terrifying in films as a kid can be found in the above picture. The Xenomorph from the Alien series is a meta-predator, instead of killing in real life, it is basically that fucking terrifying that it can not only get you in your dreams, but it can get you in other people’s dreams as well. Probably, of course. But seriously, look at it, it’s silent, it’s got acid for blood, it grows to gigantic size in about 45 minutes, it has a razor sharp tail, and an insatiable taste for Human beings. Is there anything else I can say as to why this is one of the most terrifying beasts ever? No? Then I’ll just keep scrolling down because I don’t like that picture. Thanks.

 

#1: ‘The Sarlacc‘ from ‘Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi’

....BASTARD

There’s something so inherently terrifying about the Sarlacc pit. Of course, the fact that it’s completely layered, wall to wall with razor sharp teeth and tentacles is bad enough, you also can’t see the animal itself – scary, but the fact that it digests you for thousands of years, and you feel every second of the painful, drawn out death is absolutely absurdly disturbing in just about every way – you live an extended life, for no other reason than to feel the absolute hell on Earth of a death you are soon going to experience. Of course, it’s not as screwed as the Xenomorph, you would know about it if a Sarlacc was on your ship (As a desert, would also have to be on your ship, you see), but for a crime lord, there would be absolutely no better way to kill of a pesky James Bond type. Tie him up, don’t let him say a word, just throw him into the pit and return every fortnight to ask him ‘how’s the digestion going?’. Truly..Horrific.

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