The problem with making scary monsters actually, you know, scary, is that what seems scary on the page can end up being crap on the screen. That hasn’t stopped people from trying it anyway. Here, in no particular order, are some movie monsters that didn’t so much make you scream as they made you say, “WTF?”
1. From Hell It Came (1957)
Okay, you’ve got a good title, now how about the monster? It’s a wrongfully executed man who returns to get his revenge. That sounds pretty good until you find out that he returns as Tabanga (not to be confused with Topanga from Boy Meets World), a pissed-off walking tree stump. Remember the talking tree in The Wizard of Oz? Yeah, slightly less scary than that.
2. Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984)
Well, the title pretty much tells you about the monster in this shot-on-video classic from Chester N. Turner, who wrote, directed, scored, and filmed it. Shirley L. Jones plays Helen Black, a woman who finds a creepy dummy at an antique store. You can’t tell exactly what goes on because during one of the scenes, the dialogue is drowned out by the cheap-ass Casio score. No, really.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Helen gets molested by the dummy. Don’t judge; haven’t we all been there at least once? Imagine seeing this on top of you:
Yikes. This gets bonus points because the last line in the movie is literally, “What the fuck?” This is likely what you will say by the end as well. If you dare, check out Turner’s follow-up, Tales From the Quadead Zone. What the hell Quadead means is your guess.
3. Jack Frost (1997)
This one doesn’t seem to be a straight attempt at being genuinely scary, but it’s still pretty high on the WTF scale. Any time you have a killer snowman, you’re talking a good time. If you take a shot every time there’s an awful snow pun, you will die halfway through the movie. But if you’ve always wanted to see Shannon Elizabeth get sexually assaulted with a carrot by a snowman, you are in luck. Amazingly, there was also a sequel to this.
4. Robot Monster (1953)
The titular monster in this fifties cheapie is notorious for its crapness. In this gem, Ro-Man, the robot monster, is a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a diving helmet. Because, you know, that’s what you think of when you think of killer robots from the moon, right? One presumes that Ro-Man was able to eliminate the world’s population because everyone shit themselves to death laughing at his costume. This was originally released in 3D, but even that was pretty janky.
5. Bug (1975)
Lots of people are creeped out by bugs. But flying cockroaches that shoot fire out their asses? Hmmm. To be fair, the movie has a great deal of tension. Until you get to the scene where the lady’s head catches on fire and all you can notice is that she’s in the Bradys’ kitchen.
6. Killer Condom (1996)
Do you really need elaboration on this one?
7. Night of the Lepus (1972)
This is one of those movies that you think is going to be a comedy, but it turns out that no, they were really serious about this one. When the rabbit population plagues a community, instead of using poison, they turn to a scientist, who injects a hormone into some rabbits to mess with their reproduction (the rabbits, not the scientists). Well, wouldn’t you know it, something goes fubar, and before you know it there are giant man-eating bunny rabbits attacking hapless citizens.
8. Blood Freak (1972)
Poor Herschell just can’t catch a break. The biker/war veteran tries to do the right thing by helping a pretty motorist, but he ends up falling in with the wrong crowd and gets involved with drugs (Oh noes!). He ends up consuming some turkey laced with an experimental drug, which causes him to sprout (no shit) a papier mache turkey head. Herschell is now a mute turkey vampire hybrid who craves the blood of other drug addicts.
It’s not only the monster that has WTFitude; the whole movie is mind-boggling. The abysmally paced scenes are punctuated by commentary by a chain-smoking guy who appears to be reading his lines. Oh, and the movie is also pro-Christian. Because that’s how you spread the word, right? Making a movie where a dude with a turkey head takes a guy’s leg off with a bandsaw.
Which movie monsters scared you with how crappy they were? Share your faves in the comments.