Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daily Monsterism #6

The Spirit
"The Care Bears Movie" (1987)

Ever notice how all these kids' movies from the Eighties have these genuinely disturbing villains? I remember this one used to freak me out substantially when I was little. Not enough to make me run screaming from the room or cover my eyes, but enough to give me bad dreams. I think it might have something to do with the fact that it's a freaky, bald lady's head in a book, and that might've somehow stirred up my fear of mannequins when I was little (I used to freak out in "Monkey" whenever a demon revealed itself as being a person with a featureless face, and whenever I saw featureless mannequins, they made me think of that, and in turn, whenever I saw a standard mannequin I'd think of those, and the cycle of terror began all over again).

Anyway, it's from the Care Bears Movie. Come to think of it, the villain in the sequel was pretty scary, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daily Monsterism #5

The Djinn

The Wishmaster is a fucking awful movie. Really, really bad. Pretty much everything about it — the acting, the violence and gore, the TV-standard synth score, and the shonky sets — is all so terrible it makes you cringe. The one almost saving grace of this film is Andrew Divoff’s performance as the titular genie. Makes me think that they spent all this time and money in designing and constructing the Wishmaster himself and then realised they pretty much exhausted the budget and had to do everything else on the cheap.

McFarlane Toys made a really decent stat-- I mean, figure of the Djinn in their Movie Maniacs line, right before that started to slide into mediocrity.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Monsterism #4

King Kong
"King Kong" 1976

This was one of my favorite movies growing up.

The 1970’s remake of King Kong is, in retrospect, a painfully average movie buy today's standards, but it did hit a number of really good notes. Charles Grodin as Fred Wilson (the uninspired and bland renaming of Carl Denham) is gold, as is Jeff Bridges in one of his earliest roles, and the scenes involving the natives are actually pretty creepy. John Barry’s score is fantastic, too, although Kong himself, while very impressive thirty odd years ago and certainly very impressive during my early childhood, leaves a lot to be desired. He still does look rather cool in a number of sequences today, but you look at it and can tell straight away that it’s a dude in a big monkey suit.

Daily Monsterism #3

The Arachnid
"The Mist" 2007

Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Mist” seems to cop a huge amount of hate from people. Personally, I can’t understand why. All the performances are amazingly solid (especially Tom Jane), it’s genuinely suspenseful, dramatic and horrific, and the monsters look fantastic… in spite of some varying CGI quality…

What I love about “The Mist” and the creatures in it is the escalation. You start off with very little and as the film goes on, the monsters get bigger and bigger, but the film still manages to do what Alien did so well in that it reveals what it needs to and then lets your mind do the rest (in most cases anyway). You’re only ever told as much as the characters in the story — who you can identify with pretty quickly — which I believe gives this film the credibility it needs to to make you accept what’s going on in this film without really questioning it.

Shown above is one of the larger creatures from the film (far from the largest though), and this is all you see of it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daily Monsterism #2

"The Fly" (1986)

From one of (if not) Cronenberg’s best films, the Brundlefly is an amazing creature to behold; shockingly repulsive but such a fantastically designed creature that it’s impossible to look away from.

This drastic reimagining of the original 1958 movie “The Fly” chronicles the tragic descent of brilliant young scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) as his body undergoes a slow and horrific metamorphosis following an experiment in human teleportation.

The film manages to perfectly balance the drama and reality of the situation with the outlandish and horrific nature of what is going on, which is something Cronenberg has always been a master of. It's an interesting examination of how people in relationships can change (for whatever reason; drug addiction, physical impairments, psychological instability, etc.) and how that affects the relationship itself, and also how it affects those closest to the person at the center of it all. Of course, what happens in the film is an EXTREME case, but the parrallels are still there.

It's also these sorts of horror films -- where normal people in a very believable world are put in extreme situations without the gimicks of set-piece deaths or undying hockey mask killers -- that I dig the most.

Daily Monsterism #1

The Tyrannosaurus

"Jurassic Park" (1993)

Okay. So. I figured I’d give this another solid go. I'm going to bang this out until it's up to where I left off on the tumblr account (another social networking/media outlet fad I neglected rather quickly). The basic gist is that this is a place for me to express my love for monster movies, or monsters of movies, or movies involving monsters in one way or another. I may even choose to pick out some monsters from comics, games or some other visual medium that allows for cool-awesome monsterage.

Anyway, we’re going to start with the best — the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park. This is (in my opinion) the most impressive monster ever to grace the silverscreen. You see it and you believe there’s a Tyrannosaurus there. Even when you know how it’s done, you forget it at soon as you see it in motion again and get totally reabsorbed by the sheer awesomeness of it all.