Fantasy Stereotyping Movie Monsters


An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
I love monster movies! Give me monsters, the more unique the better I like them. That being said, Lets list and discuss all the different types of monsters we see. Not limited to just movies lets include monsters from short films and television as well.

The Human Monster - This monster looks and acts like a human being but does monsterous things. Murder, mayhem and torture.
Probably the most common because it requires very little creativity.

The Animal Monster - Another common monster where an animal causes death, dismemberment and destruction. Fairly easy to use because wildlife is wild and can be mysterious.

The Human Alien Monster - Aliens invade and either look like humans or assume the shape of humans to blend in. Common for low creativity writers and limited special effects. Included are aliens that are too similar to the human form as a result of a man in a suit. The argument is that people can't identify with a monster that is too strange, I say bull.

The Human Animal Monster - Examples include The Boggy Creek Monster, Bigfoot, Yeti and werewolf type creatures. The monster resembles human features; walks on two legs, has two arms, has two eyes, etc...

The Human Cyborg - Slap some 'parts' on the actor and give it abilities and you have a human cyborg. Again a man in a suit type monster.

The Human Robot - Man in a suit with technology. Granted some renditions can be seriously life-like and technical but it all boils down to a man in a suit.

Man-in-Suit Giant Monsters - Godzilla, Gamera and the like. Includes giant people with make-up.

Giant Animal Super-Imposed - Normal animals or insects that are superimosed on the screen with or without cosmetic appliances.

The Automatons - robotic devices that are made to appear life-like.

Claymations/Stop-Motions - Think Ray Harryhausen. Monsters that can have features that are not regulated by the limits of the human form. Realism yields to uniqueness.

Animated Models - Artistically created renditions of monsters or elements that are manipulated. Think The Thing (1982). Include puppeteer models and Set models like Jurassic Park.

Completely Unique
Sometimes we get a real treat in creativity. Monsters that are strange in appearance or some other aspect of their depiction. I like those monsters the best. Things that couldn't possibly be a man or animal. Some samples:

The Blob - jello with an appetite for meat.
The Triffids - Plants with an appetite for meat.
The Crystalline Entity - A giant crystal with an appetite for meat. (Star Trek TNG)

For discussion, lets list our favorite monsters and their descriptions.

The Relic - A genetic hybrid known as the Kothoga. This monster was pretty cool looking and had 6 appendages that allowed it to scale walls and ceilings. Ugly to look at but very well done.

Deep Rising - An unknown sea creature whose tentacles were mouths with sharp teeth. The main creature had sentience and was huge!

John Carter - I've read all the Barsoom series of books by ERB and this movie did the best job yet at bringing the creatures to life. I am sad that the white ape didn't get more screen time.

Avatar - The fauna and flora depicted was beautiful. I liked how the creatures had breathing holes and multiple eyes. The Tail-link was also unique.

Predator - A simple man in a suit but the facial features blew me away at the time. Especially the mandibles of the predator. It is the first movie that I can recall having those mandibles (now it is kinda common)


Sep 27, 2015
Infinite Fun Space
I've always been a huge fan of the Xenomorph from Alien and think its one of the most perfectly scary animal-monsters (though with some kind of proto-sapience) ever put on screen.

Love the Predator, too.


Code Monkey
Staff member
Mar 20, 2004
Tom, would you consider the 'Bug that looks like a human' from Mimic to be a Human Animal monster or a 'completely unique' classification (bugs versus animals)?


An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
Tom, would you consider the 'Bug that looks like a human' from Mimic to be a Human Animal monster or a 'completely unique' classification
First let me say that I thought The Mimic was an excellent monster movie. I remember thinking on my first view that it looked like a guy in a poorly made suit. But when it opens up that impression is instantly lost.
The mimicing part of the monster is man-like while not moving but that is the basis of the story and the reason for the title. Given that there is no attempt to create a personification of an entity from the man-in-suit images I have to say that the Mimic was NOT a Human animal monster.



This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
Jan 30, 2009
how about mad scientists that experiment wi animals and become part-human part-animal chimeras (tarantula, alligator man, Mant)?
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An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
Baseline Monsters

Frankenstein - man in makeup
Dracula - man in makeup
Phantom of the Opera - man in makeup
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - man in makeup
The Mummy - man in costume
Wolfman - man in makeup
Werewolf - man in makeup, man in costume, cgi superimposed man, animal in makeup
Blob - unique, glob of gel
Godzilla - man in suit
Gamera - man in suit
Ymir - Stop-motion claymation
Dinosaurs - claymation, puppets, animals in costume
Jurassic Park Dinosaurs - puppets, animitronics, cgi life-like
Kothoga - cgi animal, puppet, animitronics
Avatar Fauna - cgi, animatronic, puppets
Giant Squids/Octopi - animals, claymation, puppets
Predator - man in makeup, man in suit
Alien - unique, man in suit, animatronics, puppets, cgi
Octalus - cgi-animal combinations, animatronics, puppets
To be continued...


Nov 23, 2010
Last night I watched the 1932 version of The Mummy (Boris) probably has the best makeup ever, see something interesting every time I watch it
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