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You wouldn't think it would be that hard to come up with a movie monster. You just take what people are already afraid of, and make it either bigger, stronger or uglier. People are scared of crime, so you make a movie about a super-strong killer with a messed-up face behind a hockey mask. Boom. Collect your money.

But some writers seem to struggle with this concept. Badly. So, you wind up with movies like...

5
The Gingerdead Man

The Monster:

Pastry.

Why it Could Have Been Scary

Six words: Gary Busey is the Gingerdead Man. Picture it: Busey dressed up in a gingerbread man costume, hacking, slashing and making pastry-based puns along the way. You can't imagine the amount of money we would have paid to see that. Actually, you probably could have imagined it (it's four dollars).


"I don't know where I am right now!"

Why it Wasn't

Well Gary Busey is the Gingerdead Man, kind of. Gary only appears in the movie's first five minutes as the world's worst robber: He enters a diner, riffles through the cash register but takes no money, shoots people instead, gets caught and, in the end, is sent to the electric chair. So what we get from then on is a very, very shitty puppet voiced by Gary Busey.

And to transform Gary Busey into said puppet, we have to take one hell of a deus ex machina roller coaster: Busey's corpse is cremated and then his evil mom mixes the ashes into a gingerbread mix which she delivers to a local bakery. There, a worker accidentally cuts himself and bleeds a gallon of blood over the mixture that he bakes anyway, and then the oven is hit with a power surge causing the mixture to turn into the Gingerdead Man.

Not all that realistic, according to the experts we talked to.

Most Pathetic Attempt at Horror

Allow us to take you to the film's climatic showdown (WARNING: SPOILERS!). We see Gingerdead Man's absolute failure as a movie monster demonstrated:

In order for him to be scary, they had to arm him with a revolver.

Though we do have to agree this was probably the only ending possible ("Why don't we just have one of the good guys eat him?"). Still, when you use "Got Milk" as a pithy bon mot in your screenplay, you officially must turn in your Writer's Guild Card. It's true, look it up.

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4
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

The Monster:

Yes, a bed that eats people.

Why it Could Have Been Scary

Successful horror often makes us afraid of everyday, mundane things. Jaws brought terror to swimming in the ocean. The Blair Witch Project spooked us out of any future camping trips. The Ring exploited our natural fear of wet children. So the people behind Death Bed must have thought, "What's something people do every day? Sleep! Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. It's like Hannibal Lecter meets IKEA. Bang, done. Someone pass the cocaine."

Why it Wasn't

To capture its prey, the bed possesses all the wily powers of, well, a bed: cuddliness, soft pillows and 1,000 thread count sheets. Luckily for the ravenous bed, a bevy of horny, and somewhat unattractive, youngsters come upon its spooky old mansion and say, "See that run-down, abandoned mansion stinking with the smells of death and demonic digestive juices? We should totally FUCK in there!"

And there is nothing that gives the murderous bed the munchies like a couple of hormonal kids doing it right on top of him. Can you blame him? His food of choice is fornicating right on his face. Imagine a Whopper giving a blow job to a corn dog on your face, and see if you don't get a little peckish.

You'd think all these randy teens would stop going to the house, where all their horny friends don't return from, and check into a motel instead. But let's face it; getting eaten by a bed is still more appealing than lying down on a urine-soaked Motel 6 mattress.

Most Pathetic Attempt at Horror

Knives cannot defeat it! After the guy strikes the bed, we're treated to the slowest, dullest sequence in horror film history. There is some very subtle acting going on here, and by "subtle" we mean "almost comatose." At the sight of his dissolved hands, the "actor" summons up all the emotional devastation of a guy who just realized the pizza delivery man forgot the crazy bread.


"Oh no, not my favorite hands!"

If that wasn't enough Death Bed for you, feel free to enjoy this clip, in which two guys and one awesome mustache get attacked by a deck of playing cards, and then shoot themselves in the crotch repeatedly with a pistol. In a movie called Death Bed, it probably makes total sense in context.

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3
The Mangler

The Monster:

A laundry folding machine.

Why It Could Have Been Scary

The Mangler is based on a Stephen King short story, and everybody loves Stephen King. Maybe too much; there was a long stretch in King's career where he'd just shit into a fax machine and send it to his publisher with a note reading, "Print this!"

And they did. And then Hollywood filmed the shit Stephen shat.


"Hey, stay on the line, I'm about to pinch off another bestseller."

That was the case with The Mangler, a tale that appeared in one of King's collections of short stories. As in, this was one of those ideas even he didn't think could be stretched into a whole novel. Kind of makes you wonder why...

Why it Isn't Scary

In the film, you have to actually feed yourself to the demonically possessed laundry folding machine. It doesn't sneak into your house, it doesn't tail you in a car and it doesn't creep up on you while you're having sex with your girlfriend in the woods. Quite simply, you must give the Mangler permission to kill you by inserting yourself into the machine.

That's not a monster, that's a pretty standard laundry folding machine. There are far more scary industrial machines that exist in the real world, like metal presses and lumber claws. You know 118 lumberjacks per 100,000 die every year, and lumberjacking equipment isn't even demonically possessed. By our count, the Mangler only takes out a few rather pointless lives. Hey Mangler, call us when you grow a pair of nuts.

Most Pathetic Attempt at Horror

Watch as a middle-aged woman sticks her hand into the Mangler's mouth, over and over, taunting it.

The way we figure, the lady was asking for it. Good news: She's totally eligible for workers comp. Bad news: She's the size and shape of a t-shirt. As for the insane old man on the catwalk? The one with robot legs? We think he just wandered in from a different movie.

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2
The Lift

The Monster:

Killer elevator.

Why it Could Have Been Scary

Computers, robots, nanobots--technology has often played the boogeyman in horror films. Mankind has a love/fear relationship with technology. Sure you enjoy texting with your iPhone, but you keep a suspicious eye on it, wondering when the day will come that you walk in on it having sex with your wife.

The producers of The Lift must have assumed that fear of technology extended to elevators. What? It's not 1885? So elevators aren't considered high-tech anymore? "Okay," the producers said, "let's install super smart A.I. in the elevator." Now we're talking scary.

Why it Didn't Work

"Take the stairs... take the stairs... for God's sake, take the stairs... " That's the actual tagline from the awesome trailer for this movie. It's amazing when your tagline manages to kill the entire concept of the film in one shot. Why don't we just take the stairs? After, say, the second person dies at the hands of the elevator, just stick an "Out of Order" sign on the fucker and call it a day.

This doesn't occur to the people in the film, however, as right in the trailer we hear one protagonist ask, "Why not go to the police?" only to be answered, "There's no evidence."

Oh, so that's the reason they won't just arrest its ass. Well, try to beat a confession out of it then!

Worst Attempt at Horror

The following clip presumably takes place right after this exchange:

"Hey, the elevator's acting strange."

"Sure, let me just stick my goddamned head in there."

As with the Mangler, you have the evil elevator killing a man in the exact way that a regular elevator could. They even show it killing a blind man... and by "killing" we mean it sits there innocently while the blind man stumbles straight into the empty shaft.

Wouldn't a blind guy poke around with his cane a little and make sure there's a freaking floor there before he goes striding in? When the cops finally throw the lift in jail, we're thinking its lawyer can easily get it off the hook for that one. That was his own fault.

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1
Night of the Lepus

The Monster:

Giant bunnies.

Why it Could Have Been Scary

The movie is based on a book called The Year of the Angry Rabbit (we shit you not) written by an Australian guy named Russell Reading Braddon. Amazingly, Braddon wrote 31 more books; including The Naked Island, a chronicle of his four years as a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII that sold more than a million copies.

All we can say is what those Nazis did in their prison camps can't compare to what the Japanese were doing if they managed to warp a celebrated writer into a man who wrote a book called The Year of the Angry Rabbit. Hell, they could have made a scary movie about that instead.

Why It's Not Scary

Let's just state the obvious: A giant rabbit doesn't sound like a monster, it sounds like next year's must have Christmas gift. Fuck that animatronic triceratops toy. We want an enormous Mr. Fluffers! We want to ride him around!

The studio must have had a hunch their monster was pretty lame, because they didn't even feature it in the trailer. "Wow that movie looks scary. I gotta find out what the monster is." That's what filmgoers back in the 70s said when they were exposed to this trailer. We're picturing a guy running out of the matinee, waving his arms at the people standing in line. "IT'S RABBITS! DON'T GO IN THERE! THE MONSTERS ARE BIG FLUFFY RABBITS! SAVE YOUR GODDAMNED MONEY!"

Most Pathetic Attempt at Horror

The first 40 seconds of this attempt at terror is cuter than that hamster on a piano video. Look at the herd of huge, adorable bunnies with their big twitching noses!

Then, it turns right into the rabbit attack scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with the ridiculous splatter of blood around the neck as the rabbit claws out her throat for no fucking reason.

Holy shit, you thought we wanted to own one of these before? Science, get to work on making these things. We've got a town we want to terrorize, from the back of our huge, killer bunny.

[Just to pre-empt those of you who are about to ask why we didn't call out The Day of the Triffids and its ridiculous huge, lumbering killer flowers, we already did that in this article. We didn't want to seem like we were piling on.]

For movies that are depressing for a whole other reason check out 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes. Or find out if there really is a killer elevator out there, in 6 Bizarre Real World Versions of Fictional Monsters.

And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to find your very own giant killer bunny.

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