As we near the climax of our annual Major Spoilers Halloween festivities, I’ve enjoyed a lot of entertaining discussion about fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and things that go bump and drag Katie down the stairs at night. Maybe it’s the fact that my child is insisting that we watch seasonally scary movies, or this week’s spooooky Top Five topic, but I’ve been ruminating on the topic of monsters (especially those that were once human.)  I firmly believe that the scariest creatures are those that are recognizable as human-ish, making you wonder what horrific fate twisted them so terribly, which in turn begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is also a little twitchy from this week’s harrowing ‘Zach On Film’, asking: What terrible monster has the most tragic origin story?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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10 Comments

  1. October 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    The little girl from the Ring. Left to die cold and alone at the bottom of a well for seven days before she finally passed. No wonder she’s salty about it.

  2. October 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm — Reply

    Frankenstein’s Monster is pretty tragic. He started out trying to be nice and helpful, then everybody turned on him.

  3. October 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    The Toxic Avenger. He was just a horny little nerd who didn’t deserve to be humiliated by dressing in a tutu and pushed into a barrel of toxic waste!!

    Actually, I have to go with Frankenstein’s monster as well. It was such a sad story (the book, not the movies).

  4. Arbor Day
    October 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    Greek mythology monsters, like Scylla. People more or less warped into horrible creatures at the petty whims of the gods.

    • Rob
      November 1, 2013 at 2:58 am — Reply

      Or Medusa cursed by the Gods for the terrible crime of being too pretty.

  5. October 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm — Reply

    Bruce Banner. Never bought the retcon about his perfect rampages.

  6. AmFan15
    October 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm — Reply

    The Wolf Man. Cursed by the bite of Bela the gypsy, Lawrence Talbot becomes a bloodthirsty ravenous uncontrollable beast under every full moon, often killing those he loves the most. He wants nothing more than to put an end to his torment…yet can never truly die.

  7. November 1, 2013 at 5:58 am — Reply

    Probably Frankenstein’s monster, but you have to have some sympathy for Cthulhu. I mean, the dude’s city sank; that’s sad, isn’t it?

  8. November 1, 2013 at 8:46 am — Reply

    Zombies. depending on the universe you are working in though. Night of the Living Dead only required you to die, but since then most stories have you dying from being bit by a zombie to become one. I don’t know about you but that is a horrible way to become a monster, only to then try to eat other people all the whilst avoiding being bludgeoned or shot in the head.

    Aside from that if we are going true literary tragic then I would have to agree that Frankenstein’s monster probably has the most tragic origin.

  9. Oldcomicfan
    November 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    Actually, the classic monster with the most tragic origin story was The Wolfman. Lon Chaney played a decent fellow who was bitten by a warewolf through no fault of his own and has his humanity stripped from him, in spite of all he could do. The movie Frankenstein monster was a dumbed-down parody of the monster in the book, who was hyper intelligent, decent, and was very handsome until the procedure that brought him back to life began to deteriorate – not a mindless brute with bolts in his neck, but he chose to pursue and murder Dr. Frankenstein out of revenge, so he was not a nice person. Dracula went out of his way to be evil so there’s no tragedy there, he deserved a stake through the heart. The Wolfman practically begs the hero to put an end to his misery with a silver bullet. The story continues because he resurrects unaccountably and then goes on to act in a bunch of lousy Abbot and Costello movies… which was even more tragic than his backstory.

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