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.
“Who woulda thought Chuck-e-Cheese had so much blood in’m?”
AKA: A Case for Abortions. Getoffmydamnlawn.
First Appearance:The Brood (1979)
Monster Type: Child Monster. (REDUNDANT)
Their Place in the Film: The Brood are first shown running around killing people, yelling in their raspy little voices and looking all the world like demented, bloodthirsty midgets. No one knows what’s going on or why they’re targeting certain people until it’s found out what they really are- a group of children killers. Not only that, but they’re actually the physical manifestations of a institutionalized nutjob’s rage, directed towards her ex-husband. See what happens when you sleight a woman? Asexual reproduction, every time.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Small stature. Hoodies. Thirst for blood, love of mother. Tasty exterior.
Why It Is Forgotten: Cronenberg’s early films did pretty well despite their weirdness and got him following down his amazing filmmaking path, but they’re still relatively obscure today, despite their quality. The Brood was way too much for people to take, and still probably is today. It’s the rare person that doesn’t get disturbed when they get to the scene where the Brood’s mother animalistically licks her newborn child clean of all birth matter.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because it’s proof that all children are inheritely evil.
Soft drink. Hard crime.
Monster Type: Violent vendor.
Its Place in the Film: Evil aliens who covet our planet conspire to wipe out humanity by animating all of our machines and turning them against us. In the first fifteen or twenty minutes of Stephen King’s one and only directorial effort (praise the Lord for sparing us more pain), plenty of people get killed in plenty of silly ways, but nobody takes the loss as amusingly as the coach of a kid’s softball team. When the soda machine in the park eats his change, he starts banging on it only to find that it is willing to serve him a high fructose fatality by beaning him with cans. After having dispatched the coach, the machine then starts flinging copious cans of carbonated carnage at the whole team! And you thought getting killed by having a vending machine fall on you was funny.
Why It Is Forgotten: “I’m going to scare the hell out of you,” Stephen King promised in the trailer for Maximum Overdrive, but the only people he scared were the accountants at the DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG, which was also coincidentally my nickname in grade school. I’m not certain why) when the picture tanked. It’s a film whose AC/DC soundtrack is probably much better known than the actual movie.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Like the Holocaust, Maximum Overdrive must never be forgotten on principle. The soda machine, though, should be remembered for its good sense of humor – before killing the coach with a well placed can to the dome, it nails him in the balls. Also, the machine sends the softball team running in terror, where they’re easy prey for a steamroller!