Whether it be giant gorilla or mutant zombie, there’s just something disconcerting about when a monster gets all hot and bothered over a human female. There’s nothing cute about a reptilian humanoid’s insatiable lust for our women. Yet, it happens again and again in old movies: these hideous creatures could care less about their own kind; but when it comes to human ladies, their attraction knows no bounds.
Of course, the Beauty & the Beast scenario has been a part of our mythology and folklore for ages. Aphrodite & Hephaestus, Persephone & Hades… we could even go back to Enkidu & Shamhat in the The Epic of Gilgamesh. More recent examples in literature: Quasimodo & Esmeralda, The Phantom of the Opera & Christine,.. we could go on all day. The trope has been so persistent because it tells a very human story: that women can redeem men, who are by nature brutish and animalistic. So, it’s only natural that this tale would transition from literature to the big screen.
So, what’s the problem? The cinematic creatures less resemble beasts in need of true love’s redemption than stalkers with a crush. Let’s take a look at a few varieties of these Creature Feature Casanovas.
1. AQUATIC GIGOLOS
A perfect example is The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). In the film, an amphibious creature becomes enamored by a ship’s only female crewmember and repeatedly tries to abduct her. This “Gill Man” does everything in its power to get this chick to its underwater lair (presumably to commence sweet, sweet lovemaking). Indeed, you’ve got to admire Gill Man’s perseverance; the creature even builds a makeshift dam to keep his lovely lady in check. But did anyone ever stop and think how utterly disturbing this whole scenario is? What did Gill Man intend to do with his human captive? In fact, there’s even a degree of ambiguity in the film which keeps open the possibility that our amorous amphibian did sexually assault poor Kaye. (That paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it?)
To put to rest any theories that Gill Man was just randy for anything on two legs, I present as evidence the sequel, Revenge of the Creature (1955). In the film, our aquatic pervert takes a liking to a female Ichthyology student studying him, and relentlessly stalks the poor woman. Just imagine if Shamu developed a pertinacious hard-on for its trainer – wouldn’t that be charming?
By far the worst marine sexual offender are the creatures from Humanoids from the Deep (1980). These mutated sea creatures literally violate their women captives on camera, leaving nothing to speculation. This Roger Corman flick took the template to the absolute limit, turning the monsters into unabashed sex fiends…. to say the sex scenes are awkward would be a huge understatement.
2. PRIMATE PERVS
I won’t lump King Kong into this tawdry mix; however, there have been a fair share of monstrous primates wanting to get busy with human ladies…
In Gorilla at Large (1965), Goliath can’t keep his grubby mitts off of Anne Bancroft. Just as in King Kong, the local humans don’t appreciate giant gorillas sexually assaulting their women, and Goliath is filled full of lead Scarface style.
Perhaps the most uncomfortable giant ape of them all is Utam, in The Mighty Peking Man (1977). Utam makes no attempt at keeping his feelings on the down low. At one point in the film, the King Kong clone actually enjoys the sight of the two main characters screwing. Yes, you read that sentence correctly the first time.
The obvious problem here is a lack of subtlety. The key to keeping your Beauty and the Beast tale out of the gutter is staying clear of any hint of physical attraction. We wouldn’t want audiences to think our 30 story tall monster would actually want to consummate its feelings with the damsel in distress, would we? In King Kong, the very idea that the giant ape might have illicit plans for Fay Wray is just too twisted to entertain; however, in The Mighty Peking Man it’s all out on the table.
But even the pervy Utam is restrained compared to the creature in Night of the Bloody Apes (1968). In this flick, the half human-half gorilla is horny beyond all reckoning, molesting woman after woman.
If you’ve seen this film you can attest that this creature has one thing and only one thing on his mind – and that is getting laid. Indeed, this gorilla/human is a freaking sex machine and will stop at nothing to get a hold of some trim. He’s like King Kong on ecstasy.
3. MUTANT SEX ADDICTS
In Day the World Ended (1956) we learn that exposure to radiation from H-Bomb testing will turn you into a mutant constantly in search of a booty call. In the 1950s, nothing struck fear into the hearts of Americans more than the threat of nuclear annihilation. What would this strange atomic radiation do to us? Would it turn mankind into hideous freaks? According to Day the World Ended, we lose our good looks, but our sex drive gets kicked up a notch. A fair trade in some respect.
Despite the compromising position (above) from The Mole People (1956), these creatures aren’t full of flaming lust for human women. In fact, they reject the slave girl because of her “hideous” similarity to normal humans. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the subterranean creature from Adventure at the Center of the Earth (1965) shown below.
I mean, just look at this monster’s expression. You can easily imagine it saying, “ohhhhh yeahhhh” in a deep Barry White voice, then carrying his damsel to his subterranean waterbed. But as disturbing as this is, it doesn’t compare to the mutant zombies in Nightmare City (AKA City of the Walking Dead)(1980). In this film, the monsters (who are evidently atomic mutants who look and act like zombies) just can’t stop tearing women’s tops off.
Quite unbelievably, these creatures not only exhibit superhuman strength and a mad bloodlust, but they also become big-time breastmen. Throughout the film, they are ripping off women’s blouses while leaving the men’s shirts tidy and fully buttoned. You heard it here first: exposure to atomic radiation will turn you into a boob obsessed zombie (for some you, that may not be much of a change).
In what is easily one of the finest moments in the history of cinema, the creatures invade a televised aerobics jam. Women in leotards run helpless as these boob-loving mutants do what they do best.
In The Alligator People (1959) you can rationalize the attraction: the titular mutant was once human; a poor victim of a science experiment gone awry. This type of amorous monster brings me to the final category…
4. FORMERLY HUMAN, FOREVER AROUSED
This category is perhaps the most understandable. It’s hard to comprehend what a giant ape may want with our women; however, it’s understandable when that monster happens to have once been human. The body may have become grotesque, but the libido still hangs around like that party guest who overstays his welcome.
In Monster on Campus (1958) we have the age-old scenario of the hideous creature taking a shine to the lovely ladies; however, this time the creature was once a mad scientist. The prospect of this monster following through with its carnal desires is no less repulsive than the other monsters on this list, but at least we can wrap our brains around it. In other words, it’s still disturbing, but it makes sense…. unlike, say, a horny mushroom…
Well, we could certainly go on all day. To capture all the on-screen naughtiness of movie monsters would be a daunting task. Mummies, robots, aliens, Frankenstein monsters,… it doesn’t matter which – in old-school creature features, they all had it bad for humane lovelies. Go figure.