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Posts Tagged ‘scary children’

The Shadow Out Of Recess

November 16th, 2010 No comments

This is great stuff: an artist challenges a group of kids aged 8-18 to draw the monsters of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror fiction. The results? Surprisingly good! (Okay, so everyone had to make a sanity roll before lunch, but that’s a small price to pay for art!)

You can see galleries of youthful interpretations of the Elder Things, Old Ones, Shoggoths and even Great Cthulhu himself at David Milano’s blog!

31 (Japanese) Monsters #15: Minya

October 15th, 2010 No comments

Giving Godzilla a son sounds like a good idea on paper. Other movie monsters have had progeny: King Kong (a son), Dracula (a son and a daughter) and even Frankenstein (okay, so technically it was the doctor’s son). So why not Godzilla? Why not, indeed?

Meet…

Minya!

Monster Island Nickname Snack
Hails From An Egg
Movies Appeared In
(not counting stock footage)
4 (arguably 7*)
Hobbies Annoying Aging Fanboys
Quote “Hwag-hwa!”

There’s some impressive kaiju action in Son of Godzilla. Both the giant mantises (Kamakiras) and the giant spider (Kumonga) are well-realized through elaborate puppets. But they weren’t expected to be cute.

It’s obvious that Minya (aka Minilla**) is meant to elicit “awwwww” rather than awe. He has huge eyes and a baby “roar.” Instead of breathing atomic fire like dear old dad, he blows smoke rings.

And it might have worked had he not been so poorly realized. He’s got a pudgy, humanoid body and a stubby tail, looking less like the Prince of the Monsters than a deformed midget. And his baby cry sounds like that of a particularly irritating duck.

He showed up in the next couple of Godzilla films, Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla’s Revenge. In the latter–which occurred largely within a child’s imagination–Minya gained the ability to talk, and it was every bit as tragic as you might expect. His final appearance to date was in the monster mash Godzilla Final Wars.

Whenever I watch Destroy All Monsters–in which aliens take control of Earth’s monsters and set them against the cities of the world–I ponder the same question. If Godzilla nuked New York, Rodan mashed Moscow and Gorosaurus pummeled Paris, what metropolis suffered the wrath of Minya***?

*There’s a Godzilla Jr. in the ’90s films that starts off human-sized and–over the course of three films–eventually grows into a replacement for the Big G after the latter is killed by Destoroyah. He’s never explicitly referred to as Minya, but like Godzilla’s previous “son,” he comes from a mysterious egg. In neither case is true parentage established.

**However, he is not called “Godzooky.” That’s Godzilla’s flying “nephew” from the Hanna-Barbara cartoon series.

***Minneapolis?

31 Monsters #16: Anthony Fremont

October 16th, 2009 No comments

While there were plenty of creepy Twilight Zone episodes, the only one that truly scared me was “It’s a Good Life.” Written by Rod Serling and closely based on Jerome Bixby’s short story of the same name, it posited that the most terrifying thing in the world was a six-year-old child with no moral compass…and absolute power over matter and reality.

It's a very good thing that you agreed to appear in my blog post, Anthony.

Little Anthony Fremont (played by Billy Mumy) ruled the town of Peaksville, Ohio as a capricious god. His seemingly unlimited powers of teleportation and transmutation were made all the more frightening by his ability to instantly read the minds of others. One stray thought–such as the desire to bash in little Anthony’s head with a shovel–and the thinker might be transformed into a walking horror or simply vanish “into the cornfield.”

Anthony didn’t like noisy cars and machines, so he made them go away. He did away with the electricity as well. And then one day he decided that he didn’t like the rest of the world. Whether the Earth was destroyed or Peaksville merely removed from it, the town became an isolated community of dwindling supplies and fearful neighbors obliged to praise each one of Anthony’s spiteful acts as “a good thing.”

The story was unusual for The Twilight Zone in that there was no moral lesson, no twist ending, no respite. It ended as it began, with Anthony in charge.

It was remade as one segment of 1983’s Twilight Zone feature film. That time, Anthony’s realm was confined to a single house in the countryside. The boy had lured several strangers there to serve as his “family” in an idyllic life (for him, at least) fueled by non-stop cartoons. This version ended hopefully, as a schoolteacher who found herself in Anthony’s world managed to get through to him and promised to help constructively channel his powers.

The 2002 revival of the series dared to make a sequel to the original episode, entitled “It’s Still a Good Life.” It reunited Billy Mumy with his TV mom, Cloris Leachman, whose character improbably survived forty years of Anthony’s rule.

Anthony Fremont was all grown up. While age had tempered him a bit, he was no less tyrannical for being more self-aware. One had best not beat him at bowling…or lose on purpose.

And he had a daughter (played by Mumy’s real-life kid). Yes, little Anthony dipped his wick. You may commence shuddering.

The townspeople came to learn that Audrey Fremont was even more powerful than her dad. She could do all the things he could, plus the one thing he couldn’t: bring things back from “the cornfield.” They tried to convince Audrey of the wrongness of her father’s ways, and to use her to end Anthony’s tyrannical reign at last.

It didn’t work. And it’s a good thing that it didn’t work. A very good thing.