DevilEl Diablo is one of the most notorious monsters of Halloween. Satan plays a role in many religions as a keeper of evil. His storied past of represents the sorcery that Halloween tries to fend off. Satan, the Christian sense, refers to human sin an temptation that stands in the way of God. He and his demons roam the earth in every form imaginable to tempt you to come into the depths of his fiery hell.
Though he has been known to have many faces through the ages, the most common association with the devil is the Christian aspect with his red skin, horns and a tail.
It should be said though that since The Devil is the personification of all evil in most religions, he can appear as anything. Some religions, he has no form whatsoever, choosing to appear only as anything that a person feels is a temptation.
Since The Devil is so pronounced in all culture, he's appeared in films since almost the beginning of the medium. You can see him in such movies as "Legend", "The Devil's Advocate" or, my personal favorite, "Bedazzled" (nothing is more evil than Elizabeth Hurley in a low cut dress).
WitchTo most people the sorcery powers a witch can contain are of no surprise. Witches and their craft date back to before the 1500's in Europe when women who were possessed were said to have been seen flying around on goats. We now know this to not to be true, it was brooms. Their trickery and isolation led to the popularity of blaming them for unanswerable questions and rarities of the time. Often casting spells or concocting strange potions, over 40,000 witches were burned at the stake.
The witch has been in myth in all of recorded history. There are good witches and bad witches. The main distinction being that the good witches use their powers and potions to help people, and the bad did not. Of course, by standards during the middle ages, one can go from being good to bad by pissing off the person that was paying for your services. That's like if you didn't like the way your waiter gave you your steak, you could burn him at one. Pretty neat right?
With mainstream media going in full effect though, the witch went from looking like any ordinary person to this:
Some great examples of movie witches are "The Wizard of Oz", "The Craft" and "Teen Witch".
GhoulsThese Middle Eastern creeps are giant folk monsters living in graveyards, dining on the dead. A spin-off on the mummy, they live with their half-decaying bodies sucking the life out of every last soul that enters the land of the dead. They eat children, drink blood and take coins from graves, but their favorite thing is to eat the fresh corpse of the dead so that they can take on it's form and torment the deceased family.
Their rise to top of horror-dom came in 1786 when author William Beckford wrote about these desert monsters digging up graves and eating the corpses in his Gothic book, Vathek. Later George A. Romero created "Night Of The Living Dead" and according to him the monsters in his film, which people have called the original Zombies, are in fact referred to in the film as Ghouls. Romero has been quoted to say that his monsters are ghouls not zombies as the term zombie reminds him too much of the Caribbean.
Some other popular movies featuring ghouls are "Vampire in Brooklyn", "The Ghoul" and the movie that made me stop wanting to use the bathroom for a while, "Ghoulies".
- 9In the early 17th century, author Mary Shelley penned the book Frankenstein. Saying the idea came from a dream, she envisioned a wild doctor, Victor von Frankenstein, who was chasing the secret to life by building the ugly giant. This monster Dr. von Frankenstein assembled was stitched together human body parts. As the monster is brought to life it goes rouge and demands that the doctor make him a suitable mate, as any reasonable beast would. The doctor decided not to abide by his requests and naturally the beast kills the doctor’s family.
The book was a wild success and of course was turned into numerous different forms of entertainment. From plays to songs and later into a movie. Through all of the different versions of the story the idea of what the monster looked like changed as well. In Shelley's original book, Dr. Frankenstein's Monster was described like this: "Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath: his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriences only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips"
That type of description would make the monster look something like this:
Not only that, but in the book the monster was intellegent, having watched a family interact after he was abandoned by his creator. He also taught himself how to talk by reading books that he found including "Paradise Lost", which is one of the hardest books I have ever read so it is surprising that a creature that couldn't read not only learned how with that book, but also learned to speak too. Guess that goes to show you the state of our education system, but I digress.
That all changed with the creation of the now classic 1930's Universal Pictures movie "Frankenstein". In it the Monster is potrayed by Boris Karloff as having a flat, green skull and bolts coming out of his neck. While described as agile and intelligent in the book, he is shown as a lumbering buffoon in the movie.
Since it is easier to watch things than it is to read, the movie version of the Monster is now the universal way people think of him, though the 1994 version with Robert DeNiro playing the Monster is closer to the original choice.
- 10As a spawn of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings "Gojira" (a combination of the Japanese words for "Gorilla" and "Whale") was born into a life of stardom by film-maker Ishiro Honda as an animal that crushed buildings, fought-off evil and saved children.
Godzilla is one of the most recognizable Japanese stars this side of Hello Kitty. Every child knows that if you start testing nuclear bombs in the ocean, the giant lizard will take offence and have to come and get you. What is most notable about Godzilla is how his popularity spawned a whole series of Man in Suit movie monsters like "Mothra", "Rodan" and "MechaGodzilla" to name a few.
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