People flock to monster movies year after year because we like the thrill of watching others being maimed and killed by scary monsters. But some monsters in these movies just aren’t all that scary. Sometimes, what is intended to be a frightening horror flick turns out to be a hilarious rip-roaring romp, all because of the ridiculousness of its monster(s). Not to say that these types of movies aren’t entertaining, they are — just for a different reason than the film makers might have originally intended. Here are ten of the funniest movie monsters ever to grace the big screen of the Cineplex.
These mischievous monsters were too cute to really be thought of as monsters. Of course, “Gremlins” was really more of a comedy than a monster movie. The funniest part about the Gremlins in “Gremlins”? There were three things you could never, ever do to them or they’d become really, really ugly and really, really pissed. In case these three warnings have slipped your mind, they were: Don’t get them wet, keep them away from bright light, and NEVER feed them after midnight. Do any of these three, and all hell breaks loose. The movie described the Gremlins as “Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous.” They should have added “funny as hell” as well.
This movie followed closely on the heels of “Gremlins” and was in the same comedic monster movie vein. The villains in this movie were the “Crites,” aliens who could roll themselves into spiny balls and eat humans. These monsters just weren’t all that scary, and were not the sort of movie monsters who give you nightmares after seeing the film. Rather, they were the kind you’d think about later on and start laughing uncontrollably. The taglines for the movie were hilarious as well: “They eat so fast, you don’t have time to scream,” “They bite!,” and “When you’ve got Critters, you need all the help you can get.”
3. The killer spiders in Arachnophobia (1990)
The killer spiders in “Arachnophobia” weren’t really all that scary, except maybe if you have a phobia of spiders (as the title suggests). A much better movie about killer spiders with much more realistic “monsters” is “Kingdom of the Spiders” from 1977. The spiders in “Arachnophobia” were more laughable than realistic. They certainly didn’t seem scary, even with the tagline, “Eight legs, two fangs, and an attitude.”
The best part about “Tremors” was the townsfolk fighting the underground monsters, which they referred to as the Graboids. But the Graboids themselves made for pretty run-of-the-mill, boring movie monsters. Their appearance wasn’t all that scary, but simply unattractive and ugly. Watching Kevin Bacon and company running around trying to kill the Graboids was the funniest part of “Tremors” and its sequels. As its trailer described “Tremors,” it was the ultimate underground movie that would leave you legless!
If you’re really a true Godzilla purist, you have to go back to the first Godzilla movie from 1956, with the original 400 foot tall dinosaur-like monster. Something has him really mad, and when he’s angry, he’s dangerous. “A monstrous sea-beast, surging up from the ocean” was how the trailers described him. But Godzilla himself was not really a scary movie monster, except maybe to the diminutive Japanese who created him. To them, he was truly a giant menace. To us, he’s not at all realistic, and is more of a joke.
The original King Kong in 1933’s version of the movie was much scarier than the poor clone found in the 2005 film. In this movie, King Kong was just too realistic, looking more like a large ape rather than a man in an ape suit.But the 25 foot tall 60 ton gorilla was not scary at all as he lumbers across the set. Watching this version of “King Kong” is more like observing animals at the zoo than viewing a scary monster movie. Certainly, he was not “the eighth wonder of the world” the movie billed him to be.
Granted, this movie wasn’t intended to be a scary monster movie — it was a comedy from the start. And its “monsters,” the Martians, were truly hilarious! Watching them going around having a grand old time destroying the United States is even funnier. Their motto was, as the film’s tagline states, “Nice planet — we’ll take it!” Their short stature and huge brains makes them ridiculous looking. Of course, no one really knows what Martians (if they do exist) really look like, so who knows – they could resemble these funny creatures!
For being “ghosts,” the ghosts in this movie just weren’t frightening at all (well, maybe Sigourney Weaver’s character was a bit scary, but for different reasons!) People didn’t flock to see “Ghostbusters” in the theaters when it was released in order to be scared, however. They went to it expecting to laugh and be entertained for an hour and a half, and that’s what they received. Nice when things work out that way, isn’t it? It also spawned the Ray Parker, Jr. theme song, with the lines that you can’t get out of your head: “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts” and “Who you gonna call?”
Although this was a Wes Craven horror flick that intended to bring the comic book character to life, it fell a bit short of being scary. Swamp Thing was a scientist who became a monster after a chemical accident in the lab. As the film’s tagline states, “Science transformed him into a monster. Love changed him even more!” You’d think he could have been a bit scarier and not so funny looking, seeing that Craven was behind the film, but alas, he was just ridiculous. The movie changed its premise in the middle from being a horror to being a bit of a romance. “Swamp Thing” entertained us anyway.
In another movie where a scientist’s lab experiment goes horribly wrong, Jeff Goldblum played scientist Seth Brundle who mutates into a fly when their genes mix in a transmission accident. As he slowly becomes more fly and less human, the audience witnesses his transformation, but it’s not scary, it’s just gross. He’s not the “terrifying mutant creature” the film’s trailers made him out to be. The six foot tall Brundlefly was much funnier than he was frightening.