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Spotlight[Television]: Balancing on the Roof

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Balancing On The Roof
A Blog by Laura Modrall

AAAHH!!! Underappreciated Monsters


Halloween brings with it many traditions like dressing in creepy costumes, stuffing our face with candy and my favorite, watching marathons of monster movies!

Of course I adore the classics like Dracula and Night of the Living Dead, but I feel that with the recent glamorization of vampires and  zombies, several other movie monsters have been unjustly snubbed.

To make amends, I have compiled a list of the top five monsters and otherworldly creatures that are often overlooked.

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flying OZ monkey5.  Flying Monkeys from Wizard of Oz (1939)

The image of those mutated primates carrying off Dorothy and Toto fueled several childhood nightmares for me.  Monkeys in general give me the chills, with their furry, human-like hands and overpowering strength, but these can even swoop down and carry you to the witch’s lair!  I don’t care how stylish the slippers were, I would have gladly given them up to avoid those airborne apes!

4.  Giant Mantis from The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Let me start by saying that I don’t really like bugs, especially prehistoric bugs that measure 200 feet in length!  The U.S. military shot at it with guns and flamethrowers, but the exoskeleton of the creepy-crawly was just too powerful.  In the movie there was only one mantis, but imagine the chaos that would ensue if there was a mantis army … we would need a lot of Raid and perhaps a giant shoe!

3.  The Blob from … well The Blob (1958)

“He creeps and leaps and he glides and slides across the floor, right through the door, and all around the wall, a splotch, a blotch … Be careful of the Blob!”

As the song lets on, the formless, muck creature is horrendous and messy!  This gluttonous … you know, blob, consumes everything in its path, all the while growing in size.  Just imagine getting sucked in its enormous girth and suffocating in its gooey blobbiness.  Definitely, among the grossest ways to die!

2.  Blood Beast from Night of the Blood Beast (1958)

The late 50's was apparently a good time to be a terrifying and unusual movie monster.  1958 brings us another forgotten fiend with Night of the Blood Beast.  For some reason the “Blood Beast” displays no real interest in blood,  but rather he is an alien whose home planet is dying. The misunderstood beast hitches a ride back with an astronaut in order to rebuild his race of “blood beasts” on earth.  Infant blood beasts require a host, so the conveniently present astronaut becomes a dad!  Baby blood beasts look very similar to shrimp, so I would recommend stocking up on cocktail sauce in order to take on an overpopulation of these extraterrestrials.

1.  Gamera from, what else, the Gamera (1965) series

Gamera isn’t your average turtle chilling in a pond, shooting the breeze with the coy, unless your turtle can breathe fire, “play dead” and fly, of course … didn’t think so.  The giant shelled monster was featured in a popular movie series in Japan, and received American attention in the ’90s with the help of the television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Now Gamera possesses several aspects that I find disturbing.  Not only can he soar through the air, but his sturdy shell makes him practically invincible.  To picture a world with Gamera, imagine the Super Mutant Ninja Turtles  gone bad … not a pretty sight!

Alright, so most of this list consisted of low-budget B-movies, but that doesn’t mean the monsters in them aren’t notable.  If you can overlook the cheesy dialog and corny costumes, you’ll see a one-of-the-kind monster that, I for one, would never want to meet.

Did I miss an underappreciated movie monster?  Please leave a comment and tell me about your favorite fictional foe!

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