Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who's the Best...Scary Creature?


Karen: Of all the creatures, psychopaths, and monsters in films and TV, which one flat -out scared you the most? Who to this day still makes the hairs on the back of your neck rise a bit, even though you know "it's only a movie"?































Oh, and....

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!







21 comments:

redartz said...

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Scary creatures? Oh, such a list. There was a movie about 1978 called "Magic", starring Anthony Hopkins. The focus of the film was a mannequin. I had always found puppets vaguely unsettling; this puppet confirmed my fears.

Yet by far the scariest creature for me was (and remains) the shark from "Jaws". Playing up the elements of fear found in our "real" world always hits me harder than more fictional creature constructs. And in Jaws, Stephen Spielberg gave us a gut punch in a very vulnerable spot- the water. Out there swimming, we are vulnerable to drowning anyway, and are basically defenseless just keeping ourselves afloat. Add a twenty foot monster who can bisect you in one bite, and you have a perfect recipe for nightmares (and a tendency to keep your eyes wide open while at the beach)...

Rip Jagger said...

I'm a total soft touch for the quicky shocks lots of movies and TV shows use, the classic "bus" exquisitely refined by Val Lewton.

But for creatures which really got under my skin, I'd have to say "Jaws" is on the top of the list along with Regan from "The Exorcist".

Freddy and Jason are clowns compared to the relatively realistic Jaws, a threat I live so far away from it's laughable I'd give it two thoughts afterwards, but I specifically remember getting nervous putting my toe in the water of a pond after seeing it. Dopey.

As for "The Exorcist", that movie scares me to my core, a serious movie which goes where I don't want to think about too much. The spectacle is less scary than the ideas it represents. The Devil is the scariest thing in this world by far.

I just thought of another creepy moment and that was "The Legend of Boggy Creek" when the creature is threatening the cabin. Yikes!

Rip Off

joe bloke said...

The Demon in Night of the Demon scared the living daylights out of me, when I was a young 'un. &, to this day, the scene in Tod Browning's Freaks, where the Freaks are crawling/leaping/sliding through the rain in pursuit of Olga STILL creeps me out like nothing else.

Humanbelly said...

*Sigh*
This is terribly embarrassing, but. . .

In a DREADFUL 1957 C-list Sci-Fi film called "Invasion of the Saucer Men", an alien gets its hand severed when it's hit by a car. The alien dies. . . but the hand lives on (w/ a new eyeball on its back) to continue spreading its own little subplot of terror in a wildly implausible, dumb film that I saw. . . ONLY ONCE. . . on TV on a Saturday afternoon when I was, like, 7 years old. I recognize now that the film itself was beyond bad-- truly prime MST3K fare-- but that blasted skittering hand w/ its needle-tipped fingers has stayed with me for my whole life. . .

Psychopaths are actually much more deeply frightening to me than monsters or creatures. And, from the other side of that experience, I had the good fortune to play that role in THE MOUSETRAP several years ago, where the killer is truly the absolutely last person one would expect, leaving one of the (few) remaining characters in unknowingly dire peril. The moment where that reveal would occur to the audience (but not the other character) would always get an audible, but hushed, response from the audience. . . loud gasps,"ohno,ohno,ohno", "she'sgottagetoutofthere-!", etc., which would honestly feed the moment onstage and tend to raise goosebumps on my arms and send a shiver down my spine. A strange, but delightfully thrilling sensation. . .

HB

Humanbelly said...

Joe: Oh, that stupid, horrid Olga. Really, that scene didn't terrify me-- but mostly because I was pretty much rooting for them to hunt her down and give her what-for. But yes-- creepy as all get-out, no question.

(A wonderful, but quiet and overlooked, aspect of that film is Wallace Ford's genuinely warm and accepting interaction w/ the unfortunately-labeled "pinheads". Simply just developmentally-disabled folks, there is clearly a warm, unrehearsed mutual affection captured there.)

HB

Steve Does Comics said...

The scariest thing I've ever seen on either TV or in movies, was a character in the 1970s children's show Rupert The Bear.

That thing was a creature called Raggety who was like a cross between a boy, a wasp and a tangle of twigs and roots. He was completely out of control, made weird noises and, being a marionette, moved in a really creepy, floaty, hoppy, manner.

Every time he appeared on screen, he used to scare me so much I had to unplug the TV, in case he came out of it and got me.

For those unfamiliar with him, a photo of him can be found here:
http://www.thechestnut.com/rupert/raggety/08.jpg
Argh! Just imagine those horrible, twiggy fingers grabbing and scratching at you...

Checking online, it would appear I wasn't alone in my fear of him. He must've traumatised a whole generation.

Doug said...

I recall seeing "I Was a Teen Age Werewolf" starring Michael Landon when I was about 8 years old. Scared the living daylights out of me! And much as I mentioned my confusion at Buster Crabbe simultaneously being Flash Gordon and Tarzan, I was thinking here -- "What happened to Little Joe??"

Doug

Mike said...

I have trouble swimming in deep water because of Jaws.

I'm afraid of face-hugging parasites because of Alien.

I keep the shower-curtain slightly open so I can see if any crazy people in a dress are coming to stab me because of Psycho.

And I never took any girls camping because of Friday the 13th.

Obviously, I think I watched way too many scary movies as a kid. It got so bad that I don't even own any videotapes anymore because of The Ring ... well, that and I bought a DVD player.

david_b said...

"Um..., lawyers, circus clowns and realtors..?"

Ohhhh, alright. I did see 'Freaks' and you're right, it's one of the most unnerving movies.

I'd agree with most about inanimate objects (puppets, dolls, etc..) being the scariest. Even the silly final season of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' gave me creeps occasionally as a youngster when the puppets would be brought on-board (or materialize..) and slowly be taking over the Seaview.

For all you Whovians, I'd go with the 'weeping angels', like in David Tennant's 'Blink' episode. Seeming saintly inanimate statues, which would creep slowly and move in to kill you whenever you closed your eyes, even for a moment.

david_b said...

Oh, and 'Flying Monkeys' from Oz, anyone..?

Edo Bosnar said...

The Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz really scared me as a kid. The Flying Monkeys, on the other hand, had absolutely no effect on me.
Otherwise, though, I agree with HB: psychopaths and such tend to scare me more than monsters or supernatural beings or whatever.

Tony said...

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. That is some scary stuff, because it could conceivably happen.

Colin Jones said...

The vampire Mr. Barlow from the TV adaptation of "Salem's Lot" !!! That whole show was the scariest thing I'd ever seen but Mr. Barlow was terrifying - no soppy,misunderstood Twilightesque figure was he , just a snarling monster straight out of a nightmare.

Doug said...

Great mention of the flying monkeys -- actually, when I was really little (4, maybe?) the entrance by the Cowardly Lion scared me as well. I found the whole forest scene unnerving.

Great mention of the Glenn Close character as well! I have never looked at a pet rabbit the same way.

Doug

david_b said...

Much like I'm sure we'd all agree with, to me the best 'scariness' is the creepiness of something totally, totally out-of-left-field of what you'd never, ever expect to happen in our day-to-day normalcy.

Prime examples are like the Shatner plane episode in Twilight Zone, dolls like Chucky, Hitchcock's 'Psycho', murdering clowns knocking at the door late at night, staring at you in the darkness ('Killing Joke' anyone..?), just stuff you never before thought was threatening in your childhood.

In this light, yes, nice mention of Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction'..

themiddlespaces said...

I remember the flying monkeys scaring me as well - at least once - pretty sure I got over it pretty quick.

I still find clowns frightening, like they put me into the kind of uneasiness where I could conceivable accidentally kill someone dressed as a clown that came up to me in the wrong moment - just out of sheer fear. As such, Stephen King's It was one of my favorite books as a kid.

The crazy African doll thing in Trilogy of Terror! YIKES!

Oh, check out these golden age Don Heck covers: http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2009/05/golden-age-gallery-horrific-heck-thursday/

And for those of you in facebook, something really scary! Yet another solicitation to "like" something! ;) My blog The Middle Spaces now has a facebook page, so you can "like" it for blog updates and links to comics (and other forms of pop culture) articles and the like.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Edo Bosnar said...

Another one I just remembered that really freaked me out for some reason when I first saw it, was this space vampire on the late '70s Buck Rogers show. I think it was called the Vorvon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7klfuM9cFDI

Humanbelly said...

Actually, "What Traumatized You as a Child While Watching Wizard of Oz?" could be a whole blog post of its own! I think we may have touched on it 'round here before, but that movie was chock FULL of things that scared the bejeepers out of so many of us back in the 60's!

The twister itself bearing down on the farm, Elvira transforming into the Witch, the appearance of the Witch in Oz, the appearance of the Lion, the Flying Monkeys, the giant Oz-Head, the Witch supplanting Auntie Em in the crystal ball. . . but the one moment that sent me screaming and crying from the TV room was the mean apple tree reaching out and smacking Dorothy's hand. And I always had to gird myself for that to happen for several years following. Good grief. Like Disney's Snow White-- it's almost like a horror film disguised as a fantasy film packaged as a family film. . .

HB

Anonymous said...

The Creature from the Black Lagoon scared me when I first saw it. Maybe it's because the producers spoke to locals who swore that they had actually seen such a creature!

- Mike 'Miley Cyrus really scares me' from Trinidad & Tobago.

William said...

IMO, The scariest movie monsters were the zombies from the original "Night of the Living Dead". When I was 14, I saw it on TV late at night after everyone else in the house was asleep, and it was the first time I remember a movie really scaring the $#%& out of me. I was never afraid of the classic movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, or the Wolfman. But those zombies creeped me out.

A close second would go to the creature in the original "Alien". I actually thought that one monster was scarier than the hundreds of them that were in the sequel.

Marc said...

with out a doubt Pazuzu from the Exorcist. go ahead google that one. it still, to this day freaks me out. Barlow from the TV version of Salem's Lot is a close second.

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