Friday, October 12, 2018

Top 10 Favorite Monsters

In the spirit of this spooky season, a top 10 list of my favorite creeps, spooks, ghouls, ghosts, spectres, haunts, haints, bogeys, and monsters.  Be fair warned.  These are the things that go bump in the night.

  • The Phantom of the Opera (Weber) - I have always had a soft spot for this musical and I love the role of the Phantom.  Music of the Night is a great signature tenor solo and Past the Point of No Return is one of the most menacing and sensual songs in musical theater.  That iconic mask has always fascinated me.
  • Dracula (Christopher Lee) - While Bela Lugosi will always be associated with the role, my favorite has to be Christopher Lee in the Hammer film series. Lee brought a gravitas and menace to the role that became so much more visceral in color.  
  • Werewolf by Night - Marvel perfected the werewolf curse with its character Werewolf by Night.  Jacob Russoff, aka Jack Russell, carried a family curse of lyncanthropy, started from the Darkhold, the Book of Sin.  Sometimes a hero, always an interesting protagonist, my favorite Marvel Comic monster.  Plus a werewolf named Jack Russell is just one of the coolest comic book names.
  • Frankenstein's Monster (Karloff) - No one tapped into the character of the Frankenstein Monster better than Karloff.  Karloff tapped into all facets of the character including the broken and damaged soul longing for the love of his maker, human connection, and friendship.  A master at work.
  • The Ghost Host (The Haunted Mansion) - This all comes down to that signature voice.  Paul Frees was a master voice actor and the Ghost Host is a prime example.  Equally menacing and humorous, our Host provides the perfect narration for the mixed tones of the attraction.
  • Xenomorph Queen (Alien) - One of the best creature designs ever.  H.R. Gieger created such a horrific creature that preyed on our natural fear of parasites and insects.  One of the most terrifying creatures ever created for the screen.
  • The Headless Horseman (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad) - Such a great, simple design.  The use of negative black to create the form and the laugh by Billy Bletcher help make this segment of the movie a truly suspenseful cartoon.
  • Oogie Boogie (Ken Page) - A delightfully creepy creature of burlap and insects, this boogie man provides such a great contrast to the Pumpkin King.  A Cab Calloway type song and a great vocalist in Ken Page. 
  • Audrey II (Michael-Leon Wooley) - This is a specific voice.  While others may have a specific affection for Ron Taylor or Levi Stubbs, my Audrey II will always be Michael-Leon Wooley.  There's a specific timber to his voice that I have a great affinity for.  To here him sing Feed Me (Get It) is just excellent.  A great bass voice.
  • The Sanderson Sisters (Hocus Pocus) - My favorite witches.  The humor that Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker bring to the roles is so enjoyable.  The Sanderson Sisters have been brought back as entertainment at the Magic Kingdom for Halloween to great affect.  Plus, they perform one of my favorite versions of I Put A Spell On You
And a special Honorable Mention:
  • Fin Fang Foom - had to include a great giant monster and to do so I turn to one of my favorite classic 1950s Marvel Monsters.  Besides a great alliterative name, Fing Fang Foom has a great look as a giant green dragon in purple pants and a great presence.  Plus, I'l never forget "Fing Fang Foom put you in his pants" from Nextwave.

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