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my field guide to old school movie monsters

Updated on October 23, 2011

my guide to old school movie monsters

my guide to the old school movie monsters

They emerge from coffins, shadows,

laboratories and our nightmares every year.

Here is my field guide to getting into the

monster mood.

They're ba-ack! - those enigmatic, cinematic, melodramatic

monsters of nightmares the world over. Some may seem a little

tired, some a little campy but all did their fair share of terrorizing

back in the day. Here is my guide to some monster basics and

what you can do to pay them their spooky due.


Perhaps one of the more revered and feared of the monster

pantheon, this large, lumbering bruiser reminds us all of the

dangers of scientific hubris.

Tag line: "He's alive!"

Strengths: Brute force, genetic diversity

Weaknesses: Screaming women, epic stupidity

Scariness rating: 3 out of 5 screams. As long as you can do

single-digit addition, you can outsmart this guy.

Other notes: Remember fire. Apparently he's afraid of this so

that could be a good or bad thing depending on how you use it.

Wall of fire for protection good. Lighting a cigarette bad.


One of the only monsters whose myth is actually based in

reality. Ol' Vlad the Impaler was enough of a bane to the

Romanian people that his likeness is the inspiration for the

fictitious blood-sucker Nosferatu.

Tag line: "I vant to suck your blood!"

Strengths: Orthodontia, impeccable attention to detail,


Weaknesses: Garlic, stakes to the heart, sartorial abuse of

cape-wearing, the "cute-ification" by "Sesame Street," excessive


Scariness rating: 4 out of 5 screams. He's enough of a

charmer that you could fall for his lines but he's just a little too

polite. If he dropped that "host with the most" front, there would

be a whole lot more punctured jugulars out there.

Other notes: Vampires in general are hot. I mean hello

who else can think of anything hotter than someone who

can mist into your room, nibble on you and then mist out.

And books like Interview with the Vampire and Twilight

don't help at all with that little fantasy.

The Mummy

A modern fright steeped in ancient lore, the Mummy was the

monster trailblazer paving the way for other breeds of the

walking un-dead, such as the zombie.

Tag Line: "Ughhghghghghghghrrrr."

Strengths: Coming back from the dead, strangling, sutures

Weaknesses: Museums, claustrophobia, lateral movement

Scariness rating: 2 out of 5 screams. All of the creepiness of

the zombie with none of its scrappiness. You can easily outrun

the Mummy. If for some reason you are unable, cut left and drive

for the nearest exit and you'll leave him spinning in his toilet

paper suit.

Other notes: OK yeah mummies are really not all that terrifying.

They are very much like zombies except for the whole evil

curse thing. I think the curse is actually more frightening than

the mummy itself. Now again if the mummy happens to look like

the one from the mummy with brendan frasier that's not scary,

that's hot. So's Brendan.

The Wolfman

Hirsute, maligned and very much a scourge of the night owl,

the Wolfman howled his way into our nightmares thanks to a

rabid wolf bite gone horribly awry.

Tag line: "Aaaawooooo! Woo-woo-wooooo!"

Strengths: Intimidation, follicular potency, wearing of short


Weaknesses: Nair, waning lunar cycles, his conscience.

Scariness rating: 1 out of 5 screams. While the Wolfman may

be a real bastard when you encounter him, he's pretty easy to

avoid - just don't go to graveyards during full moons. Plus, he's

got that whole good v. evil conflict thing going on so he feels

remorse. Lastly, he's comically hairy -- it can be distracting.

Other notes: Wolfman sucks. Son of Wolfman sucks even

worse. I was a teenage wolfman, come on seriously.

The Werewolf

Yes, there is a difference between the Werewolf and the

Wolfman. The Wolfman is more man than wolf; the Werewolf is

more wolf than man.

Tag line: Whatever the sound of tearing limbs out of sockets is.

Strengths: Wiliness, aggressiveness, spryness, big ol' teeth

and claws.

Weaknesses: International air travel (He's always in London -

is it the quarantine thing?)

Scariness rating: 5 out of 5. This Canis Lupus Badass has all

the cunning and intellect of a human without that pesky guilt

complex. The Werewolf is violent, quick and ugly as sin. There

really is no way of outrunning or outsmarting him. You're

basically screwed if you find yourself near this little bugger.

Other Notes: Werewolves are on the same basic level as

vampires in the hotness department. I mean totally new take

on doggy. Being as how if he loses control he might actually

turn into one. Now that I think of it puts new meaning to throw

me a bone. Anywho. Werewolves are definitely the badasses

of the paranormal world and yeah if you piss one of you'll be

lucky if you get a chance to kiss your ass good bye.


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