Image: via Wikipedia
Horror fans, it’s probably fair to say, love a cheesy movie monster. And even while filmmakers are pushing the boundaries of special effects and redefining what’s possible on screen, bizarre beasties are still appearing ready to terrorize folk in camp, low-budget horror flicks like Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and Mega Shark Versus Kolossus – both out in 2015.
However, with their handmade, slightly ramshackle charm, there’s perhaps something even more endearing about the B-movie monsters from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Moreover, they feature in films so imaginatively ridiculous that they’ve gone on to become cult hits, celebrated as some of the “best” worst movies ever made.
Here are 20 of the funniest vintage movie creatures ever seen on screen. Think everything from dogs posing as killer shrews to a giant primeval praying mantis that is unfrozen by a volcanic event.
Image: via Raiders of the Lost Tumblr
20. Unknown Island (1948)
Director Jack Bernhard’s 1948 adventure horror Unknown Island is set in a mysterious Pacific location – one, moreover, inhabited by a number of Tyrannosaurus rex and what was probably intended to be a giant sloth but is unmistakably just an actor in a poorly customized gorilla suit. Sadly, the dinosaurs are also outfitted actors with comical-looking arms and unnaturally elongated frames. Unknown Island furthermore evidently lacked the budget to realize its over-ambitious action scenes. The movie’s final battle, in particular, is inadvertently hilarious, as the sloth and one of the stretchy Tyrannosaurus rex square off; it’s basically just a couple of dudes bashing into each other repeatedly while the protagonists watch on in what seems like a mixture of fear and sheer confusion.
Image: via Not the Baseball Pitcher
19. The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)
Connoisseurs of retro low-budget horror may notice that Eddie, the strange-looking sea creature from 1959 Irvin Berwick-directed film The Monster of Piedras Blancas, bears something of a resemblance to several other B-movie monsters of old. This is probably because the fiend’s creator, Jack Kevan, had previously worked on the Gill-man suit for 1954 classic Creature from the Black Lagoon as well as the creepy costumes for 1950s B-movies The Mole People and This Island Earth. And so Eddie, played by Peter Dunn, was simply made from recycled movie monster parts – specifically, the body of Gill-man, the claws of a Mole Person and the tootsies of This Island Earth’s Mutant. Hysterically, the Eddie suit also made an unlikely reappearance in 1965 Flipper episode “Flipper’s Monster.”