Close the schools and hide the acne medication: The teen night-creatures are about to do battle. In this week's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the vampire-werewolf conflict erupts, and let's just say, it's about time. We're not expecting anything spectacular, mind, just looking to David Slade for a movie that appeals beyond the Twihard audience.
As moviegoers, we seem to have an everlasting hunger for onscreen face-offs. After watching Superman pitted against Batman, we look for wilder, more intriguing, and sometimes just bizarre battles. Here are our 10 favorite beastly dust-ups. You don't like 'em, we'll meet you outside.
10. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
This'll be the last time either of them try eHarmony.
Some things just fit the natural order: chocolate's alliance with peanut butter, say, or the fact that 90% of all discretionary income will be spent on a Pixar release during its opening weekend. That's why it seems right that the Frankenstein monster (Bela Lugosi
, here) and Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.
), aka the Wolfman, would have it out one day. Sadly, in this movie, the battle comes only at the very end, leaving us with more Maria Ouspenskaya
and a (shudder) rustic wine festival musical number than with the throwdown. Worse, the clinch winds up essentially a draw thanks to a meddling villager and his dynamite. But for the fleeting minutes that you get to see lycanthrope tear into walking corpse, all seems balanced in the universe.
9. Swamp Thing (1982)
Human DNA + Plant DNA = Total WTF?
It's still generally true that if you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself. And if you're a criminal genius like Arcane (Louis Jourdan
), whose minions are being decimated by the mountainous part-man, part-plant hybrid that is Swamp Thing (Dick Durock
), there's only one course of action left: Use the same formula that created the monster on yourself, and confront your nemesis as a giant ... well, we're not sure what, actually. Warthog, maybe? Whatever. Dude's ugly and, besides, who could really be a match for a creature who can harness the mighty fighting power of swamp scum?
8. Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)
In the sequel, they'll team up against ... the Jumbo Shrimp?
We all know sharks and octopi are natural enemies, don't we? Don't we? Aw, c'mon, play along, because that isn't the dopiest notion floated in this supremely dopey movie. The capper has to be the idea that when the world's seas are threatened by the giant, defrosted, prehistoric forebears of the title creatures (global warming is naturally blamed), the only solution is to lure them into close proximity and let them have at it. This is another case where you're going to have to wait 'til the last reel for the clash, but given the movie's strained logic, ludicrous dialogue, and $1.98 special effects — not to mention Lorenzo Lamas
' performance as the most muscular government drone on Earth — we think you'll find that the trip to the finale is appropriately, um, have we used the word "dopey" already?
7. AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
One's a remorseless killer with no regard for human life, and the other's a ... oh... uh ... hmmm.
Millennia ago, an advanced race of predators built a subterranean training ground on earth. That they stocked the puzzle-like complex with the universe's deadliest foes, the insatiable aliens known as xenomorphs, makes a kind-of sense. That they built the joint out of stone, covered it in hieroglyphs, and shaped it like a pyramid? Not so much. But who cares? Somehow, a bunch of humans wind up smack dab in the middle of the mess and get front-row seats for a cage-match between acid-blooded bugs and the most impressive dreads in creation. Vince McMahon
must be weeping with envy.
6. The Golden Compass (2007)
In Australia, the koalas do this — just as brutal, but twice as adorable.
Bear battle! Bear battle! Okay, taken on its own, that kind of conflict maybe qualifies for coverage on the Discovery Channel
, not here. But, you see, these are intelligent, armored, warrior bears, and when they have hierarchical issues, they throw out Robert's Rules of Order, suit up, and let the old instincts have sway. Armored ursines in a no-holds-barred grudge match? Now that's
a theme week!
5. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
What a team-up: Brawn, brain, agility, size, and, well, gumminess, we guess.
That movie title's a little generic — let's get specific here: A radiation-enlarged woman (Reese Witherspoon
), brilliant bug-man (Hugh Laurie
), not-quite-as-brilliant blob (Seth Rogen
), personable amphibian (Will Arnett
), and mammoth caterpillar (Conrad Vernon
) square off against an alien warlord (Rainn Wilson
) and his giant robot. There, that covers the bases. Granted, we'd be happier if the monsters were a little more, you know, monstrous
, but we're picky that way. Suffice to say that they at least manage to take out a San Francisco landmark — one point in their favor. (Another point: That landmark isn't Ghirardelli's Chocolates.)
4. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
They're the odd couple from hell. Literally.
We're not going to pretend we understand why master of nightmares Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund
) resurrects unstoppable killing machine Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger
) — it has something to do with scaring kids enough to recharge Freddy's batteries, but beyond that, we can't figure out how it's supposed to work. Especially since, once activated, Jason just begins monopolizing all the choice teen-flesh, so pissing off his benefactor that Freddy summons the hockey-masked one into his world for a little spanking time. Yup, it's the first monster battle predicated on a diva fit. We're frankly surprised that this goes further than a slap-fight.
3. Robocop 2 (1990)
It's the only battle that breaks for Radio Shack runs.
We figured the day would come when wrecking crews would be composed completely of robots, we just didn't think that they'd be promoted as the future of law enforcement (or that one of 'em would be stop-motion animated). For the forces of good: Murphy (Peter Weller
), the original Robocop. Opposing him: Cain (Tom Noonan
), a psychopathic drug-dealer whose brain has been transplanted into a heavily armed cyborg body. Such a match-up will not be good for the streets of Detroit, clearly, but maybe there are plusses. Like, they can compensate for lost taxes by selling tickets to the battle.
2. The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie (1989)
This guy would make Pat Robertson toss his diet shake.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Tromaville, NJ, have their own version of urban blight. While they can sleep at night knowing they're under the watchful (single) eye of the Toxic Avenger — everyone's favorite hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength — not even that icon of nobility can withstand a concerted assault from the prince of darkness himself, aka Satan. This won't be just your average pissing contest (although, given the nature of the Toxic Avenger
series, there'll be that, too), but the ultimate test of good versus evil. And considering all the gross-out effects, it'll also be the ultimate test of bad taste versus your gag reflex.
1. Godzilla vs. Destroyah (1995)
Japan: land of really tiny apartments and really big monsters.
By now, you've probably caught on that a fair portion of these entries don't need much more explanation beyond their own titles. In fact, we debated just slugging in paragraphs from The Odyssey
and calling it a day.... Nevertheless, when it comes to a chapter from the Godzilla
franchise, what else do you need to know beyond the oddly Brooklynese name of its main adversary? Well, how about that Destroyah is a weird cross between crab and dragon (cragon? drab?); that Godzilla's son (awkwardly referred to as "the Little One" in the dub) shows up for a prelim match; and that this is a decidedly less campy (though still pretty crazy) installment in the series? Plus, the producers appear to have invested 85% of their budget in pyrotechnics, so when the battle goes down, it goes down hard
. You want to make your July 4th spectacular? Skip the fireworks and run this with the sound up.