22 Goofy Movie Monsters
Sociopathic Tire With Psychokinetic Powers
People learn to tread carefully around the villain of director Quentin Dupieux's entertainingly bizarre art-house horror movie (which is currently available on VOD and hits cinemas April 1). Why? Because he's a tire named Robert who can make heads explode with his telepathic powers. (For the inside scoop on Rubber, click over for an interview with director Quentin Dupieux.)
Giant Alien Godzilla Thingie
It's a good thing you don't get to see much of the beastie in this J.J. Abrams produced monster movie. Because while it's off-screen, Cloverfield is a jolty little genre confection. But when you do see it, lumbering through the streets of New York City, it looks like a CG reject with a deadly skin condition. Alas, Cloverfield's beastie isn't alone in failing to inspire real cinematic dread....
Things were nice and creepy in M. Night Shyamalan's crop-circle frightfest, until the big-twist maestro served up his lamest surprise to date: aliens that looked like they stepped out of an Ed Wood movie. And what's more, their big Achilles heel was...water. Good ol' H2O. Now, do you think a civilization smart enough to perfect interstellar travel might've done a quick scan of the planet they were planning on invading? Then they'd have discovered it was covered with the very stuff that can kill them. The director's precipitous fall from box-office grace can be traced directly back to here.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Tim Burton may have been tipping his black beret to the '50s sci-fi cheezapaloozas he grew up on here, but the cartoonishly silly, brain-throbbing aliens in this 1996 bomb wouldn't even cut it on the bottom half of a drive-in double feature back in the Eisenhower era.
The Toxic Avenger (1985)
It seems a little churlish to bash the folks at Troma. After all, their budgets are about what you'd shell out for a Value Meal at a McD's. Well, the 1985 debut of mop-wielding Toxie proves you get what you pay for: a lumpy-headed hybrid of Sloth from Goonies and Schneider from One Day at a Time.
The title of this monster cheapie is an acronym for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, which you have to admit is pretty hilarious. If only they put as much thought into designing the damn CHUDs. Instead, these low-rent Gotham sewer beasts look like something you'd find in a grade-school pageant.
The Fog (1980)
In 1980, somewhere between Halloween and The Thing, John Carpenter proved he wasn't just fallible, but capable of churning out utter crap. A fishing town is haunted by a seaborne pea soup containing the souls of vengeful seamen. There are few things scarier than condensation. No, wait...everything is scarier.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978)
While we'll always be thankful to the Tomatoes franchise for giving early-career employment to George Clooney, this '70s turd may be the stupidest film ever made (and also the one with the most ketchup puns). If you've never seen bloodthirsty produce attack bikini-clad beachgoers, by all means, dig in.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (1972)
Woody Allen's never been skittish about putting his own Freudian anxieties on celluloid. So it wasn't totally out of left field when, in this 1972 comedy, he was chased through New York City by a giant lactating breast. As a self-reflective comic jab at his fear of women, it's brilliant. As a monster? Not so much.
Godzilla vs. Mothra (1962)
You should see the size of the sweaters he eats, ba-dump-bump! By the early '60s, Godzilla was looking for new pals to tangle with. So the folks at Toho put their heads together and came up with...a really big moth that looks like its wearing Bono's Zooropa shades. The only thing that's cheesier is the pair of pint-size nymphs who cry out to Mothra for help.
The Alligator People (1959)
We like a Saturday afternoon man-in-an-alligator-suit chiller as much as the next guy. But there are good gator costumes and bad gator costumes...and then there's this laugher, wherein the titular monsters look like your Uncle Chester on his way to a Halloween party at the retirement home. Bonus: Lon Chaney Jr. as a drunken Cajun!
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
You couldn't have this list without at least one Roger Corman production. Released with the tagline ''From the depths of the sea...a tidal wave of terror,'' Crab Monsters is a tidal wave of something alright, but it ain't terror. Giant papier mache fruits of the sea crave human brains. We've seen scarier crustaceans at Red Lobster. We kid!
There's no pot of gold at the end of this movie where the little green antagonist (Warwick Davis) isn't even as frightening as the real St. Patty's Day horrors: green beer, ''Kiss Me I'm Irish'' tees, drunken frat boys. If the Irish had any luck, there would have never been a sequel, then a trilogy, then a Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood.
Although the backdrop is all right — rural setting, good-looking young kids at a cabin, Lance Henriksen doing his gravel-voice thing — the main man is all wrong. You can't help watching this movie and thinking how delicious that venomous demon would be sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon inside of a warm crust.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
I'm all for discovering life on other planets (I'm 100 percent convinced that rock/shadow picture from Mars is a lady martian), but if aliens are really killer klowns, I'd say just keep orbiting. Even if clowns did invade, they'd be too distracted by trying to squeeze into all those compact hybrid cars to do any real harm.
Man-eating Audrey Jr.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
The flesh-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors is far less of a nightmare than her maker (Rick Moranis), a sniveling, pitiful dude who still lives with his mom. Not to mention less frightening than the countless high school productions of the musical version that would later follow.
The Pod People (1983)
We would like our friendly aliens to remain that way and just hang with us on Halloween and consume Reese's Pieces, thank you. When a movie is more entertaining to watch mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000, your evil aliens have to go back to the drawing pod.
Night of the Lepus (1972)
Even with phrases like ''blood thirsty'' and ''mutant'' to describe them, the rabbits in Night of the Lepus still sound kind of adorable. And, really, just having bunnies run over miniature props in slow motion doesn't make them scary.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
The biggest star in this movie must be Lassie, who so graciously used a free day to don a killer-shrew costume (a shag carpet and some fake teeth) and pretend to eat people trapped on a hurricane-besieged island. This plot wouldn't have even worked on Lost...and anything went there.
Gallons of Goo
The Blob (1958)
Any amorphous alien-like monster that eats whole towns but can be fended off with fire extinguishers is no match for other movie villains. Swear to Blob, they could spread that stuff on Wonder bread with some Jif, and it'd be PB&J time.
Mutant ants sound scary, but the only believable fear factors in Them! are the government scheme to cover up the truth and all those tax dollars wasted on poisoning the giant insects — created by nuclear tests (and shoddy special effects).
Robot Monster (1953)
The kind of movie you'd watch in the back of a Cadillac, sipping milkshakes, and necking, Robot Monster is as B-movie campalicious as they come. As for the monster himself, even with a fainted lady in his arms, the gorilla-costume-and-space-helmet combo is a miss.