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.
“Whould have been nice to have a mouth right about now”, ruminated Clive the Drinker of Men
AKA: Manpire Bat. Wing Commander. Epidermist.
First Appearance:The Beastmaster (1979)
Monster Type: Skinja
Their Place in the Film: As our hero Dar (Oscar-snubbed Marc Singer, brother of nude cellists) meanders through the countryside of Don Coscarelli’s seminal fantasy film befriending rodents and avoiding Rip Torn’s hideous nose appliance he encounters a cadre of these night terrors whose claim to fame is standing around silently until a fellow comes close before sucking them dry whilst in a leathery embrace. Sort of like a mixture of a Venus Fly Trap and Rob Halford. Dar escapes their sinewy drink-sex because he’s pals with an eagle, the Man-Drinker’s totemic God. It’s why Glenn Frey still can manage an entourage. You just never know.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Tall. Brooding. Romantic eyes. Worships eagles. Drinks men but has no mouth. Uncircumsized.
Why It Is Forgotten: Though the film is a cable staple, everyone always discusses the animals or Rip Torn’s fucked nose or how Dar kept such a perfect coif in those times of trouble. There’s no real love for these silent rogues who are only in the film for a short period of time despite being better than anything ever in the history of ever.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: They have no mouths yet the drink men. Do I have to draw a fuckin’ schematic?
OK, fine. Sommers sold me on his G.I. Joe flick with Cobra Commander.
Its Place in the Film: Dreamscape teases with the snakeman. At first you think he’s going to be just a throwaway piece of stop-motion for Dennis Quaid and one of Norman Rockwell’s hellspawn to conquer. But as Quaid’s character feuds with David Patrick Kelly’s sociopathic master of dreamwalking, there’s the tickling sense that Snakeman ain’t done yet. Indeed, at the end of the film’s climatic dream battle, having already poured a dream version of his Warriors persona into a knife-fingered maniac, a zombie and a nunchuck expert, Kelly claytates into the Snakeman. His strengths: the Snakeman (variant) action figure (MOC) fetches quite a price on eBay. His weakness: can’t stand the sight of daddy.
Why It Is Forgotten: Dreamscape has sorta fallen off the map altogether. It’s just a couple steps away from being really great, so people forget about the collective of Quaid, Kelly, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer and Kate Capshaw as well as all the uncommon dream visions. Maybe it’s that one nebbish’s dream of spousal infidelity, which really belongs in Twilight Zone: The Movie, that wipes the film from memory.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Mutating bipedal cobras are both one of the seven signs of the apocalypse and one of the original 31 Flavors. (Found next to Bubblegum.) And because David Patrick Kelly makes such an evil, scaly fuck.