Springtime
is in the air. The birds are chirping. The flowers are blooming. Pollen
is drifting through the wind, taking hold and situating itself to help
bring about new and exciting leafy living things to make our lives
enriched. As a result, welcome to our latest CHUD List, a look at the
20 best plants in film history. A few things to consider:

Anne
Ramsey was not officially a plant, so she is excused from this list.
The same goes for Maude Adams, Jack Elam, and that thing on Aaron
Neville.

Also, fuck The Happening. And here we go!


10. Marshall Matt Dillon From The Stars

Exterior: Hydroencephalic cranium. Black jumpsuit. Spiked knuckles.

Interior: My God, it’s full of seeds.

The Film: The Thing From Another World (1951)

Leafy Truths: I’m of the generation that grew up on the John Carpenter remake of The Thing From Another World, so my loyalty will always lie with that goopy, gory, very meaty monster. But I have to give credit where credit is due: could John Carpenter have made a giant killer salad as scary as Howard Hawks did? I think not!

The Root of Evil: He’s just the Karen Carpenter of space. My main manroot is zipping around the universe and accidentally crashes on Earth, getting his nutritious and fiber-enhanced self frozen in the process. When a bunch of Air Force guys unfreeze him he just does what comes naturally to a giant blood-drinking carrot.

Gardening Tips:
The Thing From Another World is a perennial, able to survive even the longest Arctic winters and bloom again in the spring! For the space monster gardener he provides lots of seedlings, which means growing an army of planet men to take over the world is a snap. With plenty of love and blood – human or animal will do – your Thing From Another World will even regenerate lost limbs.


“Why are you screaming? These are just my jazz hands!”


Its Place in Plantdom: Even if you just accept it as the precursor to the John Carpenter movie, The Thing From Another World is worth its weight in space broccoli beasts. But beyond that the movie is a damn fine piece of science fiction thriller, and it gives us the immortal line ‘Keep watching the skies!’

For the real nerds out there, the finale features what is possibly the first ever full-body burn in motion picture history.

Happy Ending: Lighting Mr. Another World on fire doesn’t quite do the trick, although it does mightily irritate him. Finally our heroes come up with the plan of rigging a walkway with electricity and turning the domed one into an intergalactic French Fry. Even without any canola oil the plan works, and as TFAW takes his final bows in electric fury, he briefly turns into a midget.

- Devin Faraci


9. A Nightmare In An Elm Tree

Exterior: A big gnarly tree.

Interior: Every single one of your childhood traumas.

The Film: Poltergeist (1982)

Leafy Truths: Watching Poltergeist is like taking a tour of your childhood night terrors. Creepy clown? Check. Horrible bugs? Check. Scary thunderstorms? Sure, but why not add a totally terrifying old tree while you’re at it? Every night you ever spent in bed looking at the denuded branches of that ancient oak, thinking it looked like it was about to reach into the window and grab you… Poltergeist validates all those nights.

Root of Evil: Dead people! They moved the stones, but not the graves, leaving the corpses of the angry dead to animate a big ass tree and grab whiny young Robbie. But, to quote one of the members of the CHUD.com Children of the Cod list, Admiral Ackbar, it’s a trap! They just wanted to get at that Carol Anne, so they used the tree as a diversionary tactic.

Gardening Tips:
This tree is smart. It outwits the great Craig T Nelson by slamming a window in his face, a feat that regular human Bill Fagerbakke (whose name sounds like a Dutch bakery that specializes in homophobia) could never accomplish in a decade of Coach.

Its Place in Plantdom:
This evil tree is the kamikaze of the evil spirit world. It throws itself in front of the Freeling family and eventually sacrifices itself (see the next section) simply so the Other Side could get its ethereal hands on Carol Anne. You’re a good soldier, tree.


“Are you there, gourd? It’s me, Robbie.”


Happy Ending: Grabbing Robbie wasn’t enough. This motherfucker starts shoving him into its vaginal mouth, thus giving 80s kids yet another set of childhood issues. You are bastards, Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg, whichever of you directed this scene!

But before it can take the boy into its sappy womb, the tree is undone by the very forces of evil that unleashed it. The old fella seems to not be rooted very firmly in the ground, as a passing twister sucks it up into the sky in a scene reminiscent of the end of Evil Dead 2, which would come years later. So I guess the scene in Evil Dead 2 is reminiscent of this. Whatever, the tree takes off in the funnel cloud and almost hits some old bitch on a bike before landing in a forest filled with like-minded foliage alongside a yellow brick road.

- Devin Faraci