Monster Monday: Ode to the Licker, Resident Evil 2, 1998

It’s a new year, so we’re relaunching Monster Mondays with a twist – over the next few weeks we’ll use a more creative take on the monsters of the week. Poems, stories (very short ones) and occasional critiques. So this time, it’s a poem – a short one, slightly tongue in cheek…

This week’s feature – the Licker from Resident Evil 2 in 1998. Aware that this is not the only time that the Licker has appeared in the series, but this was the first time we’d seen it and its initial impact was very significant when first playing this awesome game. Good times.

licker0

Ode to the Licker

I’m dead again
You leapt at Claire Redfield
Squish squish chomp
Strangled from above
Playing Resi2,
What a revelation you were
So scary to us
Oh Mr Licker
Your tongue is so
Drippy
I hear you sighing, feet clacking
How do you find your way
To jump out at me
When you have no eyes
And an exposed brain?
Here’s a hat
Let’s be friends?
Think I preferred
The zombies
Please.

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Monster Monday: Mr Swivel from Colder: The Bad Seed, by Paul Tobin & Juan Ferreyra

Comics are fast becoming our favourite way of consuming quality horror on the Haunted Eyeball. Our latest crush is the newish series ‘Colder’. The introduction to the first collected volumes run like this:

Declan Thomas is an ex-inmate of an insane asylum that was destroyed in a fire, he has the strange ability to step inside a person’s madness—and sometimes cure it. He hopes to one day cure his own, but time is running out, as a demonic predator pursues him.

However, what got our attention was this character from Colder: The Bad Seed. The terrifying Swivel is a very particular variety of monster with a chilling speciality…

It gets worse...

It gets worse…

Just looking at him is enough to make you shit kittens. But it gets worse. Swivel collects human fingers and isn’t too particular about whether you’re still attached to them. Yeah. Most issues from The Bad Seed open with him, er, ‘harvesting’ from hapless people who are innocently hailing taxis or walking dogs. Swivel might just make you careful where you waggle your most useful appendages from now on. *waves*

Swivel's mini-scythe has devastating effectiveness.

Swivel’s mini-scythe is devastatingly effective. *shits kittens*

That said, there’s a brilliant moment where he and his little mouth-fingers (still with us?) delicately remove a splinter from a little girl’s pinkie. Think it’s actually our favourite bit.

mm - Colder splinter swivel 6 panel

The guy just really, really loves himself some good quality fingers. Not your usual Eldritch being, right? The guy is a true aesthete…of fingers. Yeah. Shudder.

Colder is weird and troubling and truly insane. So naturally, we highly recommend that Eyeballers get hold of Colder volume 1 and volume 2: The Bad Seed, as soon as possible! If you love gorgeously upsetting visuals, this is for you.

Oh, and this is the cover for Colder: Volume 1. It’s awesome. It’s also terrifying. So you’ve been warned. Firstly, we present a kitten. If you scroll down further down than the kitten well,  just don’t have nightmares:

Don't scroll down don't scroll down just think about the kitten...

Don’t scroll down – don’t scroll down  – just think about the kitten…

Ready?

Issue 1 doesn't have Swivel and his fingers. But it's still freakin' weird. Also recommended.

Issue 1 doesn’t have Swivel and his fingers. But it’s still freakin’ weird. Also recommended.

Yeah. Would you like some brain bleach? Come back next time, y’all 🙂

Monster Monday: Mama (2013) co-written and directed by Andrés Muschietti

This week, Monster Monday contains multiple spoilers for the movie Mama, so beware. It’s now on Netflix UK, so if you have it, we do recommend you watch it! Also, we include several GIFs, which work well for illustrative purposes but – we are the first to admit, GIFs are fucking annoying after a few seconds of being on screen – so apologies in advance for those….or perhaps enjoy (they are frickin’ creepy).

Mama is the titular monster of this creepy 2013 horror movie, produced by massive monster fan, Guillermo Del Toro. As the poster suggests, Mama concerns a spooky tall woman and a little girl (though there are actually two girls) and moths. Lots of moths…

"Mama 2012 poster" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mama_2012_poster.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Mama_2012_poster.jpg

“Mama 2012 poster” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mama_2012_poster.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Mama_2012_poster.jpg

It all begins when a pair of little girls are taken into the woods by their deranged father, who was driven mad by losses in the recent stock market crash. The brute has already killed his wife and also wants to take his two girls to the grave with him – he’s a selfish shitheel who’s out of his mind and an utter monster (played by Jaime Lannister, who does a sterling job, btw). Crashing his car in the snow, he drags his daughters to an abandoned cabin in the woods, and prepares to shoot them and then himself. Luckily for the two girls, a strange entity in the house brutally removes their despairing daddy and looks after them, somehow feeding them cherries in the depths of winter. Several years later, in one of the creepiest scenes, a search party finds the two little girls and takes them back to civilisation. They’re terrifyingly feral but mostly unharmed. Think Newt in Aliens if she’d been raised by an alien in the mud. OK, bad example. Anyway, when their father’s identical twin brother (Jaime Lannister again!) and his rock goddess girlfriend (the kickass Jessica Chastain) take them in, it seems that the spooky entity who saved them is not quite ready to let her adopted children go…

Mama is a very solid fairytale. In fact, putting it under the fairytale category means the film gets away with several logic skips and very convenient dreams that reveal important plot points, that sort of thing. You see, among her talents, Mama has the convenient plot advancing power of uploading her nightmarish death into your dreams. This handily fills in the protagonists with the entity’s tragic back story. As everyone learns, Mama used to be a woman with a slightly odd appearance, who, back in the 1800s, was distraught that nuns were going to take her baby away. Chased by a mob after stabbing a nun (hate it when that happens…), Mama fell off a cliff, dying along with her baby and, well, it’s a major tragedy.

Mama Edith Brennan, Guillermo del Toro, scary women

The human Edith Brennan – before she became Mama

Of course she’s far more powerful now she’s dead. Still searching for release, Mama can suck out your life force, or possess you with her power, or sneak around as a sentient pile of goopey hair before lunging at you really fucking fast. Yikes. Basically, she can do all the standard stuff that apparently HAS to happen in ghost movies with a modern CGI budget, especially since they have it leftover from all those Japanese Horror remakes fourteen years ago. Mama is one of the better examples of CGI monsters, though. Which is why there are so many gifs in this entry. Sorry for that again, but the animation really shows Mama at her best.

Mama!!

Mama!!

Despite her terrifying undead appearance, and jealous rages, Mama really is loved by the two little girls she protected. But her unwillingness to let them go, and her habit of occasionally ‘playing rough’ make her more like a dangerous wild animal – like female cats when they’re pregnant being all loved-up on baby hormones, and which is why they don’t eat those mice they take in. For a while anyway. Mama is very effective when looming in a closet, the energy of her animalistic fury makes Mama into a terrifying creation when she finally bursts from the shadows. You do NOT want this coming down the landing after you.

Like this. Eeeeeeeeeeee

Like this. Eeeeeeeeeeee

Think its the spiderlike hands and the manic, uneven eyes…and it gets worse.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Or down the corridor either

In the scene most similar to the original. Scream!

In the scene most similar to the original. Scream!

And finally, this is what spending five years with her does to those two sweet little girls, so…

The movement just before this is CREEEEEPY as well. Something about spiderlike humanoid movement. Shudder. But two headed twins. Yes... it's truly primal.

The movement just before this is moment is CREEEEEPY as well. Something about their spiderlike humanoid creeping around. They’re also so skeletal. Shudder. But two headed twins. Yes… it’s truly primal.

Many reasons to be afraid of her, then. However, kudos to the end of the film for ultimately giving Mama someone who loves her – although we’d go with the idea that the little girl was also ‘dead all along’, so thank you TV tropes for that theory.

Mama (2012) expands on Andrés Muschietti’s short film (also it’s at the bottom of this article), which was truly terrifying but frustratingly inconclusive. The film version does over-explain everything, which is a common problem with most Hollywood horror, but in the context of  ‘a fairytale’ this isn’t really too annoying. Also, really love Jessica Chastain in this. She’s a worthy opponent, who bravely faces off against Mama’s terrifying fury.

Besides, no one in the film is more monstrous than the father at the start. This asshole clearly believes he has the right to murder his wife and their children, on account of being an entitled selfish fuckload who thinks they’re his property or something. So, still pretty much rooting for Mama most of the way through! Many fairytales seem to include a homicidal parent, too, so this works brilliantly.

Mama is worth seeing, but  check out the original first of all, as it’s free, and a great introduction to the madness of Mama.

Monster Monday: Patrick Bateman ‘American Psycho’ created by Brett Easton Ellis

**Contains American Psycho spoilers because…well, go read and watch it, it’s awesome, and horrible, and hilarious, and deeply upsetting. Welcome to the Haunted Eyeball.****

We’re moving away from Disney this week (though we’ll definitely be returning to the demonic house of mouse at some point) and we’re taking a humanoid approach to this week’s Monster Monday. Well, he can pass for human, anyway. Mostly. What Patrick Bateman actually is, is something far more terrifying.

Doesn't seem so bad, does he...

Doesn’t seem so bad, does he…

He’s a yuppie. Which, to clarify for those born after 1980, means he’s a stupidly rich, callous motherfucker. Actually, probably easier to just call him a banker and leave it at that. Striding the streets of late 190s New York in Armani, while utilizing a very strict skincare routine, Bateman kills and kills again, he stomps tramp to death along with their poor puppies, he gives drugged out dates chocolate covered urinal cakes as a dessert. He also has extremely convoluted thoughts on the music of Whitney Huston when she was an 1980s diva. That’s the sort of monster we’re dealing with. Shudder. However, if  you’re interested, there’s a very interesting study into how rich people get progressively less empathic – though we doubt that that would really explain Bateman, either.

Oh, and he NEVER gets caught.

Now, to be clear, this really isn’t going to be an incredibly in-depth analysis of everyone’s favourite American Psycho (no, not you Dexter). There’s a time and place for that (we love us some analysis) but, not on here and not today, anyway. This Monster Monday about Patrick Bateman is purely to celebrate how he makes us confront our inner sickos. Or if he doesn’t well, good for you.

So let’s talk Bateman.

american_psycho

Frankly, compared to what else is out there, Patrick Bateman is almost comical. Not least because, well, he might just be completely out of his mind, and the whole horrific story is  delivered by an unreliable narrator cop-out of the highest order. (The author has denied it’s all in Bateman’s head, though). That and the ten page monologues on what Bateman likes to wear and why Hip to Be Square like, totally sums up important stuff, probably. Yes. He takes himself so seriously, it should be a comedy. (We’d argue it is…a very very very very dark one). See, mostly, Patrick Bateman just likes to hurt people. Women especially. Yick. The jarring flip from Bateman’s discussion of the latest GQ cover and angst about the right business card, right over to incredibly detailed descriptions of torture, murder and things that would make Leatherface shake his head, are all part of the character’s hypnotic appeal. This is one twisted fuck, and he lives on Wall Street.

That’s up against some pretty stiff psychotic competition.

Let’s be clear. The ‘all a dream’ explanation for Bateman would suck. Unless you’re that unfortunate woman he treated to his hose pipe and rat douche which, well…but it would remove the power of the book. It’s basically pure splatterpunk translated through the uppity lens of high literature. What’s the difference between this and a masterpiece like Ketchum’s ‘The Woman’? Apart from, like, awards and publishing ‘accolades’. Still, they’re both brilliant, but you know, labels are bad, mmkay?

This is how a date with Patrick Bateman generally ends, by the way...

This is how a date with Patrick Bateman generally ends, by the way…

However, Bateman definitely falls under ‘M’ for ‘Monster’. But even worse, surely, (unless you are the unfortunate hooker being brutally chainsawed through the crotch by him at the time) are the people who are stopping him from even being caught. His disgustingly rich father has to be protecting him. That’s hinted at. Suggested. Never overt. Conspiracies are comforting. Otherwise, the world would see what a sicko Bateman is, and they would stop him. The world would definitely stop him. Right? Bad guys are caught all the time. Aren’t they? It’s a good thing we’re all rational enough to deal with this and have enough security in the world’s empathy that this sort of thing is laughed off as an anomaly of a sick mind…..*nervous laugh*

Brett Easton Ellis' sick little mind, to be precise. *gives Brett an unwanted hug*

Brett Easton Ellis’ sick little mind, to be precise. *gives Brett an unwanted hug*

Only, we all go a little mad sometimes. Bateman is one way to pin it to the screen or the page. Or the musical theatre outing. Nice. Because, when the highest rated, most heavily downloaded show (Game of Thrones) has a man getting SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER his cock brutally chopped off by another guy who looks like a psychotic hobbit (no, really he does, and he also deserves his own Monster Monday when the series actually finishes) plus, all the graphic rape in the show and head’s gleefully exploding END SPOILER END SPOILER END SPOILER then, we can’t get on our high horse about about Bateman anymore. We are desensitised. We deserve Bateman now. He’s been absorbed and chewed up.

This is best epitomised by the newish West End musical of American Psycho, starring Doctor Who as Bateman (a far more appropriate use for creepy babyfaced gurner Matt Smith, in our opinion). Surely, if popular culture is going to grind up and spit out something as blackly vicious as Ameican Psycho, and shove a load of ironic songs in it (I’m also looking at you, Evil Dead) then it’s only a matter of time before we get a Hellraiser musical. Well, we can hope.

Monster Monday: Monstro the Whale (Pinocchio 1940)

As we all know, Whales are a fiercely beautiful, highly intelligent bunch of peaceful aquatic creatures, who humanity has quite unreasonably hunted to bloody near extinction in the name of putting whale oil in absolutely everything, and occasionally making a decent corset. By all accounts, whales funded the rise of the industrial revolution. Which ended in iPads and asthma for everyone. Hooray!

“Eubalaena glacialis with calf”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eubalaena_glacialis_with_calf.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Eubalaena_glacialis_with_calf.jpg

But, in the case of Monstro the whale, from the 1940 Disney classic ‘Pinocchio‘, we’re much more inclined to say ‘screw it, shoot that goddam psycho beastie with a harpoon’.

Monster Monday: Monstro the Whale, Pinocchio 1940. Thanks, Disney!

Monster Monday: Monstro the Whale, Pinocchio 1940. Thanks, Disney!

Scarier than Moby Dick, Monstro rates high on the ‘nightmare fuel’ scale in a film that’s ALREADY chock-full of the stuff. But for this Eyeballer, Monstro beats out Pinocchio’s
Donkey Boys, simply because:

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Monster Monday: “Gashunk gashunk” – Juni Ito’s ‘Gyo’ Manga

There are plenty of reason to love Junji Ito’s work.

We’re about to cover just one of them, which should be more than enough for now…

Juni Ito’s manga is unfailingly horrific, disturbing and marvelous. If you love horror of any kind, we can’t recommend his back-catalogue highly enough. For the sake of this Monster Monday, however, we want to focus on his series GYO (The Death Stench Creeps)
and the disturbing, and mostly unexplained, phenomena that it tries to explain. Well, there is a rational explanation given. In the loosest possible sense of ‘rational’. Perhaps ‘plausible’ is the best description for what happens in this manga. It’s really dream logic, which makes it work, the sense of a nightmare you can’t quite climb away from and situation getting worse and worse.

Title page from the first manga novel. Fish with legs. Yes, it sounds silly...at first....

Title page from the first manga novel. Fish with legs. Yes, it sounds silly…at first….

The basic premise of the two book manga GYO (The Death Stench Creeps): Volume 1
is that sea life has started climbing out of the ocean on strange, organically manufactured but artificially installed little legs. The setup is pretty bloody weird already, but the horror doesn’t end there. The first appearence of a ‘fish with legs’ is almost funny. But it’s merely the warning shot of a much bigger disaster for humanity. Because these things are powered by the gassy stench of death itself, and the attacks from the ocean to the land are about to get much more deadly, and much larger, too.

Most notably, starting with this Gshunking monster:

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Monster Monday: The Pantomime Cat

Welcome back Eyeballers! Monster Mondays, and new articles, return to the slightly revised Haunted Eyeball.

But first, the terror!

It’s not typical for Enid Blyton to be the harbinger of nightmares, but thinking back to our youth, one of her books was responsible for a great deal of dread, angst and nightmares.

Whilst trying to think back to the things that really, truly wigged us out as a child, we suddenly come across the worst thing in the world.

The rather unkindly named ‘Fatty’ gets a nasty shock. Sure, you find out LATER it’s only a criminal in a cat suit….but some images are meant to stay with you.

(Image from a rather awesome Enid Blyton site. If you need to remember something Blyton based, go here).

Why this image is terrifying.

It contains almost all the elements required to freak out an over-imaginative six year old.

  • An oversized animal.
  • An oversized animal staring out a window.
  • At you.
  • Unexpectedly.
  • In the dark.

And herein lies the pure personalised terror. And frankly, we’d take Pinhead over this creature any day of the week, and down any dark alley, too.

Having awoken the entirely rational terror of humanoid creatures that can look you in the eye, expect to see a few more of these beasts referred to in some future Monster Mondays.

Even the other pictures here, which attempt to make it more cuddly, more ‘cute kitty’ kind of fail. The real image of it, for the Eyeball, remains that black and white portrayal of something inhuman, raggedy yet thoroughly INTENT. Seared into the background of our memories, it’s still capable of sending our nerves quite a long way towards the wimpier end of fight or flight. Oh yes, over the years we have toughened up, learned that real life can be scarier than fiction, braved Wolf Creeks and Pumpkinheads. But the uncanny valley we entered when we first laid eyes on the picture above has, quite effectively, creeped us the fuck out for many years since.

Which, let’s be clear, was not usually the result of a hundred page Enid Blyton readathon.

This is all further proof that fear is purely subjective. After all, one famous author commented that what scared him the most was a Christmas tree running away on its roots, in a Rupert the Bear comic.

We are all at the mercy of our own thoughts processes. The only answer is to become thoroughly and totally desensitized. Time to order that ‘A Serbian Tale’ monstrosity on Amazon. Or, actually…nope.