Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: T is for The Thing

A-Z Challenge continues on with the letter T.  The only classic monster I could think of what The Thing.  The creature is a "malevolent shape-shifting alien" is who is more of a classic horror monster in the sci-fi realm than anywhere else.

About Who Goes There?

This sci-fi movie classic was based on the novella, Who Goes There? written by John W. Campbell, Jr., written under the pen name Don A. Stuart.  Have you read it?  Some say its should have been turned into a full novel.  What do you think?




About The Thing, 1951


Three films were made from the original tale, but the most notable one was the classic, black and white one released by RKO Pictures back in the 50's. From IMDB, here's the classic movie premise:

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost. 

See the trailer from the 1951 film.  Have you seen this classic film?  What about the other more recent ones?






Did you come up with a better monster than The Thing?  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: S is for ?

S is the letter for the A-Z Challenge today.  I decided to make you guess again.  The most widely known monster who lurks deep within our hearts and has no face.  It's cruel intentions burrows and festers within people, the good and the bad, and makes them do unspeakable things.  My mystery monster is indeed a classic one....can you guess this vile creature's name?


Source


Let me give you a hint...

Could it be...




I had also considered Sirens, Succubi and the Serpent of Eden but...stuck with this guy instead.  Do you agree he is a monster?  
   

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: Q: The Winged Serpent & R for Jack the Ripper

My double post for today is for the letter Q and R for the A-Z Challenge.  I had to dig down for the letter Q.  My quest was an entertaining one too.  I decided to feature Q: The Winged Serpent, a really bad 80's film that had me roaring when I watched it.  With Michael Moriarty and David Carradine, I'm not sure how a film could go wrong, but it did.  My other R for Jack the Ripper.

About Q: The Winged Serpent 

From Amazon:  Its name is Quetzalcoatl, a dragon-like Aztec god that is summoned to modern-day Manhattan by a mysterious cult. But just call it "Q"...because that is all you'll be able to say before it tears you apart!






One of the world's most renowned unsolved mystery deals with the infamous classic monster, Jack the Ripper.  He trolled the streets of London near the East Side where he caught and mutilated female prostitutes.  Over the years there has been wide speculation as to the identity of this killer.  Was he a prominent Lord, physician or German merchant?  No one knows nor ever will, but the foreshadowing of the serial killers we have today is bone-chilling.




The News


Just take a look at one of the newspaper headlines back then.  The city ran ramped with the gruesome details and speculation.  Scotland Yard had much pressure back then to investigate the killings and find the perpetrator.  Unfortunately that never happened and even today, investigators/historians try to speculate, using modern-day technologies to do so.  Take a look at an update featured last year here.




The Letters


Additionally, there were those who tried to capitalize on the media frenzy, writing direct letters to the authorities from supposedly Jack the Ripper himself.  Take a look at this letter that taunts investigators.  Whether or not this was in fact written by the monster Ripper, we have no clue.  Still the effect that it has on readers is believable--even after all this time.  Click image enlarge.

What are your thoughts on the Ripper?  Classic Monster or historical horror story?  You can read more about this historical monster at Biography.com.





Friday, April 18, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: P is for Phantom of the Opera

P is the letter for the A-Z Challenge today. There is only one monster that fit the mold of a classic monster for the letter P post and that's the mysterious Phantom of the Opera.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux was one of the creepy classics I read and reviewed a few years ago.  (See the review here.)  I had to reread the review to remember aspects of the book--which is completely pathetic on my part.  Jeez.  Anyway, about the only thing I do recall vividly is the phantom, Erik.  I thought what made this book a classic was the Phantom.  Sure there were romantic fantasies and love triangles but in truth, Erik sparked the most intrigue. His morose nature, vengeful spirit, passion for music, and love for Christine not to mention his dark underground world was so utterly appealing, it's no wonder Hollywood has chosen to retell this story time and time again.

About the Phantom of the Opera 1925 film portrayal 

The classic black and white silent film, Phantom of the Opera, debuted in 1925 and featured one of the best portrayals of classic monsters ever known to Hollywood.  Lon Chaney, took the character of the original and launched it into a iconic stratosphere of eternally gruesome classic monsters. Chaney was known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces," for his ability to transform his face with makeup. He really was a chameleon and his techniques and characters are still marveled today. To see his transformation to characters like the Phantom and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it's extraordinary. When asked about his makeup ability, he was quoted "It's an art, but not magic"

Source




Have you read or scene Phantom of the Opera?  Did you have another idea for the letter P?   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: O is for Orcs

The A-Z Challenge letter today is O.  It wouldn't be a classic monster feature if I didn't mention at least one of J. R. R. Tolkien's monsters.  And boy are there plenty.  The first one that comes to mind is an Orc.

What is an Orc?


Orcs (orcneas) have been mentioned in classics like Beowolf and are as termed in Old English dialect, evil infernal deities from the Underworld.  I love that.  The word, Orc, has also been spelled as orke and even orge and  centuries ago orges were referenced as giant beasts and were usually written about in fairy tales.  Every one is quite familiar with orges, but orcs as Tolkien created, are essentially goblin monsters.

"Orc is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places [in The Hobbit] but is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds)."


Tolkien's Orcs


The most common orc we think of today, it Tolkien's.  He has two that I'd like to point out.  One is a weaker, smaller one called the Orcs snaga--which means orc slave according to Wikipedia.  The other which I believe fits the classic monster realm is the Uruk-hai orcs.  These beasts that Tolkein created and that Peter Jackson brought to life are an amazing breed.  They are oversized, menacing goblins who eat man-flesh.  Yikes!  Remember that?  If I saw one of these creatures, I would run.  FAST!  These beasts were created or unearthed rather from Saruman, the White Wizard.  From there many fans and fantasy historians speculate about the Uruk-hai orcs origins.  I found some discussions on Saruman's cross-breeding with men, and then another mention of them cross-breeding elves.  Honestly, I couldn't find anything definitive.  The bottom line is their scary-cool.  I'm not sure if you think Orcs are a classic monsters, but I do.

Source




Did you have another idea for the letter O?  A different Ogre, Oscar the Grouch, perhaps? 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: N is for Nosferatu

"N" is the letter for the A-Z Challenge today.  I'm back in the classic monster mode and almost posted about some classics like Nymphs and the Night Monster.  Instead, I decided to stick with one sick (not sexy) monster, Nosferatu.  He's definitely a classic and *shivers* gives me the heebie jeebies.

About the film Nosferatu

Released in 1922, this black and white horror film was an "unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula."  Because the film makers couldn't purchase rights to the original classic, they made some changes to the script like switching the words "vampire" to "nosferatu," which means vampire in old Romanian.  Long story short, Stoker's heirs sued and all copies of the film were deleted.  All except one survived and has since immortalized it's way through the last century as an iconic masterpiece.  Read more about the film here.

I've never watched this film in it's entirety, only bits and pieces.  I think what made this film a classic was the suspense and the utter horror of the inevitable blood sucking.  I know we've seen enough of vamp films over the years, but I swear I can still watch parts of this and it gives me the creeps.  That's kind of cool for being a 90+ old film.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A-Z: Classic Monsters: M is for my Mystery Monster

Today's letter for the A-Z Challenge is the letter M.  There were several monsters I came up with for the letter M, but I decided, once again, to make you guess this classic monster.  Here are your clues:

*  I am dark and I am fae.
*  I wield much power in my staff and in my crystal ball.
*  I can trust no one but my black winged pet.
*  I hate roses, except thorns.
*  I like pricking fingers.

Who am I?

Source




Come on...that was easy.  Even the picture was a dead giveaway.  Did you figure out my mystery monster? Can you think of clues that would have been better? As I said, I had many ideas like Medusa or even the Mummy, but I thought I'd change things up a bit.