Updated: March 29, 2008
Most people need strong visual clues to appreciate the magnitude of danger posed by an object / organism. This is accentuated to an extreme by the movies industry. For example, bombs will always have a green wire and a red wire, which is, if you think about it, total nonsense. 100% of all BDU personnel are men - and 50% of men are color-blind. Nuclear devices will always include a dial pad and flashing LEDs and probably make bleeping or whirring noises when activated. People dying of a deadly virus will have their flesh virtually melted off the bones. Oh yes, they will always be carried in transparent containers (possibly very fragile glass) and have an exotic, fluorescent color, preferably lime green.
And monsters will always be very big ...
In movies, the monsters are always menacing, almost omnipotent, and extremely cunning. And of course, huge. Such a basic and unimaginative approach to horror. In everyday life, simple things like flu virii kill more people than all wars combined, but no one would ever think making a movie about flu. Unless it was a special chimera strain that causes an epidemics in a middle of a large city. Rats and birds are probably responsible for 90% of diseases that plague the modern man, but again, they are too dull to make it to the big screen. Instead, we have huge ugly monsters.
Think of the killer bunny in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail. What's more blood-curdling, some stupid thing with three heads and 4,330 teeth or a cute, cuddly, furry little bunny that decapitates people in a blink? All in all, monster movies would not have pissed me off if the monsters (and humans) behaved as they are supposed to. But the way they are portrayed in the movies really makes me livid.
First, monsters are not supposed to be smarter than humans. If they were, they would not walk around killing senselessly. They would speak and lie and machinate and try to run for an office in politics.
Second, the monsters always disobey the basic rules of survival - they kill everyone around. This is totally unnatural. Even the most fiercesome beasts will only kill enough to feed - except humans. Which means that these monsters are supposed to be some sort of an anti-thesis to the human nature. But if that's the message, it's lost with the first victim, who usually dies in a steam of acid and fangs.
Third, monster movies always have 7-8 characters, who slowly die (one by one) over the period of about 90 minutes, until only one or two are left, who suddenly discover a new method of defeating the monster, one of which they had not thought only an hour and a half earlier. Apparently, gruesome deaths of their colleagues are inspiring.
Fourth, the humans behave like idiots. They never have a plan, they always separate and they snivel when they encounter the danger. If our ancestors had behaved like that, I would not have been writing this article.
Fifth, the monsters never have a goal. No agenda. They are nothing but pure killing machines. A lost cause from the start.
All this brings me to the simple fact that monsters should pose no serious threat to the modern human. Today, we have all the tools and weapons required to handle any possible monster threat one can think of, and yet, in the movies, even some with futuristic setups, we are nothing but sheep for the cruel, merciless and utterly wise monsters.
Therefore, in this article, I'm going to present a list of some of the more popular monsters in the movie industry in the last 30 years or so - and effective and realistic methods of easily containing the threat they pose. P.S. Due to copyright thingie, I'll be using my alternative images to portrait the monsters at hand.
This is one tough mofo. But nothing special. It does have acidic blood, which is a bit ridiculous for a carbon-based creature, but not a great problem. Alkali soap (base) should probably be enough to neutralize the toxic effect of its blood and probably even kill it. But let's be more graphic. In the movies, it pays no attention to objects. It only hunts the humans.
A pair of remotely controlled BDU robots. They would slowly crawl around, planting Claymore mines in narrow corridors and passageways. And when the alien is encountered on a camera, if not already dead from the blasts, the operators would instruct the robots to frag it with thermite grenades. There's no living thing that can possibly withstand the temperature of 2,500°C.
This monster has IR vision. A very cool trick for the 80s, but not so impressive today. Hell, even spiders can do it. Predator does nothing special and even a simple camouflage of mud is enough to mask the prey from it.
A Leopard 2 tank, covered in mud. This fine armored vehicle is equipped with Imaging Infrared (IIR) thermal sights, which should allow it to see the monster very clearly against the cool, wet backdrop of the jungle. Discovering it by the means of heat emission would be almost like returning the favor, really. And then, a single well-aimed DU Sabot penetrator should do the job.
Giant sharks and snakes
These are really annoying monsters. Sharks? So primitive they are not even fish. Snakes? Coils of boredom. Hardly worth the mention.
Since they live in water - and given the water's incompressibility - the most adequate treatment are hand grenades or dynamite sticks.
Truth be told, this sweety did succumb to biplanes without too much fuss. But firing a Maverick guided missile into its chest should be far more interesting. If no fighter planes are available, helicopters armed with Hellfire missiles should do the trick - or even a soldier with RPG.
Lure him with bananas and blast him with Maverick missiles.
This enlarged frog is one of the most useless monsters ever made. It's also the least aesthetically pleasing of the lot.
A Navy sea patrol plane armed with depth charges.
In the movie Reign of Fire, dragons have brought ruin to the world. Apart from the feeble attempt at creating a Mad Maxsque atmosphere, the movies displays the human impotence in such vivid colors, you almost wish dragons were real, so you could show the actors how they should have handled the flying geckos. They breathe fire. Okay... So? A crew in a tank should hardly break in sweat if a bit of napalm grazed their armored box.
Any self-propelled AA gun, although the ex-Soviet Shilka is the preferred choice. The dragons should have a fair radar cross-section, a lovely visual signature and possibly a heat signature. Tracking and acquiring them should be very simple. And then comes a burst of rounds and poof ... no more dragons.
As you can clearly see, movie monsters are overrated. Nothing more than semi-fancy by-products of limited creativity and a fancy for drama. The thing is, humans are so vastly more powerful than anything else that walks the planet that they have this dire, masochistic need for something, anything to challenge their supremacy. And naturally, humans can only appreciate beauty and danger when it's bigger than their egos. Virii, bacteria and other microscopical nonsense are usually too boring for movies, but they seem much more likely candidate for turning the human gene pool into a miry puddle than any host of lizards, apes, fish, or other things you migth find on your plate in a Chinese restaurant. Sad, really ...
Now, if I were a Hollywood director, here's the perfect monster I'd make:
It's called: Emomorpher.
This monster is unbeatable. It looks like an ordinary cat - but be fooled not! It is a most devious and tricky thing. It attacks its enemies by creating a temporal distortion in the reality field around the victim, making it assume a new personality. Perfectly ordinary people find themselves robbed of their essence and become unwilling, unresisting robots, completely unaware of their woes.
The victims can be recognized by irrevocable symptoms - they watch reality TV shoes, wear Crocs, drink diet beverages, work in small windowless cubicles, and duct-tape their windows against doomsday scenarios. They also watch news every day, take huge mortgages and pay for useless software when free superior alternatives are readily available. So there you go. What can be more frightening than boredom and ordinariness en masse?