Advertisements

Category Archives: Movie Monsters

Monster Gallery: Godzilla (1954)

Gojira

The idea of Godzilla was first conceived by producer of the film Tomoyuki Tanaka in early 1954, one year after the release of The Beast from 20.000 Fathoms. The film had not yet opened in Japan, but Tanaka was at the very least familiar with its story — and the concept of a giant monster linked with nuclear weaponry resonated with him. The core idea of the project was thus that of a creature that represented a physical manifestation of the atomic bomb — a ghost of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Tanaka recalled in retrospect: “the theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the bomb. Mankind had created the bomb, and now nature was going to take revenge on mankind.”

Read the rest of this entry

Scum of the Universe — Men in Black, the Bug

“And what, we don’t like bugs?”
“Bugs thrive on carnage, tiger. They consume, infest, destroy, live off the death and destruction of other species.”
“You were stung as a child, weren’t you?”
“Imagine a giant cockroach, with unlimited strength, a massive inferiority complex, and a real short temper, is tear-assing around Manhattan Island in a brand-new Edgar suit. That sound like fun?”

Read the rest of this entry

Scum of the Universe – Men in Black, Part 3

Rosenberg is revealed to be a mechanical human disguise that houses a small, green humanoid alien — dubbed ‘Chucky’ or ‘Mr. Gentle’ by the crew — designed directly after classic depictions of grey aliens with large eyes and cranium.

Read the rest of this entry

Scum of the Universe – Men in Black, Part 2

It was during production that both Sonnenfeld and the producers realized that the MIB headquarters looked empty — as in they lacked a consistent alien presence. As originally envisioned, the headquarters had to represent a 60s airport or way station, and yet the footage shot up to that point only displayed few alien characters. The producers thus decided to introduce more exotic creatures into the scene — in the style of the iconic Star Wars cantina sequence — and commissioned additional creature effects.

Read the rest of this entry

Scum of the Universe – Men In Black, Part 1

Bringing to life the fair of the bizarre that would have to be at display in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black was a long process that involved a wide diversity of artists. Before Rick Baker’s Cinovation Studio became attached to the project, various concept artists and illustrators had begun devising creature designs based on Ed Solomon’s script — which also changed its plot and story beats as production progressed. Artists involved in this early phase included Yasushi Nirasawa and Ricardo Delgado, as well as Carlos Huante — who would eventually have the most influence on the design and aesthetic of the aliens. The Men in Black creatures would go on to become characterized by their whimsical, bizarre aesthetic combined with organic, life-like texture.

Read the rest of this entry

The Thing From Another World – Part 3

Watchin’ Norris in there gave me the idea that… maybe every part of him was a whole, every little piece was an individual animal with a built-in desire to protect its own life. Ya see, when a man bleeds, it’s just tissue; but blood from one of you Things won’t obey when it’s attacked. It’ll try and survive… crawl away from a hot needle, say.

Before Palmer’s gruesome transformation, Carpenter and Cundey discussed about giving the audience subtle hints on who might be the Thing during the centerpiece of the film — the blood test scene — and eventually settled upon a subtle eye gleam. “We were looking for some kind of a subtle way, to say which one of these [men] might be human,” Cundey revealed. “You’ll notice there’s always an eye light, we call it, a little gleam in the eye of the actor. It gives life.” Palmer is devoid of the ‘eye-gleam’ moments before the transformation. “There is no eye light [on Palmer’s eyes]. Let’s make it look subtle like he’s different and the audience won’t know until later. So he has dead eyes.”

Read the rest of this entry

The Thing From Another World – Part 2

The Thing is first seen imitating a Swedish Norwegian dog. The part was played by a trained animal actor — a half wolf, half Alaskan malamute dog named Jed, trained by his owner Clint Rowe. He performed in most sequences with the exception of the beginning chase scene, where another dog, painted to be indistinguishable from Jed, was filmed.

Read the rest of this entry

The Thing From Another World – Part 1

Is that a man in there or something?

“I first became aware of a movie called The Thing when I saw the original film,” said John Carpenter. “It was 1952 and I’d been about four or five years old. I think I saw it on a re-release. It was one of those films that, as you watch it, it was so frightening that my popcorn went flying out of my hands. When they’re up to the doorway and they had this Geiger counter — they open the door and he’s right there — I went nuts. Crazy. Then I read the short story in high school and I realized it was a lot different from the movie. What they’d done in the first film was make the James Arness monster more like a Frankenstein-type of creature. Yes, it was a kind of vegetable that could reproduce various lifeforms but he wasn’t the imitator; the creature that could imitate any lifeform from the original story. The John W. Campbell story Who Goes There? was basically Ten Little Indians with a creature in their midst; and it’s imitating either one or all of us; who’s human and who isn’t? That kind of idea fascinated me. We went in a sense back to that idea with the Bill Lancaster screenplay.”

Read the rest of this entry

Subterranean Terror — Tremors 5: Bloodlines

Tremors 5 is the first film in the series not to involve in its production the original Tremors creators — S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock. In an official press, they said that “for all of us at Stampede, this is a bittersweet development in our long connection with the franchise, since we, the creators, are not involved.” As early as 2004 — shortly after the release of Tremors 4 — the writers had developed a script for another Tremors sequel; the story, set in Australia, would have revealed the Assblaster egg-laying process. In 2012, Wilson and Maddock attempted to negotiate with Universal to produce an independent theatrical film, but the studio refused the offer — preferring to continue the series with more straight-to-video films.

Read the rest of this entry