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.
“I eat Swiss Army Knives for breakfast… and right now I’m very hungry.”
Name: That Knife
AKA: Paris Hilt. Miles O’Sheathe. Ruben Blades. Stabbing Eastward. Mick Dagger. Djimon Ginsou.
Appearances: The Shadow (1994)
Monster Type: Sword Loser.
Its Place in the Film: The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, but he soon also finds out what sharp shit lies in their hands when the villainous Khan unleashes this living knife on his ass. This little animated baddie, known for its sharp tongue and rapier wit, also enjoys long walks in the sticking into guys and romantic dinners of poking out of human skin and sticking into guys. Sticking into guys. Sticking into guys. He hates us all and bounces around with very little to do except stab you.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Sharpened. Sticking into guys. Pointy. A hit with the ladies, hence the name Beaver Cleaver. Evil sneering face laced with tiny, hateful teeth. Known accomplices: Steak. Hands.
Why It Is Forgotten: Because people seem to think The Shadow‘s a bad movie when it really isn’t and the last thing they’re going to think of is this little son of a bitch.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because he’s so goddamn cute. Also, Lamont Cranston/The Shadow’s deadpan “Oh, THAT knife” rules the roost in a film loaded with great little lines of dialogue.
Someone get this guy a tissue.
Name: The Warden
AKA: J-Hulk. Sausage.
Appearances: Riki-Oh (1991)
Monster Type: Bloated Manga Beast.
Its Place in the Film: The Warden is in charge of the prison that our hero Riki-Oh is being kept, but he doesn’t show up till the end of the film. His captain and the bosses of each prison wing have tried to put Riki down at every turn but the Qigong expert is way too powerful for them, making them look like fools. When the Warden finally gets back to work he’s understandably pissed at having to do everything himself, and prepares for a final showdown with Riki. Course, Riki fucks everyone up right quick.
After shooting his last, fleeing minion in the ass with a bullet that makes him explode, the Warden goes into what seems like an epileptic fit. But no! He’s not going into shock, he’s hulking out! Some ripped clothes later and this 8-foot tall monstrosity rises up to smash Riki-Oh dead.
Not even getting punched straight through the stomach by Riki’s roaring fist of justice can stop this guy. He throws our hero through a few walls, and looks ready to be the one to finally kill him, till Riki deadlifts him and chucks him into a conveniant meat grinder. The Warden still fights on the way down but Riki puches him down into the whirling blades over and over again till there’s nothing left but his head. The twisted bastard then parades it around the prison like he was Perseus.
Why It Is Forgotten: It’s hard not to be overshadowed by everything Riki-Oh does in this movie. He knocks out a guy’s eye, he survives being buried alive, he even fucking ties his own arm tendons back together so he can continue to fight with it. The Warden only shows up at the very end, and didn’t really have a chance to stop him. Riki is a guy who can knock down enormous concrete walls with his fist, and play a mean leaf. But, the Warden sure went down fighting, and will continue to feed the prison for years to come.
Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Because the next time you’re stuck in a “futuristic” prison with no tongue, you’ll know who to blame! Besides, Riki-Oh‘s only the most crazy and bad-ass movie ever made.
Fun fact! They used so much thick blood for The Warden’s gory demise that Siu-Wong Fan (Riki) was stained red for three days. The Warden wins!
- Alex Riviello