Serleena from Men in Black 2.
Although this character is pretty much just a glorified Medusa, she is pretty darn glorified. With extendable and seemingly endless tentacles she manages to cause huge amounts of chaos while appearing for all intents and purposes as an extremely attractive and scantily clad underwear model. Whereas I am sure this aspect gains her much attention from male viewers, I am far more interested in the use of her tentacles. I am sure at one point in the film she feeds the tentacles into someone’s mouth and out their eyes (or vice-versa, or through their nose and out their ears or something like that) either way – REALLY skin crawling. I’m sure if you read enough into it you can find some sort of feminist themology or something – provocatively dressed woman taking back power by ‘penetrating men with her tentacles’ rather than vice versa etc etc. *shudders* rather not go there to be honest! Either way – badass! I just wish they had made the film more gory and generally better…
Mr X from Resident Evil Extinction
Although I have never played a resident evil game I am a massive fan of the film franchise. The films have gone downhill slowly, my favourites being 1 and 3, followed by 2, then 4 and finally 5. I like the general pretext of Resident Evil Extinction due to the whole post-apocalyptic survivalist plot, and although Mr X really pulls away from the grittier survival mentality and wind-swept frontier, he is still pretty cool. His transformation due to the T-virus leaves him evil, tentacled and pretty pissed off, leading him – unsurprisingly into battle with Alice. She kicks his ass (also unsurprising) but the fight is pretty fun to watch! He is not a great baddie, but graphically he is cool, if nothing else.
Zoidberg from Futurama
There are very few monsters more skin-crawling than Zoidberg. Granted that skin-crawlingness comes from more of a Mr Collins-esque air, rather than any serious life-threatening power, but just as creepy.
Zoidberg is that person who hangs around in all your social circles who gives really touchy-feely hugs. That kid who has just picked his nose and wiped it on his shirt and then wants a cuddle. The smelly guy you get stuck next to on the bus who you really wish would get off at the next stop but instead insists on talking to you and breathing his stinkyness all up-in-your-face. The person sat opposite you at the table who keeps spitting food onto your plate. He is unnerving and repulsive and weird and is way too realistic considering he is a pink squid-man cartoon.
Giant elephant/squid monster from The Mist
The Mist, as a film, has provided us with some of the best thought out, scariest and weirdest creatures in movie history and not least among these is the giant creature briefly seen towards the end of the film. Although only given a few seconds of screen time, the beast is straight out of HP Lovecraft and is something I really would not want to bump into while wandering blindly through a mist which had already massacred most of the people I have ever known. As I mentioned in a previous article the creature looks shockingly like the monster mentioned in The Dunwich Horror – a Lovecraft short story, and whereas with most visual interpretations of scary, otherworldly things they lose their horror through being physically created, in this case I think it almost breathes life into my readings of Lovecraft.
Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke
Another animated critter. The Forest Spirit in Mononoke is very cool. For most of the film it wanders around aimlessly, looking fairly contented and harmless. However by the end [SPOILERS] once it has had its head chopped off and has gone pretty much berserk, it becomes extremely bad-ass and spreads across the forests wreaking havoc and destroying everything in its path. Another monster I would not want to mess with – aided in its horror due to the fact that its monstrosity is man-made.
The world is ending – what would you expect but for a gigantic mass of sprawling tentacles to emerge down from the sky and begin terrorizing the planet as it burns? I would love to have seen more of the nasty thing if Hellboy hadn’t gone and killed it. Imagine that thing taking over the planet, destroying everything in its path and followed by flocks of hellspawn – be fun to watch from a distance, but maybe don’t get too close…
The Watcher in the Water from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
The tension breaking moment where the seething mass of tentacles erupts from the water next to the entrance to Moria has to be one of the best bits of the film. The tension and fear provoked up until that point in the film is almost tangible, and very few people can say they didn’t want to give (pippin?) a good smack around the head for throwing rocks into the still water – Jackson is very good at building that sort of tension (‘stay off the roads’ and ‘fool of a Took’) and the writhing tentacle explosion is nothing short of fearsome in reaction to the Watcher having been disturbed. Just the name ‘Watcher in the Water’ breeds fear – that something menacing is observing you just out of sight and this critter definitely deserves to be in the top 3.
Ominous tentacles emerging from the mist from The Mist
My other mist favourite, this monster tops my list of tentacle beasts in film, topped only by Number 1 who is from literature. We never get to see what these tentacles are attached to which adds to the horror – with them sliding silently out of the mist to attack and rip apart Norm the Bag Boy.
Their fanged lengths are a true masterpiece, taking away from traditional octopus tentacles and if you want to read more of my rants about this check out my review of The Mist.
Cthulhu is a creature that appears briefly in many of H P Lovecraft’s short stories and most can be found out about it in ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. Cthulhu is supposedly an ancient God and gate keeper who was buried deep under sea and lures sailors to break him free of his cage, summon the “Great Old Ones” and basically destroy the world. Lovecraft briefly describes his underwater layer and Cthulhu himself, although he likes to leave a lot to the imagination. Cthulhu he describes as “A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.” Sound familiar? It would, seeing as SO MANY other things have ripped it off. Lovecraft’s ideas generally have had a lot of replication and the Cthulhu mythos has spread among literature and internet fandom in a massive way – The Necromnicon in The Evil Dead, the Dungeon Dimensions in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Davey Jones and The Kraken out of Pirates of the Caribbean, the Ood from Dr Who and the monsters from The Mist. Dungeons and Dragons and Munchkin (games) also have Cthulhu editions. Basically Cthulhu is THE tentacle monster and everything else has just had to fall in behind.
Creatures that just missed out: Sharktopus, Davey Jones, The Kraken, Medusa from Clash of the Titans, Doc Oc, the octopus from Megashark vs Giant Octopus…