Category Archives: Movie Monsters
In the coldest regions of space, the monstrous entities Ogdru Jahad — the seven gods of chaos — slumber in their crystal prison, waiting to reclaim Earth… and burn the heavens.
Des Vermis Mysteriis, page 87
Abraham Sapien returned in Hellboy: The Golden Army. Jones reprised the role, and the creature design was largely kept the same, although lighter color tones and different schemes were used for certain areas of the skin. Although the design was the same, the much larger onscreen presence throughout the film dictated a different approach to the make-up process.
The conspicuous presence of spiders in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth imaginarium is rooted in Arachnophobia, an irrational fear Tolkien’s son, Michael, was affected by. In the universe of Arda, the spiders were originally spawned by a single being — Ungoliant, a massive demonic entity which entered Middle Earth before the First Age, perhaps one of the Maia corrupted by Melkor. The Sindarin (Elvish) word for spider is, in fact, ‘ungol’. The creature gave birth to innumerable progeny, among which was Shelob, “the last child of Ungoliant.”
Among the vast array of creature effects that Entertainment Effects Group had to arrange for Ghostbusters, a rather large role had to be filled by the Terror Dogs: Gozer the Gozerian’s loyal servants, whose purpose is to open the portal that allows the travelling entity to set foot on a new world to conquer.
In the last part of the Monstrous Hundred, here’s a carousel of films from the 2000s onwards!
Pitch Black (2000)
This film packs a clever, outside-the-box narrative with an equally interesting subversive man as its main character, pitting him and an unlikely crew against swarms of truly outlandish alien creatures that are neither hammerhead sharks, nor bats, nor birds of prey.
The Monstrous Hundred continues with the 90s, a turning point in effects-making with the advent of CGI.
Kicking off the 90s roster of creature features on a fabulous note, Tremors is one of the most brilliant, all-around engaging monster movies of all time. From the witty dialogue penned by S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, to the colourful performances of the cast, to the absolutely brilliant creature designs and effects by none other than the team at Amalgamated Dynamics in their first solo outing, Tremors never once gets boring. A real classic.
We continue with the second part of the Monstrous Hundred. Now we dive in he 70s and the glorious 80s, which saw a renaissance of practical effects.
King Kong (1976)
Probably the weakest of all Kong films (not including the abhorrent Skull Island), and one with a remarkably extended and multi-limbed controversy behind it. Regardless, this 70s colossal doesn’t fail in portraying the lonely and tragic nature of its main character, whose death is particularly well-orchestrated and effective.
Back in 2002, I was a small kid watching Free Willie on a local channel. During an ad intermission, a trailer was broadcast for what was coming afterwards. It didn’t have a hard time selling it to my young eyes — “monsters from beneath the Earth! Now they’re back, badder and hungrier!” were all the words I needed to hear. The film was Tremors 2: Aftershocks and it may very well be the reason Monster Legacy has been and continues to be a thing since 2011.
“Three years ago, when I was here for King Kong,” humbly said Carlo Rambaldi at the 1980 Academy Awards, “I don’t know English, and I said ‘Thank you’. Now I learn very well English, and I say, ‘Thank you very much!'”. Carlo Rambaldi (September 15, 1925 – August 10, 2012) was an Italian special effects artist, and in many ways, a pioneer of the craft. In his 30-year-long career, Rambaldi collaborated on a great many films, some more well-known and others more obscure, with directors such as Mario Bava, Federico Fellini, Dario Argento, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg.
It is all the same to me, my heart is filled with dust and sand.
As with many other key characters of Hellboy II, the Angel of Death was first envisioned by Guillermo Del Toro as a notebook sketch. From there, the character went through different iterations at the hands of concept artists like Wayne Barlowe, and ended up being art-directed by Norman Cabrera at Spectral Motion.