The Least Threatening Movie Creatures Of All Time
Some movie monsters induce bloodcurdling screams, abject terror, and ghastly nightmares. Then there are the following that just induce pity and concerns about the prop department…
Gorilla Scuba Diver
What do you do when you’re making a monster movie—with the word “monster” in its very title—but you can’t afford a monster? If you’re the director of 1953’s “Robot Monster” you cast the friend who owns most of a gorilla suit as your main star and then top off the ensemble with a helmet you think says, “alien monster” but everyone else thinks says, “Little toy guy who stands in fish tanks making bubbles.” The result is a terrifying monstrosity that has scared many a moviegoer out of ever going into low budget filmmaking.
Giant Angry Bunnies
Featuring a post-“Star Trek” DeForrest Kelley at the start of his “Gee, that’s a shame” phase of his career, 1972’s ”Night of the Lepus” is about rabbits who turn into giant, carnivorous monsters because there’s 88 minutes of film here so something better kill someone. However, the movie studio was so certain no one would line up to see bloodthirsty bunnies that it refused to mention the main attraction in either the trailer or the movie’s title, hoping that anyone who would see such a film would never be in the proximity of a dictionary to look up the word “lepus.”
Celebrating the bicentennial in style, 1976’s “Squirm” is a powerful scientific study of how a mild lightening storm and Georgia’s power lines could drive earthworms to feast on humans. The worms burrowed under people’s skins, poured out of showerheads, climbed staircases, and generally made everybody wish they had replaced their backyard with a pool or a cement slab. This “nature gone berserk” meme was soon followed by “Tentacles” (about a giant killer octopus) and “The Swarm” (about killer bees), proving that if you wanted to stay alive in the 1970’s you just had to avoid the ground, water, and air.
Satanic Floor Lamp
By the time “The Amityville Horror” franchise reached its fourth movie, script meetings had been replaced by just repeatedly pointing at random objects in a room and asking, “Could that kill someone?” Eventually somebody gestured to a light fixture and the crew either answered, “Yes!” or “Who cares? It’s lunch time” and so a movie about a demon inhabiting a light bulb was born. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of those three-way bulbs, which could have dramatically upped the lamp’s fear factor, causing people around it to go from “Augh!” to “AUGH!” to “Too bright! What are we, lighting the entire neighborhood here?”
Large Arthritic Slug
Slugs—like snails, inchworms, and the remains of a pigeon—rarely instill terror in people due their noticeable lack of speed. Sure, upon seeing a giant slug someone might remark, “Well, I’ll be. A giant slug” or “Let’s just walk slowly in the opposite direction,” but few would flee for their lives. Unless, of course, it’s the above clip from 1964’s “The Creeping Terror,” in which the giant slug breaks into a dance hall only to remain in one corner, perhaps commandeering the punch bowl. Then cast members—from clearly different sets and other shooting days—break into a wild panic, fearing that if they linger for a good eight hours they just might get slimed.
All monster movies require some suspension of disbelief. But when you spend the entire film wondering, “Is that a traffic cone, an ambitious asparagus or one of those scrubbing bubbles gone rogue?” any plot about a Venutian trying to take over the world through mind control is besides the point. In fact, most people who sat through 1956’s “It Conquered the World” probably just worried about the little actor inside the alien costume, wondering if this is really what four years at Julliard will get you.
Can you think of any other movie monsters that just aren't scary? Let us know in the comments!