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Special: Monster Legacy’s Monstrous Hundred – Part 3

The Monstrous Hundred continues with the 90s, a turning point in effects-making with the advent of CGI.

Tremors (1990)
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.

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Monster Gallery: Mimic (1997)

Exclusive: TyRuben Ellingson’s Mimic Concept Art!

Early study of the Mimic face-mask.

On the 4th of January, I received a mail from TyRuben Ellingson, the main creature designer for Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic. He showed to me two concept art pieces he had drawn for the project back in 1996; with further correspondence he not only allowed me to publish them here, but also gave me other drawings.

The two pieces below are side view studies, already close to the final incarnation of the ‘Long John’ Mimic design; they show how the creatures’ peculiar ‘mask-claws’ function and how the Mimics’ appearance changes when they are in ‘masked’ and ‘unmasked’ positions. Notice that the ‘mask-claws’ here were successively changed for the adult monsters. The juveniles mantain the earlier design due to the fact that when the decision was made, the practical models for the character were already built and ready for filming.

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Mimic Terrors

Mimic on set.

“Nature is a strange thing, I learned. You learn that very clearly when you work in a museum. You realize how nature uses the art of camouflage.”
-Donald A. Wollheim, Mimic

The original Mimic short story, penned by Donald A. Wollheim and first published in 1942, was widely different in both plot and tone to Guillermo Del Toro’s film adaptation. The titular Mimic of the story is a mysterious ‘man in a black coat’ that sneaks around a neighbourhood. When this figure is found dead in its apartment, it is revealed to be a gigantic insect, evolved to camouflage itself among humans — mimicking their appearance.

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