Tue. Jul 27th, 2021

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NightmareFeed: Horror News and Entertainment

Episode 8 – The Great Rubber Monsters

12 min read

News Last Week

COVID-19: Cough into your arm, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t drink or inject bleach, bla, bla, bla…

We finally have a real, fairly horror related topic to talk about in general news that isn’t COVID-19 related.  Murder hornets!  This refers to an invasive species of giant hornets normally native to Japan.  The Japanese Giant Hornet was spotted in Canada the other day and a large nest of the frightening creature removed and destroyed.  Their sting has been compared to The Bullet Ant, and is reportedly capable of melting skin.  From that discription, it’s easy to understand why people are a bit taken aback by the appearance.

However, like most thing, as with COVID, don’t panic.  The wasps have not turned up since the destruction of the nest and it looks like we won’t be sing more of them.  Also, North America already has a species of giant hornet called the Cicada Killer.  Not to be confused with Japanese Giant Hornets, as Cicada Killers are helpful to the environment.  Basically, if it has a red face and white stripes, it’s safe, supposed to be here, and likely won’t kill you.  If it looks like a giant yellow jacket with yellow face and yellow stripes, best to avoid it and report it to environmental control.

Movies

The Black Gloves (2017)

This is technically already out, so it’s not exactly NEW but I’m just now learning about it an it frankly looks fucking AWESOME!  Black gloves seems to be a theatrical take on a creepypasta crytid that was popularized by a prank show on YouTube.

There was a cryptid prank, the owl man, set up a long time ago, around the 2010s, check out the YouTube this is all based on…

It was fantastic, a ton of people near shit themselves, and it set up a legendary cryptid almost completely by accident.  AND APPARENTLY THEY MADE A MOVIE!  Well, fuck me, I’m in.  I absolutely need to see this and at some point I’ll get a hold of a copy and do a review.

But just look at that cool rubber monster.  Amazing stuff!

The Tell Tale Heart (2020)

A masterful revision of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic, The Tell Tale Heart.  I was even given an early release key to watch and review it.  This is a fantastic, new look at the classic Poe.  I highly recoment loggin in regularly in anticipation for their release date, and snagging a copy, any way you can. Twitter: @telltalefilm

My review will be available on Nightmare Feed, this Wednesday, as part of our viral content.

Alien Code (2018)

Not new, but newly discovered!  Alien Code seems to be a fantastic supernatural thriller that involves two of my favorite things, cosmic horror and conspiracy.  It involves a plot by extradimensional entities to start war on our planet in a bid to wipe us out.

Check out that fascinating tailor!  I just hope we didn’t basically already see the whole movie…

Games

Scorn Finally set to be released!!!

https://www.scorn-game.com/

Joe and Al’s Top 5 Picks

This Week we’re not just talking about movies, we’re talking about the Rubber Monsters that go with them.  Our picks are not just based on the quality or entertainment value of the movies themselves, but just how much we love the good ol’ Rubber Monsters themselves.

For that reason, we won’t be talking about CGI Monsters like from Cloverfield (2008).  And if the monster doesn’t have a specific, consistent form, we can hardly call it a rubber monster.  So this excludes Reed’s favorite, The Thing (1982).  Sorry Reed, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of time to fan-boy over it in future episodes.

Reed’s #5: The Leviathan, Leviathan (1989)

It’s funny that I’m not allowed to talk about The Thing (1982), as in many ways the creature from this film is a HUGE ripoff of Carpenter’s most infamous creature feature. That being said, The Leviathan does have a final form, and full creature reveal, as apposed to The Thing. And what’s not to love about the weird angler like rubber costume that was made the center piece of Leviathan (1989). I think one of the best parts about this creature feature, is how much thought went into the design, and how silly the ultimate execution came off.

But it’s still pretty good. One of the things that makes the Leviathan so creepy, are the many leftover remnants of of the humans it assimilates. In many ways, this film inspired the nightmare that eventually inspired my up coming novella, Parabiosys (2021). The idea that some of the crew are still conscious while being a part of this creature is just fucking brutal.

Joe’s #5: Octaman (1971)

Octaman is a 1971 Mexican-American monster film written and directed by Harry Essex, with the costume design by future Academy Award winner Rick Baker. It follows an expedition team that becomes the target of a murderous humanoid octopus. The film received negative reviews from critics upon its release but has since developed a cult following.

Harry Essex also wrote the 1954 film, Creature From the Black Lagoon.  He decided to basically remake his own movie without permission from Universal Pictures.

Reed’s #4: The Lobstrosity, Deep Star Six (1989)

Mind you, it’s not actually called ‘The Lobstrosity,’ that was the descriptor names of Steven Kings creatures from The Dark Towers.  -SPOILERS-  But the descriptor is so perfect for this creature. It’s basically a giant mutated lobster thing.  Funny enough, it’s face kinda looks like one of the Langoliers from TV mini series also by Stephen King.

What I liked about this monster was the scale. It’s got to be the same size as the Queen Xenomorph from Aliens (1986). Considering that Deep Star Six (1989), was the bandwagon adaptation of Leviathan (1989), and Leviathan was the bargain-barrel adaptation of The Abyss (1989), it’s impressive what this budget ripoff managed to accomplish (note, all three movies were released in 1989). We’re talking about a creature feature that was rushed tho theater to be a creature feature being rushed to theaters to beat a major motion picture.

However, The Lobstrosity just looks better than The Leviathan, and for that it deserve the #4 spot.

Joe’s #4:  An American Werewolf in London (1981)

A 1981 horror comedy film written and directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne. The film tells the story of two American students who are attacked by a werewolf while on a backpacking holiday in England.

Monster effects done by Rick Baker.  While dismissed by most American critics upon its release, the film managed to secure a place in the annals of American cinema when Baker won an Academy Award for his amazing effects and creature designs. The werewolf, resembling a cross between a bear and a wolverine, appears frighteningly real, and, given the fantastic premise, the gore is most convincing (although surprisingly and refreshingly scant).

Reed’s #3: The Lunar Killer, Split Second (1992)

I love how this movie deceptively starts as a cyberpunk, film noir, detective story, and suddenly switches to a creature feature. In my review, which you can read at the link in the title, there was a ton mixed together in this film which should have doomed it, but it was actually great!

And the Lunar Killer was just so fucking cool looking. Sure it’s an obvious ripoff of the original Xenomorph, but they gave it a demonic spin. The reveal was just awe inspiring. This thing looked fucking scary. The mythos was also pretty cool, though chalk full of the typical Anglo-Christian nonsense. I think what was most impressive about The Lunar Killer was the simplicity, and despite this how fucking cool it looks.

Joe’s #3: Predator (1987)

A 1987 American science fiction action horror film directed by John McTiernan and written by brothers Jim and John Thomas.[4] It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite paramilitary rescue team on a mission to save hostages in guerrilla-held territory in Central America, who encounter a deadly Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) who is a technologically advanced alien spying, stalking, and hunting the main characters.

The original Predator creature was created by Richard Edlund of Boss Film Studios and was a disproportionate, ungainly creature with large yellow eyes and a dog-like head, and nowhere near as agile as necessary for what the filmmakers had intended.[12][13] After a call was put out for a new alien creature costume, creature effects artist Rick Baker put in a bid, but ultimately McTiernan consulted Stan Winston.[6] Winston had previously worked with Schwarzenegger as a visual effects artist on the 1984 film The Terminator. While on a plane ride to Fox studios alongside Aliens director James Cameron, Winston sketched monster ideas. Cameron suggested he had always wanted to see a creature with mandibles, which became part of the Predator’s iconic look.

Reed’s #2: The Xenomorph, Alien (1979)

What can you say about a creature that was designed by master artist H. R. Giger. My god, the fact that anyone was able to turn his nightmarish images into physical body suits was an impressive feat. Giger put so damn much detail into the Xenomorph it is a living, walking work of art. Indeed, this creature technically deserves my #1 spot, were it not just for personal preference.

That being said, I feel like it’s important to mention that Alien (1979) is my all time favorite movie period, let alone my favorite horror movie, or my favorite sci-fi movie. And in large, a part of that is not only Giger’s design of the Xenomorph, but also his design of the ship, the pilot, the egg, the face hugger, indeed, every step of the original gestation of the Xenomorph outside of the Queen who was latter added, separately of Giger.  Indeed, in many ways Alien (1979) is a living work of art, long before any horror movie’s cinematography would ever be taken as seriously.

Joe’s #2: The Fly (1986)

A 1986 American science-fiction body horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. Loosely based on George Langelaan‘s 1957 short story of the same name, the film tells of an eccentric scientist who, after one of his experiments goes wrong, slowly turns into a fly-hybrid creature. The score was composed by Howard Shore and the make-up effects were created by Chris Walas, along with makeup artist Stephan Dupuis.

The Academy Award-winning makeup was designed and executed by Chris Walas, Inc. over a period of three months. The final “Brundlefly” creature was designed first, and then the various steps needed to carry protagonist Seth Brundle to that final incarnation were designed afterwards. The transformation was intended to be a metaphor for the aging process. To that end, Brundle loses hair, teeth and fingernails, with his skin becoming more and more discolored and lumpy.

Reed’s #1: Pumpkinhead, Pumpkinhead (1988)

It’s hard to explain why Ol Drooly is my all time favorite rubber monster. Pumpkinhead is at least a little inspired by Giger’s Xenomorph, making it a bit of a bargain bin monster like The Lunar Killer. But there was just always something so imposing about it. They didn’t even hold off on a big reveal. Halfway through the movie you’ve already gotten several good looks at the big drooly monster.

I think it’s more than just the design though. While the Pumpkinhead look is pretty solid, arguably almost as good as the Xenomorph, the monster also has a bit of a personality. They gave the rubber monster suit the capacity to emote, even though it’s usually just his big drooly grin, at one point it even shows a look of disgust when it encounters a burnt cross in an old dilapidated church.

The choice to add posable facial features to the rubber monster suit likely comes from the Pumpkinhead mythos developed in the movie. Pumpkinhead is a demon summoned to exact revenge according to the desires of his summoner. As the demon represents the sinister desire to punish, you get the feeling that Ol Drooly even enjoys it; smiling and behaving almost playfully with his victims as he slowly and brutally murders them.

Joe’s #1: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

A 1954 American black-and-white 3D monster horror film from Universal-International, written by Harry Essex, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, that stars Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva and Whit Bissell. The Creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and by Ricou Browning underwater.

The designer of the approved Gill-Man was Disney animator Milicent Patrick, though her role was deliberately downplayed by make-up artist Bud Westmore, who for half a century would receive sole credit for the creature’s conception.[4] Jack Kevan, who worked on The Wizard of Oz (1939) and made prosthetics for amputees during World War II, created the bodysuit, while Chris Mueller Jr. sculpted the head.[citation needed]

Ben Chapman portrayed the Gill-Man for the majority of the scenes shot at Universal City, California. Many of the on-water scenes were filmed at Rice Creek near Palatka, Florida. The costume made it impossible for Chapman to sit for the 14 hours of each day that he wore it and it overheated easily. Due to these difficulties, Chapman often stayed in the studio’s back lot lake, frequently requesting to be hosed down. He also could not see very well while wearing the headpiece, which caused him to scrape Julie Adams’ head against the wall when carrying her in the grotto scenes. Ricou Browning played the Gill-Man in the underwater shots, which were filmed by the second unit in Wakulla Springs, Florida.[

Viral Content

Don’t forget to check in daily with NightmareFeed.com, to see our Meme of the Day and the viral content that comes with it, including Quizzes, Surveys, and this time two reviews.  Wednesday will be the review of the horror short The Tell Tale Heart (2020), and sticking with the rubber monster theme with The Relic (1997).  And as always, hang in for Friday, when we post the amazing art of Rowyn Golde, from Team Manticore.

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