If you’re an orphan, I apologize for the title.
Ever had hemorrhoids (share your experience in the comments, I guess)? If not, then I implore you to maintain that healthy diet; it was quite easily the most horrifying incident of my life. But while my back passage could easily be cured with the charmingly named Anusol cream, designers of horror movie monsters often tap into something much more universal.
There’s not much more to say about the allegorical storytelling of horror: Godzilla reflects the anxiety of post-war Japan, 80s vampire films play on the unease of the AIDS epidemic. Freud even speaks of Medusa’s head representing castrated female genitals, with her snakes being a thatch of unkempt pubes.
On that analytical basis, I’ve compiled a list of monsters that look like willies and hoo-hahs.
As an Englishman, I’ve never been circumcized: my foreskin is still able to raise the Union Jack with pride. The Sandworm is what I imagine a botched piece looks like, all flaps of skin flapping out flappily. The massively long, cylindrical creature asks question about possible author-inclusion fantasies. What does the Sandworm say about Frank Herbert’s own penis? How secure is he in his own winky length?
Given the many penis-based narratives that have existed throughout the ages, the Sandworm’s place as a religious icon within the Dune universe isn’t too surprising. The Fremen (two letters away from “semen”) worship them as vessels for the actions of God, and develop a close relationship with the phallic monster. The Fremen have even gone so far as to create the Thumper, which rhythmically drums up and down to charm the worm. Masturbation joke.
Ballchinian (Men in Black)
Men in Black removes any sense of subtlety with its sequel. The incomprehensibly existent Men in Black wikia claims under its trivia section that “Ballchinians have become famous for their appearance.” That is, indeed, a factual statement. Ballchinians are a race of humanoids whose testicles hang from their chins, hence the hilarious portmanteau of their name. The genital-exhibiting alien is best known for being the only part of Men in Black II that I can remember.
There’s a simplistic beauty to the design of the Ballchinian. Here are balls. Balls on chin. That is funny. That a man had to have endure hours of prosthetic work just so Tommy Lee Jones could hit him in the gonads somehow makes the tired concept actually amusing to me.
The Great Mighty Poo (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)
Remember when your parents said they were going to Cape Cod to visit Pop Pop? It was a front. After thirty years of marriage, things had become stale, and they craved experimentation: your father on all fours on a bed of red satin, a chorus of lawyers wearing pig masks chant his name. Then the Great Mighty Poo emerges. Your father exhales deeply in a moment of pure bliss. For the first time in his life, he finally feels free in his own body. Your mother removes her gas mask to congratulate him on breaking his personal barriers.
But your parents never lied to you. They were visiting Pop Pop. He witnessed everything.
Barnacle (Half Life)
This iconic video game monster combines a gangly, parasitic orifice with what appears to be a representation of the male libido. The Barnacle’s proboscis-like tongue will stick itself to any old thing that shows the slightest bit of interest. There’s a clear, if unstated, reference to uncontrolled sexual desires.
Even if that all sounds like bollocks, the Barnacle still has the look of rotten steak crudely formed into a vagina. The dripping meat of its fanged lips makes the already disgusting comparison even more horrific. Its fondness for hanging under darkened underpasses, waiting for some stranger to come along, makes any real-world relation a lot creepier. Once dead, its gaping mouth will prolapse with a rain of chunky flesh — a fun image that makes Ravenholm look like a Disneyland attraction.
We end with the king of all vaginal beasts. Twinning the fears of uncannily grotesque labia with forced pregnancy, H.R. Giger’s Facehugger has been a source of nightmares for generations. The creature attacks its prey by leaping at the unfortunate soul’s face, strapping its legs around the skull, and strangling the neck with its tail. After laying its claim, the Facehugger will knock you unconscious and extend an appendage down your throat to plant its eggs inside you.
Imagining yourself in that position is more unsettling than your typical stabbing or blunt force, due in part to the obvious real-world comparisons it draws from. That it leads to the unwanted pregnancy of a chest-burster further illustrates the disturbed sexual proclivities of the Alien team. The film was unlikely to have become such a cultural touchstone without these (barely) obscured dangly bits.
Are there other monsters out there that give you a strange feeling in your middle? Should Laser Time contributors find more wholesome sources of writing material? Let us know in the comments!
Article by contributor Clive Nicolbsy.