Friday, September 2, 2011

Monsters I Want To See In Films

This was originally written for Outside the Cinema and the blog I do for them.
I liked it so much that I'm putting it here. While I'm at it why don't you go to
the Palavr forums where the OTC Blog is, or better yet go to their website
(click here) and have a listen to one of the best cult movie podcasts in town.

Think the latest vampire movies suck? Werewolf movies need to be put down? Just want to bludgeon zombie movies till they are nothing but a pink and red paste? Listening to Bill and Chris’s sub genre list got me thinking. There are some monsters that have been used so much I just want to cry. I’m a huge vampire fan, hell I just did a top 10 vampire list for my blog. But man do they need to go back to their coffin for a decade or so. And I don’t blame Twilight for this; sparkly vampires aside, studios smelled money in the water with vampires and knew they had to bleed the sub genre dry.

I want something different, something that hasn’t been done a million and ten times, and this is where I get to my point. People don’t need to create something new like a Graboid, they can just steal from what already exists. So here are a few monsters that I would like to see hit the silver screen.

Baron Samedi: To me this is a bit of a no brainer. Some teenagers go piss off a voodoo practitioner and all of a sudden they have this nasty spirit of the dead on their tail. Top hat, skull face, dark glasses and black tuxedo, along with crude behaviour would make this particular menace distinctive, and in the hands of the right director creepy as hell. Also being a spirit anyone could become the Baron at anytime. Finally being the Loa (spirit) of death you could jam in some Final Destination shenanigans for fun. I hear the kids are down with the FD. Also how can a something that drinks rum by the bucket loads be all the bad?

Jenny Greenteeth: A little explanation for this one. Jenny is a river hag in English folklore that has green skin, long hair and very sharp teeth. She also drowns children and the elderly, as well as taking long walks down beaches with her perfect man. Okay may the last bit was false but like Samedi I see some great creepy potential. Water is always an interesting visual in horror movies, and the way some directors have used it, they’ve seemed to tap into some primal terror humans have of what lies below the surface. Tied into the myth of Jenny is the fairy tale background, and fairy tales aren’t common territory for horror movies so it would seem rather fresh. Have a family inherit an estate with a lake on the property, slowly weird things happen, the children find out the old tales of Jenny, parents start seeing weird things in not just the lake but any water surface. Ratchet the creepiness up, then bam, kill one of the kids, have the rest of the family fight for survival.

Ghoul: Smarter than zombies, the ghoul is an undead being who hangs in graveyards and consumes human flesh, not always alive. In some of the Arabic tales, Ghouls can take on the form of those who they have recently eaten, they also lure people into the deserts to die. In movies the ghoul has had its origins morphed with zombies and have even become servants of vampires in some cases. However I think it’s time to have the Ghoul stand on its own two feet. If you use the Arabic notion of shape shifting you could create a sympathetic ghoul, who’s just trying to get what all the living has. Or better yet change luring strangers into the desert wasteland, for the urban wasteland and you could make some effective social commentary with your horror movie. Anyway there is some potential still on the bones of this particular monster, and it would be interesting to see a Ghoul on screen who’s not blended with other monster myths.

Black Shuck: Finally the demonic black dogs that are said to haunt the Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk coastline in England. Ever since of heard of Black Shuck and read tales about the monster, I’ve been fascinated. Foretellers of doom, they both seem to come to scare people, as well as kill them. What I like about Black Shuck is that unlike my other suggestions it’s an animal, it can’t be reasoned with, it’s harder to understand, and I just piss myself at the idea of a regular dog charging at me, teeth bared. Tales vary in description, there are individual attacks as well as packs, regular dogs with demonic eyes to ones as large as a horse. One of the tales I heard was a Church in East Anglia being attacked by this dog that ran through the walls, scaring those who came to the night mass. Those who touched the dog received burns, and in the morning black burnt spots could be seen on the wall where the dog had entered. None died in the tale, but there was pandemonium, and I can imagine this translating very well on the big screen. Whether used as an omen of death, or as the actual monster to deal with, Black Shuck needs more screen time.

So there are my monster mentions, hope you enjoyed reading them. And with that, I’m out.

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