Wednesday, October 14, 2009

5 laughably unscary movie monsters

There haven't been any new posts recently, I know.  I've been a little busy (and more than a little lazy), but today's your lucky day... assuming you're an intellectual masochist.

With the month of October celebrating Halloween, the birth of Kirk Cameron, SIDS awareness, and horror in general, it seems apt to have at least one post dedicated to things which scare the shit out of us, or at least attempt to.

Movie monsters are a true staple of modern pop culture; from the Creature from the Black Lagoon, to Ridley Scott's Alien, they have fuelled some of our worst nightmares and some of our most fun memories.  These monsters all have something in common: they tap into our subconscious, find out what scares us most, and force us to confront these fears to the sounds of our own gasps and the odour of stale popcorn, all while giving us a good time.

Some monsters, though, are truly scraped off the bottom of the barrel.  So utterly banal and uninspiring that they would have done us all a big favour by just staying on the cutting-room floor.  It is from this morbid gallery that I offer you my personal selection of five laughably unscary movie monsters!

5: Flying Monkeys

Movie: The Wizard of Oz

The perfect way to make an otherwise ostensibly harmless critter like a monkey seem terrifying and monstrous is to strap a pair of wings to its back.  At least that's what was floating around in Frank L. Baum’s head as he smoked some more Peyote before carrying on writing.

The only time I have ever been truly frightened and disturbed while watching a monkey was when one was playing the straight-man role opposite Clint Eastwood.  Unless that faeces they're throwing happens to be highly acidic, monkeys with wings strapped to their backs are about as scary as Treat Williams in Everwood.

4: Killer hermaphrodite hobbits

Movie: Bleeders (aka, Hemoglobin)

I watched this movie on VHS back in high school with some friends and a case of Carling, and the morning after we avoided eye-contact and pretended like nothing had happened.  I can assure you we would've felt less awkward and ashamed if we merely remembered flashes of mutual fellatio.  Who ever thought that a movie about incestuous hermaphrodites could be so boring as to induce a coma?

As for the monsters, they are hobbits.  Who kill people.  And are hermaphrodites.  All in all, about as scary as the "back room" of your local porno shop.

Surely a low-point in Rutger Hauer's career; considering Blind Fury, that’s saying a lot.

3: Mothra

Movie: A shitload of Godzilla movies

Generally accepted as being female, Mothra is occasionally portrayed as a type of benevolent protector and loyal opposition to Godzilla, despite destroying Tokyo.  In her larval form she embarked on a lucrative career as body-double for Barbara Streisand before trying her hand at being a movie monster; only one problem, though:


Moths are the third most unthreatening insect in the animal kingdom, right behind butterflies and Joan Rivers.  Who was the genius at Toho who approved a monster so scary that it spirals into the nearest light-source?  The only possible way you can have a nightmare about something as dull as a moth is if you take NyQuil and Prozac together at bedtime.

2: Cranky woman

Movie: Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman

A woman finds out that her husband is cheating on her and is only after her inheritance.  She then encounters an alien who is on Earth looking for diamonds, which are his spaceship's only source of power.  How the fuck he got to Earth in the first place is one of those metaphysical questions which is left up to the viewer - how Kubrick.  Continuity aside, after mugging the woman for her diamond necklace, the alien then causes her to grow fifty feet tall, whereupon she decides to seek vengeance on her philandering husband…

I know what you're thinking, "What the hell are you talking about, man?  There's nothing scarier than a girl who's on the rag!"  Call me old fashioned, but while I find an angry woman unpleasant, she's still a hell of a lot less terrifying than some demon from Hell who'll eat your face off.  You may not be able to reason with a woman scorned, but at least you can defuse her fury by slapping Fried Green Tomatoes into the DVD player and watching it with her; that shit is like morphine to a cranky woman.

1: Leprechaun

Movie: Leprechaun 1 through 6

Unlike, say, Islamic militants, the Irish - even the three sober ones - are laughably unscary.  So are midgets. Combine the two, and you get the veritable antichrist of movie monsters; a poster-boy for the whole laughably unscary movie monster demographic.  I speak, of course, of The Leprechaun.

You've got to hand it to Warwick Davis for having carved a career out of playing offensive stereotypes.  Oh what, dwarf actors only get offered roles that are offensive and stereotyped?  Tell that to my friend Danny DeVito, who, despite being only three feet tall, has never played a leprechaun, Ewok or George Shapiro.


Carl Trachte said...

I laughed; I cried; I snorted my drink through my nose.

Phaethon said...

"The only possible way you can have a nightmare about something as dull as a moth is if you take NyQuil and Prozac together at bedtime."

Someone call the Blog Academy Awards department. That is an epic quote.