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.
“Run one more season of According to Jim through me, and I’ll be cable ready to kick your ass.”
Name: The Twonky
AKA:Telly the Terrible, The Killco Hellevision Slayhouse
First Appearance: The Twonky (1953) BUY THE DVD FROM NATE AND HAYES
Monster Type: Cthulhu Ray Tube.
Its Place in the Film: Long before James Woods pledged .38 caliber allegiance to the New Flesh, there was The Twonky: a mischievous, four-legged, black-and-white television set with a penchant for mind control. When The Twonky insinuates itself into the life of professor Cary West (Hans Conried), the heretofore sensible educator turns into a boozed-up madman. Since The Twonky is unbeholden to an electrical outlet, the boxy little bastard waddles about the house of its own free will (and, trust me, this is quite something to see). It also implicates poor Mr. West in a counterfeiting and prostitution ring. And the only force powerful enough to stop it is the local college football team. Their efforts are slightly less successful than Cop Rock.
Distinguishing Characteristics: White. Leggy. Lights cigarettes. Shoots lightning bolts. Likes to start static. Wants a piece of Marshall McLuhan.
Why It Is Forgotten: Dismissed upon initial release, the film has been out-of-print in America for almost as long as F-Troop has been off the air. A fantastically unsubtle anti-television screed, the film has scant relevance to today’s wireless culture, but maybe, in it’s own quaint way, it was on to something. It sure beats the rabbit ears off of TerrorVision.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because it’s absolutely adorable, hates cops, and brought us Roots.
“Make it fast. I’ve got an hour before my audition for the lead villain in Sectaurs. “
AKA: Travel Agent. Benway’s Bitch.
First Appearance: Naked Lunch (1991) – BUY THE DVD FROM CHUD & AMAZON
Monster Type: Jizzstraw
Its Place in the Film: After killing his wife (maybe accidentally, maybe not) soon to be writer Bill Lee manifests his first creative vision: Mugwump, a stooped green giant that sounds like an exterminator from Queens and looks more natural on a barstool than Jackie Gleason’s ass. Mugwump prods Lee into fleeing New York for Interzone, where he becomes a writer of sociopathic, subversive literature, all in the guise of ‘writing reports’ for a shadowy organization that employs the Mugwump. Later, the creature doubles as a sort of heroin den soda fountain for Roy Scheider and his tits.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Mouth like a parrot’s. Poor posture. Can out-drink and out-smoke you. Dispenses intoxicating semen from head.
Why It Is Forgotten: Three other creatures get more attention from Naked Lunch: the anus that thinks it’s a typewriter, Julian Sands’ rape arachnid and Judy Davis’ hair.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: In VFW halls, hospitals and board rooms everywhere, people still ask creative types, ‘where do your ideas come from?’ The answer is one word: Mugwump. Show me a more perfect, uncompromised and truthful visualization of the creative process and I’ll show you the clitoris of Dyanne Thorne, which was narrowly voted out of this spot on the list.