Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top 10 Worst Monsters of the Movies

Following my recent list of Top Giant Monsters and Top Not-Giant Monsters, I had to give nods to the other kings of monster movies: the really terrible, the stupid or just plain lazy monsters of the movies.

This list has tougher competition than the previous by a wide margin. So let's set the parameters. 

1. They have to be monsters from movies I have seen.  I have heard of lots of truly stupid monsters... a refrigerator that eats people, the 'death bed' that does the same.. a killer living gingerbread man.. ok, granted some really lame monsters, but if I haven't seen them, I'm not going to list them.  I'll just count myself lucky I've missed some of those. 

2. The monster has to have been intended to be taken at least somewhat seriously.  
Killer Tomatoes don't fit that but a lot of  B-Movie monsters do. 

On with the count down! 

#10: Torgo

Dear gods what a stupid excuse for a monster.  For fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this is a true classic.  Torgo is the caretaker, and presumably guard, for 'Manos, Hands of Fate'.  What Mr. Manos is exactly isn't quite clear. Torgo however it is clear is slow.  I mean, he's a Satyr. But he's also slow, and not just when walking.  He's a drowsy eyed, slow talking hick of a Satyr that manages to make any scene with him just grueling to get through.

#9: Bride of Frankenstein

Before you reach for your pitchfork and circle around my house, let me explain. She's awesome, but she's constantly presented as a monster-icon and she isn't a monster!  Poor woman is just a victim, torn between the selfish jealous battle of egos of two men. Yeah, she's got some scars and was brought back to life but I just don't accept her as a monster, just a victim of circumstance: wrong place, wrong time. She has no malice, she isn't scary,in fact she's downright gorgeous: reanimated or not, I'd date her.
So: not a monster but presented as a monster = bad monster.

#8: Squirm

What a lazy monster! Was this pitched after a weekend fishing trip? "Worms are icky, let's make monster worms!" And somehow this little town has enough worms to fill the volume of 3 equal sized towns. There are more worms than dirt. Granted after seeing this as kids I had a lot of fun for the rest of the summer scaring my sister.. just whisper 'squirm' when eating spaghetti .. great fun.  But creeping out an 8 year old girl is no standard for a good monster.

#7: Giant Gila Monster

There are a lot of monsters like this: just take a regular size small animal and let it wander around a scale model. Just utterly lazy.  It's great dumb fun, but it is dumb.

#6: Eye Creatures

Representing the rubber suit monsters: The Eye Creatures. Wow but that's some bad costuming.  This is one of my favorite MST3K episodes.  The Eye Creatures only come out at night, though half the night scenes are taken in the day.  The zipper down the suit's back is clearly visible, as the crew of the Satellite of Love pointed out "they just didn't care." Worst of all, the Achilles heal of the monster is sodium: Salt.

#5: Signs Aliens

Rather cool aliens in the classic 'grey & too-human' alien tradition.  Alien invasion is always good for a setting. They even walk cool. But their Achilles heel is what makes them a stupid monster: water.
OK, maybe a species from another world could react to water the way we would with acid, but this is a species smart enough to travel vast light years across space, plan and mount an invasion, to a water world when water is deadly to them?  That isn't just a dumb monster they are dumb monsters!
"Say Joe, I hear we're hitting dirt side tomorrow?"
"You know it Bob!  Another world for our Galactic Empire, we'll show those monkeys!  Just watch out for the water."
"Water? Cripes! I didn't hear about water! They have that here?  It's contained I hope?"
"Oh no Bob. In fact, 2/3 of the surface is covered with the deadly stuff.  We'll go down on land, but even still, the stuff falls out of the sky randomly & often.. it also collects as a vapor nearly every morning. The inhabiting race loves the stuff- they spray it on their lawns, drink it, in fact, they're mostly made of the stuff and can even spit it at you several feet."
"I hope we'll be going down in protective suits..."
"And show our inferiority? No sir! Heading out nude! That should show them how brave we are!"

Yeah.  Stupid. So stupid.

#4: Sparkling Vampires

Yep. I got suckered into watching one of these Twilight movies.  Don't remember which one.
Vampires. I like Vampires, how bad could it be? I even enjoyed Buffy.. nope. it can be bad. Terrible in fact.
This takes 98% of the sinister out of vampires and replaces it with sparkle.  I should just stop there, that's plenty to justify this as one of the worst monsters of all time. I could accept vampires that don't burst into flames when exposed to sunlight.. maybe like golum, it's just unbearable, or like nazgul, it makes them weaker, but they avoid it because they fear humans seeing them for their beautiful self?  This is so watered down for pre-teen girl infatuation they might as well be ponies.
They'd probably be better monsters if they were ponies.

#3: Hunky-abbed  Werewolves Who Ignore Conservation of Mass

For all the reason the Twilight Vampires are lame monsters, these are lame monsters.  I'm fine with noble werewolves, that's kind of cool, but boy-toys who's ab ridges compete with brow ridges for most serious brooding ridges is laughable.  The biggest problem though is taking this seriously when the laws of physics are blatantly ignored.  It's a monster.. I get that, so let's assume a human can transform into a wolf. I could accept that,but I can't accept that it happens in the blink of an eye all the while increasing it's mass four-fold.
Look at that wolf!  Talking of ponies... it's as big as a horse!  Where did the added mass come from?? Is it less dense than a man?  Is it hollow like a chocolate Easter bunny? It should be on fire with the friction that rapid transformation took place with the energy released that'd be needed.  If it's all done by 'magic' then that is just lazy.  Incorrect, Lazy, Gratuitous appeal to pre-teen infatuation: lame monster.

#2:  Langoliers

I want my 6 hours of life back. Or however long this mini-series was. This is just beyond dumb.
The pac-man garbage disposal of the waste-bi-product of reality.  Yeah, I don't want it eating me, but it just looks so dumb, and the explanation and proposition was so thin.  The only saving grace was the characters were so annoying you couldn't wait for them to be eaten, so the monsters could double as the hero.

#1: Robot Monster

King of the bad rubber suit monsters!  And a top contender for lazy monster too.
Ingredients: take 1 gorilla suit, add diving helm and TV antenna: presto! Instant monster.

What is it?  I ask because I'm pretty sure the director never bothered to.

This is just awesome bad.  It's so bad I can't help but love it.
It's come full circle and occupies Terrible and Brilliant at the same time.
An explosive paradox of monster.  I couldn't give top place to anyone else.

You can get your own robomonster, Khurusan sells 15mm miniatures of these.. just too fun.


So what are your favorite terrible monsters?

It's Thursday, you don't want to work.. so sit back and enjoy the full Robot Monster movie!


Jeremy [Retro] said...

i agree and with each roll of my mouse downward, i cringed on a few. your reasoning was sound and some the photo was like duh. i still enjoy the bad ones like your number one, it's okay you should be hearing a knocking at your door. as i have sent monkey with fish bowl antenna to your house...

Francis Lee said...

There were a few I hadn't heard of but 3 and 4 were on the money, the SYFY channel shows a lot worse than this lot though.

Finch said...

Robot Monster! Now available in 28mm:

The aliens in Signs did suffer from an Achilles heel the size of Wyoming, didn't they? (They also had issues with pantry doors as I recall.) Still a great movie IMO. M. Night Shyamalan still knew how to direct and Mel Gibson & Joaquin Phoenix had yet to loose their marbles.

Simon Q said...

See Signs was good until the Aliens appeared lol.

As for the mass of the werewolves they're just extra fluffy like there extra sparkly counter parts :D

Anne said...

No, not Torgo! I love him and that's one of my all time favourite bad movies. Poor guy committed suicide three months before the films release. Did you know the little girl who played Debbie is now doing Cons and making public appearances?

That said I agree wholeheartedly with your list!

Warlord Paul said...

Nice, I've enjoyed reading these articles and having a laugh. I have posted a comedy monster list on my secondary blog in response; what do you think? ;)

fireymonkeyboy said...

Can we all agree to just ignore Twilight until it goes away?


Scott B. Lesch said...

I've seen em all but Twilight. My teen daughter wasn't even interested.

Howdy said...

I'm a little concerned that you passed over the Tobonga, in "From Hello It Came" 1957. While Robot Monster should most assuredly be number 11, the tree monster in the above mentioned epic should be number ten.

It walks, does not talk, and kills people who are too slow to get away from it. It is solar powered and when it dies it makes gasoline. How dumb is that?

To wit, speaking of dumb. I just wrote a humorous little ditty called THE MONSTER IN THE HOSEPIPE. It's on a Kindle or computer scream near you.

The action takes place in Cowchip Alabama in 1955. People start getting gobbled up by their garden hoses. If the solution is not found all life on earf will be gobbled down inside of a week.

My book is stuffed to suffocation with every 1950's monster thing possible. All it lacks is the music, and I'm working on that.

I am supposed to be curating articles about monster movies right now so that I can write my own article to compliment my new book. However, after reading your page, I could not resist!!

See you in Cowchip Alabama
Your constant fan,

Laughing Ferret said...

Nice to see people love bad monsters ;)

Jeremy: My door is always open to monkeys & apes, fishbowls or no ;)

Fran: too true! syfy is a treasure trove of bad monsters. They had a movie with sawyer from Lost that was just painful.

Great find Finch! Awesome.. i want it! :) Yeah, I have to question the intelligence of any alien that chooses to go to "Acid planet" and thinks it is a good idea.

Simon: yes.. extra fluffy sweet werewolves. Oh it's too much sugar for my taste.

Anne: I didn't know that about Torgo.. sad. I love this movie and Torgo has his own personal cult following: well deserved. Didn't know that about Debbie either. I wouldn't mind a 'Manos' robe for a halloween costume, but I might prefer the one with Feet that MST3K Joel had.

Thanks Paul, I'll check that out!

FMB: wish that it could be so.

Scott: Wise Daughter!

Howdy Howdy: Well, I can't list or speak to monsters I haven't seen, and I never saw that movie, but from the description I may have to!

Good luck with your book, it sounds fun!

Thantsants said...

As soon as I saw your post title I thought of the classics of MST3K!

What about the dogs with masks tied to their heads.. I mean killer shrews?!

Great list, and I enjoyed the Giant Monster list too. Talking of which do you remember the Godzilla War Game the crew invented ?

Anne said...

The Hubby and I watch MST3K every night and I just saw Manos about 2 weeks ago. The guy who played Targos was wearing those braces backwards and the pain was so bad he drank and took drugs to get the filming. That explains the shaking and that wacky voice. I thought he was trying really hard to develop the character, but no it was due to drugs and alcohol:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Manos became a cult classic because of MST3K.
Ever seen The Creeping Terror? That gets my vote as the worst. A giant piece of carpet that requires people to crawl in its mouth in order to be eaten. Don't watch without help from Mike and the Bots.

Davey said...

Great list - I've really enjoyed this series too.

Sean said...

Another good one LF. I had completely forgotten about the aliens from signs. Maybe they were just asking for directions.

Michael Awdry said...

Quite possibly my favourite list yet. I love the 'Sparkling Vampires' line, might have to borrow that.

Phil Curran said...

The Killer Shrews, the monsters are Alsatians dressed in furry suits. Awful

Matt Harvath said...

LOL! I just saw the Giant Gila Monster on TV Friday night. Only watched about 10 minutes of it cuz it was so bad. The Robot Monster looks like a very cheap Halloween Costume...As a matter of fact, I think I just figured out my costume for this year

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