BEST MOVIE MON­STERS

Medicine Hat News - - TV - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Franken­stein Though Boris Karloff es­tab­lished the le­gend of play­ing Dr. Franken­stein’s mon­ster, the screen in­car­na­tion pre-dated him, go­ing back to 1910 – and ac­tors from Lon Chaney Jr. to Robert De Niro would suc­ceed him.

Drac­ula Here’s an­other sit­u­a­tion where one ac­tor (Bela Lu­gosi) made a fright­en­ing role his trade­mark, but oth­ers ac­tu­ally played it be­fore he did, in­clud­ing in the unau­tho­rized adap­ta­tion “Nos­fer­atu.” Christo­pher Lee and ( on both stage and screen) Frank Lan­gella also would be­come noted for their in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the char­ac­ter. The 1931 Lu­gosi ver­sion leads off Turner Clss­sic Movies’ month of Fri­day “Fright Fa­vorites” Oct. 2.

The Wolf­man Yet an­other fear-in­still­ing fig­ure who has been brought to the screen many times, this was an­other char­ac­ter Lon Chaney Jr. was renowned for ... though other per­form­ers to sprout a lot of hair upon a full moon have in­cluded Beni­cio Del Toro and (in a Mike Ni­chols-di­rected mod­ern­iza­tion) Jack Ni­chol­son.

The Mummy Karloff also got to do ex­tra mon­ster duty with a part he got all wrapped up in, quite lit­er­ally. Arnold Vosloo in­her­ited the role (and the boun­ti­ful ban­dages) in a mod­ern retelling and its se­quel, and an­other re­make starred Tom Cruise.

King Kong The might­i­est ape of all first reigned supreme in a 1933 stop-mo­tion-an­i­ma­tion mile­stone in which he fa­mously car­ried a shriek­ing Fay Wray, then re­turned in a 1976 ver­sion (with Jes­sica Lange in his mas­sive palm) and direc­tor Peter Jack­son’s 2005 ver­sion (fea­tur­ing Naomi Watts as the ap­ple of Kong’s eye).

Godzilla Orig­i­nated in Ja­pan and brought to Amer­ica in a ver­sion of the ini­tial movie that added scenes fea­tur­ing Ray­mond Burr, this gi­ant sea mon­ster has been re­vived on film nu­mer­ous times in projects of vary­ing qual­ity, the most no­table of which starred Matthew Brod­er­ick (1998) and Bryan Cranston (2014).

The Fly First played by Al (later David) Hedi­son and then by Jeff Gold­blum and Eric Stoltz, this merged be­ing de­rived its ter­ror from gen­er­at­ing thoughts of what could hap­pen if man tam­pered with na­ture.

The “trans­formed” Re­gan MacNeil The child pos­sessed by the devil in “The Ex­or­cist” put chills down many a spine with her eerie, gut­tural growls and ro­tat­ing head – and also taxed ac­tress Linda Blair’s stamina, given what she had to go through in a movie era be­fore com­puter-gen­er­ated graph­ics might have taken care of much of the ef­fect.

“Bruce” the Shark Well, Bruce was the name by which the me­chan­i­cal crea­ture was known to the cast and crew of “Jaws,” who fa­mously en­dured many mal­func­tions while en­gi­neers fig­ured out how to get the model work­ing again. Once it was, the scares it pro­vided movie­go­ers be­came leg­endary ... and pretty much ce­mented the ca­reer of a then-novice film­maker named Steven Spiel­berg.

The Alien Based on de­signs by H.R. Giger, the in­ter­ga­lac­tic en­emy that first ter­ror­ized a space crew in “Alien” – then had friends and rel­a­tives who con­tin­ued that cam­paign in the se­quels – surely gave astro­naut Ri­p­ley (Sigour­ney Weaver) and oth­ers much op­por­tu­nity to test the fa­mous ad­ver­tis­ing line, “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

Tyran­nosaurus Rex This mighty di­nosaur has reared its head (lit­er­ally) in nu­mer­ous movies over the years, but one of its most fa­mous ap­pear­ances surely was in “Juras­sic Park,” with the movie tech­nol­ogy of the time mak­ing the cloned crea­ture in­cred­i­bly and scar­ily re­al­is­tic.

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