|The Brainiac sticks out its tongue.|
The Creature from the Black Lagoon - The Gill Man was popular enough to earn two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. Yeah, I felt a little sympathy for him, but he brought on his own problems with his infatuation with Julia Adams.
Dracula - Sorry, Twilight and True Blood fans, Drac is still the most famous vampire. Lugosi has his fans, but I think Christopher Lee--complete with dripping fangs and bloodshoot eyes--was the definitive Count.
Eegah! - I know what you're thinking...he was just a good-natured caveman with a crush. But he did scare a lot of people and, let's be frank, the movie was kinda scary...you know, the fact that it was made.
Godzilla - The big guy was certainly the most influential monster of the 1950s. Through the decades, he evolved from a destructive bad guy to Earth-saving superhero (Monster Zero) to caring father (Son of Godzilla). Honorable mention: The Graboids in Tremors.
The H-Man - The obvious choice for the letter "H," but it's too hard to resist listing this unique Japanese film noir/horror film.
Jabberwocky - Terry Gilliam's medieval black comedy was an all-around flop when initially released. After Brazil and 12 Monkeys, it became a cult classic--but not because of the title creature.
King Kong - Despite all the technological advances in special effects, watching Willis O'Brien's stop-motion giant ape is still a treat. Why? Because he infused Kong with such a remarkable personality (ditto for Little Kong in the rarely-shown sequel).
Mothra - I know...she was a good monster! But she was a giant caterpillar that destroyed cities and their residents...so she still fits the definition of a monster. Plus, her popularity has spanned over five decades.
Naschy, Paul - Have you watched too many European dubbed horror films from the 1970s? If so, you know Spanish actor Naschy, who may have starred in more horror films than any other performer. He was most famous for playing a werewolf in a long-running series.
Pterodactyl - They have appeared in numerous sci fi films, but I most admire the one that carried off Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.
Q - The Winged Serpent - If your name was Quetzalcoatl, your friends would probably call you Q, too. Larry Cohen's 1982 low-budget, tongue-in-cheek horror tale featured an Aztec god--in the form of a dragon-like creature--terrorizing the residents of New York City.
Shrews (of The Killer Shrews variety) - It was produced by and co-starred Festus (aka Ken Curtis) from Gunsmoke. That's enough to make this list...but it was creative, too. Killer shrews? Who would've thunk?
Tarantula - Leo G. Carroll as a mad scientist plus a giant, hairy spider and--if that's not enough--John Agar as the hero!
The Uninvited - Hey, what's that smell? It's the scent of mimosa in my favorite ghost movie--which features good and bad spirits from beyond.
The Valley of Gwangi - Ray Harryhausen's Gwangi wasn't the first pairing of cowboys and dinosaurs (that dubious honor belongs to The Beast of Hollow Mountain). Still, the dinos looked good...plus James Franciscus as a rodeo star. Honorable mention: Vermithrax, my all-time favorite dragon who made a splash in Dragonslayer.
Winged Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz - Not monsters, you say? I thought they were incredibly creepy little creatures.
X the Unknown - Maybe it did look like a big glowing glob (not technically a Blob) when finally revealed....but X the Unknown somehow got Dean Jagger, Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey), and Anthony Newley in the same film!
|The Ymir...after he grew up.|
Zontar: The Thing from Venus - Sure, he had a cool name, but Zontar was not the Earth-friendly alien he initially seemed to be. Yes, you guessed it...his goal was to conquer the world!