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Old 07-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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The Thing, It, She, and Them


In Bored of the Rings, Beard and Kenney describe the charge out of Fordor:

Quote:
…Out poured an army the likes of which was never seen. Forth from the gate burst a hundred thousand rabid narcs swinging bicycle chains and tire irons, followed by drooling division of pop-eyed changelings, deranged zombies, and distempered werewolves. At their shoulders marched eight score heavily armored griffins, three thousand goose-stepping mummies, and a column of abominable snowmen on motorized bobsleds; at their flanks tramped six companies of slavering ghouls, eighty parched vampires in white tie, and the Phantom of the Opera. Above them the sky was blackened by the dark shapes of vicious pelicans, houseflies the size of two-car garages, and Rodan the Flying Monster. Through the portals streamed more foes of various forms and descriptions, including a six-legged diplodocus, the Loch Ness Monster, King Kong, Godzilla, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes, the Brain from Planet Arous, three different subphyla of giant insects, the Thing, It, She, Them, and the Blob . The great tumult of their charge could have waked the dead, were they not already bringing up the rear.

Lotsa monsters in there, but I'm interested in the ones named in vague terms. Because the names are so general, there are several cases of the same name being used:

Thing -- The alien "carrot" played by James Arness in the Christian Nyby/Howard Hawks 1951 film sorta based on John Campbell's story Who Goes There? that was originally called simply "The Thing". The title reportedly got changed to "The Thing from Another World" to distinguish it from a novelty ong by Phil Harris called "The Thing" (although, really, how many people would have been confused by the similarity of names? Some claim this was just marketing -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(song) )

-- Also The alien shape-shiter/bosy snatcher in John Carpenter's 1982 remake (with a much closer to the original plot screenplay by Bill Lancaster)

-- also the alien creature in the 2011 film that acts as a prequel to the 1982 film.
-- Also the creature from the Carpenter film in lots of comics, videogames, etc.
--Ben Grimm in the Marvel Fantastic Four Franchise
-- Mothra, in order to make things obscure, in the Toho film Godzilla Vs. The Thing
-- The disembodied hand in TV's [I]The Addams Family and the subsequent movies.

-- various monsters in cheap movies, such as Ray Milland/Rosie Greer in The Thing with Two Heads

-- A tourist trap attraction on I-10 in Arizona (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Th...ide_attraction) )


It

No one 1950s monster, but a number of them:

It Came from Outer Space -- alien in Ray Bradbury-scripted 3D movie

It Came from Beneath the Sea -- giant octopus in Ray Harryhausen film

It! The Terror from BBeyond Space -- Martian creature that gets loose on a space ship in Jerome Bixby-scripted 1950s film that the movie Alien shamelessly strip-mined

also Cousin Itt, the hair-covered (and, for all we know, completely hair-composed) character on TV's The Addams Family.


She -- Ayesha, AKA "Wisdom's Daughter", the virtually immortal "evil" female ruler in Afraica and later the Himalaya's in a series of novels by H. Rider Haggard. Later portrayed in several movies, most notably by Helen Gahagen in her one and only movie role in 1934 and by Ursula Andress in the 1960s. Also by Sandahl Bergman in a really bad post-apocalyptic version in 1984.

The only other monster-like She is The She Creature, a really stupid case of reincarnation, portrayed by an actor in a really wild monster suit made by Paul Blaisdell. The same plot (with a much worse suit) was filmed years later for TV as Creature of Destruction. There was another TV movie in 2001 using the same title (at a time when they were re-using a lot of the old AIP titles, but not the plots) involving a scary-looking mermaid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She_Creature

Them -- Big ants. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Them!. Also the title of a paranoid fantasy story by Robert A. Heinlein. I can't think of any others, but another giant ant movie was Empire of the Ants, adapted from the story by H.G. Wells by someone who never read Wells, and thought that all you needed was giant ants. Noted for really bad special effects and for Joan Collins, whose mind gets taken over by that of the ants. Fill in your own joke here.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:28 AM
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Probably not what Kenney and Beard were thinking, but there was Theodore Sturgeon's "It."
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Probably not what Kenney and Beard were thinking, but there was Theodore Sturgeon's "It."
(Head Smack) -- I meant to cite that one, too!
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:07 AM
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There was also It Conquered the World.

Released on a double-bill with The She-Creature, and also featuring a monster built by Paul Blaisdell.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:12 AM
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The Marvel Comics characters Adam Warlock and Kismet were originally referred to as "He" and "She".

H. Rider Haggard's "She" was the short form of "She Who Must Be Obeyed". Her underlings were afraid to refer to her proper name.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
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The Marvel Comics characters Adam Warlock and Kismet were originally referred to as "He" and "She".

H. Rider Haggard's "She" was the short form of "She Who Must Be Obeyed". Her underlings were afraid to refer to her proper name.
Horace Rumpole also refers to his wife Hilda as "She Who Must be Obeyed", one of the few literary references he makes that doesn't come from the Oxford Book of English Verse. But evidently too good for John Mortimer to pass up.

I have button I got at a convention a few years ago that I gave to my wife -- "SHE Who would like to be OBEYed, at least some of the time."
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:17 AM
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For It, also don't forget about Stephen King's Pennywise the Clown, and the giant brain that ruled Camazotz in A Wrinkle in Time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:35 AM
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Cute thread idea, Cal..

I was hoping to come in and tease you by making a Ben Grimm/Sturgeon/Haggard/giant ant joke, but by golly, that was your intention all along!
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:36 AM
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Them had a monster hit in Gloria, but probably don't qualify as monsters themselves. Although Van Morrison has looked better.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:29 PM
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"It" was also the Golem figure who ran rampant in London under the control of a psychotic Norman-Bates-esque Roddy McDowall: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061826/
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:44 PM
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another I forgot was the wonderfully awful tree-monster in From Hell It Came.



There is a legend that the entirety of one review was "...and To Hell It Can Go!"



Paul Blaisdell, again, designed the thing, which is called the Tabonga.

Here, no joke, is how it looked:

https://trailersfromhell.com/from-hell-it-came/
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:57 PM
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There's "The 'I' that Defeated the Justice League" from 1964. The creature only referred to itself as "I."
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 07-15-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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Wonder Woman was menaced by a Them! in 1969.

Them turned out to be a gang of lesbian hippies.

Bonus near-miss on the OP: the cover to that Wonder Woman comic promises more appearances from I-Ching.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:16 PM
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the 1967 Rankin-Bass movie Mad Monster Party had an un-named "It" that showed up at the end.

https://villains.fandom.com/wiki/It_(Mad_Monster_Party)

"It" was King Kong, but un-named a.) as Mothra was in Godzilla vs. The Thing to create mystery; and more importantly b.) they didn't hve the rights to "King Kong", but anybody can animate a giant ape.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Monster_Party%3F
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
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Wonder Woman was menaced by a Them! in 1969.

Them turned out to be a gang of lesbian hippies.

Bonus near-miss on the OP: the cover to that Wonder Woman comic promises more appearances from I-Ching.
Great Og -- I have that issue (the second one, with I-Ching. I can read him like a book.)
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
another I forgot was the wonderfully awful tree-monster in From Hell It Came.



There is a legend that the entirety of one review was "...and To Hell It Can Go!"



Paul Blaisdell, again, designed the thing, which is called the Tabonga.

Here, no joke, is how it looked:

https://trailersfromhell.com/from-hell-it-came/
Wikipedia has an entertaining review:
Quote:
According to Tim Healey, it deserves an honored place in the canon of the world's worst movies.[6] Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film 1½ of 4 stars, writing, "As walking-tree movies go, this is at the top of the list".[7] Bruce Eder from AllMovie panned the film, writing, "The sheer badness of Dan Milner's From Hell It Came is mitigated ever so slightly by the efforts of Paul Blaisdell, who created the vengeful tree-creature called the Tabonga... All of which leaves ridiculously campy fun as the sole reason to watch this very mildly entertaining misfire, which is funnier in the telling than the watching".[8]
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
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Wikipedia has an entertaining review:
I have to disagree. As walking-tree movies go, the Lord of the Rings films beat this one easily, even the Ralph Bakshi cartoon version. The 1939 Wizard of Oz would, easily, if the trees had only been able to walk. Even the silent Douglas Fairbanks version of The Thief of Baghdad has a more convincing walking tree.

And, of course, Groot is easily far superior to Tobanga in every movie he's in.

Of course, the walking trees in those movies were incidental to the main plot. This is, AFAICanRecall, the only film in which the walking tree is the main element. So, strictly speaking, it wins Maltin's assessment as the "top of the list" of walking-tree movies in which those trees are the main point. But only by default.

If Groot even gets his own feature, though, look out.


(Triffids, too, beat Topanga hollow (he's a hollow tree). But, despite being plants, they're not trees.)
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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The comic book Supernatural Law had Sodd, the Thing called It!
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:52 AM
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There's also the Monster Baby of It's Alive

There was a sequel It's Alive II (AKA It LIves Again)

And then they had a third film, Island of the Alive because, I guess, they thought it sounded marginally less stupid than Island of the It.

Then they remade the original, with the same title.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:59 AM
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It's Alive! was also the title of a truly awful Larry Buchanan film from 1969 with the same awful costume he'd used in the aforementioned Creature of Destruction recycled:

https://horrorpedia.com/2017/01/25/i...ot-whole-film/
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:20 AM
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I do have to recommend It Came from Hollywood. I agree with Machael Medved (whose work it was based on) that they messed up the execution, including a few actually pretty good films in there, but overall they have a great collection of Bad Films, and the commentary from the SNL/SCTV/Cheech and Chong "stars" actually helps, sometimes. If you get the chance, sit down with this and a copy of Zacherly's Horrible Horror -- it's the perfect gateway to enjoying Badfilm.


There was apparently a made-for-TV sequel to It Came from Outer Space called, appropriately It Came from Outer Space II. It sounds awful and I've never seen it.


And I have to mention They Came from Beyond Space. I knew this was awful, but didn't until know how awful, or why:

1.) It was made on sets left over from Daleks -- Invasion Earth 2150 AD.
2.) They did that because they ran out of money
3.) The reason they ran out of money was that they've used it all up making the movie The Terrornauts. The two films were released on a double bill.



If you haven't seen The Terrornauts, you won't appreciate how ludicrous a statement that it. The Terrornauts looks like a movie made on a budget of under $100. That any movie had to skimp because they'd blown their budget on that film boggles the mind. But according to the Wikipedia page:

Quote:
Director Freddie Francis says that the producers had spent all their budget on The Terrornauts so there was no money left over for They Came from Beyond Space. The double feature failed at the box office and has been described as "the two worst films the company ever produced".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_C...m_Beyond_Space


Clearly, The Terrornauts and They Came from Beyond Space are the only films playing, ever, athe Hell Goggolplex.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:58 AM
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There's also the dreaded She-it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:16 AM
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The Thing that Couldn't Die

Wonderfully bad movie about decapitated Conquistador-era magician. Very properly spitted by MST3K


https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052289/
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:23 AM
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Hadn't heard of this one -- came out two years ago. Effects look good, at least

It Came From the Desert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fumQ6XaL6kA

So we get giant ants a la "Them" with an "It" in the title. Everybody wins
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:24 AM
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It Came from Yesterday -- not familiar with this one, either. Movie from 2011

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1342106...?ref_=tt_ov_pl
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:25 AM
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This one seems to pare at least the title down to essentials

It Came!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261753...?ref_=tt_ov_pl
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:29 AM
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I don't want to know more about this one


It Came from Uranus

http://www.sn-films.com/movie.php?movie=ICFU
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:40 AM
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In addition to those films that are able to specify a definite "Thing," there was also the rather more vaguely titled Something Is Out There, a high-rated NBC miniseries turned low-rated NBC series. It featured a cop and a beautiful alien (Bond girl Maryam D'Abo) teaming up to fight extraterrestrial crime.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
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In addition to those films that are able to specify a definite "Thing," there was also the rather more vaguely titled Something Is Out There, a high-rated NBC miniseries turned low-rated NBC series. It featured a cop and a beautiful alien (Bond girl Maryam D'Abo) teaming up to fight extraterrestrial crime.
I liked the way that subverted some common tropes.

at one point, thinking that they might get rid of the whatchamacallum running rampant on the space ship, the Earth guy asks "Why don't you use the Self-Destruct Mechanism on the ship?"

To which the nice alien woman replies "Why would we put a Self-Destruct Mechanism on our ship?"
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