Hello, lovely readers, and welcome back to the frankly amazing world of Seriously Geeky Sundays, brainchild of the incomparable Heather, of Just Geeking By Fame.
As ever, we give our thanks to Heather for supplying us with excellent weekly themed questions, and this week had had me excitedly watching my calendar for ages, for this week we discuss monsters! I love monsters, they occupy a little corner of my imagination, along with spaceships and fantasy worlds, the VIP lounge, if you will, and writing about them is going to be a blast!
So, what’s the official mission briefing from SGS HQ?
On this day in 1797 Mary Shelley was born and 26 years later she would write the story of Frankenstein’s monster. This week it’s time to write your own tales of monsters as we face the dark side of fandoms head on.
Question 1 – What Was Your First Introduction to the Horror Genre?
When I was but a small child, I owned a Sega Mega Drive (and still do this day, bless it). We didn’t have much money when I were a nipper, so my dad used to find the less popular games going cheap at car boot sales for us to play. One such cartridge he picked up was The Terminator, based on the 1984 movie of the same name.
I remember loving the game, playing as time travelling future warrior Kyle Reese, taking down hordes of thugs (for some reason) and holding back the threat of the very-hard-to-kill Terminator. Needless to say, it got me interested in the movie and, under my dad’s watchful eye, he let me watch it, in all of its glory!
That movie will always be in my top 10, the dark 80’s setting, Brad Friedel’s iconic soundtrack (in its best form), Arnold Schwarzenegger as the chilling cyborg and Michael Biehn as Reese, it was awesome! And the final act, when Arnie’s had all his flesh burned off and comes back as an amazing, creepy stop-motion skeleton robot, oh my word!
Yes, the sequel is anamazing movie (and Dark Fate was decent), but there’s no beating the original. Other sequels? Nah… there weren’t any more…
Question 2 – Horror Comes In All Flavours Now; What Sub-Genres Do You Like/Dislike?
I’m firmly in the camp of science-fiction horror! My top five favourite movies of all time contains 2 of them, Alien and The Thing (the 1982 one). Why? Well, I’ve always been big on sci-fi and there’s no more thrilling concept for a tale than a group of individuals being picked off by an otherworldly threat from beyond the stars.
That said, I have also had fun with a few werewolf movies too, specifically American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers and The Howling. Werewolves be cool!
Question 3 – Who Is Your Favourite Monster?
Well I’ve praised the Xenomorph on here plenty enough already, so let’s talk about the titular nasty from The Thing, shall we?
The main thing of interest here, I suppose, is that we never see its true form. Instead we see what happens when it infiltrates the human body on a genetic level and, once threatened, rapidly and (very much) violently morphs that form in order to defend itself or assimilate others.
The Thing really is an amazing movie, a masterclass in physical effects, paranoia, bleak Arctic scenery and, of course, Kurt Russell’s mighty beard.
Added for you viewing (warning, it’s beautifully gross), the famous medical bay scene…
Question 4 – What Is Your Favourite Monstrous Species?
I shall continue to not talk about Xenomorphs and, instead, discuss their geek culture arch nemesis – the Predator!
These guys are tall, physically insurmountable alien hunters, come down to our humble neck of the woods in order to take part in one of the oldest sports on earth, hunting. Their prey, however, is no rabbit, deer or even bear. No, the Predator hunts humans, armed, trained and challenging ones, at that. The most famous one tried, rather foolishly, to take on Arnie (a sure recipe for failure), hunting his squad of special forces bad boys through the dense jungles of South America, but others have popped up over the years, challenging man at every turn using plasma cannons, cool spears and a Frisbee that cuts people in half.
Question 5 – Monsters Come In All Forms Including Humans; Who Is Your Favourite Human Monster?
You know what? You just can’t beat a good evil leader.
Let’s talk about President Coriolanus Snow, supreme leader of Panem in the Hunger Games series of books/movies and protagonist of the prequel, Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.
What I like about Snow is that, whilst he is unarguably a total bastard, making kids from the once-rebellious Districts fight for the amusement of the pampered people of the Capitol, he’s also a nuanced and clever bad guy, probably the most compelling character in the entire story. Whenever I reached a part of the books featuring him, it definitely felt like a highlight. I think part of his alluring menace is that he never shouts, never loses his cool, just uses the most threatening words in a chilling tone.
In the movies he is played to excellent effect by Donald Sutherland, who delivers a truly terrifying, detestable turn as the President of Panem.
Snow is so delightfully evil that he got where he was by poisoning his rivals, imbibing the stuff himself to alleviate suspicion and wearing pleasant-smelling roses to hide the smell from his sores. What an asshole!
Oh, and his final couple of appearances in Mockingjay were brilliant, too, revealing the ending’s twist in a very memorable conversation with protagonist Katniss.
Question 6 – What is your favourite horror/supernatural fandom?
I’m honestly unsure if I fit in with any horror or supernatural fandom, my brush-ins with them historically haven’t made me want to go back to them for the most part!
Maybe I’m just a bit of a grumpy loner, who knows?
And that is that, another monstrous edition of Seriously Geeky Sundays successfully vanquished! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the read! Be sure to follow all of the other very talented writers under the #seriouslygeekysundays hashtag and I shall see you all again next week!