As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to count blessings and announce the winners of ACW’s year-end contest to name movie titles and creatures related to the Bomb.
The arms-control business is a notoriously glass-half-full/half-empty enterprise. In the spirit of the season, let’s acknowledge some positives. The stock values of nuclear weapons for major powers continued to fall after another year without mushroom clouds and nuclear testing. Vladimir Putin spent large sums modernizing his nuclear arsenal and flexing muscle while Russia’s economy tanked. Another year has passed without the explosion of a dirty bomb. Also a year of curtailed Iranian centrifuge enrichment programs – not nearly enough for some, but more than skeptics had reason to expect. A year in which India and Pakistan did not have a crisis. A year in which the framework for strategic arms reductions remained in place, despite Ukraine and Crimea. A year when Bashar al-Assad gave up much of his chemical arsenal — safely removed from a war zone. A year in which norms for arms trade have been codified. They will be broken, but it’s a start. Not such a bad year, after all.
As for the year-end contest, we have four winners. Cameron has come up with this impressive list:
Lt. Col Glenn Manning, “Amazing Colossal Man” “War of the Colossal Beast”
Giant Grasshoppers, “Beginning of the End” — not a blast, but radioactive materials
The Cyclops, “The Cyclops” — not a blast, but radioactive materials
Mutated ants, “Them!”
The Beast, “Beast from 20 Thousand Fathoms” — released not created
Six-armed Octopus, “It Came from Beneath The Sea” — released not created
Son of Godzilla, “Son of Godzilla”
Mothra, “Godzilla v Mothra”
Rodan, “Rodan – US Version”
Godzilla’s offshoots made with G’s irradiated cells:
Space Godzilla, “Godzilla v Space Godzilla”
Biollante, “Godzilla v Biollante”
Destoroyah, “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah”
Anguirus, “Godzilla Raids Again”
Mutant cavemen, “World Without End”
Incredible Hulk, “The Incredible Hulk” — Gamma Bomb
Zombies, “Night of the Living Dead” — radiation from crashed probe
Creatures, “Fiend Without A Face”
Creatures, “The Horror of Party Beach”
CHUD, “C.H.U.D” — nuke waste
Big Brain et al., “The Hills Have Eyes”
Irradiated Mutants, “Chernobyl Diaries” — Not a nuke test per se
Crabs, “Attack of the Crab Monsters”
Mad Doctor who turns into ragebeast, various flora and fauna, “Danger on Tiki Island/Brides of Blood”
Giant Leeches, “Attack of the Giant Leeches” — radiation from Cape Canaveral
The Behemoth, “Behemoth, the Sea Monster”
Kamacuras mantises, “Son of Godzilla” — created separately from Godzilla’s origin
Yongary, “Yongary, Monster from the Deep”
H-men, “The H-Man”
Frankenstein’s heart, “Frankenstein Conquers the World”
Lizard creature, “The Hideous Sun Demon”
Skynet, T-100, T-1000, “Terminator” + “T2: Judgement Day”
Giant behemoth (it’s different from the regular kind), “The Giant Behemoth”
Radioactive cloud/eyes, “The Crawling Eye” — the cloud is radioactive, the reason for its existence is aliens.
Apes, “Planet of the Apes”
Mutant children, “The Gamma People”
Voltage-devouring alien, “The Black Hole”
The monster, “Monster a-Go Go”
Mud creatures, “X: The Unknown”
Atomic eels, “Deep Shock”
Strange monster, “The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues”
Mutant telepathic cannibals, “In the Year 2889″
Radioactive trees, “The Crawlers”
Mushroom creatures, “Matango”
Radioactive reporter, “Revenge of the Radioactive Reporter”
Zombies, “Caustic Zombies” — 3-Mile Island this time
Radioactive wasps, “Monster from Green Hell”
Atomic Dog, “Atomic Dog”
Mutant, “Day the World Ended”
Gamma Ray fish blood swilling ape, “Monster on the Campus”
Irradiated Wendigo, “The Half-Life Horror from Hell”
A mutated Ron Candell, “Most Dangerous Man Alive”
Danny, “Plutonium Baby” — evidently one of the worst movies of all time
Hideous extra-dimensional being, “Alien Beasts” — radiation weaponry
Zombies, “Zombie Self-Defense Force” — from aliens, not nukes
The second winner is Jon Davis for this outstanding entry:
20 Million Miles to Earth
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Beginning of the End
Bride of the Monster
Brides of Blood
Cat-Women of the Moon
Class of Nuke ‘Em High
Creature From the Black Lagoon
Day of the Animals
Devil Girl From Mars
Die Monster Die
Empire of the Ants
Fiend Without a Face
Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster
Hideous Sun Demon
Horrors of Spider Island
I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Saucer Man
It Came From Outer Space
It Conquered the World
Monster From Green Hell
Monster From The Ocean Floor
Night of the Living Dead
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Planet of the Apes
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Amazing Colossal Man
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
The Beast of Yucca Flats
The Beginning of the End
The Chain Reaction
The Chernobyl Diaries
The Crawling Eye
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Giant Gila Monster
The Giant Behemoth
The Hills Have Eyes
The Horror of Party Beach
The Incredibly Shrinking Man
The Invisible Atomic Monsters from Mars
The Mole People
The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues
The Quartermass Experiment
The Thing from Another World
The Thing From Outer Space
The War of the Worlds
X The Unknown
War of the Colossal Beast
World Without End
The third winner is Izzi for coming up with this amazing list:
Big Mama (The Hills Have Eyes)
Big Brain (The Hills Have Eyes)
Blair (The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning)
Brain Monsters (Fiend Without a Face)
Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk)
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (CHUD)
Chameleon (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Chrissy (Class of Nuke ‘Em High)
Cyst (The Hills Have Eyes)
Eddie Kasalivich (Chain Reaction)
Giant Ants (Them!)
Giant cockroaches (Damnation Alley)
Giant Crabs (Island Claws)
Giant Fish (The Chernobyl Diaries)
Giant Spiders (World Without End)
Goggle (The Hills Have Eyes)
Grabber (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Hansel (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Karen Sawney Bean (The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning)
Karen Silkwood (Silkwood)
Killer Bugs (Damnation Alley)
Letch (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Lizard (The Hills Have Eyes)
Lt. Col. Glenn Manning (The Amazing Colossal Man)
Mercury (The Hills Have Eyes)
Mothra (from a Godzilla film and several others)
Nancy Fowler Archer (The Fifty Foot Woman)
Over-sized Locusts (Beginning of the End)
Papa Hades (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Papa Jupiter (The Hills Have Eyes)
Pluto (The Hills Have Eyes)
Radioactive monsters (The Horror of Party Beach)
Radioactive rock band (Human Highway)
Radioactive salamander (Class of Nuke ‘Em High)
Rhedasaurus (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms)
Ruby (The Hills Have Eyes)
School Children (The Children)
Shotaro Kaneda (Akira)
Stabber (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Suzie (The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning)
Tetsuo Shima (Akira)
The Being (The Being)
Turtle (Gamera, also a Godzilla Film)
Teenage Werewolf (I Was a Teenage Werewolf)
Unknown Watcher (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Venus (The Hills Have Eyes)
Zombies (Night of the Living Dead)
The fourth winner is Sid, for also venturing into TV, video games, and professional wrestling:
1. Giant Ants from Them!, 1954, invade picnic baskets everywhere.
2. Godzilla ruins the hopes and dreams of numerous architects and civil engineers in numerous Godzilla adaptations<
3. Plant-Human Radioactive Hybrid Monster from The Horror of Party Beach, 1964. Often listed as one of the worst movies of all time.
4. Locusts eat radioactive vegetables, terrorize schoolbuses, and subsequently invade Chicago in Beginning of the End, 1957
5. Haphazard nuclear testing grows Lt. Glenn Manning into The Amazing Colossal Man, 1957
6. Radium deposits, and not nuclear testing, turns Test Pilot Bruce Barton into a 50-foot tall one-eyed monster who is afraid of Nobody in The Cyclops, 1957
7. In a touching portrayal, the Beast Who Brings Death With It’s Touch stalks human beings who struggle to survive in a barren wasteland in Teenage Cave Man, 1958. Considered the worst film of all time by its lead actor. The director, Roger Corman, once stated, “I never directed a film called Teenage Caveman.”
8. Survivors of Armageddon now simultaneously fight radioactive rain, a giant radioactive monster, and human folly in Day the World Ended, 1955. Director Roger Corman’s movie similarly makes its way onto worst-movies lists.
9. Avoiding their fates on the dinner plates, the crab monsters from Bikini Atoll terrorize an expedition to the islands in Attack of the Crab Monsters, 1957. Writer Charles Griffith described the pitch for the movie by nuclear-obsessed director Roger Corman as such, “Roger came to me and said, "I want to make a picture called Attack of the Giant Crabs, and I asked, "Does it have to be atomic radiation?" He responded, "Yes."
10. Roger Corman attacks movie-goers again with atomic leeches in Attack of the Giant Leeches, 1959.
11. The incredible melting man melts audience brains in The Incredible Melting Man, 1977
12. A falsely accused island prince is buried inside a hollow tree by a witch doctor. American ingenuity and science resurrects him as Tabanga, the horrible tree man who wants revenge on his executioners in From Hell It Came, 1957
13. The Class of Nuke ‘Em High, 1986, combines drug use, teenage pregnancy, and mutant radioactive squirrel-human hybrids at Tromaville High School, located next to a nuclear plant in New Jersey, as the town’s marijuana supply turns radioactive in this traumatic high school comedy-drama. Popular fan theories posit the contamination came from New Jersey’s ambient radiation and not from the nuclear plant.
14. A movie so gruesome, it was exiled from the country of its origin, Japan, Prophecies of Nostradamus, also known as Catastrophe: 1999 or The Last Days of Planet Earth, 1974, involves a whole host mutant creatures ranging from mutant cannibal human beings, leeches, trees, and flying carnivorous foxes.
15. In an apparent trend for these kinds of movies, The Beast of Yucca Flats, 1961, has been called one of the worst films of all time. A defecting Soviet scientist, turned mad by the radiation he pledged his life to study, features in this film the Department of Energy will likely ask to be renamed “The Best of the Nevada National Security Site.”
16. Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (C.H.U.D.) wage war against the Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal (C.H.U.D.) squad in sewers of New York City over who owns the naming rights to the acronym C.H.U.D. in Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (C.H.U.D.), 1984.
17. The apparent reverse-vampire in The Hideous Sun Demon, 1959, turns into a horrifying monster when exposed to the radiation of the Sun.
18. Astronauts returning to Earth hundreds of years after a nuclear war contend with their debilitating arachnophobia when fighting giant radioactive spiders in World Without End, 1956.
19. Michael Langdon breaks into stardom in I Was a Teenage Vampire, 1957. I suppose the past tense implies he got better.
20. An Air Force Major faces off against a fiend in The Fiend Without a Face, 1958.
21. Children, already a handful, are turned into radioactive children in a movie inspired by the Three-Mile Island disaster in The Children, 1980.
22. In 1977 and 2006 adaptations, The Hills Have Eyes reiterates the theory that radiation turns human beings into cannibals that stalk the desert.
23. The original Night of the Living Dead, 1968, offers radiation as a potential reason for the rise of the brain-eating living dead.
24. Creatures in the children’s show Adventure Time, set in a magical world filled with fantastical creatures many years after “the Mushroom Wars.” A discerning adult finds a horrifying future most children who watch the show will miss.
25. Duke Nukem, the yellow villain with mottled skin, represents the horror of nuclear radiation in the cartoon show Captain Planet. One of my favorite shows growing up.
26. Numerous monsters and creatures from the post-apocalyptic videogame series Fallout including Ghouls, Rad-Scorpions, and Super Mutants.
27. Numerous monsters and creatures from the post-apocalyptic videogame series set in the ruined post-nuclear Moscow metro system, Metro 2033.
28. A true monster in professional wrestling, Bryan Clark was Adam Bomb, a fallout-affected wrestler billed as being from Three Mile Island. Wrestling moves of his include the Atom Smasher and the Neutron Bomb.
These entries are very, very impressive. I had no idea there were so many creature features related to the Bomb. Winners: please send me your mailing addresses and the inscriptions you would like in your books.
To all ACW readers: Take heart, and may the new year be kind to you and your families.