Ridley Scott’s 1979 titular xenomorph Alien has so far enjoyed five outings on the big screen – and has now been voted the greatest movie monster by Radio Times readers.
First terrifying cinema-goers in 1979, the extra-terrestrial in the Alien franchise topped a longlist of 50 monsters from film history. The Skeleton Army spawned from a handful of monster’s teeth in 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts, and The Thing in the 1982 remake of the same name came second and third in the poll, which received over 2000 votes.
A Nightmare on Elm Street’s blade-fingered serial killer Freddy Krueger and the Great White shark better know as Jaws completed the top five.
Andrew Collins, Radio Times film editor, says: “Having been at the centre of a blockbusting franchise since 1979 that now runs to four films, a prequel, two face-offs with the Predator, around 40 video games, 20 novels and countless comics, it’s no surprise that the Alien continues to stalk our consciousness. Although it was cheering to see Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion skeletons give it a serious run for its money.”
Radio Times Greatest Movie Monster top ten:
1 ALIEN Alien (1979—) Whether attaching itself to astronaut John Hurt’s face, or bursting out of his chest, or queening it over a vast egg chamber, the xenomorph’s life cycle provides endless grim fascination — and sequels.
2 SKELETON ARMY Jason and the Argonauts (1963) Seven of these fleshless foes grow from a handful of monster’s teeth to maraud against Greek hero Jason in a sequence that formed a generation’s school-holiday memories… and it’s still surprisingly scary
3 THE THING The Thing (1982) Thanks to the outrageously gooey latex work of FX king Rob Bottin, the assimilative alien lifeform thawed out in this Antarctic remake of the 1950s original is all stretched flesh, bony tentacles and husky snouts.
4 FREDDY KRUEGER A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984—The scar-faced, blade-fingered dreamtime serial killer has been haunting our sleep for 30 years… and with no redeeming features, this is how we like our demons.
5 JAWS Jaws (1975—) Arguably scarier when you can’t see it, the Great White terrorising Amity Island — and variations thereafter, including SeaWorld in Florida in Jaws 3D — still prevents us from going into the water.
6 DRACULA Dracula (1931—) The next literary monster (after Jaws and the Skeletons), Count Dracula sprang to screen life as Bela Lugosi’s pallid, becloaked hypnotist with a taste for blood
7 GODZILLA Godzilla (1954—) A manifestation of post-waratomic paranoia, Japan’sprehistoric lizard “daikaiju”breathes fire, stomps urbandevelopment and thrills,whether it’s as a man-in-a-suitor constructed from pure CGI
8 PALE MAN Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) From the fevered imagination of Guillermo del Toro, an eyeless apparition from an underground maze feeds on children and fairies, probably in an allegory for the cruelty of fascism
9 DEMENTOR Harry Potter (2001-11) A phantom species from the Potter universe, they are basically cloaked, soulless, breath-sucking prison guards whose very presence makes you want to turn up the central heating
10 CHUCKY (Child’s Play 1988—) The spirit of a serial killer inhabits this talking“Good Guy” doll, whose lack of batteries is our firstclue that all is not well; he kills pretty much anybodyhe comes into contact withGirls on top
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