Posts Tagged: ‘Monster of the Week’

Last week we looked at the mara or nightmare, a chest-crushing entity that preys on the breath of troubled sleepers. While we discussed several varieties of mara, we didn’t explore the sexual world of incubi and succubi.

The Incubus: Translated as “that which lies upon,” incubi carry out the same basic torment tactics as your common nightmare, only with more grinding…

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This week’s monster takes a variety of forms, but its modus operandi is always the same. It attacks during the night, a dark and oppressive form that slithers on top of us in bed, crushing our bodies and stealing our precious breath.

The most common English name is of course “nightmare,” stemming from the Anglo-Saxon “mara,” which translates to “crusher.” The fiendish mara…

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Aaccording to Cajun folk traditions, the monstrous Rougarou haunts the dark just HOPING to catch the unmistakable stink of someone breaking lent. Described as a a humanoid with the head of a dog or wolf, this liturgical lycanthrope murders stray Catholics during Lent and generally terrifies children into behaving. After all, compared to the fires of Hell; the gut-munching jaws of Rougarou offer a much more immediate threat.

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Julie and I just recorded three episodes about slugs and slime so the film “Slither” seems a natural destination for this week’s monster. The 2006 horror flick is an excellent mash-up of VHS horror influences and it relishes the monstrous, parasitic lifestyle of its central alien menace.

I’m not gong to layout the life cycle of the Long One as I think the Alien Species Wiki does a pretty fine job of it. But what you have here is your typical biomass-consuming world breaker, with certain similarities to terrestrial slugs and snails. In its primary form, the organism infects its primary host via a needle or dart — perhaps inspired by the “love dart” used by some slug and snail species to flood hormones into a mate. And when the primary decides to reproduce, it uses a pair of tentacle-like organs to impregnate a host.

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Meet Tweak, an extraterrestrial being whose luck went from bad to worse when he was kidnapped from his native planet as a zoological specimen, then sold to Cursed Earth slavers. He might not look out of place next to most terrestrial animals, but his species is about as alien as they come.

Despite his rather beastly appearance, Tweak’s species boast a technological advanced culture and limited psychic abilities. They live in vast subterranean cities and mine their food source directly from the planet’s crust — in the form of rocks and minerals. That’s where those powerful, oversized claws come into play: for crunching down granite and quartz into bite-size gravel.

How does Earth life match up to that? We certainly have “mineral-crunching” bacteria that love stone soup (hold the broth) as well as old Tweak here. But as far as creatures of comparable size go, he really has no equal.

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For a certain class of vorarephile, no fantasy is more enticing than one that ends inside a monster’s stomach. These strange fetishists crave the confinement of a Sarlac’s belly. They lust for the Rancor’s gaping maw. It’s totally a thing.

Yet vores rarely fantasize about the winged creatures of Don Coscarelli’s 1982 film “Beastmaster.” These nameless man-eaters haunt strange woods, worship the eagle and boast one of the more disgusting feeding methods in the monster world.

Tall, gaunt and bipedal, the monsters are unique anatomical specimens even among other monsters. For starters, their large bat-like wings grant them at least limited flight — an impressive feat for such a large organism.

But their wings have another purpose.

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At the local Trader Joe’s they hide stuffed animals amidst the groceries — and the lucky child who finds one wins a strip of fruit leather.

The rattenkönig was something of a medieval variant of this little game. Only instead of a cuddly stuffed animal, the item in question was a grotesque bundle of rats tangled together in a ghastly lump of broken, knotted tails and congealed filth. And if you found it hidden under a floorboard or between the walls of your European home? Well, the prize wasn’t so much fruit leather as it was the ravages of Black Death.

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As you’ll remember from the film “From Beyond” (watch it on Hulu here), Dr. Edward Pretorius pioneered use of the Resonator, a device that expands human perceptions of reality via wave manipulation of the pineal gland.

As the photo illustrates, things didn’t work out all that well. Pretorius lost his corporal form and crossed over into an alternate dimension of amorphous hedonism. Mistakes were made. Brains were eaten. Things got a bit sticky.

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You probably dismiss Jason Voorhees as just another rampaging psychopath, one with an intense desire to murder nymphomaniac teens. And indeed, the subject’s propensity for pro-abstinence bludgeoning knows no bounds — but did you know the evolutionary advantage to his Modus operandi?

Like other North American Slashers of his species, Jason preys on copulating teens because the act of mating provides an irresistible target. But it’s not because the teens in question are naked, intertwined and preoccupied. Nope, it all comes down to the sound of their enthusiastic love making.

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Hurricane Sandy’s impact on New York City’s subterranean rat population made the news this week, but let us not forget the other denizens of the Big Apple’s dreary underworld. No, I’m not talking about the giant alligators, subway ghouls, Judas bugs or the hoary Fathers who dine on butchered commuters.

I’m of course talking about the C.H.U.D.s.

These Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers were a common sight during the early 1980s, frequently venturing out from their homes in the sewers and subway tunnels to chow down on transient tartare. By the end of the 90s, Rudy Giuliani exterminated most of New York City’s C.H.U.D. population (their mounted heads still line his Manhattan office) and recent flooding no-doubt depleted their already reduced numbers.

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