Happy Halloween everyone, it’s that time of year where ghosts and ghouls roam the streets, people can dress up as their favorite characters without looking weird and children go out trick-and-treating, resulting in them binging on candy.
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Halloween is also the time of year where we can watch horror movies, ranging from the classics to unknown gems. However, for all the great horror movies and monsters that have graced the screen, there was also been some silly horror creations that filmmakers expect us to be scared of. It could be the result of a good idea poorly executed, an atrocious idea to begin with or simply a case of poor production values. So let us celebrate some ridiculous monsters in cinema history.
Bear (2010): A Psychic Bear
On the surface, a grizzly bear would make a perfect monster for a horror film, or at the very least be a “Jaws” clone, even if you can go onto Youtube to watch videos of cats scaring off the beast. The 2010 movie “Bear” managed to ruin this simple premise of a group of people fighting off a bear in the woods and it has been referred to by some as one of the worst horror movies ever made.
“Bear” shows four unlikeable 20-somethings getting attack by the titular bear after they killed a different bear in the woods – the grizzly even has a flashback to the event. During the bear’s attempt to terrorize the people he gets electrocuted by a makeshift cattle prod and trapped in a car. Then there was the ridiculous twist of the bear having psychic powers and forcing victims to confront their unresolved issues.
Besides the twist, “Bear” has also become infamous because of its awful production values, ranging from bad lighting placement, boom mics in some shots and having a man running around in a cheap bear costume.
Orca (1977): A Vengeful Killer Whale
Out of all the monsters to make it on this list, orcas (also known as killer whales) are vicious beasts to their prey, viciously biting and throwing their prey around before finally killing it. Alone and in captivity, they have even killed their trainers on several occasions, leading to the documentary “Blackfish”. So you’re asking why 1977’s “Orca” is a ridiculous offering? Well, it was a essentially a “Jaws” copycat that starts off with having an orca kill a great white shark as a piece of filmmaking posturing. Like the previous entry in this list, it’s also a revenge film in that a male orca is aiming to get back at Captain Nolan (portrayed by Richard Harris), who killed his pregnant mate. The orca’s scheme involves depleting the local fish supply and destroying the town’s electrical infrastructure so the townspeople would turn against Nolan. The film’s final battle features an epic stare down between Nolan and the orca as well.
Maximum Overdrive (1986): Killer Trucks
“Maximum Overdrive” is the first and only movie to be directed by horror author Stephen King, based on his short story “Trucks.” In “Maximum Overdrive” all electric devices have turned into killing machines – including from ATMs, chainsaws, vending machines, a steam roller and most famously a big rig with a Green Goblin mask after a comet passes Earth. The machines’ actions range from being rude by just throwing soda cans in someone’s crouch to literally crushing people to death.
King has been very frank about his experience directing “Maximum Overdrive.” He came off as childish (and worse) during production, which he has since admitted was due to being on copious amounts of cocaine when making the movie. He has even made the claim that “Maximum Overdrive,” despite being directed by him, is the worst adaptation of his works. When asked why he never directed another film, he frequently responds by saying “just watch Maximum Overdrive.”
Black Sheep (2007): Carnivorous Sheep And Weresheep
The 2007 horror-comedy “Black Sheep” was advertised with the tagline “there are 40 million sheep in New Zealand and they’re pissed off’,” taking the most harmless animal possible and turning it into a bloodthirsty monster. Also, a bite from one of these fluffy killers can turn a person be human-sheep hybrid. Thanks to animatronics from Weta Workshop, these gargantuan weresheep at least look decent (as much as a gargantuan weresheep can look, anyway).
Set in a nation known for its delicious lamb (and where the amount of sheep outnumber the amount of humans), “Black Sheep” toys with the trope of genetic experimentation gone wrong. Or in this case, gone right, since the goal of the scientist actually was to take sheep and make carnivorous versions of them that are capable of turning humans into weresheep monstrosities after one bite. What went wrong is that one of these mutant sheep was let go by environmental activists. Without giving away too much of the plot, we’ll just tell you zoophilia is involved and explosive flatulence is what saves the day.
Night Of The Lepus (1972): Rabbits
Many of the monsters that appear on this list are in horror-comedies, so they have the excuse of never meaning to be taken seriously. “Night of the Lepus” is one film that can’t make that argument because it treats its premise about giant rabbits terrorizing the American South-West seriously. Based on the novel “The Year of the Angry Rabbit,” “Night of the Lepus” sees a town being overwhelmed by a bunny population boom after the local predators (coyotes) died out. Not wanting to poison them with cyanide, they instead turn to genetic experimentation to see if they can mess with the rabbits’ birthrates. As you can imagine, one of the experiments goes wrong and a carnivorous rabbit gets loose into the gigantic rabbit population, leading to waves of killer bunnies.
The film used a variety of hokey special effects techniques like rabbits running around miniature sets, men dressed up as rabbits and putting ketchup on the rabbits’ nose after they ravaged a victim. It’s also slammed by critics for bad acting and poor directing. In the end, the only thing notable about “Night of the Lepus” is the fact that it was Deforest Kelley’s last acting role outside of the “Star Trek” franchise.
The Swarm (1978): Bees That Hate Sound
“The Swarm” was a ’70s horror-disaster film that had a pedigree cast including Michael Caine, Katharine Ross and Richard Chamberlain. It was even directed and produced by Irwin Allen who also produced “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno.” Despite all this, “The Swarm” is often regarded as one of the dullest movies made in that era. In fact, Michael Caine went as far as to claim it was easily the worst movie in his entire acting career.
“The Swarm” attempted to be a hybrid of the movie trends that were each so very popular in the 1970s, namely “Jaws”-like animal attacks and disaster movies. In it, we see dangerous South American bees making it to Marysville, Texas. There, they begin killing people, attacking trains and helicopters, and even invade a nuclear power plant. In the end, they discover it was alarm sounds that attracted the bees to the city, so they lure them out to sea where they douse it in oil and set it on fire to kill off the brutal bugs.
Troll 2 (1990): Vegetarian Goblins
“Troll 2” is infamous for being one of the worst movies ever made, earning it cult status. Even if you’re not familiar with the film, you’ve probably stumbled onto this glorious bit of acting at some point by chance or had a friend tell you about it. Despite its title, “Troll 2” isn’t actually a sequel to the 1986 movie “Troll,” nor does it feature it any trolls. The monsters are in fact vegetarian goblins who turn people into greenery by contaminating their victims’ food. Once in leafy form, the goblins can then eat them. It takes a young boy urinating over a meal to save his family.
“Troll 2” originated as a screenplay called “Goblins” by director Claudio Fragasso as a way to let his wife to air her frustrations about their friends becoming vegetarians. It was then retitled by the production company to “Troll 2” to piggyback off the actual “Troll” film. “Troll 2” was also a difficult production due to the communication problems between the English-speaking cast and Italian crew, as well as only having a budget of $200,000. Despite the movie’s campy tone, Fragasso has defended his work, saying he was making a serious horror film.
The Happening (2008): Trees
After burning his bridges with Disney when making “Lady in the Water,” M. Night Shyamalan moved on to his follow-up film “The Happening,” the first and only R-rated movie in his career. In “The Happening” people start to commit suicide when exposed to a neurotoxin. It turns out the source of the neurotoxin is trees, which are believed to be fighting against humanity for the environmental destruction they have caused. The trees have even somehow figured out how to prioritize their killings so that they kill off large groups of people. If you haven’t seen the film, note that this isn’t a bunch of trees come to life or are walking or anything like that. These are trees being trees, complete with multiple shots of trees just standing there in the wind.
Shyamalan expected audiences to be scared of trees and the wind. He also explained away that the toxin killed certain people but not others because they were “good people”. The survivor in the opening scene was a so-called good person, but this was only explained in the screenplay, not on-screen. Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel were spared because of their love.
Birdemic: Shock And Terror (2010): Exploding Birds That Spit Acid
“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” was a romantic horror movie that earned a cult following because of its laughably awful CGI, awful dialogue and acting, and nonsensical plot. Many claim it’s perfect for showing budding filmmakers how not to make a movie. “Birdemic” was the brainchild of James Nguyen, a man who says he was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock and even trademarked that he is “Master of the Romantic Thriller”.
“Birdemic” was Nguyen’s attempt to homage “The Birds” and the first half was a tedious, poorly made romantic movie. The fun really begins during the second half when the CGI birds start attacking because of global warming. In fact, the DVD commentary explained global warming is also responsible for them spitting acid and being randomly explosive. Nguyen only had $10,000 to spend and the special effects definitely reflect this. The actors are often seen waving their arms around hitting badly superimposed vultures and eagles. It’s so wonderfully bad that it’s almost good. Almost.
The Leprechaun Series: An Obnoxious Leprechaun
If you ignore his roles in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” “Willow” and the “Harry Potter” franchise, then Warwick Davis is best known for playing the murderous leprechaun in the aptly titled “Leprechaun.” It also stars a young Jennifer Aniston before she landed her breakout role on “Friends.” In the first film, Aniston’s family has moved into a home where they find a magical four-leaf clover and a bunch of gold coins. However, those gold coins belong to the titular leprechaun, who goes on a killing spree in order to get them back.
Despite the first film being a flop, they didn’t stop with just one. It somehow managed to spawn five sequels and a reboot film. The settings for the sequels were eclectic, including one set in outer space and two in “the ‘Hood.” During the Leprechaun’s seven-movie run, it became known for his over-the-top kills that mix comedy and gore as well as for its awful one-liners. Some of his silliest moments include a riding a tricycle and rapping in a club. The 2014 reboot attempted to take the franchise down a more serious route, but it also underperformed critically and financially.
Sharktopus (2010): A Half-Shark, Half-Octopus Hybrid
There have been movies with sharks in them and there have been movies involving a killer octopus before. There have even been movies between mega sharks and giant octopi. Naturally, the logical next step is to make a movie that combines the two in one and that’s exactly what happened in the 2010 SyFy movie “Sharktopus”. In “Sharktopus” the US Navy commissions a team of geneticists to make what they thinks is the perfect weapon: a hybrid with the head of a shark and the tentacles of an octopus.. However, as expected in these type of movies, the military loses control of their creature and the Sharktopus goes on a rampage, killing people on a beach.
Staying out of the ocean isn’t enough for the film’s stars to save themselves from Sharktopus because the creature is able to walk on land as well as swim in the sea. “Sharktopus” was produced by B-movie supremo Roger Corman and starred Eric Roberts. Being a TV Movie for SyFy, the CGI effects were lacking, to say the least. However, the movie was made with a tongue-in-cheek tone and somehow spawned two sequels.
Rubber (2010): A Psychic Tire
“Rubber” is an indie meta-horror comedy directed by Quentin Dupieux. It’s a movie that tried exploring the genre in a completely different way by incorporating intermissions of people watching the movie they’re in and trying to kill each other in order to make it end earlier. Why? For no reason, because the first intermission explains that the movie is an homage to the concept of “no reason.” A tire then becomes a psychokinetic killer for no reason.
“Rubber,” the film being watched by the viewer and the actors from the intermissions, follows a tire named Robert that has come to life and developed psychic powers. It first uses them against the local wildlife before moving up to people, blowing up their heads “Scanners”-style. While Robert does this he is being watched by the intermissions audience in an intentionally pretentious message about the media, explaining that the audience in the movie (and we, the movie’s actual audience) constantly yearning for violence leads to more violence. It’s the type of movie festival critics love, but general audiences were split on whether it was too artsy or gloriously stupid to the point of being amazing.
ThanksKilling (2009): A Demonic Turkey
505 years ago, a Native American shaman used necromancy to summon a demonic, murderous turkey to kill all Caucasians. Now it’s back and trying to kill the descendants of the white man who first angered that Native American. With a premise like that, what could possibly be bad about this film? Everything, naturally, but gloriously so.
“ThanksKilling” was made on a budget $3,500 and it shows, having some of the worst acting ever put to film and a terrible puppet for the killer turkey (named Turkie, no less). The movie is filled with poor sex jokes and has Turkie being intentionally crass all throughout. It’s also filled with the turkey dropping a beautifully painful collection of one-liners, the worst (or best) being the turkey having sex with a woman while saying “you just got stuffed!” “ThanksKilling” is so beloved for being horrible that it received two sequels, the last one being funded through Kickstarter for $112,248.
Jack Frost (1997): A Killer Snowman
A year before the release of the Michael Keaton family movie, there was already a movie called “Jack Frost” involving a man who turned into a snowman. The 1997 horror-comedy was a critically panned effort that somehow managed to get a sequel, as well as a proposed remake originally slated for December 2016. “Jack Frost” has one of the worst costumes in film history, so bad that the DVD cover could be seen as misleading advertisement. Most people only remember it for being one of Shannon Elizabeth’s first acting roles (American Pie would only come out two years later).
“Jack Frost” begins with a serial killer (conveniently named Jack Frost) getting driven by a prison van to his execution. However, the van crashes into a truck containing genetic material, causing Frost to mutate into a snowman after merging with the snow because… eh, science. Jack describes himself as “the world’s most pissed off snowcone.”Now an abominable snowman, Jack kills his victims in a variety of ways including decapitating a kid with a sleigh, strangling a woman with Christmas lights, shooting icicles and freezing a bath tub. He is eventually taken down by a group of people using hair dryers.
Killer Condom (1996): Literally A Condom That Kills
It wouldn’t be CBR without at least one comic reference. Based on a comic book of the same name by Ralf König, “Killer Condom” sees the city of New York being plagued by living carnivorous condoms. Naturally, the film doesn’t even try to take itself seriously, with the American trailer for the movie using the glorious tagline “it’s the rubber that can rub you out.” The story follows Detective Luigi Mackeroni as he investigates a series of bizarre attacks in the seedy Hotel Quickie (yup): condoms are eating the penises off the men who wear them. The poor detective manages to avoid this fate, but not before losing a testicle to an evil condom instead.
Here’s something that’s possibly the most interesting thing about the film: famous Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, best known for his work on the “Alien” series, worked as a creative consultant on the movie.
What’s the most ridiculous horror movie monster you’ve ever seen? Let us know in the comments.
The post From Condoms To Tires: The 15 Most Ridiculous Horror Movie Monsters appeared first on CBR.com.