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Category Archives: Movie Monsters

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.

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Hunter — Predator

“A monster from another planet that kills for sport.” This is the brief, poignant description of the Predator given by producer Joel Silver in a promotional interview. Shortly after the release of Rocky IV, a joke made its way in Hollywood claiming that, since Rocky had run out of Earthly opponents to fight, the next one should come from another planet. Said joke unwittingly inspired the Thomas brothers — Jim and John — to write their first script: Hunter, later retitled Predator. “We had an idea about doing a story about a brotherhood of hunters who came from another planet to hunt all kinds of things,” Jim said, “but we realized that wouldn’t work very well, so we picked one hunter who was going to hunt the most dangerous species — which had to be man, and the most dangerous man was a combat soldier.” The first-time writers, devoid of agents, slipped the script under the door of Fox executive Michael Levy – who shared it with John Davis and Joel Silver, the future producers of the film.

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The Dragon at Gringotts

A gigantic dragon was tethered to the ground in front of them, barring access to four or five of the deepest vaults in the place. The beast’s scales had turned pale and flaky during its long incarceration under the ground, its eyes were milkily pink; both rear legs bore heavy cuffs from which chains led to enormous pegs driven deep into the rocky floor. Its great spiked wings, folded close to its body, would have filled the chamber if it spread them, and when it turned its ugly head toward them, it roared with a noise that made the rock tremble, opened its mouth, and spat a jet of fire that sent them running back up the passageway.

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Thestrals

The coaches were no longer horseless. There were creatures standing between the carriage shafts. If he had had to give them a name, he supposed he would have called them horses, though there was something reptilian about them, too. They were completely fleshless, their black coats clinging to their skeletons, of which every bone was visible. Their heads were dragonish, and their pupil-less eyes white and staring. Wings sprouted from each wither – vast, black leathery wings that looked as though they ought to belong to giant bats. Standing still and quiet in the gathering gloom, the creatures looked eerie and sinister.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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The Lake Folk

A cluster of crude stone dwellings stained with algae loomed suddenly out of the gloom on all sides. Here and there at the dark windows, Harry saw faces… faces that bore no resemblance at all to the painting of the mermaid in the prefects’ bathroom…

The merpeople had grayish skin and long, wild, dark green hair. Their eyes were yellow, as were their broken teeth, and they wore thick ropes of pebbles around their necks. They leered at Harry as he swam past; one or two of them emerged from their caves to watch him better, their powerful, silver fish tails beating the water, spears clutched in their hands.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Lupin

There was a terrible snarling noise. Lupin’s head was lengthening. So was his body. His shoulders were hunching. Hair was sprouting visibly on his face and hands, which were curling into clawed paws.

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Buckbeak

Trotting towards them were a dozen of the most bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen.

They had the bodies, hind legs and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-coloured beaks and large, brilliantly orange eyes. The talons on their front legs were half a foot long and deadly-looking. Each of the beasts had a thick leather collar around its neck, which was attached to a long chain, and the ends of all of these were held in the vast hands of Hagrid, who came jogging into the paddock behind the creatures.

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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The Dementors

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Standing in the doorway, illuminated by the shivering flames in Lupin’s hand, was a cloaked figure that towered to the ceiling. Its face was completely hidden beneath its hood. Harry’s eyes darted downward, and what he saw made his stomach contract. There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water…

But it was visible only for a split second. As though the creature beneath the cloak sensed Harry’s gaze, the hand was suddenly with-drawn into the folds of its black cloak.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Aragog

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From the middle of the misty domed web, a spider the size of a small elephant emerged, very slowly. There was grey in the black of his body and legs, and each of the eyes on his ugly, pincered head was milky white. He was blind.

‘What is it?’ he said, clicking his pincers rapidly.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Fawkes

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A crimson bird the size of a swan had appeared, piping its weird music to the vaulted ceiling. It had a glittering golden tail as long as a peacock’s and gleaming golden talons, which were gripping a ragged bundle.

A second later, the bird was flying straight at Harry. It dropped the ragged thing it was carrying at his feet, then landed heavily on his shoulder. As it folded its great wings, Harry looked up and saw it had a long, sharp golden beak and beady black eyes.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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