Back in the day, the best movie monsters were the ones you never saw. Just the shadow of the werewolf or the flash of fangs and claws were enough to frighten the toughest man into squealing like a little girl. Now, we have so much exposure to gore, that movie villains just aren’t frightening to us. In fact, we are so acclimated to the techniques that filmmakers use to scare us, that we are rehashing old villains in new forms. Freddy vs. Jason and Aliens vs. Predator are so last millennium. Now we want bad guys that will not really scare us but bad guys that we hope to root for.
By all accounts, Boba Fett pioneered the field of rooting for the bad guys. He was so bad that even Darth Vader had to warn him to play nice. Who didn’t want to be that guy? I saw the Sarlack Pit eat him when I was eleven, and I’m still convinced that he’s down in the stomach of the beast not being devoured over the course of a thousand years but shooting it in the duodenum and laughing just to pass the time.
True scifi villains are the kinds of men that women want and men want to be (or stay the heck away from). But sometimes, the villain is a woman who throws the whole dynamic in reverse. Case in point: Evil Lyn. She has “Evil” in her name!! How bad can a baby be that the moment she’s born her father looks in her eyes and says, “oh yeah, this is definitely an Evil Lyn.” She pioneered pulling off the metal bra; I’ve never worn one myself, but I can imagine the discomfort of wearing a metal bra every day would push even a “Moderately Nasty Lyn” over the edge. Add that she is the only woman that Skeletor trusts, and you have a pretty sadistic woman; and let’s be honest, every guy on Eternia would go for that.
No discussion of the best baddies in scifi would be complete without including the mother of all aliens: the Alien Queen. Whether it’s a female or a male, we will never truly know, but one thing is for sure: this beast is a bitch! We all know that the worst thing a villain could do is start a monologue about their inevitable victory and give the hero time to escape their trap. This thing ripped Bishop apart without him even knowing it was there. Even as it was crushed and dying the only way for it to be defeated was to shove it out an airlock. When it takes the entirety of uncharted space to defeat a monster, you better think twice about visiting this thing’s planet (and any planet this thing is on IS this thing’s planet).
But the ultimate terror in the universe is something that lies a little closer to home. It is a force of nature so frightening, even the most faithful of priests will close the doors of their chapels and cry themselves to sleep to forget its very name. The most terrifying thing in all of the known scifi world is none other than the vile beast you see below whose name I dare not mention. Behold, look and weep inside:
Imagine something so repulsive and disgusting that it fills your entire starship and gunks up the life support system. When you wake up in the morning and find that it’s multiplied, you have no idea whether it it should be cuddled or killed with fire. And no matter what approach you take to attacking it, it still chills your very heart long after the show that first revealed it has spawned failed spin-offs. There can be nothing worse in all the nine worlds than this horrid creature. It racks me with such terror that I must stop without even going into it’s terrible Karaoke jams! **wink**
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- Retro Review: Alien (1979)
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