Horror Icons Aren't They All?
Who are these jokers?
I am sure it is a safe bet to assume you have heard of the Christmas sweater wearing madman over on Elm that stalks children in their dreams, or the hockey mask wearing machete toting mutant that guards the depths of Crystal Lake. You have probably heard of the possessed doll that kills for sport and wants to get into a real body like a demonic Pinocchio as well. I would even venture it safe to say you know about the Halloween visits of Michael Meyers and even the chainsaw packing antics of old Leatherface too.
Am I wrong? We are all familiar with Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street and Jason Vorheese from the popular Friday The 13th film series. Chucky has risen to popularity as they wise cracking demon doll of Child's Play and of course the others I have mentioned have secluded and stapled their fame in the horror archives forever but the fact remains that despite these elite few there are others who have graced the very screen of horror with just as much precision and power but were never given their just deserts or rights of passage into horror movie hearts quite like the big dogs above where.
Who are these jokers you ask? Who are these few who could go blade to blade and wise crack to wisecrack with the horror royalty? Let's take a peek.
The Tall Man
The Tall Man in all his glory.
5. The Tall Man From Phantasm
A great soundtrack, some amazing actors, a super cool flying silver ball of death and of course one of the most demonic looking bad guys this side of Hellboy made Phantasm one of the most loved cult classic horror films. With it's awesome lines from horror legend Reggie Bannister and of course the orb that could hunt you down like Oprah looking for a donut at a local coffee house the film really took people by storm.
As a kid I fell in love with the series but for me the real thrill was the character dubbed simply The Tall Man. Here was a brute of a man who was lifting coffins by himself and let's not forget controlling his own horde of flying death orbs and little demon people, oh God bless the little people! The Tall Man was truly terrifying and not in a hide in the dark and leap at you way but in a right there in your face but you can't get away sort of way.
Born Jebediah Morningside in the 19th century and acting as a mortician, not creepy at all, The Tall Man became obsessed with death and the link between the world of the dead and that of the living. This fascination leads him to craft a machine to separate the barrier between the two worlds and after a visit to the other side our friendly mortician friend is forever changed into the grim Tall Man.
Played by Angus Scrimm in the films this character is one of those amazing but underrated horror bad guys you can not help but love. His powers of mind control and of course the fact he is as strong as the Hulk and as smart as Bruce banner help to make him a serious threat to any foes he may have to tussle with.
I am always amazed when I hear fans toss out horror movie icons and this fellow never seems to make the cut when in reality he may very well be one of the coolest villains out there.
This 1988 film was the directorial debut of famed make up artist Stan Winston. If revenge makes us monsters than old Pumpkinhead must be king of the monsters. A creature brought to life to carry out an act of revenge and hell bent on doing so with extreme prejudice, I mean seriously what's not to like here.
The fact is the Pumpkinhead creature is not only visually terrifying it gets your blood boiling on an emotional level as well. I will admit some of the sequals were just to bad to watch more than once but the original few have great things going for them.
One aspect I found interesting is that the one who summons the beast to do their bidding is also caught in the mix as they develop a sort of connection with the creature. It become more than just a monster film and it starts to take on a whole new guise.
This is frightening!
A question of race.
Alien outlaws, vile little beasts, or just bundles of fur and teeth. Either will aptly describe the alien race known as the Crites. These little fur balls with a very ill temper escaped intergalactic prison and ventured to Earth in search of refuge and of course a few non willing snacks. I do hear we taste just like chicken.
The critters are often compared to the monsters that made the Gremlins films so popular but in all honesty other than an insatiable hunger there really is not that much similarity. Critters are actually very intelligent and can even fly space ships and perform task a gremlin would not ever be capable of doing. (Take that Stripe)
Critters spanned a few films, three if I am not mistaken and really made an impact on the midnight movie scene for years. I am sure you are asking how could I dare compare these little triffles with teeth to the likes of a Jason or Pinhead, but I will get there.
Imagine creatures about two feet tall that move at the speed of a cheetah and have the capacity to devour an entire cow in roughly a minute and a half. Now consider they travel in herds and usually where there is one there will be 6 or 7. Now you are talking a serious threat in a small package but hold up a minute, let me put some stank on that for you.
The critters can combine together to form a huge ball of rolling doom in the form of millions of tiny razor sharp teeth. Now can you see the sheer threat these little bastards can be?
As a kid I loved these movies and watched them on the original science fiction channel quite often. It sets a real hard fact that just because something is small does not mean it is not dangerous. While the films do border on the line of B-movie quite often they are still extremely enjoyable.
Candyman, Candyman, Candy wait did you hear something...
First off Tony Todd is so bad ass that he could make the role of a tooth fairy seem hardcore. The Candyman is another mindset of Clive Barker and just like his other contributions to the world of horror is scary as hell.
Candyman was an artist and the son of a slave who made the mistake of falling in love with the wrong woman. The end results of his love affair was his hand being taken from him, his body covered in honey and a hive of bees set lose to bring him to a slow and agonizing death. The whole idea of an urban legend come to life was just one that needed to be done but had never really been done to the degree this film managed to get to.
The Candyman legend haunted the streets of the projects and lured the educated at universities to seek out the man behind the myth, an act that even the educated would be unprepared for as Candyman takes them on a roller coaster ride of thrills and chills that have him asking deeply and emotionally, Be my victim.
As far as horror icons that can thrill go Candyman has it going for him in an epic way. He pops up in the most unusual of places, kills with the blood lust of 1,000 maniacs and let's not forget how he manipulates the very life around the people he is hunting. It makes for an interesting film but at the same time it makes you start to see that perhaps it was not the act of the Candyman that was evil but the act of summoning him in the first place.
1. The Thing
Let me first say that years and years of watching horror films as made me very hard to scare. Not many movies have ever managed to even get a fright out of me, but The Thing scared the living hell out of me in ways I don't even like to talk about.
Here is a horror villain you can't see coming because you have no idea who or what it is at any given moment. I love how despite the friendships involved in the film everyone begins looking out for themselves the moment it seems anyone of them could be the creature that has destroyed their once peaceful existence.
The Thing plays on our greatest fear. We fear the dark not because it is dark but because we can not see what it hides in it's shadows. The Thing hides right out in the open, but we can not detect it nor can we predict it's next action.
Add that factor to the fact it is often seen in grotesque and morbid ways as a conglomeration of flesh and bone twisted into a form that looks so unnatural it mimics a fat Paris Hilton. The Thing captivates us to watch and explore despite the fact we are scared to the edge of our seats and wondering is this loser next to me in this movie seat inhabited by the Thing, wait am I inhabited by the Thing?