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.
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.
This was unlike any Crisco party Laverne had ever attended.
Name: Slick, The
AKA: Drifting Crude, Goose Vacuum, Hazelwood’s Revenge.
First Appearance: “The Raft” Segment from Creepshow 2 (1980)
Monster Type: Sentient Sludge.
Its Place in the Film: A slow floating menace with a low tolerance for fun-loving stoners, The Slick isn’t so much malevolent as it is enamored of its privacy. A typical, non-intrusive day in the life of The Slick would seem to entail the excess consumption of waterfowl, a good deal of floating and the near-solving of The New York Times‘ Crossword Puzzle (damn Latin roots!). But comes a day when a quartet of bored college kids decide to despoil The Slick’s watery retreat with their skunky pot, loud rock music and booty clapping. Always with the booty clapping! Actually, these four miscreants just want to hang out on the lake’s lone raft (such an eyesore) and, well, hang out on the raft. Come to think of it, the lake’s seen worse. And the girls… they ain’t so ugly for 1980s horror. That redhead’s especially fetching. Alas, she melts upon the fetching. ‘Tis but the heat of my ardor, m’lady.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Dissolves flesh. Deceptive speed. Superior douchebag yanking power. Will crest if provoked.
Why It Is Forgotten: Creepshow was directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. Creepshow 2 was directed by Michael Gornick (and adapted from King’s semi-original stories by Romero). Prior to Creepshow 2, Gornick had served as cinematographer on Romero’s best work (i.e. Martin, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead); unfortunately, those films were kinda workmanlike on the visual end of things. Creepshow 2 is not the embarrassment it’s often made out to be, but it’s nowhere near the level of the first picture (which is more “enjoyable” than “essential”). “The Raft” isn’t even the best of the three stories; it’s just that… killer oil slicks are an extreme rarity.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: The Slick gives the unctuous nerd the chance to not fuck the unobtainable hot chick. When he finally succumbs to temptation (while she’s passed out!), The Slick tears her face off. This is a cruel, but very moral mobile mass.
“I ate my own placenta!”
First Appearance: Dead Alive (1992)
Monster Type: Vagquamicus
Its Place in the Film: When your uncle with a cock like a flamethrower is skeeving on the last honest gypsy girl in town, it’s easy to overlook what’s going on in the colon of your house. Flash back to the beginning of Peter Jackson’s reddest film, then fast-forward from Lionel’s mother having her
heel sucked by a rat monkey, through her death and those of a nun and priest to
the point where the decaying zombie caregivers copulate in the basement of
Lionel’s mum’s home, just like any proper pair of horny movie folk. Selwyn is
the knobby result of their union, splorched out onto the basement floor where
he’s free to make trouble like a baby Giger alien before taking a trip to the
park in a pram liberated from the set of The Warriors. Finally, Selwyn stays
home while Lionel and his lady friend hang out with firefighters.
Distinguishing Characteristics:Teething. What big
eyes he has. Rigid while airborne. Can change physical size between edits.
Loves his mommy. Delicious roasted.
Why It Is Forgotten: Dead Alive is hardly forgotten, but it’s bursting at the
seams with so many other creatures – the Sumatran Rat Monkey, Intestinoid and
Mom from Pink Floyd’s The Wall – that it’s all too easy to overlook this toothy
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Most of Dead Alive is so
accomplished that it’s actually pretty charming to see the blatant tricks used
to get Selwyn working. The obvious dummy toss and ‘man in baby suit’ moments
endear the kid and flick to me. Furthermore, while the movie is all splatstick,
Selwyn gives Jackson a chance to lighten up for a few minutes in the middle of
relentless carnage. And fuck it, he’s a dead baby!