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 you don’t want to see when you take off your pants.
Name: The Creeping Terror
AKA: The Carpet Muncher, Ol’ Broccoli Rabe head.
Appearances: The Creeping Terror (1964)
Monster Type: Giant Alien Slug Slave.
Its Place in the Film: The Creeping Terror is actually one in a set of two aliens, sent to our earth by a pencil-shaped spaceship. One breaks free in the crash, and slooooowly crawls around devouring all the tasty humans he can get his, uh… mouth, on. See, our monster hero has no arms or tendrils or any other means of latching on to its prey, so they thoughtfully jump in themselves. In one case, a husband seems to help his wife get crammed in and be consumed. What a guy.
Its ugliness apparently helps, as people get rooted to the floor as it advances, even though it takes literally minutes for it to walk a few feet. Never before has a title been so apt.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Rug-like exterior. Gaping maw. Hobbit feet. Vacuum cleaner attachments on face.
Why It Is Forgotten: The movie is complete shit. Most of the dialogue from the film must have been lost, because almost everything is told to you by a narrator, and that includes complete conversations. It got a much deserved MST3K ribbing…. and just might be the worst movie ever made.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because the next time some slug-like alien menace creeps up on you, you’ll know that standing there screaming in terror before jumping into its mouth is NOT the way to go.
“Black power! No, seriously. Hook up some black power to these electrodes on my neck.”
AKA: The Shamblin’ Man. Member of the National Association For the Advancement of Frankensteins. Frank X.
Appearances: Blackenstein (1973)
Monster Type: Why is it that the white man gets to decide who is and who is not a monster?
Its Place in the Film: Eddie comes home from Vietnam without any arms or legs. His girlfriend Winifred turns to her college professor, Dr. Stein, to try and help Eddie with his new, experimental techniques. Unfortunately, Dr. Stein’s assistant, Malcom, wants Winifred for his own, so he sabotages the experiment, changing Dr. Stein’s special patented DNAmatic formula with another one that turns the newly re-armed and legged Eddie into Frankenstein’s monster. I can’t even come up with a joke for how stupid that is, by the way. Mild carnage and breathtakingly inept filmmaking ensues for an hour and a half.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Tall, dark and ugly. Inexplicably dressed by Dr. Stein in a black turtleneck, black sport coat, black slacks and black patent leather boots. Huge forehead. Afro.
Why It Is Forgotten: Blackenstein is an awful movie. A terrible movie. One of the worst movies I have ever seen. Made only because Blacula had sold a lot of tickets, Blackenstein (subtitled The Black Frankenstein, in case the title was too clever for you) is a film not only devoid of talent, it’s devoid of anything approaching competence. The camera is constantly shooting people’s feet, shots of Blackenstein lumbering around are stretched out to lengths that would drive Bela Tarr insane, and there is almost no story. On top of that, Blackenstein looks like Herman Munster as a soul brother for no good reason. He’s not even a dead guy! Director William A. Levey went on to direct Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman, a movie that will probably also one day make a CHUD list.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: He’s Frankenstein with an afro. That’s all I got.
- Devin Faraci