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Monday, 23 April 2018

AtoZ2018 - T is for ... #MovieMonsters #AtoZChallenge


T is for ...

T is such a versatile letter and I had many, many monsters to choose from, so here are my favourite five. I do hope you enjoy them as we enter the second to last week of the AtoZChallenge.

Scariness Rating


The little skulls by their name are my scariness rating as to how monstrous and scary I think the creatures are when seen in their films.
  •  1 skull (not scary at all) - 5 skulls (very scary)
  •  and there is a special rating for a few - 5 red skulls (utterly terrifying)

Terminator

It would be impossible to do a movie monsters for T and not mention the badest cyborg on the block, the Terminator himself. I am of course talking about the original article.

The 1984 film is a classic and much my favourite of all the Terminator films. Arnold Schwarzenegger play the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor and prevent the birth of John Connor, her son and leader of the resistance against the machines in the future.

He is cold, ruthless and focused solely on his task. And, if that isn't enough, it takes a hell of a lot to kill him. There is a reason this film spawned a franchise, and that's because the Terminator is such a great bad guy.


Thulsa Doom (Conan the Barbarian)

I've mentioned Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) on my blog before, but I have to mention him again for this A to Z because he is a monster of the first order.

He's human enough when we first meet him as he is slaughtering Conan's parents and tribe, but he's just as much a monster as later when he has mystical powers, a cult following and can change himself into a snake.

Doom values power above all else. He revels in the fact he can simply look at one of his followers and they will kill themselves for him. He demands complete loyalty and takes anything he wants. He is a monster who is ugly on the inside.

The Conan films are a fun romp for fantasy fans. They don't require a lot of brain power, but Doom is a great villain anyway.

Torok the Troll (Troll)

So I could have gone with Troll or Torok for today, so win/win. Torok is a troll with shape shifting abilities who wants the world of fairies to take over the human world.

He starts this endeavour by kidnapping Wendy Potter, a young girl who still has the innocence of childhood. He then transforms himself into the likeness of Wendy, terrorising her brother Harry (yep, this is one Harry Potter who predates JKR and, although he weilds a magical staff at one point, it's not his and he's not a wizard).

Going from apartment to apartment in the building the Potters have just moved into, Torok converts each and its occupant into fairyfolk and land.

This is a pre-CGI movie, so all the fairies and goblins and pixies are foam latex puppets or people in suits. It's old school, but it is a delightful film. It manages to make Torok a monster and sympathetic at times as well.

Time (Sapphire and Steel)

Time might seem like an unusual monster, but it is almost an entity and a monster in Sapphire and Steel. These interdimensional agents are sent in when time breaks through to various places on Earth, manipulating the environment, people and other forces to break down the barriers of reality.

It's never seen, only the effects it creates and the powers that it helps manifest, but it is still the monster in the background.

If you haven't seen Sapphire and Steel, I cannot recommend it enough. It is a TV show from the late 70s/early 80s and it is very clever. It doesn't need fancy special effects because it is so tightly plotted. Trust me, you'll never look at a nursery rhyme, a photo or an empty railway station ever again.

Triffid (Day of the Triffids)

Now I had to include Triffids because they involve a childhood trauma which means I remember bits of the TV show perfectly and I can never forget their rattle.

A Triffid is a carnivorous, mobile plant that humans farm for their oil. Unfortunately, when a meteor shower rendered almost everyone blind, they escape and take over. They have a long proboscis they can flick out and sting people with their venom, which can injure or even kill.

My trauma involved seeing a bit of one of the episodes of the 1981 series, then going to bed, looking sideways and discovering something moving on my pillow. It was a spider, so it was a double whammy, because not only was I thinking of triffids, I also hate spiders :).


Q: Do you have any trivial but traumatic memories from when you were young that had stayed with you because of their context? What are your favourite T monsters?


AtoZ List of All Participants

11 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Oh I forgot all about S&S... I had a childhood crush on David McCallum (which, perhaps, as never gone... hello "Ducky") and JL is always watchable. (Concentrate YAM - Monsters...) Loved Terminator, and Day of the Triffids was on the school list for O levels... but my childhood telly-related trauma was the original Cybermen in Dr Who, the way they emerged from there cocoon-like housings... yeeecchhh... in the Star Trek univers, the Tholians were a devious lot. YAM xx

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  2. The only one I have seen is Terminator, which I think has stood the test of time quite well.

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  3. I really wanted the T-Rex from Jurassic Park to be in here, but I suppose you did do that for 'D'. Terminator is a good choice. He is terrifying at times.

    Too Close For Comfort by McFly

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  4. The only one I'm familiar with is the Terminator, though I haven't seen any of those films all the way through.

    One traumatic memory for me was the movie Cocoon! My parents took me to see in the theatre, and I freaked out when the alien emerges from her human skin. Some years later, at my dad's boss's holiday party, the young babysitter and I went downstairs to watch TV after the adults went to a restaurant and the boss's kids were asleep, and what else should be on but that movie! She thought that scene was really neat, while I was freaked out anew.

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  5. My traumatic memory from film was Gremlins - I was way too young when I watched it first time, still can't go back to it!
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/23/t-is-for-talinn-estonia/

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  6. Hi Tasha - I think I'd have enjoyed Sapphire and Steel ... the rest I think I'll leave! Cheers Hilary

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  7. My silly traumatic memory was seeing the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy in the 1939 movie, Withering Heights. I refused to go to my bedroom after seeing that film. Terminator is excellent whereas Conan is just funny. I don’t know the British tv show but is that Joanna Lumley? I know that is David McCallum so this show would be fun to see. I would add Tarantula from the movie of the same name...watched it more than once and freaked out every time where I had a recurring nightmare. Funny, it marks the debut of Cl8nt Eastwood as a security cop

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  8. Though I'm only familiar with Terminator, I feel like I the Triffids are ringing some sort of weird memory for me...

    Song a Day
    T is for Those Poor Bastards

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  9. Love the Terminator films, the first two anyway. Arnold's best.

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  10. Triffids are the nastiest, although the Terminator would deal with them perhaps. Are real triffids being created somewhere?

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  11. The two first Terminator movies were excellent: the bad machines were absolutely terrifying.

    Ronel from Ronel the Mythmaker A-Z road-tripping with Everything Writerly: T is for Tech

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