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Darwinian Nightmare

Preliminary drafts of Evolution by Don Jakoby elaborated the premise of the story with a much more serious tone compared to the final film. Upon being hired for the project, director Ivan Reitman requested screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman to shift the script into a comedic adventure sci-fi story, in the same vein as Reitman’s Ghostbusters films. With only a full year before the film’s intended release and a whole alien ecology to bring to life for it, Reitman immediately began seeking the right effects craftsmen for the project. “This wasn’t about one dinosaur,” Reitman said, “or even a bunch of dinosaurs. It was about creating a whole new world.”

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Monster Gallery: Evolution (2001)

Monster Gallery: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Monster Gallery: Dragonheart (1996)

Draco

Draco

In the late 80s, Raffaella de Laurentiis began proposing to various Studio Executives her pet project — a fantasy film set in the 10th century, about the unlikely alliance between a Dragon and a Knight. Written by Charles Edward Pogue and based on a story by Pogue and Patrick Read Johnson, Dragonheart was a project that for many years was unable to be realized, due to the complexity of its main character — a talking Dragon. Named Draco (after the latin term draco, in turn derived from the ancient greek word δράκων), the creature demanded an unprecedented special effects complexity — mainly due to the human range of expression he should be able to display.

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Monster Gallery: Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

Subterranean Terror — Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Shrieker

Universal expressed interest in making a sequel to Tremors — which had achieved a near cult status on the video market — shortly after its release. “We didn’t take it too seriously at first, because we couldn’t come up with any good ideas,” writer and director of Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Steven S. Wilson, told Cinefex. “We really didn’t want to deliver the same thing over again; and it wasn’t until some time later — in one of those literal bursts of inspiration — that I awoke in the middle of the night thinking, ‘what if the worms fragment into little creatures?'”

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Army of Klendathu

“The bugs are not like us. The Pseudo-Arachnids aren’t even like spiders. They are arthropods who happen to look like a madman’s conception of a giant intelligent spider, but their organization, psychological and economic, is more like that of ants or termites; they are communal entities, the ultimate dictatorship of the hive.”
-Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

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Monster Gallery: Starship Troopers (1997)

Abraham Sapien

Abesuitbustside

Abraham Sapien (holotype of the species Icthyo sapien) was named after Abraham Lincoln, as he was found in a basement in Washington DC, inside a water capsule with a note reporting the very date of the president’s death. The character first appeared in the Seed of Destruction arc of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics — and was featured in Guillermo del Toro’s film adaptations. Abe is, in fact, the director’s favourite character from the comic series. As per the other creature effects of the film, he was brought to life by Spectral Motion.

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