10 Worst Movie Monsters
There is something to be said for a great movie monster. They can terrify and live in the imagination for a long time, and you really wonder how the characters on the screen are going to come out of this alive, or even if they are going to come out of this at all. They can be large or small or man-sized; they can be based on authentic science, come from legend, or be the result of pure imagination. And when seen on the screen they are a triumph of special effects, make-up, computer technology or a combination thereof. And a master director can add a little something to make it all the worse.
These are not those monsters.
Now, this list could have been freakin’ huge, but I had to draw a line somewhere. The monster has to look ridiculous, and be rendered ridiculously. The monster must be so stupid that no matter how good the make-up or special effects, nothing could help. So a monster like the alligator man in The Alligator People, or the trolls in Trolls, or even the terror that creeps in The Creeping Terror could actually have been made watchable by some-one who knew what they were doing. I also decided against including giant versions of normal animals. Night Of The Lepus could be scary, except that rabbits are so cute and fuzzy you want to hug them as they ran around toy cars, not scream in terror and run away. And normal animals – like those killer frogs, lizards, spiders, alligators in the film Frogs – are not really monsters so much as nature gone wild.
These monsters are stupid in every sense of the word.
I own all of these movies. I am a sad, old man.
Twonky (from The Twonky, 1953)
A sentient television set. I don’t think I need to go any further. A 1950s TV set on legs and things that can walk, shoot laser beams and kill people and tries to take over a man’s life and the film is appallingly written and the monster is NOT scary. Hell, wait 60 years and various screens have enslaved people completely. No lasers needed.
Ro-Man (Robot Monster, 1953)
It would be unfair to call this the worst movie of all time in a universe where Hulk Hogan makes films. (I collect and adore bad films, but Mr Hogan has appeared in the film I consider the very worst ever bar none.) But, damn, this film is terrible. Non-acting children, a cast of 7, a floating space platform where you can see the hand holding the stick (I am not joking – I saw it in a cinema and when that hand appeared the projectionist paused the film), and… The monster. Take a gorilla costume. Put it on a tubby man. Plonk an old-fashioned deep-sea diving helmet on his head. Attack some wire “antennas”. Have him surrounded by bubbles. Scary!
It From Venus (It Conquered The World, 1956)
It has been said that because Venus has a higher gravity than Earth, it makes sense that its inhabitants would be short and squat. But would that make them look like carrots with a good dental plan? Really? With, to quote Mystery Science Theatre 3000, its oven mitt hench-bats, this has to be the least intimidating alien ever.
Extra-Terrestrial Turkey Puppet Monster (The Giant Claw, 1957)
This is a bird from outer space that is huge (though its size tends to change depending on the model it is eating), portrayed by the ugliest bird puppet ever. You ever see a film done by primary school kids that is really good for primary school kids where they use a puppet as a minster attacking their Lego town? Well, keep watching that because it craps on this dreck.
Creature From The Haunted Sea (Creature From The Haunted Sea, 1961)
What the…? I think it’s the eyes. Tennis balls with ping pong balls attached, neither staring in the same direction. Or maybe it’s the body. Covered in strips of something. A non-moving mouth. A stupid monster. The acting is… there. The script isn’t. Allegedly this is a comedy-horror film. Allegedly. This is not so much a bad film as a boring film. With a stupid monster.
Mutated Dead Sailors (The Horror Of Party Beach, 1964)
Fast-acting radiation dumped into the sea turns skeletons into bug-eyed things constantly eating hot dogs. Just stupid. And the character studies we see before people get killed are painful. And the music! This was billed as the first rock’n’roll horror movie. Most critics deride the music as being as terrible as the monsters. I disagree. I have been trying to find the soundtrack for 25 years. I think it’s cool in a kitschy way. Okay, it’s terrible, but I need it in my collection! The monsters? Allergic to sodium. As found in salt. As in the salt in the water they come from. Okay, maybe pure sodium, but still… bleh.
Hedorah (Godzilla vs The Smog Monster, 1971)
Oh, Godzilla! What happened to you in the 1960s and 70s? You used to be such an amazing bad guy, destroying various Japanese cities and fighting other huge creatures and breathing your fire/ radiation/ whatever they claim it is this month. Then you became more of a bot scout than Superman and had to fight bad guy monsters. And few were as stupid as the smog monster, born of pollution, able to change shape as the story needs it to, looking like a giant melting candle from a black mass. Stupid.
Megalon (Godzilla vs Megalon, 1973)
There is one thing that makes this opponent of Godzilla so stupid – it has stupid arms! Sorry, but what sort of evolutionary force would have created a creature that had those? Now, this film is looked at fondly, but… it’s got size changing robot Jet Jaguar, it’s got Megalon with his stupid arms, and it’s got the Godzilla drop-kick. Fans will know what I’m talking about. Back to Megalon. How does it pick things up? How does it hold its lunch? How does it self… well, you get the idea. Godzilla deserved better. Ghidorah this guy ain’t.
The Gingerdead Man (The Gingerdead Man, 2005)
Bake the ashes of a dead psycho into your cookie mixture. Why not? Because, as any student of terrible movies will tell you, you will create an evil, unstoppable psych-monster. Who looks like a cookie. A gingerbread man with attitude. Sorry, but surely there would be one sure way to stop it – eat the damn thing! Stupid concept poorly delivered. Made worse by a script that was obviously written on a bet or a dare. It was supposed to be a comedy-horror. Hey – it failed on two counts!
Whalewolf (Sharktopus vs Whalewolf, 2015)
Part killer whale, part wolf. Look, Sharktopus – half shark, half octopus, all stupid – is bad enough, but its opponents! Pteracuda – a winged enormous barracuda – was silly enough, but just acceptable, but the whalewolf… Hang on, I hear you ask; why was a whalewolf sillier than a pteracuda? Did I forget to mention it was a were-whalewolf? Yep. A man unwittingly is turned into this creature. Because… voodoo. Nope, not kidding. And the CGI is laughable. Moreso than usual for this sort of film. I own it. I love it. I need a fourth Sharktopus film, dammit!
(Cheat – this was a TV movie, a SyFy original. Still a film, though!)
Okay, there you go – 10 stupid movie monsters. So, no matter what you think of your work as a creative artist, just remember – all of these made it to the screen!