These cinematic characters are stepping out of their individual horror realms and joining forces.
Showtime’s new series Penny Dreadful debuted last Sunday night to an abundance of appreciative viewers. Intermixing various literary villains from the 19th century – including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray and Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein and his monster – Penny Dreadful revives the horrors of the Victorian Era and delivers them to a new audience. In honor of the intriguing series we’re rounding up our five favorite villain crossovers. We suggest you keep the lights on.
Alien vs. Predator
What started as a 1989 comic – or what many would call “successful fan fiction” – Alien vs. Predator hit the big screen in 2004 to less than thrilling reviews. Actually, we’re being too nice: critics hated it. But for those who enjoyed the creatures' original franchises, it was more "so bad it's good." The plot goes something like this: a group of archeologists head to the Antarctic to investigate an unexplained heat signal when they discover a pyramid below the ground's surface. In keeping with the standard horror movie formula, the group ventures into the mysterious subterranean temple without a second thought, only to find that the grounds are being used by predators to hunt aliens. Because what else would they be used for? Between the various battle scenes, ridiculous storyline, and the comical absurdity of these two monsters encountering each other in the same movie, AVP brought horror to a whole new level.
A slew of ensemble monster movies began popping up in Hollywood in the ‘50s, but it was the meeting of Frankenstein and the Wolf Man that really ignited the trend. To give a quick recap of each character: Mary Shelley’s monster was handcrafted by eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein for pure pleasure, and the result was a sensitive, revengeful monster - not quite what Victor had in mind. The Wolf Man – who originally debuted in the 1941 film of the same name – was brought to life when protagonist Larry Talbot tried to rescue a friend from a wolf attack, and was bitten by the beast, whereby he was transformed into one himself. Rough. Anyway, in this crossover flick, Talbot sets out to find Frankenstein’s lair in search of a poison strong enough to take his own life. Predictably, chaos ensues. In the final battle scene the two are swept away in a flood, presumably to reenter their separate horror realms. But despite their regrettable demise, it was the start of the essential character crossover, and therefore holds a special place in our hearts. Our big, tough man hearts. Cough.
Freddy vs. Jason
In this 2003 flick two horror greats return to the small town of Springwood, Ohio (the original setting for the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), with a plan to destroy the teenage population. Finally! But when Jason gets more attention from cowardly teenie boppers than Sir Krueger, the plan turns sour, leading to a violent conflict between the two slasher baddies. While the flick was not very well-received (too much villain ego for one film, apparently), we stand by this gory slice-and-dice showdown.
The Monster Squad
So much for the 2-for-1 deal; this ‘80s flick tackled five monsters at once. Featuring the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Gill-Man, and the Mummy, The Monster Squad is about a dramatic alliance between terrorizing, tyrannous villains that threatens to cast the world into darkness. With characters sourced from the 19th century to the mid 1950s, it’s pretty unlikely these guys would ever cross paths (also because they’re not actually real, but that’s besides the point), but if we know anything about life, it's this: In the '80s, anything could happen.
King Kong vs. Godzilla
What’s better than a colossal King Kong wreaking havoc on an exotic tropical island? Easy – one wreaking havoc in Japan while trying to destroy an equally gigantic Godzilla. That dream was realized in 1962 when a Japanese film company produced a flick featuring the two monsters together. The most successful Godzilla film to date, this crossover is awesome simply because of the monsters' means of battling each other: throwing large rocks, atomic breath, intermediate tae kwon do, and general wielding of random objects. Sounds like a party.
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