Since it’s Halloween and we are celebrating the return of Dr. Paul Bearer II on Cw44 this Sunday from 12pm-6pm, I wanted to take a look at the monsters from the big screen that haunt our dreams and keep up at night. I’m looking for the four monsters that have made their pop culture impact on society making them instantly recognizable. Don’t expect a list of all the usual suspects like Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein & the Mummy on this list. I’m the Anti-Critic and it’s time to recognize a new school of monsters. None of these selections can be just a regular human. I’m looking for aliens, mutants or anything that falls under the realm of the supernatural. Sorry Leatherface, Michael Myers and Hannibal Lecter. You are disqualified. Also were only looking for theatrical releases so Pennywise the Clown is out, but King’s other rabies infected monster Cujo would most definitely qualify just like my first entry for ‘The 4: Movie Monsters’.
Bruce the Great White Shark from Jaws
Even though the sharks from the Jaws franchise didn’t have names, fans have nicknamed the shark from the original “Bruce”. This was the name given to the troublesome mechanical shark that was used in the movie (Fun fact Spielberg named Bruce after his lawyer). Bruce may just be a fish, but he’s a monster shark that single-handedly destroyed the beach tourism industry in the mid to late 1970s. Vacationers were literally afraid to go in the water. People were terrified of this monster shark that fed upon the citizens in the small New England town of Amity Island. For Spielberg’s sake the shark had its own theme music that still sends chills down swimmers spines wondering what’s just under their feet in the ocean. The rest of the sequels are bad for the most part, but the fact that Jaws created the summer blockbuster with its absolute terror and fear earns Bruce the shark a place on this list.
Xenomorph from the Alien franchise
In space, no one can hear you scream, but the Xenomorph from the Alien franchise has created numerous scares since it’s creation in 1979 by Director Sir Ridley Scott. Instead of writing about how groundbreaking and brilliant Scott’s Sci-Fi tense thriller is, let’s just state the Alien’s terrifying bio. A creature that starts out as a face hugger that attaches to its victims face. The alien organism then impregnates a Xenomorph embryo into the victim’s chest to incubate. When ready to take on the world, the Xenomorph bursts from the victim’s chest and proceeds to kill anything in its path. Did I also mention it’s strong, has acid for blood and a retractable jaw meant for puncturing skulls. That is one scary E.T. that still has life on the big screen to this day. The Xenomorph is also seen as a plague with the creatures just spawning until they take over the planet they are on. It’s the most basic life form that has adapted for universal survival. The Xenomorph solidified itself as one of the top alien monsters over creatures including the Predator, Rancor and one of my personal favorites John Carpenter’s The Thing with its box office and cultural success that is still present to this day.
Sorry King Kong. All the cool things come from Japan including the King of the Monsters Godzilla. Here’s the one addition to this list that is from the old school and could take out every monster on this list. He can be over 400 feet tall, breathes radioactive fire and can knock down a skyscraper with a swoop of his tale. He can be the hero and the villain. The original 1954 Godzilla was conceived as a metaphoric monster to the Japanese people who had lived through two nuclear bomb drops. The mutated reptile rose from the sea laid waste to Tokyo and started giant monster movie craze in the 50s and 60s. Over the years the franchise got cheesy with Godzilla as the hero, but he was still beloved taking out other giant beasts who attacked the good people of Japan. Even the terrible Ferris Bueller Godzilla remake from 1998 still grossed over $375 millions dollars worldwide. Godzilla just got the remake treatment again to more critical and box office success with Godzilla once again taking on the role as protector of mankind taking out a few mutated Palmetto bugs and restoring balance. There will be more Godzilla movies to come with Rodan and Mothra tapped to join in on the destruction. Godzilla is without a doubt a huge symbol in pop culture who is never going extinct.
Gozer the Gozerian A.K.A. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters
There was no way I wasn’t going to put the monster at the center of the biggest high risk/high reward scene in the history of movies on this list. The shape shifting Sumerian God, Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters has taken many forms, including a Torb, a Sloar and a female lead singer of an 80’s punk band that is a gymnast, but the most recognizable form is Mr. Stay Puft. Although Ray thought Mr. Stay Puft was harmless and could never hurt anyone, the Traveler appears as 112.5 foot tall Marshmallow Man Sailor who is hell-bent on destroying New York City and the Ghostbusters. Nice thinking, Ray. I know it may seem goofy adding Mr. Stay Puft to this list, but Ghostbusters is still popular 30 years after it’s release and Mr. Stay Puft is the most visible figure in the world of Ghostbusters. I could have added Freddy Kreuger, the Gremlins or Pinhead to represent the spirit world on this list, but I thought it would be better to enrage everyone with my pick of Mr. Stay Puft. My list, my rules!