Sharky’s Top 10 Movie Monsters
Halloween is just around the corner, and I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than with some scary movie monsters. Before writing this post, I compiled a list of monsters and narrowed them down to a Top 10, which wasn’t easy. I’m sure some of you won’t agree with my choices, so feel free to promote your favorites in the comments. You’ll also have a chance to to win some free stuff, so be sure to stick around until the end. But first, let’s go over my favorite monsters, starting from the top.
10 | The Octalus - Deep Rising (1998)
Deep Rising will instantly get that.The Octalus just barely makes it into my top ten favorite movie monsters. If it hadn’t, then I would have made it a top eleven list because I loved the twist at towards the end. This monster is believed to be inspired by Cthulhu, but also has attributes that make me think of the freakishly cool bobbit worm (Eunice Aphroditois) for its wormlike features and mouth. I found a video (posted below) on YouTube that takes an entertaining scorecard approach to showing this worm in action. The Octalus, of course, is a much deadlier and effective hunter than this poor creature trying to catch its dinner. The worm in the video is small, but they do grow to about four feet in length. Imagine one of these creatures about three times that size . . . and one that isn’t confined to the sea. And there you have the Octalus, or at least part of it.
9 | The Creeper - Jeepers Creepers (2001)
8 | The Kathoga - The Relic (1997)
The Relic at the theater in 1997 at a time I was craving a good horror movie that actually had a terrifying monster in it. And boy did it deliver! The Kathoga is big and ugly, fast and ruthless, and has a special need and craving for the human hypothalamus. Heads roll in this movie. The Relic also mixes in some light humor, but it is still a serious horror flick with a vicious monster. What I like best about the Kathoga is its DNA structure, combining the strengths of different species to make it a formidable killing machine. This monster gave me chills when I saw it in the theater, and while some critics didn’t like it, The Relic will always be a top contender as a favorite in my horror collection. The movie is based on the novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, which I plan to read this Halloween season.
7 | Graboids - Tremors (1990)
Tremors, but all humor aside, the graboids (the name invented by the late Walter Chang—and we have a moment of silence) aren’t anything to laugh at. These subterranean giant worms may be blind, but they can sense movement on the ground from a long distance. And don’t think you’re safe if you hide inside a building because they’ll just bust through the floor and grab you when you make too much noise. Ask Mr. Chang about that. Oh, wait, you can’t. He’s dead. So, if you can’t hide indoors, what’s your next defense? Maybe hiding in your car will protect you from its grasp. Nope, it’ll just pull the whole damn vehicle underground. Oh, I know! Get to higher ground, specifically off the ground! That’s the next logical defense, right? Climb up a telephone pole or on top of a building and wait for it to eventually grow tired of messing with you and just search for some other poor unsuspecting bastard to eat. Buzz! Wrong! These are extremely patient creatures. You’ll die of starvation and dehydration before it leaves, just waiting for you to think you’ve waited long enough. Surely, after several hours—or even a few days—it would have left, right? Right? Negative. As soon as you make the slightest noise when you hit the ground, it’ll grab you, and pull you under. That alone makes the graboid worthy of making my top ten list of favorite horror movie monsters. If you encounter one, you’ll probably die whether it eats you or not.
6 | The Blob – The Blob (1958/1988)
The Blob for the cover art, but let’s be honest, while it’s a classic, the 1988 version was a much more satisfying movie monster. Plus, I loved the practical effects used in some of the kill scenes. The blob starts off as a small amoeba-like creature that arrives on Earth in a meteor. A poor, curious old man investigates and gets a little too close. The blob attaches itself to his hand and eventually eats him by absorbing him into its gelatinous body. It devours every living thing in its path and grows at an alarm rate, eventually into a giant, formidable monster. The blob in the 80s version is also fast, compared to the 50s version. But it does have a weakness . . . it cannot stand the cold. You can freeze it, but according to both versions of the movie, you cannot kill it.
There’s a remake coming in 2016, starring Samuel L. Jackson, which I’m excited about. I’m normally a bit tired of remakes, but this one I’m looking forward to because the director (Simon West) has promised to give us a bit of backstory. We’ll see if that works out or not, but I personally wouldn’t mind finding out more about its origin. I’m also curious if the new movie will stick to the original freezing strategy to defeat the blob or come up with something new that may actually kill it. We’ll find out next year, likely around October.
5 | Zombies - Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The Walking Dead fan, so it would be a sin to not discuss this undead creature. So, why didn’t I use The Walking Dead for the box art? I was going to, but this is a movie monster list, so AMC’s top-rated TV series doesn’t qualify. Okay, then why the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead and not George A. Romero’s original classic Night of the Living Dead, which should be the logical choice. Right? To be honest, I was going to, because it is a classic that I love. However, I went for Romero’s zombies in his 2004 apocalypse survival film for a couple of reasons.
First of all, the opening sequence was a masterpiece. It was intense and fast-paced. We see a little girl stroll into her parent’s bedroom. She has a disfigured mouth, and we see part of her exposed jaw. Naturally, this concerns her parents and Dad checks on her. She needs to go to the—she bites into his neck, and then he turns into a zombie within a minute and turns on his wife. We’re talking a damn fast incubation period, compared to The Walking Dead. These zombies aren’t the moaning, slow-moving undead creatures we see in Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead, we see zombies with extreme dexterity and agility. Compare that to those in The Walking Dead, where hordes of zombies (and living people) are the real threat. If you see two or three zombies (walkers), you could probably take them out or just run away. They’re too slow, so you’ll be fine. Not in Dawn of the Dead, these zombies will run after you with the speed of an Olympic athlete that doesn’t run out of breath (because, well, it’s dead). We get that demonstration in the opening scene of the movie when Dad chases after Mom as she’s speeding away in her car and continue to see this type of zombie throughout. There is some good news though.
(***SPOILER ALERT*** if you haven’t seen The Walking Dead)
The good news is compared to the zombies in The Walking Dead, in Romero’s recent Dawn of the Dead movie, a person only turns if a zombie bites him. In The Walking Dead, the only prerequisite for turning into a zombie is simply to die. That’s it. You die, you turn. We still don’t know why, unless that is explained in the comics, which I haven’t read. Trauma to the brain still kills all zombies though. At least we have that.
4 | Xenomorph - Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott used atmosphere in such a masterful way that made the alien the scariest when it wasn’t on screen. It was not knowing where it was hiding or when it was going to strike next that scared me the most. The alien itself also has a fascinating design. It has a small mouth that shoots out from within its primary mouth that can penetrate right through a human skull by the sheer power of its strike. It also has acid for blood, which is a defense mechanism that makes shooting it in close proximity a very bad idea. The hissing and distinct high-pitched shriek the alien makes is also terrifying when you experience it for the first time, particularly back when it was originally released. Ridley Scott’s xenomorph made quite an impression back in 1979, which has earned it the No. 4 spot on my list and led to a very successful franchise.
3 | Fluffy the Beast from “The Crate” - Creepshow (1982)
Personally, I think Fluffy is just a poor, misunderstood creature. I don’t think he means to be evil. He just wants to play and gets a little too rough sometimes. It’s hard to give little playful love bites when you have teeth like that. And just listen to those cute little noises he makes when locked up in the crate. He’s just screaming for attention. Or maybe he’s just really pissed off after a group of Arctic explores stuck him in a crate where he’s been cooped up since 1834. Who could blame him?
2 | The Thing - The Thing (1982)
The Thing was very hard to place. I’ll probably get chastised for not giving this movie monster the top honors, but trust me, it was a very difficult choice to move it into the runner-up spot. The thing is one of the most perfect monsters because of its ability to shapeshift and mimic any living thing it comes in contact with. Unless you catch it in the act of shapeshifting, it is nearly impossible to know if the person standing next to you is human or actually an alien lifeform pretending to be human. It would look like him, sound like him, and even think like him. Everything about the human-thing would fool you. It’s the worst case of body snatching you could think of.
1 | Werewolf - An American Werewolf in London (1981)
An American Werewolf in London is categorized as a horror-comedy, but I think that is very misleading because while it does have moments of comedy in it, it is a serious horror film with plenty of scares. And the werewolf transformation sequence was done very well with practical effects. Remember, this was 1981, so no fancy computer-generated imagery (CGI) that we see in every movie nowadays. That isn’t to say that CGI doesn’t enhance movie making today, but good old-fashioned special effects (especially in horror) is what I like the most. I prefer that over the best use of CGI any day.
In An American Werewolf in London, the werewolf isn’t a hairy guy with big teeth and claws running around on two feet with ripped clothing. This beast is a massive wolf, a killing machine, with arguably the most terrifying howl in any werewolf movie to date, and that is why this werewolf deserves to be at the No. 1 spot in Sharky’s Top 10 Movie Monsters. It still gives me chills when I hear it.
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Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!
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Veteran homicide detective Aaron Sanders thought he’d seen it all, but nothing could have prepared the seasoned detective for the mutilated remains of a kid’s parents or the equally vicious deaths of three boys at another crime scene. As Aaron works to solve the cases and protect his only witness, an orphaned child, he learns of an ancient curse that leaves him questioning all he’s ever believed. Now, to save himself and the child, Aaron must confront his own inner demons, and some he never knew existed. But if he does, will he make it out alive?
Devil’s Nightmare is an occult suspense horror novel by Robert Pruneda, who shakes readers with his visually graphic scenes, supernatural twists, and disturbing settings in this first installment of the Devil’s Nightmare series.