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Monster Gallery: The Thing (1982)

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.

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Monster Gallery: Predator (1987)

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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Harbinger of the End

EndofdaysSatan

Marcus Nispel — originally at the helm of End of Days — was fired from the project after various disputes regarding budgetary and creative matters. Replacing him was Peter Hyams (director of The Relic), with visual effects supervisors Eric Durst and Kurt Williams still attached to the project after Nispel’s dismissal. As a result of the situation, Hyams was allowed a short preparation time for the film — spanning only four weeks. Stan Winston Studio was hired to bring to life the film’s visceral portrayal of Satan, aided by Rhythm & Hues on the visual effects front.

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Monster Gallery: End of Days (1999)

Monster Gallery: Avatar (2009)

Creatures of Pandora

General note: the following article focuses on the six major alien species featured in Avatar, with deliberate excision of the Na’vis — which will not be analyzed on the site. No Neytiri here!

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James Cameron first conceived Avatar in 1994, with an 80-page treatment of the story — which was to be produced into a film to be released in 1999, with the collaboration of Digital Domain. Cameron, however, felt that the digital effects technology available at the time had considerable restraints that inevitably needed to be resolved — due to the fact photorealistic computer-generated imagery was still a relatively new tool for filmmakers. The director decided to postpone the creation process for the film until his idea could effectively be convincingly brought to life.

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StarBeast — Aliens, the Alien Queen

Aliensqueenawakens

A PIERCING SHRIEK fills the chamber.

She turns. And there it is.

A massive silhouette in the mist, the ALIEN QUEEN glowers over her eggs like a great, glistening black Insect-Buddha. What’s bigger and meaner than the Alien? His Momma. Her fanged head is an unimaginable horror. Her six limbs, the four arms, and two powerful legs, are folded grotesquely over her distended abdomen. The egg-filled abdomen swells and swells into a great pulsing tubular sac, suspended from a lattice of pipes and conduits by a web-like membrane as if some vast coil of intestines was draped carelessly among the machinery.

-James Cameron, Aliens draft, 1985

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Monster Gallery: Aliens (1986)