Hollywood and fantastical literature have long paid particular attention to a category of creatures so dark and so foul they can only be known as Monsters. The beasts nightmares are made of, these dark beings are as fascinating as they are vicious. And yet, one has to wonder if all monsters are are evil, or if some of them are merely . . . misinterpreted So for today's category, I decided to come up with not one, but two Top Five Favorite Monsters – the malicious and the misunderstood.
M is for Monsters: Malicious and Misunderstood
Count Dracula (Dracula) – The most famous vampire ever written (including that sparkly guy teen girls like to scream about), Count Dracula is the brainchild of Bram Stoker and perhaps one of the most sinister characters ever written. With his seductive manner hiding a bestial nature, Dracula is as deadly as he is enthralling.
Jabberwocky (Through the Looking Glass) – The Jabberwocky is the star of one of my personal favorite poems, a compelling piece of nonsense written by the glorious Lewis Carroll. Though we have no complete description of its form, we do know a few things about this ferocious beast: it's got jaws that bite and claws that catch, eyes of flame, and of course, can only be killed by the vorpal blade that goes 'snicker-snack'. So always remember, "Beware the Jabberwocky!"
Basilisk (Harry Potter series) – Sometimes called the "King of the serpents", the Basilisk is a large snake-like reptile with the ability to kill at a glance. Kept hidden in the Chamber of Secrets and controlled by Lord Voldemort, the Basilisk is an instrument of death and a monster to be feared.
Kraken (Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean) – Featured over and over again in film and literature, the Kraken is the great monster of the sea, the massive creature responsible for the destruction of many great ships and the loss of countless lives. My two favorite depictions come from Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean, both of which give me sea-monster filled dreams.
Killer Clown (It) – One of the most haunting creatures ever to be written, Stephen King's "It" is a being of unknown origins. Able to shape-shift into our inner-most phobias, it generally takes the form of a demonic clown, known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Having watched the movie as a small child (thanks so much for that one mom and dad), "It" is quite literally the reason I now suffer from Coulrophobia.
Frankenstein’s Monster (Frankenstein) – My favorite literary monster, this one doesn't even get a name. Known simply as a creature, demon or fiend, Frankenstein's creation was once intelligent and gentle, but through the rejection of his maker and everyone he comes across, he becomes cruel and murderous. Seeking revenge against the maker who gave him life only to abandon him to a world he doesn't understand nor understands him, Frankenstein's monster is in my mind, one of the most tragic and piteous creatures ever written.
Grendel (Beowulf and Grendel) – Described as the demon descendant of Cain, Grendel is a grotesque and monstrous creature that preys on Hrothgar's warriors in the epic poem Beowulf. However, in the parallel novel by John Gardner, Grendel, we get insight into this dark being's thoughts and motivations, humanizing him a deeply sympathetic way. A lonely creature that strives to understand the world around him, his brutality can be seen as a product of mankind's own violent nature rather than a alien bestial.
Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera) – Known sometimes as the "Opera Ghost", the "Angel of Music", or simply Erik, the Phantom lives in the darkest reaches of the Paris opera house. Born hideously disfigured, the Phantom was the subject of cruelty and abuse from his first breathe, and thus became ruthless and brutal himself. And yet he shows a real capacity for love and selflessness when he allows the woman he loves to go free.
King Kong (King Kong) – An iconic Hollywood character, King King is the famous gorilla that climbed the Empire State Building with the shrieking, hysterical blond clutched in his enormous fist. Forcibly captured and taken away from the island home to which he belongs, Kong is nothing if not a sympathetic creature. And that scene in the Peter Jackson version where he plays on the ice with Ann Darrow, the one person he cares for and protects at he risk of his own life . . . it broke my heart into teeny, tiny pieces.
Godzilla (Godzilla) – A surviving prehistoric creature that's mutated after being exposed to nuclear radiation, Godzilla is the beast that terrorizes Tokyo. With atomic breath, advanced healing and superior strength, Godzilla is a formidable foe. And yet, in the 1998 film version (the first memory I actually have of Godzilla), this "monster" is merely a mother trying to protect her offspring. Can you really blame her for being upset after they bombed all her little monster babies?
Last but not least, here are a few Monstrous Honorable Mentions I would feel ashamed to leave out. And side note, they're all stars of their own spectacular Sy-Fy Channel Original Movies, and NOT to be missed. In fact, they're so terrific I'm adding IMDB links to each creature so you can be sure not to miss out on this action!
And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Monsters. What are some of your favorites? __________________________________________________________________________________ This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.