Frankenstein’s Monster. Dracula. Freddy Krueger. Leatherface. Godzilla.
Henry Kissinger. These are some of the monsters whose names get evoked
every year at Halloween, the monsters with the highest Q ratings and
maybe their own personal publicists. But there are many more monsters
out there, monsters who kill, terrorize and stalk their prey far
outside of the limelight. For the next few weeks, we’re going to be
paying tribute to these Forgotten Monsters of Filmland.
Some of these monsters are just a successful film away from making the
mainstream. Some were more popular years ago and have fallen out of
favor. Some are just sort of utterly bizarre. Some of these monsters
will be familiar to the loyal readers of CHUD.com, while others will
make just about everybody scratch their head. All of them deserve more
love. That’s where we come in.
“What am I doing next week? Brushing.”
Name: The Finger Bug*
AKA: Scrimmdigit. The Tall Bug.
First Appearance: Phantasm (1979) – BUY THE DVD FROM CHUD & AMAZON
Monster Type: Limbsect.
Its Place in the Film: After the villainous Tall Man is thwarted in his attack on our heroes and his finger is chopped off in the process (spilling a sickly yellow goo), the detached digit is kept for safekeeping in Don Coscarelli’s lovely franchise starter. Unlike most fingers, which tend to decay and piss off, this one evolves into a hilariously cheesy but lovable flying creep who doesn’t enjoy much screen time before a messy end but who has carved a special [albeit quarantined] spot in our hearts.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Small. Shoddy. Likes drains. Lacks 99% of Angus Scrimm.
Why It Is Forgotten: It’s hard not to be overshadowed by head-hating metallic spheres, Angus Scrimm pulling coffins around like Joe Weider’s undead uncle, and Michael Baldwin’s goddamn 70’s hair. This little son of a gun needs more love. Stat.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because America’s love of shiny balls has gotten the country into a tight spot globally. We could stand to appreciate the metamorphosis of finger to malicious invertebrate as much as the birth of a weeping willow or the miracle of childbirth.
* – Unofficial Moniker
“Mother… tell your children not to walk my way…”
AKA: Dances With Clearasil. Mixmaster.
First Appearance:The Manitou (1978) – BUY THE DVD FROM CHUD & AMAZON
Monster Type: Skindian
Its Place in the Film: When a woman comes down with a lump on her back she goes to the hospital, foolishly not checking WebMd first to discover that she simply has a centuries old evil medicine man growing out of her (especially common in warm climates). Misquamacus uses his bad medicine (sans Richie Sambora) to remote control surgical lasers, freeze an entire floor of a hospital, conjure a see-through lizard and cast a Syrian as a Native American. Eventually Misquamacus is born from the boil, except he’s a midget and then he gets defeated by a topless Susan Strasberg shooting laser beams from her hands.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Often mistaken for an evil ingrown hair. Has a hate-on for Tony Curtis. Is a midget. Has a hairdo indicating he might be up for tailgating outside an Iron Maiden show at the arena.
Why It Is Forgotten: Most people seem to have forgotten The Manitou in general. Probably because, as Edgar Wright once said, the whole film plays out like some kind of fever dream.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Fuck that pussy Indian who weeps on the side of the road when you toss litter out of your car. Misquamacus is the real deal when it comes to Native Americans: tiny, full of hate and resembling a sebaceous cyst. This is why the white man had to come to America equipped with smallpox blankets.