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, while others will make just about everybody scratch their head. All of them deserve more love. That’s where we come in.

“I don’t know where the gruel ends and the drool starts.”

Name: Cute Dog

AKA: Brundlemutt. Gene Scramble. Drooping Dog. S.L.O.U.G.H.S. Oops.

Appearances: The Fly II (1989)

Monster Type: Molded Retriever.

Its Place in the Film: Poor Martin Brundle. Being the bastard offspring of the inventor who messily perfected man/housefly mutation (as well as the Borans Limb Melt Technique), life is already a struggle. And it’s going to be short, too, given that you’re aging faster than Greg Oden. Pretty much the only joy you’ve got in this fleeting life – before you hit puberty and, soon thereafter, Daphne Zuniga – is your obnoxiously cute and perky Golden Retriever. And when those gene-muddling jackasses at Bartok Industries decide to send the pooch through the same transporter that turned your father into a champion arm wrestler, “cute and perky” comes out on the other side as “mottled and awful”. It ain’t easy being a Brundle – nor is it a party being “mottled and awful”, ‘cuz the fiends at Bartok are steadfastly anti-euthanasia when their mistakes are this gloriously hideous (as young Martin discovers much to his horror). So when an older Martin discovers not only what remains of his once-adorable hound, but that it remains, it’s time to enact the Old Yeller rite-of-passage. Swiftness, however, is not the order of the day.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
Contorted. Lethargic. Dim-eyed and mushy-tailed. Better at “dead” than “fetch”. Not vain. Eager to die.

Why It Is Forgotten: The Fly II is a better movie than you might remember, but it is not David Cronenberg’s The Fly, and that is its enduring misfortune. As an unpretentious monster movie, it has lots to offer: gore, ghoulishness and Goetz. And, aside from the Goetz, it’s all epitomized in this labored little fucker seen above. And, yet, it continues to languish in disrepute because it’s a huge tonal departure from Cronenberg’s masterpiece.

Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Film history is riddled with monster dogs (including the Monster Dog), but very few of them were crafted under the aegis of Chris Walas. This is one very special beast. It’s genetically-enhanced man’s best friend… and worst nightmare.

Jeremy Smith

Never let anything grow on you that can’t be cut off in 30 seconds flat.

Name: Leviathan

AKA: Chulutu’s Arm Joint. The Supinator. The Shiherlis One. Pain Nipple. Pop Secret. Michael Eisner.

Appearances: Heat (1995)

Monster Type:
The Thing Which Should Not Be

Its Place in the Film:
The situation seems so mundane. Chris wakes up hungover from a bender, crashed out on the floor of Neil’s place. He’s had an argument with his wife. They talk of various matters, personal and business, and come to various forms of arrangement about how to proceed. The ocean is in the window behind them. No music plays.

But something is growing, trying to get out- of Chris’ left elbow. The deep resentment he feels towards Neil, despite their long-standing friendship, threatens to burst out from a spot right next to his annular ligament. All of our common fears of inadequacy and failure are contained in the throbbing, bruise-colored knot that juts like a gunner’s turret from this most important joint.

But it’s time is not yet come. The beast waits, this Belial without a basket. Like a displaced Puppet Master slug, it protrudes just enough that we can see it’s influence, and fear it, as it puppets Chris to the fate that we know waits for all of us.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Purplish. Tumor-like. Malevolent. Patient. Prone to extreme pain when hit. Utterly evil.

Why It Is Forgotten: Most audiences lack the force of will to perceive Leviathan and stay sane, much less continue to draw oxygen without excreting from their eyeballs. Leviathan does not want to be seen or remembered. It works in secret, in the dark, and under long-sleeve shirts.

Why It Shouldn’t Be Forgotten:
It’s a wound from Batman Forever. We’ve all got those…

Jeremy’s Comments About #1: That’s a bursal cyst.

Nick’s Comments About #1:

Middle English, from Late Latin, from Hebrew liwyāthān
14th century
1 a often capitalized : a sea monster defeated by Yahweh in various scriptural accounts b: a large sea animal
capitalized : the political state; especially : a totalitarian state having a vast bureaucracy
3: something large or formidable

My jaw hitting the floor in awe is common in Michael Mann films, and Heat is in my top ten of all time, but when I saw this the first time no moment fucked my face harder than the image of Val Kilmer’s distended wing pulsating with promise and unspent fluid. This is Leviathan, cold and opressive. The denier of life. The taker of truth. The never tennis againder. Val Kilmer’s joint died for your sins. Never forget.

Devin’s Comments About #1: Is that some kind of optical illusion? I’ve seen Heat a couple of time but I have never noticed that Val Kilmer has the elbows of a Xenomorph. It’s yet another of the revelations that come to you daily courtesy of

Alex’s Comments About #1: I have to admit I never noticed that either. It took me a little bit to realize what the holy hell was going on there, but now my brain is scarred forever. Thanks, guys. Now I’m all looking forward to in life is to see Kilmer one day bust that elbow on someone’s head, Tony Jaa style.

Russ Fischer & Friends


Nick’s Closer: This has been a great list. A lot of fun and we have so many we didn’t use that I almost considered doing this as a list of 100. I personally considered using Pearl from Blade, the half a dog from Return of the Living Dead, the penis from Street Trash, the penis from The Fly, the pussy from Chatterbox, Six-Shooter from Puppet Master, and many more. As it turns out I really like the balance of weird oddities and somewhat expected choices on this list of fifty. A lot of fun. A tremendous amount of work, but a lot of fun.

Devin’s Closer: Thanks to this list I now own Blackenstein on DVD. I tell you that to illustrate the sacrifices that we, the men of CHUD, have made for you. When Nick and I hatched this list it was supposed to be for the month of October, but things happened and it ended up running later. I’m glad. As St. Patrick’s Day is amateur hour for drinkers, Halloween is amateur hour for monsters. I love that these forgotten monster got their days in the sun outside of the shadow of their better known brethren.

Jeremy’s Closer: The trouble with “Forgotten Monsters” is that they’re often forgotten by distributors. The Twonky, the Homunculus, the Boogen… these guys aren’t readily available on DVD; and if they are, the transfers generally range from “murky” to “shapes and colors signifying not much of anything”. I like to think we’ve performed a service here. And if we haven’t, at least we’ve entertained you. And if we’ve failed to accomplish that, then may you contract a bursal cyst.

Russ’s Closer: I’m still a bit sad that I didn’t get to honor the Red Lectroids with a spot on the list, not that they’re terribly forgotten*, but I’m perfectly OK with the fact that the baby from It’s Alive didn’t make the cut. Killer babies got more than a fair shake this time. A note to nannies: it’s OK to shake toddlers if they’re teething on your fleshy bits. And at the end of the list, all I’m left with is an unspeakable fantasy of seeing Kilmer’s elbow be drawn into The Shunting.

*Some of you may have noticed that, despite the title, ‘forgotten’ was more of a guideline than an actual rule.

Alex’s Closer: This was the first Chud list I helped out with, and I’m just honored to have been included, as lame as that sounds. I had a few goofy favorites that didn’t make it, like The Stuff or the absorbed twin eye from The Dark Half, but fact is, this is a great list, one you’ll never see the likes of anywhere else. I’m just impressed that these guys pulled out a couple that I’d never even heard of before.

Just don’t blame us if the movies suck… we only like the monsters.