Friday, October 28, 2011

Monster Round-up

When I was a kid, my idea of monsters was probably off the beaten path of what a lot of people think. My first exposure to vampires (other than Seseme Street's Count) was Salem's Lot (the movie) which I saw when I was about 10. I'd seen the cartoon versions of Frankenstein... Oh, and there was Frankenberry, Booberry and Count Chocula... you see, Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies... not so scary when your primary exposure is Scooby Doo.

The monsters in my closet were... you know... MONSTERS! Entirely of my imagination, but consistent with... the Abominable Snowman (I was terrified of the Bumble from the Rudolph movie!) Ir Sasquatch! Or... you know.. MONSTERS! (not former humans or almost humans). They were FURRY. They had the wrong number of EYES or ARMS... or they were SLIMY! So I thought I'd review of couple now-beloved monsters...


The Monsters who lived in my closet were of the sort in Monsters, inc. I mean... I didn't know at the TIME they were just doing their jobs... I was REALLY scared... but that was the variety and sort...

Randall still scares me... he was there... under the bed. Sully was in the closet, but I didn't know he was nice... I would have hugged Mike... even then. Note this movie came out DECADES after my childhood, but they sure captured the Monster types.


I think the earliest identifiable monster I remember is The BLOB!!!

I remember watching this movie with my mom... we still had the black and white TV, so I was under 7. And the OOZING, could get EVERYWHEREness of it... And... YUCK FACTOR!


But then for YEARS I didn't encounter any real monsters that scared me... what scared me was more the stuff I will get into on the next couple days... Only in adulthood did really FRIGHTENING monsters come back...


Hello, Quintaped and Acromantula!!!

I recognize Shelob predates Aragog, but NOT in my experience. I read Harry Potter before Lord of the Rings, and I read both before seeing any movies (movie Shelob is the scariest of the lot... but book Aragog came first)--note the Basilisk is ALSO pretty darned frightening... but not nearly as bad as those multi-legged things who have little brothers living in my basement...


My late-day Favorite Monsters, though?

HP Lovecraft was someone I arrived at through Peter Straub (my favorite scary author). He is a huge fan and sometimes actively uses Lovecraft in his writing. So I decided to actively investigate... READ some from the father of the genre...

And while his writing style is sadly representative of the first decade of the 20th century (which is to say he TELLS instead of SHOWS and read a lot like a journal), his MONSTERS are HOLY FREAKING COW scary... he has aliens who have burrowed under the mountains and transmit crazy to the people who live nearby... he has necromancers (people who raise the dead)... And he has Cthulu...

Oh, look! You can make your own!
Most of Lovecrafts creatures 'came from other worlds' but they aren't the cuddly little aliens most later stuff brings... AT ALL.

Or if you are less skilled, you can just order one..

Do you have any beloved monsters?

24 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I was never into monsters. In fact, they still scare the crap out of me. Can't read or watch horror. But of course, nice monsters like in Monsters Inc. are fine :o) all my toys were like mini dogs and cats. I desperately wanted pets as a kid but wasn't allowed to have them.

Oh ... wait ... memories are flooding my brain all of the sudden. I DID like one type of monster ... GREMLINS!!!!

mooderino said...

You might like this: Lovecraft for beginners


mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

Christopher Allen said...

I think spider monsters scare me the most. Is Spiderpig a monster? He's a hero, right?

Tonja said...

I remember being terrified of the apes in Planet of the Apes when I was about five years old. They still creep me out.

Sylvia Colette Branch said...

Flying monkeys. Not a monster...technically..but I was petrified...and when they visit you in your dreams, yup- most definitely monster material. Love Monsters Inc. Great storyline...and characters!

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

i've always been more scared of like ACTUAL people who are monsters than anything else. but humanoids are second, and funky looking monsters are usually kinda cute to me!

except for

Audrey II of little shop of horrors- and the Gremlins... those boogers STILL scare the crap out of me. But IIy is more about what he turned Seymour into... and the dentist scared me more than IIy, but!!!

i've never read any lovecraft, but people seem to rave all about him!

Hart Johnson said...

Jessica-Oh, I understand that pet thing--I've always loved pets... I think the loving monsters thing started about the time I started loving horror books...

Moody-thanks for the link! I will have to check it out!

Chris-Spiderpigs are an ANTI-hero! We love them, even though they tempt us to do rotten things!

Tonja-yeah, they scared me, too!

Sylvia-GOOD CALL! Those terrified me! (I think mostly because they were after Toto!)

Hart Johnson said...

Vic- I am actually with you on the people thing,.. huge part of my next few days-- And good call on the mad dentist! teehee...

Lovecraft is better as inspiration than straight, if that makes any sense.

Jan Morrison said...

I was out of my mind with sorrow for Frankenstein's monster. The whole thing seemed so amazingly unfair. I like the misunderstood monster, I guess. Triffids were awful, I remember the blob and I don't like movies or books where the odds on the side of the destroyers is just too high. Cruella Deville is a pretty marvellous monster.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dig the monsters in comics and on Scooby Doo. And Godzilla. He was king of the monsters you know.

Old Kitty said...

Mama Alien in Aliens was pretty freaky and most NAKED! :-)

Yay!! Take care
x

L.G.Smith said...

Jaws is still the scariest "monster" for me. But those giant spiders really creep me out too. *shivers*

Nancy said...

Loved scary movies as a teenager and young adult. I can't watch them now or my fight or flight system goes into overdrive. I have an exaggerated startle response for hours after. Now, that I know what real scary is (usually in terms of people), I am not that entertained anymore.

LTM said...

wow! That croched squid-face reminds me of that character on Pirates of the Caribbean! Who was that?

As for all these monsters, I avoid 'em. I remember seeing Poltergeist and not sleeping for like two months. That's all it took for me... LOL! :D Happy Halloween!!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

oh cthulu - you're so cute in your monstrosity.
I grew up on The Thing, IT, and Poltergeist, so my monsters were followed those tenents.
But, i did also see The Blob as a child and it freaked me out because it was so unstoppable, which is a HUGE aspect I use in all my current horror writing. Nothing is scarier than something you can't get away from

Hart Johnson said...

Jan--totally with you, feeling sorry for Frankenstein! young Frankenstein is really my favorite portrayal because he gets the girl in the end. teehee

Alex, you reminded me of what i thought was scariest as a kid--SLEESTAKS! Eeek! yeah, all the lizard ones scare me!

Jenny-Oh, yes--mama alien IS scary!!!

LJ-Jaws scared me for a time... I wouldn't want to be bitten by a shark, but I think meeting him in person at Universal Studios calmed me...

Nancy-my love of them has tempered some, too... i DO respond bigger than I did for a while.

Leigh-I'm SURE Davy Jones had Cthulu origins! (and don't be a bady *snicker*)

Sarah-I love The Thing, too--that is one of the best scary movies!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Squee!!! I want a Cthulhu plushie! And the matching Cthulhu slippers.

Lovecraft was the first horror master. I'm still waiting for someone to finally do one of his stories justice in a movie.

Carol Riggs said...

Hey, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the snowman from Rudolph was scary!!! He gave me shivers when I was a kid. As did the Wicked Witch and the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. :)

Helena said...

My ultimate monster has always been Frankenstein from the original 1930's flick -- classic! And giant spiders are still way too much for me. When I was a kid I closed my eyes during the giant spider scene in a Tarzan movie, and as a grown-up I've done the same during Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Gross out!

Carolyn Abiad said...

I remember being really scared of the dragon in Sleeping Beauty. The flying monkeys from Oz creeped me out too.

Hart Johnson said...

teehee--Diane-love that you're all geeked about Cthulu!

Carol-yeah, Wizard of Oz DID have some scary stuff! I was even scared of striped stockings for ages!

Helena-too funny. I get a little shaky, too, but I watch.

Carolyn-Oh, yeah! Sleeping Beauty was an obsession of mine when I was a kid, and the dragon was scary, though honestly, I was MORE scared of those thorns!

Clarissa Draper said...

I love the monsters of Monsters Inc. I remember them. I want to see the blob, now that you mentioned it.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You must be psychic, Hart. This Halloween post is the prologue for UNDER A VOODOO MOON where a 12 year Victor must somehow defeat a half-human spawn of an Old One!

Thanks for the review - that's 5 more entries into my contest - you may win that Amazon Kindle Fire yet!

You have already won the autographed Brad Pitt photograph (with Cate Blanchett's too!) Just email me your address so that I can mail it to you. Roland

Pk Hrezo said...

ha ha ha... so cute cuddly alien monster thingy. I was always scared of werewolves and the wicked witch of the west when I was a kid.
Then when I was in college, living on my own for the first time, I watched Twin Peaks the movie by myself. alone. and it damaged me for years. lol If you've seen it, you'll know why.
My kids were scared of the bumble for the first few Xmases. Not me tho, I always knew I could kick his a**. ;)