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Top 10 Classic Movie Monsters

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Craig Butler. Without them there’d be no Cullens, Cloverfield or Kaiju – and the movies would not be the same. In honor of the release of "I, Frankenstein," starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Yvonne Strahovski on January 24th, 2014, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 classic movie monsters. For this list, we’re looking at those creatures which started the trend of movie monsters, and decades later are still haunting our dreams. Special thanks to our users natec2013, Andrew A. Dennison, hjcg214, Oscar Stävemyr, Joe Darnell and Tiye Cole for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Classic Movie Monsters


Without them there’d be no Cullens, Cloverfield or Kaiju. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 classic movie monsters.

For this list, we’re looking at those creatures which started the trend of movie monsters, and decades later are still haunting our dreams.

#10: Imhotep
“The Mummy” (1932)

Universal Studios gave us many memorable screen monsters, including the Mummy, originally played by horror legend Boris Karloff. The reincarnation of an Egyptian priest, the Mummy’s aim is to find his reincarnated lost love. Unfortunately, he also wants to kill her and turn her into a mummy – not exactly what we’d call romantic, but it’s definitely horrifying. Over the years, the Mummy himself has turned up in many films, including a Brendan Fraser retread.

#9: The Blob
“The Blob” (1958)

The 1950s featured lots of monsters from outer space, but none made the impact of the Blob. Sure, it basically looked like a big wad of pink bubble gum. But this bubblegum wanted to chew on YOU, not the other way around. An oozing mass of alien protoplasm, the Blob seemed indestructible: bullets couldn’t harm it, and it ate anyone who got in its way. Except Steve McQueen, of course: the Blob was vulnerable to cold, and well, no one was cooler than McQueen.

#8: Count Orlok
“Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” (1922)

Count Orlok was a rip-off of Dracula, but this vampire was far less human than the suave Transylvanian count. Orlok was creepily portrayed by the bizarre Max Schreck, who is said to have taken on a lot of the characteristics of the creature during filming. Orlok is pure evil, a folkloric figure that embodies the terrors that await in nightmares. They don’t get much more chilling – or ugly – than this. But, seriously – trim those nails!

#7: The Fly
“The Fly” (1958)

1958’s “The Fly” was created when a scientist tried out his new matter transportation invention on himself. Unfortunately, a fly wandered in at the last moment, resulting in the titular monster: a grotesque mixture of man and insect. His human mind devolving into insect savagery – yes, insect savagery – the Fly ends his life – but still came back for two sequels and an acclaimed Jeff Goldblum remake.

#6: The Phantom of the Opera
“The Phantom of the Opera” (1925)

Remade several times and the basis of the longest-running musical in Broadway history, 1925’s “The Phantom of the Opera” chilled audiences thanks to Lon Chaney’s brilliant performance. A deformed composer living in the bowels of the opera house, the Phantom is a monster driven by passion. In Chaney’s keenly observed portrayal, the monster is both magnetic and repulsive, sympathetic and cold-blooded – and utterly unforgettable.

#5: The Wolf Man
“The Wolf Man” (1941)

Universal’s “The Wolf Man” indelibly impacted the horror genre and started the werewolf trend that continues to this day. Played by Lon Chaney, Jr., the Wolf Man himself appeals to viewers because he’s a monster totally by accident: when saving a young woman, he’s bitten by a werewolf and becomes one himself.

#4: Godzilla
“Godzilla” (1954)

Japan’s most famous monster, Godzilla has starred in more than two-dozen films. The giant lizard with the really bad breath is a prehistoric dinosaur brought back to life by nuclear radiation. Although Godzilla likes fighting other oversized monsters, nothing makes his little reptile heart happier than stomping through midtown Tokyo. Hey, the guy just happens to like neon.

#3: King Kong
“King Kong” (1933)

The story of King Kong teaches three important lessons: 1) Bigger is not always better, 2) gorillas and blondes just don’t mix. And 3) no flash photography. We mean it. The giant gorilla was perfectly happy back on Skull Island, eating virgin sacrifices and playing with dinosaurs. But the promise of fame was too strong for him – another victim of Hollywood’s live fast, die young culture.

#2: Count Dracula
“Dracula” (1931)

Count Dracula came to fame in Bram Stoker’s novel, but it was Universal’s 1931 film that brought him immortality. Bela Lugosi’s mesmerizing Dracula made Edward Cullen possible, but he has none of Cullen’s humanity – or sparkle: sophisticated, hypnotic, controlling and unflappable, Count Dracula is the embodiment of cold cunning mixed with a remorseless will to survive. Who could resist that combination?

Before we get to our number one spot, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Cyclops “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (1958)
- Creature from the Black Lagoon “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)
- Gamera “Gamera” (1965)
- Zombies “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
- The Invisible Man “The Invisible Man” (1933)
- Audrey “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960)
- Giant Ants “Them!” (1954)
- The Thing “The Thing from Another World” (1951)
- Cat People “Cat People” (1942)

#1: Frankenstein’s Monster
“Frankenstein” (1931)

1931’s “Frankenstein” may be named after the mad scientist, but it’s the monster that everyone calls by that name. Boris Karloff created a monstrosity that breaks the viewer’s heart; he’s a childlike creature that rebels and terrorizes not because it is evil but because it is hurt, frightened and confused. Frankenstein’s monster wants nothing more than to be loved and understood – something that every viewer can identify with. Plus, you gotta love the neck bolts.

Do you agree with our list? Which classic movie monsters make your skin crawl? For more spooky top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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