It’s really easy for all us ironic hipsters out there to mock Mechagodzilla, killer tomatoes, and the Beast of Yucca Flats. Reason being, there are literally thousands of lame B movie baddies cluttering up the annals of cinema history. But big-budget A-lister films with 100-million-dollar budgets should know that when it comes to creating a scary antagonist, quality matters, baby. Below are five films that seriously missed the mark in the monster-making department…
The Mummy — ‘The Mummy’
This is a multi-billion dollar, decade-spanning franchise that hinges on one serious flaw: the monster referenced in the title ain’t all that frightening. Well, let me clarify, he actually starts off quite scary looking, as you can see.
Now if this dude were the one chasing Brendan Fraser around for two hours, I’d be completely, 100% on board. Unfortunately, that ain’t the case. You see, the more people this hair-raising monstrosity kills throughout the course of the film, the more human looking he becomes. Which means two-thirds of the way through the first Mummy movie, he’s pretty much some just some Egyptian dude walking around. Yep, a villain that becomes exponentially less scary with every kill. Well thought out, gentlemen. BTW: Click the video below to see what our so-called ‘Mummy’ eventually looks like. Lame.
The Lizard — ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’
The most recently-released film on this list, The Amazing Spider-Man makes good on its title: Spidey is pretty darn amazing, what with the web slinging and myriad other superpowers. Pity the same thing can’t be said about his nemesis, the Lizard. Visually, he’s pretty intimidating I suppose, in a cartoony CGI kinda way. The main problem though? He talks. In a hoity-toity scientist voice. Sure, you could argue this is because the Lizard’s alter-ego is a hoity-toity scientist. But hey, why keep the voice? That’s like having the Hulk sound like wimpy Bruce Banner whenever he opens up his big green yapper. Bad idea. Below is the trailer: notice how there’s no reference to a giant talking lizard? This is not a coincidence. Laaame.
V’Ger — ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’
The first in the expansive Star Trek film canon, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is mostly remembered for being very, extremely, impossibly slow and boring. A valid criticism, but this abject boredom has diverted society’s attention from the movie’s bigger crime: its monster is very, extremely, impossibly lame. The gist: a sentient, all-powerful alien vessel named V’Ger has been destroying everything in its path, and is now headed toward everyone’s favourite vacation spot: Earth. After some ponderous Trek-style Trekkiness, Jim Kirk and the gang come to realize V’Ger is the Voyager 6, a long-lost 20th-century NASA probe. You see, some aliens came across it a while back and tricked it out pretty badass with some extra RAM and whatnot. Then, it eventually learned everything there is to know in the universe and kind of became a God (hoo boy). As to why it calls itself ‘V’Ger’: you see, years ago, some dust ended up covering part of the word ‘Voyager’ that was printed on the side of the damn thing. Wow, you’re the smartest being in all of creation, but a little space crud makes you botch your own name? Doy! Also: laaaaaaaame.
Those Killer Plants or Whatever — ‘The Happening’
M. Night Shyamalan is no stranger to disappointing moviegoers. That’s just kind of his thing. But my man took things to a whole ’nother level with The Happening. Touted as a horror, the film depicts a world where people begin offing themselves en masse, be it jumping from bridges or feeding themselves to hungry lions. So who’s to blame for this bizarre, uh, happening? Turns out, it’s the plants. Yep. Mother Earth comes to realize the plague species known as ‘humans’ has pretty much trashed the place, damage deposit be damned. So to protect herself, she gets a bunch of plants to begin emitting weird neurotoxins. You know, the kind that make people want to lie down in front of ride ‘em lawnmowers. Look, I hate pollen and ragweed as much as the next guy, but come on, Mr. Shyamalan. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.
Anakin Skywalker — ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’
As movie monsters go, Darth Vader is iconic: the baddest of the bad, the darkest of the dark. So when George Lucas opted to make a prequel trilogy based on D.V.’s origin story, everyone in existence was on board. Unfortunately, thing went south in a hurry. In the truly awful Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker (a.k.a. pre-Vader) is a towheaded little moppet who’s sweet and good. In the even more awful Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Anakin is mostly good, but with a moody teenager dark streak. Then, in the much-less-awful-but-still-really-awful Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Ani full-on embraces the Dark Side. The results? Comical. Prior to this misbegotten trilogy, nobody would have imagined young Vader to be a whiny, scrawny little emo geek who throws temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Plus, it turns out the only reason the Vader we know and love is 6’5″ and sounds like James Earl Jones is because Emperor Palpatine fitted him with extra long faux legs and a manly voice box. Underneath all the Inspector Gadget add-ons, it turns out our former favourite space monster is little more than a limb-deprived brat who cries at the end of John Hughes movies. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.