Movie monsters, eh? You can’t live with them – think of the fur in the plughole – and you can’t kill ‘em... at least not through conventional means. Just occasionally, however, a little lateral thinking can pay off in monster-smashing results. Not all of the killer critters are as vulnerable to alcohol as the hideous graboids in upcoming Irish horror flick Grabbers, but if you look closely enough, you’ll find some equally weird Achilles heels. As long as they don’t eat your face first...
Monster: The Golgothan
Movie: Dogma (1999)
Summoned from the bowels of hell – the actual bowels of hell, not the metaphorical ones – Golgothan is a satanic toilet terror that even Trainspotting’s Renton wouldn’t mess with. Fortunately Silent Bob, an ingenious soul lurking behind an inscrutable stoner façade, is on hand to dispatch it with a dose of pocket air freshener in Kevin Smith’s comedy satire. We’d always put Bob down as a pot rather than a potpourri man, but there you are. We never had God down as Alanis Morissette, either, so what do we know?
Movie: War Of The Worlds (2005)
You know how it is: you want to go on holiday, get some sun, colonise a planet and vaporise the locals. But first you get your jabs, right? Not if you’re a Martian. Oh no. Those Martians are too busy smugly perfecting their tripod technology, polishing their death rays and hiding underground to remember to pack Lemsip or visit the travel clinic. Consequently, they all get the sniffles and die. Minds immeasurably superior to ours? Pah. At least we have hankies.
Monsters: Little green men
Movie: Signs (2002)
If you’re allergic to water, here’s a thought: don’t invade a planet that’s mostly covered in water. It’s basic. You don’t catch humans invading planets made of stinging nettles. For all their toxin-spraying mayhem, these extra-terrestrials nasties just haven’t done their research. Then again, if Mel Gibson’s troubled priest had just made a massive crop-circle picture of a tap they might have got the idea and invaded somewhere else instead.
Monsters: Alien body snatchers
Movie: The Faculty (1998)
While the alien invaders in Signs are allergic to water, those possessing the staff and students in The Faculty love the stuff and down it by the gallon. So much so that they can only be killed by dehydration. How, then, does a small band of American teenagers defeat the parasitic menace? Excessive exercise? Exposure to extreme heat? No no, far too grown-up. For these American adolescents, recreational drug abuse seems the best course of action, and Josh Harnett, Elijah Wood & co. successfully repel the invaders by injecting them with a diuretic, cocaine-like substance of their own creation. This could only happen high school...
Movie: Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Not only is Shaun a comedy classic that riffs lovingly on the zombie genre, it’s also a compendium of unlikely ways to off the undead. Listing them would, in this instance, be a lengthy and pointless exercise. You’re better off just watching it yourself. Highlights include the use of cricket bats, pool cues, Bill Nighy’s Jaguar, darts and Dire Straits records. Handle the last one with care.
Monster: The Gingerdead Man
Movie: The Gingerdead Man (2005)
How do you kill a psychotic gingerbread cookie? And can Gary Busey be stopped? By coincidence, the two questions that have tormented cinema since the silent era are combined here in one B-movie horror. Here, though, the ‘B’ stands for ‘bakery’ – the mode whereby said gingermonster meets its sequel-permitting end. In the film’s calorific climax, the monster has its head bitten off. Cue a terrible pun – “Got Milk?” – and a demonic possession that sees the beast meeting his own maker at Gas Mark 4.
Monster: The Selenites
Movie: Trip To The Moon (1902)
Georges Méliès’ best-know work unleashes a Gallic Expêndables on the benighted, moon-dwelling Selenites. Unsurprisingly for a film a decade younger than the motorcar, these early monsters are less than terrifying. In fact, while they look like terrifying space lobsters, they’re actually more prone to death than a herd of clinically depressed lemmings teetering on the top of the Shard. Our intrepid explorers, a pitiless bunch in top hats and tails, fend off dozens of them with, of all things, an umbrella. Several good pokes with a brolly and each Selenite is reduced to a puff of Victorian smoke.
Movie: Braindead (1992)
As Shaun Of The Dead reminded us, a garden shed can be a veritable arsenal of monster-slaying weaponry. In Peter Jackson’s classic schlocker it’s the lawnmower that gets its moment. Faced with a swarm of flesh-eating zombies, leading man Lionel Cosgrove straps one to his chest, turns it on, and walks slowly forward to trim the edges of the crowd. What follows is officially the goriest scene in cinema history – at least until they make a horror sequel to The Straight Story.
Movie: Jason And The Argonauts (1963)
This mythological adventure should be required viewing for Bilbo and his band of intrepid dwarves as they set off questing for gold beyond their wildest dreams. Jason (Todd Armstrong) and his Argonauts would recommend packing some good maps and a canister of giant monster repellent. They’d also probably advise staying flexible at all times. Case in point? The giant Talos, Ray Harryhausen’s ship-munching metal monster, is invulnerable... except for the giant plug in his heel. Death by being-unplugged awaits, thanks to Jason’s smarts.