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Who's your favourite movie creature? (No Andy Serkis)


Bellenda Carlisle
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As anyone who remembers how much I wanted to see a puppet's vag in Happytime Murders will know, I love puppets. 

Practical creature effects are some of my favourite things in movie history, my 3 favourites Star Wars characters are Yoda, Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt which says it all. 

As obvious a choice as it is I think my favourite is the Alien from the Alien franchise in its various forms (giant alien queen from Aliens is my fave out of them) 

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Sick

Enough about me, who is your favourite practical effect creature?  Any puppet monster or alien counts, also stop motion stuff and guys in full suits like Predator as long as they're meant to be a non human creature on screen. I'm undecided about robots. 

Here's a couple of really cool behind the scenes videos of some super high level less well known creatures I urge you to watch if you like that kind of thing.

 

 

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My mind goes straight to Ray Harryhausen when asked this. 

I'm going to say the skeletons, because they're the most iconic, the one I remember watching over and over again as a kid. 

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In terms of physical effects, there are points where one of the skeletons jumps over a swing of Jason's sword - which is just an animator giving himself needlessly huge amounts of work to achieve an effect, the significance of which is surely lost on the vast majority of the audience, but makes the whole thing seem so much more real.

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Great choice with the Alien Queen!

Could pick anything from Labyrinth. I have a mild obsession with all things Jim Henson for practical animatronics and he really can't be touched for adding character to his creatures. Some of the stuff in The Storyteller series is still unbeaten today, especially for a TV budget.

I still stand by my claim that even though the CGI in Jurassic Park was ground breaking, the physical models made that film. The T-Rex eye, the Raptor at the window, the Triceretops breathing, all sold them being real, just as much as the CGI.

I mean, just look at this....

 

 

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Just on the Harryhausen stuff, He was another obsession. Did anyone go to his exhibition when it was at South Bank. It was amazing.

Edited by chokeout
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3 minutes ago, Bellenda Carlisle said:

Man, I forgot about the storyteller, that was incredible, I loved those little devils. Are there any good quality versions of the shows around?  I'd love to watch them again.

Both series are out on DVD so there should be rips doing the rounds. The UK version of the second, Greek Myths series, used to sell for crazy money but i managed to get a european one a few months ago for about £16. It's a shame the second series was so short.

The little devils, the giant hedgehog and the guy who kidnaps Death are always the ones that seem to stay with people. Some crazy dark images for a sunday afternoon

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Edited by chokeout
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I fucking love Harryhausen, with Jason and Sinbad being staples of my Christmas and bank holiday viewing.

As iconic as the "Children of the Hydra" skeletons are, I'd say that the skeleton at the end of 7th Voyage of Sinbad is better, as while it's deflecting blows from Sinbad's sword, corresponding dents appear in the shield. If memory serves, that's the one where Sinbad stabs (or, more accurately, slots his sword into) it's ribcage.

Golden Voyage of Sinbad also has some standout moments. When the ships figurehead comes to life, one of the men throws an axe at it, which embeds itself in the figurehead's chest.

There's also a moment when they're fighting Kali (which is impressive enough) and one of them picks up an oil lamp and hurls it at Kali, only for it to bounce off her. The level of interaction between human and model is what makes Harryhausen's work so brilliant.

That said, my first thought when I saw the thread title was the Predator. The chameleon suit special effect was sexy enough, but that reveal when he first takes his mask off is probably the greatest creature close up ever. There's so much subtle movement all over the face that I don't think any other creature has looked as convincingly alive. And then when it screams....

Stan Winston (and the eleven blokes pulling cables) take a bow.

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Good story about the animatronic Hippogriff from Harry Potter - anyone who’s been to Leavesden for the studio tour can correct me but I think it was some tourists that went to the set and they jokingly bowed to it, only for the controllers to make it bow back. So they bowed back, and it bowed back again and apprently this just went on and on for ages until they had to be shooed away - they couldn’t believe what they were seeing and must’ve thought it was genuine. 

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Gotta be the T Rex from Jurassic Park for me. Those massive practical heads are incredible. There's a great story on a making of documentary that the sculptors got caught hiding their initials in the scales when they were carving it.

This guy is a close second.

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Edited by cobra_gordo
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It's the Jurassic Park dinosaurs for me. Wonderful, beautiful creations. I remember reading the books about the film when I was about seven and having no clue what 'foam rubber' was, other than it being the key to bringing dinosaurs to life. Glad the Potter creature shop gets a mention too, it was great to visit the Studio Tour and see just how much of their creatures were practical.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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