Saturday, October 31, 2015

The 100 Greatest Monsters From Movies And Television #1 - #20

20. Zombies

A zombie is asserted to be a reanimated corpse, or a human who is being controlled by someone else by use of magic with some media renditions using a pandemic illness to explain their existence. Stories of zombies originated in the West African spiritual belief system of voodoo, which told of the people being controlled as laborers by a powerful wizard. Zombies became a popular device in modern horror fiction, largely because of the success of George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and they have appeared as plot devices in various books, films and in television shows.

The modern conception of the zombie owes itself almost entirely to George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. In his films, Romero "bred the zombie with the vampire, and what he got was the hybrid vigour of a ghoulish plague monster". This entailed an apocalyptic vision of monsters that have come to be known as Romero zombies.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times chided theater owners and parents who allowed children access to the film. "I don't think the younger kids really knew what hit them," complained Ebert. "They were used to going to movies, sure, and they'd seen some horror movies before, sure, but this was something else." According to Ebert, the film affected the audience immediately:

The kids in the audience were stunned. There was almost complete silence. The movie had stopped being delightfully scary about halfway through, and had become unexpectedly terrifying. There was a little girl across the aisle from me, maybe nine years old, who was sitting very still in her seat and crying.

Romero's reinvention of zombies is notable in terms of its thematics; he used zombies not just for their own sake, but as a vehicle "to criticize real-world social ills—such as government ineptitude, bioengineering, slavery, greed and exploitation—while indulging our post-apocalyptic fantasies". Night was the first of six films in the Living Dead series.

Innately tied with the conception of the modern zombie is the "zombie apocalypse", the breakdown of society as a result of zombie infestation, portrayed in countless zombie-related media post-Night. Scholar Kim Paffrenroth notes that "more than any other monster, zombies are fully and literally apocalyptic ... they signal the end of the world as we have known it."

Night made no reference to the creatures as "zombies". In the film they are referred as "ghouls" on the TV news reports. However, the word zombie is used continually by Romero in his 1978 script for Dawn of the Dead, including once in dialog. This "retroactively fits (the creatures) with an invisible Haitian/African prehistory, formally introducing the zombie as a new archetype".

Movie poster for the 1968 film Night of the Living DeadDawn of the Dead was released under this title just months before the release of Lucio Fulci's Zombi II (1979). Fulci's gory epic was filmed at the same time as Romero's Dawn, despite the popular belief that it was made in order to cash in on the success of Dawn. The only reference to Dawn was the title change to Zombi II (Dawn generally went by Zombi or Zombie in other countries.)

After the mid-1980s, the subgenre was mostly relegated to the underground. Notable entries include director Peter Jackson's ultra-gory film Braindead (1992) (released as Dead Alive in the U.S.), Bob Balaban's comic 1993 film My Boyfriend's Back where a self-aware high school boy returns to profess his love for a girl and his love for human flesh, and Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore (1994) (released as Cemetery Man in the U.S.). Several years later, zombies experienced a renaissance in low-budget Asian cinema, with a sudden spate of dissimilar entries including Bio Zombie (1998), Wild Zero (1999), Junk (1999), Versus (2000) and Stacy (2001).

In Disney's 1993 film Hocus Pocus, a "good zombie", Billy Butcherson played by Doug Jones, was introduced, giving yet a new kind of zombie in an intelligent, gentle, kind, and heroic being.

The turn of the millennium coincided with a decade of box office successes in which the zombie sub-genre experienced a resurgence: the Resident Evil movies in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010; the Dawn of the Dead remake (2004), the British films 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later and the homage/parody Shaun of the Dead (2004). The new interest allowed Romero to create the fourth entry in his zombie series: Land of the Dead, released in the summer of 2005. Romero has recently returned to the beginning of the series with the film Diary of the Dead (2008).

The depiction of zombies as biologically infected people has become increasingly popular, likely due to the 28 Days Later and Resident Evil series. More recently, Colin (UK, 2008) has taken the step of using an artisanal hand-held camcorder to provide the zombie point-of-view of the eponymous central protagonist, who is bitten (twice), turns yet retains some residual memories of his pre-revenant life. The short film screened at Cannes in 2009 and was released by Kaliedoscope Entertainment in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2009.

2006's Slither featured zombies infected with alien parasites, and 2007's Planet Terror featured a zombie outbreak caused by a biological weapon. The comedy films Zombie Strippers and Fido have also taken this approach.

As part of this resurgence, there have been numerous direct-to-video (or DVD) zombie movies made by extremely low-budget filmmakers using digital video. These can usually be found for sale online from the distributors themselves, rented in video rental stores or released internationally in such places as Thailand.

19. Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter, MD is a fictional character in a series of novels by author Thomas Harris. The character is introduced in the thriller novel Red Dragon (1981) as a psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. The novel and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs (1988), feature Lecter as one of two primary antagonists. In the third novel, Hannibal (1999), Lecter becomes the main character. His role as protagonist and anti-hero occurs in the fourth novel, Hannibal Rising (2006), which explores his childhood and development into a serial killer. Lecter's character also appears in all five film adaptations.

The first film, Manhunter, based on the novel Red Dragon, features Brian Cox as Lecter, spelled as "Lecktor". In 2002, a second adaptation of Red Dragon was made under the original title, featuring Anthony Hopkins, who had previously played Lecter in the motion pictures The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. Hopkins won an Academy Award for his performance of the character in The Silence of the Lambs in 1991. In 2003, Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Hopkins) was chosen by the American Film Institute as the #1 movie villain

Red Dragon was first adapted to film in 1986 as the Michael Mann film Manhunter. Due to copyright issues, the filmmakers changed the spelling of Lecter's name to "Lecktor," who was portrayed by Scottish actor Brian Cox.

In 1991, Orion Pictures produced a Jonathan Demme-directed film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, in which Lecter was played by Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins' Academy Award–winning performance made Lecter into a cultural icon. In 2001, Hannibal was adapted to film, with Hopkins reprising his role. The ending for the film was changed from the novel due to the controversy that the novel's ending generated upon its release in 1999: in the film adaptation, Starling attempts to apprehend Lecter, who cuts off his own hand to free himself from her handcuffs. In 2002, Red Dragon was adapted to film again under its original title Red Dragon, with Hopkins once again as Lecter and Edward Norton as Will Graham.

In late 2006, the script for the film Hannibal Rising was adapted to novel format. The novel was written to explain Lecter's development into a serial killer. In the film, the young Lecter is portrayed by Gaspard Ulliel. Both the novel and the film received generally negative critical reception.

18. The Borg

The Borg are a fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe.

Whereas cybernetics are used by other races in the science fiction world (and in recent times the real world) to repair bodily damage and birth defects, the Borg voluntarily submit to cybernetic enhancement as a means of achieving what they believe to be perfection (they also force their idea of perfection on others).

Aside from being the main threat in Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg also play major roles in The Next Generation and Voyager television series, primarily as an invasion threat to the United Federation of Planets and the means of return to the Alpha Quadrant for isolated Federation starship Voyager, respectively. The Borg have become a symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against which "resistance is futile". The Borg manifest as cybernetically enhanced humanoid drones of multiple species, organized as an interconnected collective, the decisions of which are made by a hive mind, linked to subspace domain. The Borg inhabit a vast region of space in the Delta Quadrant of the galaxy, possessing millions of vessels and having conquered thousands of systems. They operate solely toward the fulfilling of one purpose: to "add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to [their] own" in pursuit of perfection. This is achieved through forced assimilation, a process which transforms individuals and technology into Borg, enhancing - and simultaneously controlling - individuals by implanting or appending synthetic components.

In their first introduction to the franchise (Q Who?), little information is forthcoming about the Borg or their origins and intents. In alien encounters, they exhibit no desire for negotiation or reason, only to assimilate. Exhibiting a rapid adaptability to any situation or threat, with encounters characterized by the matter-of-fact statement "Resistance is futile", the Borg develop into one of the greatest threats to Starfleet and the Federation. Originally perceived on screen as a homogeneous and anonymous entity, the concepts of a Borg Queen and central control are later introduced, while representatives for the Borg collective are occasionally employed to act as a go-between in more complicated plot lines.

In Star Trek, attempts to resist the Borg become one of the central themes, with many examples of successful resistance to the collective, both from existing or former drones, and assimilation targets. It is also demonstrated that it is possible to survive assimilation (most notably Jean-Luc Picard), and that drones can escape the collective (most notably Seven of Nine), and become individuals, or exist collectively without forced assimilation of others. They are notable for being a main antagonist race in more than one series who never appeared in the original Star Trek.

17. The Terminator

"The Terminator" refers to a number of fictional characters portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger – a cyborg, initially portrayed as a programmable assassin, main protagonist, and military infiltration unit. "The Terminator" character first appeared in the 1984 movie of the same name, directed and co-written by James Cameron, and its sequels. The first film in the series features only one cyborg: the one portrayed by Schwarzenegger, although a second Terminator played by Franco Columbu is shown in a future flashback scene. In two sequels, Schwarzenegger's Terminator is pitted against other Terminators, and appears briefly in the fourth as a CGI model.

In the sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Schwarzenegger reprises the role, but with a twist: Schwarzenegger is the hero instead of the villain playing a different but visually identical Terminator in each of the three films. Within the Terminator universe created by Cameron, Terminators of the same "model" share identical characteristics. In the production of the films, this has allowed multiple Terminators to be portrayed by Schwarzenegger. In the context of the stories, this plot device provides a certain continuity for the human characters, by exploiting their emotional familiarity with a particular "human" visage.

"The Terminator" is the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the credits of the three Terminator movies. At different times, the character is given more specific designations such as model and series numbers, in efforts to distinguish Schwarzenegger's character from other Terminators.

The Terminator appears in Terminator Salvation. Schwarzenegger reprises the role via facial CGI, while the character itself is physically portrayed by Roland Kickinger.

16. HAL 9000

HAL 9000 is the sentient on-board computer of the Discovery One spacecraft in Arthur C. Clarke's fictional Space Odyssey saga.

HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is an artificial intelligence which interacts with the crew, usually represented only as a red television camera "eye" that can be seen throughout Discovery. He speaks in a soft voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the ship's crew who speak in a terse way, with little inflection. The voice of HAL 9000 was portrayed by Canadian actor Douglas Rain.

HAL became operational on 12 January 1997 (1992 in the film) at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois as production number 3. His first instructor was Dr. Chandra (Mr. Langley in the first film). HAL is capable not only of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, and natural language processing, but also lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting and expressing emotions, reasoning, and playing chess, in addition to maintaining all systems on an interplanetary mission.

HAL was ranked No. 13 on a list of greatest film villains of all time on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

In the French-language version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL's name is given as "CARL", for Cerveau Analytique de Recherche et de Liaison ("Analytic Brain for Research and Communication"). The camera plates, however, still read "HAL 9000".

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL begins to malfunction in subtle ways, and as a result, the decision is made to shut HAL down in order to prevent more serious malfunctions. The sequence of events and manner in which HAL is shut down differs between the novel and film versions of the story. He is the film's main Antagonist.

In the film, astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole consider disconnecting HAL's cognitive circuits when he appears to be mistaken in reporting the presence of a fault in the spacecraft's communications antenna. They attempt to conceal what they are saying, but are unaware that HAL is capable of lip reading. Faced with the prospect of disconnection, HAL decides to kill the astronauts in order to protect and continue its programmed directives. HAL proceeds to kill Poole while he is repairing the ship. When Bowman goes to rescue Poole, he is locked out of the ship, and HAL proceeds to disconnect the life support systems of the other hibernating crew members, killing them in their sleep. Dave manages to force his way back onto the ship by jumping through space and prying open an emergency airlock, outside of HAL's control.

In the novel, the orders to disconnect HAL come from Dave and Frank's superiors on Earth. After Frank is killed while attempting to repair the communications antenna, Dave begins to revive his hibernating crewmates, but is foiled when HAL vents the ship's atmosphere into the vacuum of space, killing the awakening crew members and almost killing Dave. Dave is only narrowly saved when he finds his way to a spacesuit which has its own oxygen supply.

In both versions, Bowman then proceeds to shut down the machine. In the film, HAL's central core is depicted as a crawlspace full of brightly lit computer modules mounted in arrays from which they can be inserted or removed. Bowman shuts down HAL by removing modules from service one by one; as he does so, HAL's consciousness degrades. HAL regurgitates material that was programmed into him early in his memory, including announcing the date he became operational as 12 January 1992. When HAL's logic is completely gone, he begins singing the song "Daisy Bell" (this being a reference to the first song played on a computer, the UNIVAC I, was "Daisy Bell"). HAL's final act of any significance is to prematurely play a prerecorded message from Mission Control which reveals the true reasons for the mission to Jupiter, which had been kept secret from the crew and not been intended to be played until the ship entered Jovian orbit.

15. Predator

The Predator is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterised by its trophy hunting of other dangerous species for sport, including humans and its fictional counterparts, Aliens. Other franchises that have been based on this film include the comic books "Aliens vs. Predator" and the "AVP" film series as well.

First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predator creatures returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), and Predators (2010). The Predators have also been the subject of numerous novels, video games, and comic books, both on their own and as part of the Alien vs. Predator crossover imprint. While a definitive name for the species is not given in the films, the names yautja and Hish have been alternatively used in the expanded universe.

Created by brothers Jim and John Thomas, the Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage and energy weapons, and are capable of interstellar travel.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent a more physically-imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Ventura's autobiography also alleges that Van Damme intentionally injured a stunt man. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. Hall, standing at an imposing 7 foot 2, had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons. Peter Cullen did the creature vocals in the original film, and said the inspiration for the Predator sounds were horseshoe crabs. Hal Rayle did the Predator vocals in the second movie.

Hall played the Predator in the first and second movies. He was trained in the art of mime and used many tribal dance moves in his performance, such as during the fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator at the end of the first movie. In Predator 2, according to a "making of" featurette, Danny Glover suggested the Los Angeles Lakers to be the other Predators because Glover himself was a big fan. Hall persuaded some of the Lakers to play background Predators because they couldn't find anyone on short notice. Hall died not long after Predator 2 was released in theaters.

In Alien vs. Predator, Welsh actor Ian Whyte, a fan of the Predator comics and movies, took over as the man in the Predator suit, portraying the "Celtic" Predator during Celtic's fight with an Alien warrior. Whyte returned to portray the "Wolf" Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.

In Predators, actors Brian Steele and Carey Jones both portrayed a new breed of Predator known as the "Black Super Predators", who have been dropping humans on their planet for many years to play a survival game against them. In a nod to the first film, Derek Mears played the Predator as the creature appeared in the original, dubbed the "Classic Predator".

14. Norman Bates

Norman Bates is a fictional character created by writer Robert Bloch as the central character in his novel Psycho, and portrayed by Anthony Perkins as the villain of the 1960 film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The character was inspired by serial killer Ed Gein.

Both the novel and Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film adaptation explain that Bates suffers severe emotional abuse as a child at the hands of his mother, Norma, who preaches to him that sex is evil and that women (except herself) are whores. The two of them live alone together in a state of total codependence after the death of Bates' father. When Bates is a teenager, his mother takes a lover, Joe Considine, driving him over the edge with jealousy; Bates murders both of them with strychnine and preserves his mother's corpse. Bates develops dissociative identity disorder, assuming his mother's personality, repressing her death as a way to escape the guilt of murdering her. He inherits his mother's house, where he keeps her corpse, and the family motel in fictional Fairvale, California.

Bloch sums up Bates' multiple personalities in his stylistic form of puns: "Norman", a child dependent on his mother; "Norma", a possessive mother who kills anyone who threatens the illusion of her existence; and "Normal", a (barely) functional adult who goes through the motions of day-to-day life.

Bates is finally arrested after he murders a young woman named Mary Crane (called Marion Crane in the film) and Milton Arbogast, a private investigator sent to look for her. Bates is declared insane and sent to an institution, where the "mother" personality completely takes hold; he essentially becomes his mother.

In Bloch's 1982 sequel to his novel, Bates fakes his death in a car accident while escaping from the asylum and heads to Hollywood, where a film based on his murders is in production. In the next book, Psycho House, Norman appears only as a novelty animatronic on display in the Bates Hotel, which has been converted into a tourist attraction.

The characterization of Bates in the novel and the movie differ in some key areas. In the novel, Bates is in his mid-to-late 40s, short, overweight, homely, and more overtly unstable. In the movie, he is in his early-to-mid-20s, tall, slender, and handsome. Reportedly, when working on the film, Hitchcock decided that he wanted audiences to be able to sympathize with Bates and genuinely like the character, so he made him more of a "boy next door." In the novel, Norman becomes Mother after getting drunk and passing out; in the movie, he remains sober before switching personalities.

In the novel, Bates is well-read in occult and esoteric authors such as P.D. Ouspensky and Alistair Crowley. He is aware that "Mother" disapproves of these authors as being against religion.

Bates was portrayed by Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock's seminal 1960 film adaptation of Bloch's novel and its three sequels. He also portrayed Norman Bates, albeit more lightheartedly, in a 1990 oatmeal commercial.[10] Vince Vaughn portrayed Bates in Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake, while Kurt Paul took on the role in Bates Motel. Henry Thomas played a younger version of the character in Psycho IV: The Beginning.

13. Jason Vorhees

Jason Voorhees is a fictional character from the Friday the 13th series of slasher films. He first appeared in Friday the 13th (1980), as the son of camp cook-turned-murderer, Mrs. Voorhees, in which he was portrayed by Ari Lehman. Created by Victor Miller, with contributions by Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham, and Tom Savini, Jason was not originally intended to carry the series as the main antagonist. The character has subsequently been represented in various other media, including novels, comic books, and a cross-over film with another iconic horror film character, Freddy Krueger.

The character has primarily been an antagonist in the films, whether by stalking and killing the characters, or acting as a psychological threat to the lead character, as is the case in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Since Lehman's portrayal, the character has been represented by numerous actors and stuntmen, sometimes by more than one at a time; this has caused some controversy as to who should receive credit for the portrayal. Kane Hodder is the best known of the stuntmen to portray Jason Voorhees, having played the character in four consecutive films.

The character's physical appearance has gone through many transformations, with various special makeup effects artists making their mark on the character's design, including makeup artist Stan Winston. Tom Savini's initial design has been the basis for many of the later incarnations. The trademark hockey mask did not appear until Friday the 13th Part III. Since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, filmmakers have given Jason superhuman strength, regenerative powers, and near invulnerability. He has been seen as a sympathetic character, whose motivation for killing has been cited as driven by the immoral actions of his victims. Jason Voorhees has been featured in various humor magazines, referenced in feature films, parodied in television shows, and been the inspiration for a horror punk band. Several toy lines have been released based on various versions of the character from the Friday the 13th films. Jason Voorhees's hockey mask is a widely recognized image in popular culture.

12. Jack Torrance

John Daniel "Jack" Torrance is a fictional character, the antagonist in the 1977 novel The Shining by Stephen King. He was portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the 1980 movie adaptation of the novel, and by Steven Weber in the 1997 miniseries. The American Film Institute rated the character (as played by Nicholson) the 25th greatest film villain of all time. In 2008, Jack Torrance was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters. Premiere Magazine also ranked Torrance on their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

Jack Torrance is a writer and former teacher who is trying to rebuild his and his family's life after his alcoholism and volatile temper costs him his teaching position at a small preparatory school. Having given up drinking, he accepts a position maintaining the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado for the winter, in the hope this will salvage his family, re-establish his career, and give him the time and privacy to finish a promising play. He moves to the hotel with his wife, Wendy, and young son, Danny, who is telepathic and sensitive to supernatural forces. Danny receives guidance from an imaginary friend he calls "Tony."

Jack Torrance is portrayed in a less sympathetic manner in the 1980 film. In the novel Jack is a tragic hero whose shortcomings lead to his defeat, while the film implies that he is insane from the start. It also omits his traumatic childhood.

The film's first major deviation from the source material occurs when Jack attacks Hallorann. Instead of merely injuring him with the mallet, Jack brutally kills Hallorann with an axe wound to the heart.

In the film, Jack hears Danny scream, and chases his son to a hedge maze outside the hotel (in the novel topiary animals come to life and threaten Danny). Danny walks backwards in his own footprints to mislead Jack, then jumps to a side path and slips out of the maze. While Wendy and Danny escape the hotel in Hallorann's Snowcat, Jack gets lost trying to pick up Danny's tracks, sits down to rest, and quickly freezes to death.

While Jack redeems himself in the book, in the 1980 film, he succumbs to his demons and is ultimately damned (much to Stephen King's chagrin). The film ends featuring an old photograph of a dance at the hotel from the 1920s that shows Jack in the event.

11. Jaws

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen.

Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster film and one of the first "high concept" films. Due to the film's success in advance screenings, studio executives decided to distribute it in a much wider release than ever before. The Omen followed suit in the summer of 1976 and then Star Wars one year later in 1977, cementing the notion for movie studios to distribute their big-release action and adventure pictures (commonly referred to as tentpole pictures) during the summer. Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It was number 48 on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years... 100 Thrills and was number one on Bravo's list of The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley. A video game titled Jaws Unleashed was produced in 2006.

During a late night beach party on the fictional Amity Island in New England, a 23-year-old woman named Chrissie Watkins (Susan Backlinie) goes skinny dipping only to be dragged under by an unseen force. Amity's new police chief, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), is notified that Chrissie is missing, and deputy Lenny Hendricks (Jeffrey Kramer) finds her remains. The medical examiner informs Brody that the death was due to a shark attack. Brody plans to close the beaches but is overruled by town mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season. The medical examiner reverses his diagnosis and attributes the death to a boating accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation.

A short time later, a boy named Alex Kintner (Jeffrey Voorhees) is brutally killed by a shark at the beach. The boy's mother (Lee Fierro) places a bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). Brought in by Brody, ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) examines Chrissie's remains and concludes she was killed by a shark.

A large tiger shark is caught by a group of fishermen, leading the town to believe the problem is solved, but Hooper is unconvinced that the shark is the killer and asks to examine its stomach contents. Vaughn refuses to make the "operation" public, so Brody and Hooper return after dark and discover the dead shark does not contain human remains. Scouting aboard Hooper's boat, they come across the half-sunken wreckage of a boat belonging to local fisherman Ben Gardener. Hooper explores the vessel underwater and discovers a sizeable shark's tooth, and also Gardener's severed head, which makes him drop the tooth in a panic. Vaughn refuses to close the beaches, and on the Fourth of July numerous tourists arrive. A prank by two boys causes panic, before the real shark enters an estuary, kills a man and causes Brody's son go into shock after witnessing it. Brody forces Vaughn to hire Quint. Brody and Hooper join the hunter on his fishing boat, the Orca, and the trio set out to kill the shark.

Brody is given the task of laying a chum line while Quint uses deepsea fishing tackle to try to hook the shark. As Brody continues chumming, an enormous great white shark looms up behind the boat; the trio watch the great white circle the Orca and estimate it weighs 3 short tons (2.7 t) and is 25 feet (7.6 m) long. Quint harpoons the shark with a line attached to a flotation barrel, designed to prevent the shark from submerging and to track it on the surface, but the shark pulls the barrel under and disappears.

Night falls without another sighting, so the men retire to the boat's cabin, where Quint tells of his experience with sharks as a survivor of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The shark reappears, damaging the boat's hull before slipping away. In the morning, the men make repairs to the engine. Attempting to call the Coast Guard for help, Brody is stopped by Quint, who destroys the radio with a baseball bat. The shark attacks again, and after a long chase Quint harpoons another barrel to it. The men tie the barrels to the stern, but the shark drags the boat backwards, forcing water onto the deck and into the engine, flooding it. Quint harpoons the shark again, adding a third barrel, while the shark continues towing them. Quint is about to cut the ropes with his machete when the cleats are pulled off the stern. The shark continues attacking the boat and Quint heads toward shore with the shark in pursuit, hoping to draw the animal into shallow waters, where it will be beached and drown. In his obsession to kill the shark, Quint overtaxes Orca's engine, causing it to seize.

With the boat immobilized, the trio try a desperate approach: Hooper dons his SCUBA gear and enters the ocean inside a shark proof cage in order to stab the shark in the mouth with a hypodermic spear filled with strychnine. The shark destroys the cage but gets tangled in the remains, allowing Hooper to hide on the seabed. As Quint and Brody raise the remnants of the cage, the shark throws itself onto the boat, crushing the transom. As the boat sinks, Quint slides down the slippery deck into the shark's mouth and is eaten alive. Brody retreats to the boat's partly submerged cabin. When the shark attacks him there, he shoves a pressurized air tank into the shark's mouth, then takes Quint's M1 Garand and climbs the Orca's mast. Brody begins shooting at the air tank wedged in the shark's mouth, causing it to explode and blow the shark to pieces.

As the shark's carcass drifts toward the seabed, Hooper reappears on the surface. The survivors briefly lament the loss of Quint, then cobble together a raft from debris and paddle to Amity Island.

10. The Mummy

The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners and Edward Van Sloan. It was shot in Cantil, California, Universal City, and the Mojave Desert.

An Ancient Egyptian priest called Imhotep is revived when an archaeological expedition finds Imhotep's mummy and one of the archaeologists, despite a warning, recklessly reads an ancient life-giving spell. Imhotep escapes from the archaeologists, taking the Scroll of Thoth, and prowls Cairo seeking the reincarnation of the soul of his ancient lover, Princess Ankh-es-en-amon.

Ten years later, Imhotep calls upon two archaeologists, claims that his name is Ardath Bey, a modern Egyptian, and shows them where to dig to find Ankh-es-en-amon's tomb. The archaeologists find the tomb and give the mummy and the treasures to the Cairo Museum. The archaeologists thank Imhotep for giving them the information of where to find the tomb.

Imhotep was once mummified alive for attempting to resurrect her, and, upon finding a woman bearing a striking resemblance to the Princess, attempts to mummify her and make her his bride. In the end, she is saved when she remembers her past life and prays to the goddess Isis to save her. The prayer causes a ray from the statue of Isis to burst out and burn the scroll that gives Imhotep life. He crumbles into a heap of bones.

9. Michael Meyers

Michael Myers is a fictional character from the Halloween series of slasher films. He first appears in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) as a young boy who murders his older sister, then fifteen years later returns home to murder more teenagers. In the original Halloween, the adult Michael Myers, referred to as The Shape in the closing credits, was portrayed by Nick Castle for most of the film, with Tony Moran and Tommy Lee Wallace substituting in during the final scenes. He was created by Debra Hill and John Carpenter. Michael Myers has appeared in ten films, as well as novels, a video game and several comic books.

The character is the primary antagonist in the Halloween film series, except Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which is not connected in continuity to the rest of the films. Since Castle, Moran, and Wallace put on the mask in the original film, six people have stepped into the role. Tyler Mane is the only actor to have portrayed Michael Myers in consecutive films, and one of only two actors to portray the character more than once. Michael Myers is characterized as pure evil, both directly in the films, by the filmmakers who created and developed the character over nine films, as well as by random participants in a survey.

Michael Myers is the primary antagonist in all of the Halloween films, with the exception of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, as that film did not feature any of the characters from the original two films and had nothing to do with Michael Myers. Michael would return immediately following Halloween III, in the aptly titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. The silver screen is not the only place Michael Myers has appeared; there have been literary sources that have expanded the universe of Michael.

Michael Myers made his first appearance in the original 1978 film, Halloween, although the masked character is credited as "The Shape" in the first two films. In the beginning of Halloween, a six-year-old Michael (Will Sandin) murders his older sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) on Halloween. Fifteen years later, Michael (Nick Castle) escapes Smith's Grove Sanitarium and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. He stalks teenage babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) on Halloween, while his psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) attempts to track him down. Murdering her friends, Michael finally attacks Laurie, but she manages to fend him off long enough for Loomis to save her. Loomis shoots Michael six times in the chest, before Michael falls over the house's second-story balcony ledge; when Loomis goes to check Michael's body, he finds it missing. Michael returns in the sequel, Halloween II (1981). The film picks up directly where the original ends, with Loomis (Pleasence) still looking for Michael's body. Michael (Dick Warlock) follows Laurie Strode (Curtis) to the local hospital, where he wanders the halls in search of her, killing security guards, doctors and nurses that get in his way. Loomis learns that Laurie Strode is Michael's younger sister, and rushes to the hospital to find them. He causes an explosion in the operating theater, allowing Laurie to escape as he and Michael are engulfed by the flames.

8. The Wolfman

The Wolf Man is a 1941 American Monster/Werewolf/Horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as The Wolf Man, and it also stars Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Béla Lugosi, and Maria Ouspenskaya. The title character has had a great deal of influence on Hollywood's depictions of the legend of the werewolf. The film is the second Universal Pictures werewolf movie, preceded six years earlier by the less commercially successful Werewolf of London. A remake was released in early 2010 starring Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) returns to his ancestral home in Llanwelly, Wales to reconcile with his father, Sir John Talbot (Claude Rains), after learning of the death of his brother. While there, Larry becomes romantically interested in a local girl named Gwen Conliffe (Evelyn Ankers), who runs an antique shop. As a pretext, he buys something from her, a silver-headed walking stick decorated with a wolf. Gwen tells him that it represents a werewolf (which she defines as a man who changes into a wolf "at certain times of the year.")

Throughout the film, various villagers recite a poem that all the locals apparently know, whenever the subject of werewolves comes up:

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.

That night, Larry attempts to rescue Gwen's friend Jenny from what he believes to be a sudden attack by a wolf. He kills the beast with his new walking stick, but is bitten in the process. He soon discovers that it was not just a wolf; it was a werewolf, and now Talbot has become one. A gypsy fortuneteller named Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya) reveals to Larry that the animal which bit him was actually her son Bela (Béla Lugosi) in the form of a wolf. Bela had been a werewolf for years and now the curse of lycanthropy has been passed to Larry.

Sure enough, Talbot prowls the countryside in the form of a two-legged wolf. Struggling to overcome the curse, he is finally bludgeoned to death by his father with his silver walking stick. His father watches in horror as his son transforms back into a human as the police rush to the scene.

7. Dracula

Dracula is a 1931 horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Béla Lugosi as the title character. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the stage play of the same name by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which in turn is based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Renfield (Dwight Frye), a British solicitor, travels through the Carpathian Mountains via stagecoach. The people in the stagecoach are fearful that the coach won’t reach the local inn before sundown. Arriving there safely before sundown, Renfield refuses to stay at the inn and asks the driver to take him to the Borgo Pass. The innkeeper and his wife seem to be afraid of Renfield’s destination, Castle Dracula, and warn him about vampires. The innkeeper's wife gives Renfield a crucifix for protection before he leaves for Borgo Pass, whence he is driven to the castle by Dracula's coach, which was awaiting him at Borgo Pass, with Dracula himself disguised as the driver. During the bumpy ride, Renfield leans out and starts to ask the driver to slow down, but is startled to see that the driver has disappeared, and a bat is leading the horses.

Renfield enters the castle welcomed by charming but odd nobleman Count Dracula (Béla Lugosi), who unbeknownst to Renfield, is a vampire. Renfield expresses concern about the strange disappearance of the coach driver and his luggage, but Dracula assures him that he has arranged to have his luggage delivered. They discuss Dracula's intention to lease Carfax Abbey in London, where he intends to travel the next day. Dracula then leaves and Renfield goes to his bedroom. Dracula hypnotizes Renfield into opening a window and then causes him to faint. A bat is seen at the window, which then morphs into Dracula. Dracula's three wives suddenly appear and start to move toward Renfield to attack him, but Dracula waves them away, and he attacks Renfield himself.

Aboard the schooner Vesta, bound for England, Renfield has now become a raving lunatic slave to Dracula, who is hidden in a coffin and gets out for feeding on the ship's crew. When the ship arrives in England, Renfield is discovered to be the only living person in it; the captain is lashed on the wheel and none of the ship’s crew is discovered. Renfield is sent to Dr. Seward’s sanatorium.

Some nights later at a London theatre, Dracula meets Dr. Seward (Herbert Bunston), who is with a group in a box seat area. Dr. Seward introduces his daughter Mina (Helen Chandler), her fiancé John Harker (David Manners), and the family friend Lucy Weston (Frances Dade). Lucy is fascinated by Count Dracula, and that night, after Lucy has a talk with Mina and falls asleep in bed, Dracula enters her room as a bat and feasts on her blood. She dies in an autopsy theatre the next day after a string of transfusions, and two tiny marks on her throat are discovered.

Several days later, it is seen that Renfield is obsessed with eating flies and spiders, devouring their lives also. Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) analyzes Renfield's blood, discovering Renfield’s obsession. He starts talking about vampires, and that afternoon chats with Renfield, who begs Dr. Seward to send him away, because his nightly cries may disturb Mina’s dreams. When Dracula awakes and calls Renfield with wolf howling, Renfield is disturbed by Van Helsing showing him a branch of wolfbane. It stops wolves, as Van Helsing says, and also is used for vampire protection.

Dracula visits Mina, asleep in her bedroom, and bites her, leaving neck marks similar to those on Lucy. The next morning, Mina tells of a dream in which she was visited by Dracula. Then, Dracula enters for a night's visit at the Sewards. Van Helsing and Harker notice that Dracula does not have a reflection in a mirror. When Van Helsing shows this "most amazing phenomenon" to Dracula, he reacts violently, smashes the mirror and leaves. Van Helsing deduces that Dracula is the vampire.

Meanwhile, Mina leaves her room and runs to Dracula in the garden, where he wraps his cape around her and attacks her; the next morning, she is found and awakened from unconsciousness. Newspapers report that a "mysterious, beautiful woman in white" has been luring children from the park with chocolate, and then biting them. Mina recognizes the beautiful lady as Lucy, who has risen as a vampire. Harker wants to take Mina to London for safety, but he is finally convinced to leave Mina with them. Van Helsing orders Nurse Briggs (Joan Standing) to take care of Mina when she is sleeping, and not to remove the wreath of wolfbane from around her neck.

Renfield again escapes from his cell and listens to the three men discussing vampires. Before Martin (Charles K. Gerrard), his attendant, arrives to take Renfield back to his cell, Renfield relates to Van Helsing, Harker and Seward how Dracula convinced Renfield to allow him to enter the sanitorium by promising him thousands of rats with blood and life in them.

Dracula enters the Seward parlour and talks with Van Helsing. Dracula states that because he has fused his blood with Mina's, she now belongs to him. Van Helsing swears revenge by sterilizing Carfax Abbey and finding the coffin where he sleeps; he will then thrust a stake through his heart. Dracula tries to hypnotize Van Helsing, almost succeeding, but Van Helsing shows a crucifix to the vampire and turns away.

Harker visits Mina on a terrace, and Mina speaks of how much she loves "nights and fogs". Harker notices Mina’s changes and says he likes them, not realizing that she is slowly transforming into a vampire. A bat (Dracula) flies above them and squeaks to Mina, to which she responds: "Yes? ... Yes? ... I will". Mina then tries to attack Harker. Fortunately, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward arrive just in time to save him. Mina confesses what Dracula has done to her, and tries to tell Harker that their love is finished.

Later that night, Dracula hypnotizes Nurse Briggs into removing the wolfbane wreath from Mina's neck and opening the French windows so he can enter her room. Van Helsing and Harker see Renfield, having just escaped from his cell, heading for Carfax Abbey. They see Dracula with Mina in the abbey. When Harker shouts to Mina, Dracula sees them, thinking Renfield had trailed them. He strangles Renfield and tosses him down a staircase, and is hunted by Van Helsing and Harker. Dracula is forced to sleep in his coffin, as sunrise has come, and is trapped. Van Helsing prepares a wooden stake while Harker searches for Mina. He finds her in a strange stasis. Dracula moans in pain when Van Helsing impales him, and Mina returns to normal. Harker leaves with her while Van Helsing stays. Church bells are heard, implying that they will be married.

6. The Creature

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell. The eponymous creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and Ricou Browning in underwater scenes. The film was released in the United States on March 5, 1954.

Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed and originally released in 3-D requiring polarized 3-D glasses, and subsequently reissued in the 1970s in the inferior anaglyph format (this version was released on home video by MCA Videocassette, Inc. in 1980). It was one of the first Universal Pictures films filmed in 3-D (the first was It Came from Outer Space, which was released a year before). It is considered a classic of the 1950s, and generated two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. Revenge of the Creature was also filmed and released in 3-D, in hopes of reviving the format.

A geology expedition in the Amazon uncovers fossilized evidence from the Devonian period of a link between land and sea animals in the form of a skeletal hand with webbed fingers. Expedition leader Dr. Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) visits his friend, Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), an ichthyologist who works at a marine biology institute. Reed persuades the institute's financial backer, Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning), to fund a return expedition to the Amazon to look for the remainder of the skeleton.

They go aboard a tramp steamer, the Rita, which is captained by a crusty old codger named Lucas (Nestor Paiva). The expedition consists of Dr. Reed, Dr. Maia and Williams, as well as Reed's girlfriend, Kay Lawrence (Julia Adams), and another scientist, Dr. Thompson (Whit Bissell). When they arrive at Dr. Maia's camp, they discover that his entire research team has been mysteriously killed while he was away. Lucas suggests it was done by a jaguar, but the others are unsure. The audience is privy to the attack upon the camp, which was committed by a living version of the fossil the scientists seek-curious upon seeing the expedition, the creature investigates the camp site, but its sudden appearance frightens the members, who attack it, whereupon the enraged creature kills them in response.

The excavation of the area where Maia found the hand turns up nothing. Mark is ready to give up the search, but David suggests that perhaps thousands of years ago the part of the embankment containing the rest of the skeleton fell into the water and was washed downriver. Lucas says that the tributary empties into a lagoon known as the "Black Lagoon", a paradise from which no one has ever returned. The scientists decide to risk it, unaware that the amphibious "Gill-man" that killed Dr. Maia's assistants earlier has been watching them. Taking notice of the beautiful Kay, it follows the Rita all the way downriver to the Black Lagoon. Once the expedition arrives, David and Mark go diving to collect fossils from the lagoon floor. After they return, Kay goes swimming and is stalked underwater by the creature, who then gets briefly caught in one of the ship's draglines. Although it escapes, it leaves behind a claw in the net, revealing its existence to the scientists.

Subsequent encounters with the Gill-man claim the lives of two of Lucas's crew members, before the Gill-man is captured and locked in a cage on board the Rita. It escapes during the night and attacks Dr. Thompson, who was guarding it. Kay hits the beast with a lantern; driving it off before it can kill Dr. Thompson. Following this incident, David decides they should return to civilization, but as the Rita tries to leave they find the entrance blocked by fallen logs, courtesy of the escaped Gill-man.

While the others attempt to remove the logs, Mark is mauled to death trying to capture the creature single-handedly underwater. The creature then abducts Kay and takes her to his cavern lair. David, Lucas, and Dr. Maia give chase to save her. Kay is rescued and the creature is riddled with bullets before he retreats to the lagoon where his body sinks in the watery depths, presumably dead (the creature's death was left open to allow for a sequel).

5. Alien

The Alien (sometimes referred to as a xenomorph) is a fictional endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the primary antagonist of the Alien film series. The species made its debut in the 1979 film Alien, and reappeared in its sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien Resurrection (1997), two crossovers Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), as well as the various literature and video game spin-offs from the series.

Unlike many other recurring enemy extraterrestrial races in science fiction, the Aliens are not an intelligent civilization, but predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the destruction of life that could pose a threat. Like wasps or termites, Aliens are eusocial, with a single fertile queen breeding a caste of warriors. The Aliens' biological life cycle, in which their offspring are violently implanted inside living hosts before erupting from their chests, is in many ways their signature aspect. Their design deliberately evokes many sexual images, both male and female, to illustrate its blurring of human sexual dichotomy.


Alien (1979)

The spaceship Nostromo visits the desolate planetoid LV-426 after receiving an unknown signal, discovering that it comes from a derelict alien spacecraft. Whilst exploring the ship, one of the Nostromo's crewmen discovers an egg-like object, which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious. Some time later, the parasite dies and the crewman wakes up, seemingly fine. However, an alien creature later bursts out of his chest and, after rapidly growing into an eight-foot creature, starts killing other members of the crew.

Aliens (1986)

Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the only survivor of the Nostromo, awakens from hypersleep 57 years later, aboard a new space station. She discovers that LV-426 is now home to a terraforming colony. When contact with the colony is lost, Ripley accompanies a squad of space marines there aboard the Sulaco.

Alien 3 (1992)

Due to a fire aboard the Sulaco, an escape pod is released. It crash-lands on the refinery/prison planet Fiorina "Fury" 161. Ripley is the only survivor. Unknown to her, an egg was aboard the ship. The creature is born in the prison and begins a killing spree. Ripley later discovers there is also an alien queen growing inside her.

Alien Resurrection (1997)

Two hundred years after the events of the previous film, Ellen Ripley is cloned and an Alien queen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination, Earth.

The Alien design is credited to Swiss surrealist and artist H. R. Giger, originating in a lithograph called Necronom IV and refined for the series' first film, Alien. The species' design and life cycle have been extensively added to throughout each film.

4. King Kong

King Kong is a fictional monster resembling a gorilla that has appeared in several movies since 1933. These include the groundbreaking 1933 movie, the film remakes of 1976 and 2005, as well as various sequels of the first two films. The character has become one of the world's most famous movie icons and, as such, has transcended the medium, appearing in other works outside of films, such as a cartoon series, books, comics, various merchandise and paraphernalia, video games, theme park rides, and even an upcoming stage play. His role in the different narratives varies from source to source, ranging from rampaging monster to tragic antihero. The rights to the character are currently held by Universal Studios, with limited rights held by the estate of Merian C. Cooper, and perhaps certain rights in the public domain.

In the original film, the character's name is Kong, a name given to him by the inhabitants of "Skull Island" in the Pacific Ocean, where Kong lives along with other over-sized animals such as a plesiosaur, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs. An American film crew, led by Carl Denham, captures Kong and takes him to New York City to be exhibited as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

Kong escapes and climbs the Empire State Building (the World Trade Center in the 1976 remake) where he is shot and killed by aircraft. Nevertheless, as Denham comments, "It was beauty killed the beast," for he climbs the building in the first place only in an attempt to protect Ann Darrow, an actress originally offered up to Kong as a sacrifice (in the 1976 remake, the character is named Dwan).

A mockumentary about Skull Island that appears on the DVD for the 2005 remake (but originally seen on the Sci-Fi Channel at the time of its theatrical release) gives Kong's scientific name as Megaprimatus Kong, and states that his species may have evolved from Gigantopithecus.

The King Kong character was conceived and created by U.S. filmmaker Merian C. Cooper.

Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) agrees to star in a film directed by Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong). The two set sail on the S.S. Venture for filming on a mysterious island in the Indian Ocean. During the course of the voyage, Ann falls in love with First Mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). The island is reached but the natives kidnap Ann and prepare her as a sacrifice to Kong, a huge gorilla-like creature who dwells on the island. Kong discovers Ann tied to a native altar and carries her to his jungle lair.

Driscoll, Denham, and the crew set out to rescue Ann. They are menaced by dinosaurs, first by a Stegosaurus, and then a Brontosaurus, along the jungle trail and many crew members are killed. Driscoll finds and snatches Ann from Kong's lair but the two are pursued by Kong as they race through the jungle to safety. Kong destroys the native village in his search for Ann. He is finally subdued by hand-tossed gas bombs. Denham returns to civilization with Kong in tow. When Kong is exhibited on the New York stage, he breaks his chains, retakes Ann, and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building. He dies in a hail of machine gun fire from a squadron of military airplanes. Ann is reunited with Driscoll. Below on the street, Denham makes his way through the gathered crowd to look upon the fallen Kong. A police lieutenant says to him, "Well Denham, the airplanes got him." The movie ends with Carl Denham's reply, "No, it wasn't the airplanes... It was Beauty that killed the Beast."

3. The Monster

Frankenstein is a 1931 Pre-Code horror film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by Mary Shelley. The film stars Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles and Boris Karloff, and features Dwight Frye and Edward van Sloan. The Webling play was adapted by John L. Balderston and the screenplay written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Garrett Fort with uncredited contributions from Robert Florey and John Russell. The make-up artist was Jack Pierce.

Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), an ardent young scientist, and his devoted assistant Fritz (Dwight Frye), a hunchback, piece together a human body, the parts of which have been secretly collected from various sources. Frankenstein's consuming desire is to create human life through various electrical devices which he has perfected.

Elizabeth (Mae Clarke), his fiancée, is worried to distraction over his peculiar actions. She cannot understand why he secludes himself in an abandoned watch tower, which he has equipped as a laboratory, and refuses to see anyone. She and her friend, Victor Moritz (John Boles), go to Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan), his old medical professor, and ask Dr. Waldman's help in reclaiming the young scientist from his absorbing experiments. Elizabeth, intent on rescuing Frankenstein, arrives just as Henry is making his final tests. They all watch Frankenstein and the hunchback as they raise the dead creature on an operating table, high into the room, toward an opening at the top of the laboratory. Then a terrific crash of thunder, the crackling of Frankenstein's electric machines, and the hand of Frankenstein's monster (Boris Karloff) begins to move.

Through Fritz's error, a criminal brain was secured for Frankenstein's experiments which results in the monster knowing only hate, horror and murder. The manufactured monster despite its grotesque form, initially appears not to be a malevolent beast, but a simple, innocent creation. Frankenstein welcomes it into his laboratory, and asks his creation to sit, which it does. Fritz, however, enters with a flaming torch which frightens the monster. Its fright is mistaken by Frankenstein and Dr. Waldman as an attempt to attack them, and so it is taken to the dungeon where it is chained. Thinking that it is not fit for society, and will wreak havoc at any chance, they leave the monster locked up where Fritz antagonizes it with a torch. As Henry and Dr. Waldman consider the fate of the monster they hear a shriek from the dungeon. Frankenstein and Dr. Waldman rush in to find the monster has strangled Fritz. The monster makes a lunge at the two but they escape the dungeon, locking the monster inside. Realizing that the creature must be destroyed Henry prepares an injection of a powerful drug and the two conspire to release the monster and inject it as it attacks. When the door is unlocked the creature emerges and lunges at Frankenstein as Dr. Waldman injects the drug into the creature's back. The monster knocks Dr. Waldman to the floor and has nearly killed Henry when the drug takes effect and he falls to the floor unconscious.

Henry leaves to prepare for his wedding while Dr. Waldman conducts an examination of the unconscious creature. As he is preparing to begin dissecting it the creature awakens and strangles him. It escapes from the tower and wanders through the landscape. It then has a short encounter with a farmer's young daughter, Maria, who asks him to play a game with her in which they playfully toss flowers into a lake and watch them float. The monster enjoys the game, but when they run out of flowers, tragedy occurs. Due to his defective brain, the monster thinks Maria (unable to swim) will float as well as the flowers, so he picks her up and throws her into the lake, and the girl drowns. Realizing he has made a terrible mistake, the monster walks away feeling troubled and remorseful. This drowning scene is one of the most controversial in the film, with a long history of censorship.

With preparations for the wedding completed, Frankenstein is once again himself and serenely happy with Elizabeth. They are to marry as soon as Dr. Waldman arrives. Victor rushes in, saying that the Doctor has been found strangled in his operating room. Frankenstein suspects the monster. A chilling scream convinces him that the monster is in the house. When the searchers arrive, they find Elizabeth unconscious on the bed. The monster has escaped. He is only intent upon destroying Frankenstein.

Leading an enraged band of peasants, Frankenstein searches the surrounding country for the monster. He becomes separated from the band and is discovered by the monster who, after the two stare each other down for a curious moment, attacks him. After a struggle, in which Frankenstein's torch fails to save him, the monster knocks Frankenstein unconscious and carries him off to the old mill. The peasants hear his cries and follow. Finally reaching the mill, they find the monster has climbed to the very top, dragging Frankenstein with him. In a burst of rage, he hurls the young scientist to the ground. His fall is broken by the vanes of the windmill, saving him from instant death. Some of the villagers hurry him to his home while the others remain to burn the mill and destroy the entrapped monster.

Later, back at Castle Frankenstein, Frankenstein's father, Baron Frankenstein (Frederick Kerr) celebrates the wedding of his recovered son with a toast to a future grandchild.

2. Godzilla

Godzilla is a daikaijū, a Japanese movie monster, first appearing in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has gone on to become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co., Ltd. The monster has appeared in numerous other media incarnations including video games, novels, comic books, television series, and an American remake. Another separate American remake is currently in production by Legendary Pictures.

With the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created by nuclear detonations and a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general. As the film series expanded, the stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla in the role of a hero, while later movies returned to depicting the character as a destructive monster.

Godzilla is the main character of all of the Godzilla films, though there are numerous different versions of the monster. The silver screen is not the only place Godzilla has appeared; there are literary sources that have expanded the universe of Godzilla. Godzilla and the Godzilla universe have also starred in comic books, manga, Japanese television, and many cartoons.

Showa series

The Showa-era Godzilla films were the first of the film series. In total, there are fifteen Showa-era films, amounting to over half the total Godzilla movies currently in existence.

The first film was simply titled Godzilla (1954). In the original film, Godzilla was portrayed as a terrible and destructive monster. Following the success of Godzilla, Toho started filming a quickie sequel called Godzilla Raids Again. In this film, a new Godzilla was set up to fight another dinosaur-like creature, Anguirus. This second film started a trend for Godzilla films, where Godzilla would fight other giant monsters. In his fifth film, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla took the role of a hero. From that point on, to the end of the Showa series, Godzilla stayed a hero, protecting Japan against attacks from other monsters, aliens, etc. At one point, Godzilla even adopted a son, Minilla, in Son of Godzilla, who would make appearances in later Showa-era films.

The Showa-era movies played on a lot of fears and interests of people during the period in which they were made. For instance, Godzilla was a movie designed to warn people about the use and testing of nuclear weapons. Likewise, Godzilla vs. Hedorah was designed to carry a message about the dangers of pollution. As space exploration and the Space Age were extremely popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of Godzilla's films revolved around Godzilla fighting alien monsters, or involved an alien invasion in some shape or form. For instance, in the movie Destroy All Monsters, an alien race had managed to take control of all of earth's monsters, who were eventually freed from their control, and destroyed the aliens who had put them under control.

Heisei series

The Heisei-era Godzilla films were the second of the film series. In total, there were seven Heisei-era films, making them amount to one fourth of the total Godzilla movies in existence.

The Heisei-era films differed drastically from the Showa-era films in a variety of ways. The most prominent difference is that Toho did away with Godzilla being the hero of the films. While occasionally Godzilla would take the role of an antihero, he was still consistently portrayed as hazardous to humanity throughout the films. The Godzilla outfit was updated to look more realistic and much more intimidating than previous suits. Another significant difference is that the series was given an overall plotline with story arcs. Each movie happened in some sort of sequence, and generally referenced previous movies to further the plot of the series.

As in the Showa era, in the first Godzilla movie of the Heisei era, The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla was the only monster to make an appearance. All succeeding Heisei-era movies would have Godzilla fight other giant monsters. Like the Showa series, Godzilla adopted a son, Baby Godzilla, as his own child. In the final Heisei-era movie, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla dies after undergoing a nuclear meltdown, and his son (by that point almost half as tall as his father and called Godzilla Junior) absorbs the radiation and quickly matures to become the new King of the Monsters.

In much the same way that the Showa-era played on fears and interests of people during the time period of production, Heisei-era Godzilla films made some attempts at making statements on popular topics for their time period. One good example would be Godzilla vs. Biollante, which made explicit warnings against research involving genetic engineering. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah touched on US-Japanese relations stemming from World War II and introduced a time-travel plot. Other themes in the movies included commenting on research into hazardous material and making environmental statements.

1. Darth Vader

Darth Vader (born Anakin Skywalker) is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He appears in the original trilogy as a pivotal figure, as well as the prequel trilogy as a central figure.

The character was created by George Lucas and has been portrayed by numerous actors. His appearances span all six Star Wars films, and he is an important character in the expanded universe of television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books. Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, he falls to the dark side of the Force and serves the evil Galactic Empire at the right hand of his Sith master, Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious). He is also the father of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa.

Introduced in the original Star Wars, Darth Vader is depicted as a ruthless cyborg who serves the Galactic Empire. Early in the film, Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that Vader is a former Jedi who "betrayed and murdered" Luke's father and helped the Empire destroy the Jedi Order. Along with Grand Moff Tarkin, Vader is charged with recovering the Death Star's technical schematics, which were stolen by the Rebel Alliance. To that end, he captures and tortures Princess Leia Organa, and stands by while Tarkin destroys her home planet of Alderaan with the Death Star's superlaser. While the princess is being rescued, Vader fights Obi-Wan in a lightsaber duel and kills his former master. During the film's climactic battle scene, Vader leads a squadron of TIE fighters and destroys several Rebel fighters. Vader pursues Luke's X-Wing fighter, but a surprise attack from Han Solo's Millennium Falcon clips him and sends him flying into deep space.

In The Empire Strikes Back, set three years later, Darth Vader leads an Imperial starfleet in pursuit of the Rebels. He leads an invasion of the Rebel base on Hoth, but the protagonists escape. He later confers with the Emperor, who tells him that Luke Skywalker has become a threat to the Empire and must not become a Jedi. Vader persuades the Emperor that Luke would be a great asset if turned to the dark side of the Force. Vader makes a deal with Cloud City administrator Lando Calrissian to capture Han, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 on Cloud City, and uses them as bait for Luke. He has Han tortured, frozen in carbonite and delivered to bounty hunter Boba Fett, but Leia, Chewbacca and the droids escape thanks to a repentant Calrissian. Vader engages Luke in a lightsaber duel, which ends when Vader cuts off Luke's right hand and reveals that he is Luke's father; he then entreats Luke to turn to the dark side so they can "rule the galaxy as father and son". Horrified, Luke throws himself into Cloud City's reactor core and ultimately escapes aboard the Millennium Falcon. Onboard his Star Destroyer, Vader telepathically tells Luke that it is his destiny to join the dark side.

In Return of the Jedi, set one year later, Darth Vader arrives aboard the half-constructed second Death Star. He intimidates the battle station's commander, Moff Jerjerrod, into stepping up construction. When Emperor Palpatine personally arrives, he assures Vader that the two of them will turn Luke to the dark side.

Luke surrenders himself to Vader in the hope that he can turn his father back "to the light side". Vader brings Luke onto the Death Star, where the Emperor tries to seduce Luke to the dark side. A lightsaber duel erupts between father and son, during which Vader learns that Leia is Luke's twin sister and threatens to turn her to the dark side if Luke will not submit. Enraged, Luke attacks and overpowers Vader, severing his mechanical right hand. Realizing he is close to suffering his father's fate, Luke refuses the Emperor's command to kill Vader and take his place, declaring himself a true Jedi.

Enraged, the Emperor fires continuous streams of Force lightning at Luke, intending to slowly torture him to death. The sight of Luke's agony breaks the dark side's hold on Vader, and he kills the Emperor by throwing his treacherous master down the Death Star's reactor shaft. In the process, however, he is fatally injured by the Emperor's lightning. The redeemed Anakin Skywalker asks Luke to remove his helmet and mask so he can look at Luke with his own eyes. With his dying breath, he tells his son that there was good left in him after all. Luke escapes the Death Star with his father's remains, which he later ceremonially burns in a funeral pyre. As the Rebels celebrate the destruction of the Death Star and the fall of the Empire, Luke sees his father's spirit, standing alongside those of Obi-Wan and Yoda.

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1 comment:

  1. Good Choices... We did not know that Brian Cox (of Trick-r-Treat) was the "Dr. Lektor" in Manhunter.... cool fact....
    Hope that you had a great Halloween...


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