A Halloween Message to Hollywood

Dear Hollywood, RE: Monsters

I understand. I really do. Zombies and vampires are making you mad bank and there’s really no reason for you to even display the basic elements of caring about how they’re overdone and unoriginal. It makes no difference to your bottom line that a person can’t turn around without getting gnawed on by a rotting corpse or accidentally having sex with a pale, humanoid leech.

And I suppose it doesn’t help that you’ve proven time and time again that you’re bad at werewolves. Don’t feel too bad. I’m sure it’s really hard to make the primal embodiment of rage in the guise of a well established creature of human dread scary and interesting (much less sexy). Failures like The Wolfman probably shot your confidence all to hell when it comes to (re)using new(ish) monsters.

So I’m not going to tell you to give up on your favorite undead. That would be fiscally irresponsible. What I am here to do is suggest some other monsters you can bastardize for bank – just so I can have some goddamn variety in my terrible blockbusters and hit television.


First of all, yes, the creature from the original book (yes, there was a book, Hollywood) and movie was ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’, usually referred to as ‘the creature’ and named Adam. A correct term would be something like ‘flesh golem’. However, I know that you don’t care. At all. So they’re frankensteins.

Once you decided not to care about the name, you can also forget everything but the core concept (until lesser writers come along and change that too). The baseline here is this: Frankensteins are reanimated bodies made of a bunch of corpse parts stitched together. They’re usually powered by electricity, just like a lamp, only lamps rarely turn against their creators. Unlike zombies, these bad boys don’t rot and in fact are super strong and durable. A frankenstein is basically Jason Vorhees with a cool, stitched together look.

The applications are endless. Not only can a frankenstein be a good standard monster, but why not mass produce them? Toss in an evil corporation (say… Apple) with goals that aren’t really explained (as if the audience cares) and you can have a whole outbreak of frankensteins (collectively known as a groaning of frankensteins). Thanks to being more tough than zombies, you also have an excuse for the main characters to resort to almost nothing but rocket launchers and other kinds of explosives. Explosives are known to increase ticket sales by 200-7000% (by my personal estimates)

And best of all, with frankensteins, you can get the best of the vampire world too. Remember when I said frankensteins don’t rot? Well if you use nothing but the freshest, most attractive parts, you can get a little something I like to call the Sexful Frankenstein (or Sexenstein for short). Just slap some stitch prosthetics on your hottest hottie and BAM! Supernatural love story. You can even use the exact same script as a vampire romance and no one will know the difference.

But maybe frankensteins, being just as undead as vampires and zombies, strikes you as a waste of time. After all, why not just make pretty zombies or super-zombies? Well…


Hollywood, I have a bone to pick with you. While you’ve been very, very good to Dracula and you at least paid child support for Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolfman, you’re a total deadbeat to the Gillman. Even worse, you use him without giving anything back. He hasn’t gotten a movie in decades, but whenever it’s time to show a classic monster line up, there he is, often front and center of heavier hitters like the Mummy or the Rich Jock.

You’ve taken and taken and now it’s time to give something back. It’s time to totally ruin the spirit and initial impact of Gillman too.

Since I’m sure you can’t be assed to watch Creature From the Black Lagoon because it’s in black and white, I’ll let you know the main talking points: Gillman is a hideous fish monster that steals women in order to sire his terrible brood. Yes, he’s the original alien from Alien.

Unfortunately, in the intervening years, you, Hollywood, have turned it into sort of a thing where being kidnapped by a monster turns out to be awesome because the monster will be handsome and women in you movies pretty much only care about handsomeness and will thus get together with him in the end. This won’t work for Gillman because even if you put Johnny Depp in there, it’s still going to be a goddamn fish face.

So your typical horrible lesson for girls won’t fly here in terms of romance. Luckily, I’ve come up with a scenario with which to work with Gillman.

This one is risky. Why? Because I’m going to ask you to think about a classic piece of literature you haven’t adapted into a modern and gritty version yet. Not only might this do damage to your brain, but it might inspire you to adapt and destroy the work. But I believe art without risks isn’t. This is why I consider chainsaw juggling high art.

The work, which I’m sure will now be turned into a slapstick comedy starring Owen Wilson and a bunch of talking animals, is Cyrano be Bergerac. In a gross simplification, it’s about a dude who ‘s really ugly (and not your kind of ugly where the girl has glasses or the guy has frizzy hair, but human ugly) but is totally into this lady. So he gets another guy to say all the things he wants to say to her. Naturally, she falls in love with his words… and the other guy’s massive hotness. This plays to your strengths: flowery meaningless dialog, and reenforcing the idea that the unattractive are unworthy of love no matter their capacity for it or the many other talents they may possess.

The idea here is the Gillman, as in the original movie, still wants human women. But instead of kidnapping them, he kidnaps dudes and forces them to romance the women by proxy… somehow. I don’t know, its your job to fill these parts in with bullshit.

If you’re more up for action, I’d like to point out the Gillman is a humanoid fish with razor claws. I will then point out that sharks and piranha? Also fish. And then I will finally remind you that Gillman hasn’t been seen in decades. Presumably because he’s been busy raising that huge mess of gill-babies into a massive army. There’s a reason the header up there is Gillmen.

And I can tell by your vacant expression that you still can’t take the hint. I’m talking about a Gillman invasion. I can’t get mad at you for being dumb though. If you weren’t so pig stupid, this list wouldn’t even have to include…

Giant Robots

Seriously, how have you not done this yet?!

The Transformers film franchise has been pretty much nine solid hours of giant robots chasing people. There was no real plot, but the movies have, combined, earned all the money ever printed by the United States of America.

And yet somehow, you, Hollywood, have failed to throw down the logical conclusion: Giant Robot Horror.

I refuse to give you plot ideas for this one. There doesn’t need to be a plot for this. All you need is giant robots trying to kill humans by smashing whatever the humans are hiding in for ninety minutes. You don’t even need writers. Just give a kid an Optimus Prime action figure and a model city, transcribe what he says and does, then computer animate it.

That’s all that needs to be said. Get to work.

About Vaal

Landon Porter is the author of The Descendants and Rune Breaker. Follow him on Twitter @ParadoxOmni or sign up for his newsletter. You can also purchase his books from all major platforms from the bookstore
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  1. Pingback: Descendants Serial » A Halloween Message to Hollywood II: Message Harder

  2. Heyyyyy, the Wolfman was excellent!

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