The Best Movie Monsters You’ve Never Seen

alien covenant

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: some of the best movie monsters you may have missed!)

Ridley Scott has a new movie hitting theaters this week, and for those of us who love his 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien, that news is improved further by the knowledge that his latest is a new entry in the franchise. Of course, 2012’s Prometheus fit that very same bill, and we all know how that turned out. (Not terribly if you ask me, but let’s stay focused here.) Alien: Covenant may end up featuring equally stupid human characters, but judging by the trailers, it’s made at least one important improvement. It’s bringing back the fast-moving, wickedly dangerous, and endlessly terrifying xenomorphs (in some form or another) to wreak bloody havoc.

Through the franchise’s ups and downs the aliens themselves have remained some of the most beautifully nightmarish monsters to ever grace the screen, and if we’re being honest, few others come even close to comparing in the area of horrifyingly effective design. Still though, there’s no shortage of memorable movie monsters from the Graboids in Tremors and the river monster in The Host to the creepy subterranean killers in The Descent and the alien monstrosities of John Carpenter’s The Thing. These and others made the cut earlier this year right here on this very site.

But what of the frightening creatures in movies that maybe didn’t find a spot on that list or any other? The seven movies below aren’t nearly as well known, and they’re not all great necessarily (although I’d go to the mat for half of them), but the common thread between them is in the design and presentation of their monsters. Some are terrifying, some are fun, and others are darkly beautiful, but all of them deserve to be seen by more eyeballs.

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martyrs

Pascal Laugier‘s 2008 French film, Martyrs, is one hardcore horror movie. Like plenty of other successful foreign horror films, it’s gotten the U.S. remake treatment. An American version of Martyrs has been in the works for over five years now, and today we’re getting our first real glimpse at the film. Watch the Martyrs trailer after the jump.

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For those who’ve seen the original French horror film Martyrs, directed by Pascal Laugier, the notion of an American remake probably seemed a bit absurd. The divisive, very hardcore film doesn’t seem like the sort of film that a studio would slap a logo on, even if you were talking about the studio that turned out a film like Hostel. (In this case, we’re not — this remake is from some of the Twilight producers.)

I can’t imagine this news will make the film seem like a more promising project: Daniel Stamm, the director of The Last Exorcism, has been hired to direct. It’s not the fact of his hire that worries me, so much as how he describes the film. Read More »

kristen-stewart-martyrs

Cue a whole lot of irritated groans. A couple weeks back we updated on the remake of the extreme French horror film Martyrs, basically noting that (a) Mark L. Smith had penned a script and (b) the remake sounds, on the surface, like a terrible idea.

What I didn’t note at the time is that Twilight producer Wyck Godfrey is one of the producers. This weekend, while doing junket press for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Godfrey said a couple of things about Martyrs. The headline getting statement: he’d love to have Kristen Stewart star. Read More »

hillcoat-martyrs

Because John Hillcoat has a strange machinima mini-film coming out to promote the game Red Dead Redemption later this week, I’ve been wondering about his other upcoming projects. And now we’ve got a report that Vacancy and The Hold 3D writer Mark L. Smith is writing The Revenant, which Hillcoat will direct, with Christian Bale currently in talks to star. If that isn’t enough for Smith, he’s got a couple of other big scripts going, including a remake of the firebrand French film Martyrs. Read More »

This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Rent It

JCVD
Jean-Claude Van Damme has made some pretty questionable career choices, but whether you love or hate the guy, you really have to admire the ingenuity on display in JCVD, which is very much a response to that rather misguided career. In the film he plays himself: a broke, out-of-luck actor who’s battling for the custody of his daughter. But when he’s thrown into a real-life hostage situation, the world sees a side of Van Damme they’ve never seen before. Marking the first ever Van Damme flick to be ranked ‘fresh’ on Rotten Tomatoes, the meta, self-referential and utterly unique JCVD has been praised heavily for Jean-Claude’s touching and deeply personal performance, which—much like the depicted storyline—also shows a side of him that the world’s never seen before.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes.

BEST PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
N/A$16.99$12.99
Amazon – $17.99

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