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Sivosten webZine :: How to make yourself a movie monster
How to make yourself a movie monster

Author: Lyuben "LifeJoker" Zagorchev, Monday, 18 February 2008.

In Articles :: Movies & Animation; Propose a Second Opinion


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There is a special kind of movies, similar to the sci-fi/horror ones, which I prefer to call monster movies. Even though they exist from the very first directors efforts, the establishment of the computer animation offered a brand new universe before the movie makers. It is not obligatory that the animated monster is better looking than the complex puppets and models, but the weak acting and the heart-breaking plot ambiguity are compulsory. But why those movies are so popular? Its easy to understand, we need to fall in the depths of our subconscious fears and to excuse our screams when we found a spider in the closet. And we talk about a kind of movies thats a childs play to make at home, only with a good digital camera.

First of all well need a place to situate our movie. Forest or jungle, sea, marsh or lake, a cave or a small village its your choice. A suitable place could be found almost everywhere, even your native city could be the arena of the epic struggle between the beast and the man. My favorite the swamp in Frankenfish, but it is nothing comparing to the thermal springs around the Rupite as well as any of the numerous caves in Bulgaria.

Youll need also some interesting characters. Following the cliche, the main female character is a gorgeous lady being a scientist (Octopus), a casual victim of the circumstances (Pirahna 2: The Spawning), business lady (The Rats) or an extreme sportswoman (The Descent), but always very sexy. If the budget is high, youve got Jeniffer Lopez (Anaconda) or Cristy Swanson (Red Water). If not, youve got plenty of not so famous actresses like the ex-playmate Angel Boris (Boa vs Python) for example attractive body and weak acting skills. So just take the first friend you want, give her a swimming suit and youve got the main character.

But it is not all about surviving. The mentioned lady ought to fall in love with the leading male character, preferably an outsider, with stubble and a challenging gaze. He is a muscle boy, not rich in mind, but with strong moral principles and suspicious to politics and scientists. And a deep, shameful secret that lies between them must be overcome. The top of the monster movie heroes, this must be Sam Neal (Jurassic Park).

We have also a couple of positive characters with the only function expected to be a light breakfast for the monster. All these characters are funny, with an English accent or some famous rnb stars like LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea), Ice Cube (Anaconda) and Coolio (Pterodactyl). Just pick a random fellow student from your campus and keep making the film.

Youll also need a negative character. But be careful, this is not the monster. The monster is just a monster. And when you have a positive character you ought to have a negative, because this is a movie and a movie is dealing mainly with human relationships. Eventually they become the next meal of the monster. They can be terrorists (Octopus), guerillas (Blood Surf), maniac hunters (Anaconda, Frankenfish) or greedy businessmen (Jaws, Shark Attack 3).

We have the characters, we have the plot and so what is absent. No, its not the money. We need a monster to make a monster movie. And about the monster we will need a classification.

1. A prehistoric beast:
- it has always been there, but we found it accidentally (Shark Attack 3: Megalodon);
- a cataclysm or a human interference revive it (Pterodactyl);
- the modern science revive it (Jurassic Park, Carnosaur).

2. A well known real animal with highly overestimated strength: Some typical examples are Anaconda, Jaws, Blood Surf, Lake Placid etc.

3. It has always been there, but it is new to science: Good examples are the freaky humanoids in The Descent. Also you have Chupacabra and the great part of the werewolf movies.

4. Mutants: There are two categories of them:
- due to human mistake a highly mutagenic compounds have polluted the environment and caused the beast to become overweighed Octopus, Eight Legged Freaks;
- it is because of the bad scientists and their freaky genetic experiments that have brought us the man-eater Cemetary Gates, Deep Blue Sea;

5. The monster is from a galaxy far, far away. To my personal taste these are the weakest monster movies. Apart from the classics like Alien and Predator I cant mention a good film of this type.

My personal favorites monsters are the fish from Frankenfish and the flying piranhas from Pirahna 2: The Spawning. But for your own monster movie you ought to choose I highly unexploited monster which is not a simple task. It could even worst, because if you are not keen in computer animation youll have to use an ordinary spider or centipede as a monster.

At last, we have good guys, we have bad guys, we have even a monster and it is time for the good guys to kill the monster. Neither special technology nor futuristic guns needed. All you have to use is dynamite or anything similar.

Here is an exemplary plot I could offer to you, that is written in the best traditions of monster movies. A group of biology students are on the seaside to take samples. In the same time because of a gale a packet of cocaine from a boat is spread all over the beach. Some rapanas have eaten drugged mussels and growth to a gigantic size (no scientific explanation for that). After that the rapanas begin to hunt for fresh flesh and devour a couple of fishermen and some tourists straight from the beach. Our heroes, the outsider of the students and a gorgeous teen girl are forced to struggle for their lives and the future of humanity. They take a harpoon and dynamite from a dying poacher and begin their hunt for the gigantic mollusks. Meanwhile they have a short confrontation with the drug dealers who want to take out the cocaine from the blood vessels of the rapanas (no scientific explanation how this is possible). Eventually our heroes are used as decoys for the man-eaters, but they succeed to free themselves (cutting the ropes with a hairpin) and blow out the mutants (which already have devoured the drug dealers).

Happy End.

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Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=199145#199145






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