Monsters You've Probably Not Heard Of
ZUNI FETISH DOLL from Trilogy Of Terror
Chris: The image of Karen Black being terrorized by an African Zuni fetish doll in the 1974 telefilm Trilogy Of Terror must have rang a chord for a lot of people as this is probably the best known baddie on this list. You wouldn't think a tiny, tribal looking doll could give you the willies, but then you haven't seen it nipping at your heels with a tiny knife making horrible screeching noises - it's the most memorable sequence in the movie and for good reason.
Josh: I found this guy to be extremely creepy when I first read Richard Matheson's short story entitled "Prey". Seeing him come to life in Trilogy of Terror made him even creepier as I had not envisioned him to be so damn ugly. I can only imagine how many children were scarred for life after seeing this on TV in the 70's.
HUMANOIDS from Humanoids From The Deep
Chris: They are fish men. They like to breed with human women. They also like to wreak havoc at the local carnival. And there's even a sequence where one of them bursts Alien-style from an impregnated victim's stomach. As low-budget monster movies from the 80's go you can't deny how memorable these ugly bastards were.
Josh: These creatures are the best monsters to come from the sea aside from the zombie Nazis in Shock Waves. Fast, scary, and perverted, these ugly and slimy creatures wreaked havoc and probably traumatized some actresses in the process. A precursor for things to come from effects wizard Rob Bottin.
Q from Q: The Winged Serpent
Chris: Larry Cohen has always been one of my favourite fringe filmmakers usually delivering interesting (if sometimes flawed) fare. In fact, creatures of Cohen's imagination almost snuck on here twice as his mutant killer baby from It's Alive was considered for inclusion. But since I'm a sucker for giant creatures terrorizing major metropolises (in this case New York) I had to go with the cool winged, dragon-like prehistoric beast of Q: The Winged Serpent.
Josh: What's not to love about a giant prehistoric monster than attacks nude sunbathers and beheads window washers? Michael Moriarity is seemingly the only one who can stop this crazy dinosaur with a little help from David Carradine. Director Larry Cohen utilizes key locations in his beloved New York to make this story of human sacrifice and a monster with a cool name fly.
DEADLY SPAWN from The Deadly Spawn
Chris: This creature in this low-budget labour of love is one toothy bastard. Having not had the delight of seeing The Deadly Spawn until I rented it a few years back, I felt like an idiot when it was over and I loved it to death. And John Dods' creature effects are completely above average for a 1982 "shot for next to nothing" efforts. It's one cool looking monster and the attack scenes offer up plentiful grue.
Josh: I actually just finished watching this flick again and I forgot just what a cool creature this was. Dripping with various substances and sporting many rows of razor sharp teeth, this low budget creature still stands up today. Not only is the main creature on ugly mofo but it also has an army of baby monsters scuttling around as well.
CRITES from Critters
Chris: In case I haven't made it abundantly clear over the years, I love the Critters movies (well the first two, anyway). As created by the Chiodo brothers, these spiky, hedgehog like creatures sport a full mouth of sharp teeth, roll along like tumbleweeds, and shoot poison darts out of their backs. They're totally bad-ass. And considering some consider this series to be a riff on Gremlins, it's surprising how entertaining the original and, to a lesser extent, its sequel were. Most priceless moment involves one critter meeting a plushie form of Steven Speilberg's E.T.
Josh: These little bastards are the exact opposite of all the cute little weird creatures that populate toy store shelves. Originally, one of the first Gremlins copies to come out, these guys held their own through four sequels before fading into horror history. Come to think of it, if the Deadly Spawn and the Zuni Fetish Doll mated with a Furby in a night of passion, the Critters would be the likely result. Now that's a horrific thought.