The Monster: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
The Tame: Granted, he’s big and clumsy enough to do some serious damage to downtown New York, but he does it all with a smile on his face. In fact, he only turns nasty just before he gets splattered by some well-aimed proton streams. As Ray says, “I tried to think of the most harmless thing… something I loved from my childhood… something that could never, ever, possibly destroy us!”
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d tear up a bit more of the city before giving it a slimy, sugary coating. Godzilla would be ashamed!
The Monster: Gizmo
The Tame: The cuddly little tyke is the sort of movie monster everybody would like to have as a pet. Friendly, furry and oh-so loveable, he’s the perfect companion for a lonely little boy… just don’t get him wet. Whoops… too late!
If It Was Bad-Ass: The titular Gremlins played that scenario out to blood-spattered effect in the second half of the movie!
Monsters Vs Aliens (2009)
The Monster: B.O.B
The Tame: Any beastie voiced by Seth Rogen instantly forfeits the intimidation factor in favour of an affable dopiness. Given that he has no brain, it’s not surprising that B.O.B isn’t the most threatening of monsters… in fact, seeing that he is the descendent of a genetically-altered tomato, we’d say he’s doing rather well for himself!
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d be the sort of all-consuming, gelatinous nightmare that only Steve McQueen could deal with.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The Monster: Falkor
The Tame: Falkor is referred to as a “luckdragon”, a description that instantly evokes a little girl’s plaything rather than a fearsome magical beast. On top of that, he’s so sensitive to water that it would only take a minute or so of immersion to kill him! And don’t get us started on his constant pleading to be scratched behind the ear…
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d show a bit of pride. Dogs like to be scratched. Dragons usually like to do the scratching…
The Monster: Elizabeth Shelley
The Tame: She might have a taste for blood, but the nightmarishly reanimated Elizabeth is a slightly flawed proposition. Murdering your prey mid-coitus is all well and good, but who in their right mind would go anywhere near this shambling, blood-spattered mess in the first place? We’ll pass on that offer of coffee, thanks love.
If It Was Bad-Ass: She’d need to do a better job of covering up those stitches. Maybe a bit more foundation would do the trick?
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
The Monster: Sully
The Tame: Despite being one of Monsters, Inc.’s champion scare-merchants, cuddly old Sully’s heart isn’t really in it. Indeed, he’d rather give his young charges a nice hug rather than the fright of their lives. An admirable sentiment in a human perhaps, but in a monster? Pah!
If It Was Bad-Ass: He could be running the company by now. Oh, wait, hang on…
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
The Monster: Toothless
The Tame: It’s all in the name isn’t it? “Toothless” isn’t exactly the sort of moniker to set pulses racing, whilst any self-respecting dragon would surely incinerate a young boy instead of befriending him? He might prove his bravery as the film progresses, but he’s still a bit of a pussycat by our reckoning.
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d have made Gerard Butler his bitch within minutes of being on screen. What’s that about Sparta, mate? We can’t hear you!
The Day Of The Triffids (1962)
The Monster: The Triffids
The Tame: Plants can be both terrifying and entertaining (see Little Shop Of Horrors for details) but sadly, the Triffids are neither. Sure, their wavy-limbed antics might be lethal at close quarters, but they’re just too bloody slow to really pose a problem. Pass the weed killer.
If They Were Bad-Ass: They’d set about terrorising the world’s most prominent gardeners. Cue a crowd-pleasingly grisly set-piece in which poor Alan Titchmarsh is torn limb from limb…
Robot Monster (1953)
The Monster: Ro-Man
The Tame: Not so much tame as heartbreakingly naff, Ro-Man might be quite a frightening proposition if he didn’t look so daft. As it is, he’s a monkey-man in a diver’s helmet, and no amount of murderous intent is ever going to stop that from looking silly!
If It Was Bad-Ass: Ro-Man would remove his helmet to reveal a lethal ray-gun. A giant monkey with a laser-blaster for a head? Now that’s bad-ass.
The Mighty Gorga (1969)
The Monster: Gorga
The Tame: Oh dear. Gorga somehow manages to run Ro-Man close in the ludicrous looks department, whilst his willingness to turn over a new leaf in order to impress a pretty girl is even sappier than King Kong’s. You damned dirty ape!
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d at least have the sense to cover up that risible face. A diving helmet would probably do the job…
The Monster: The Aliens
The Tame: Yes, OK, there’s some grey area as to whether aliens are monsters, but we had to include Signs ’ extra-terrestrial invaders on grounds of their unparalleled crapness. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: if water is your Achilles heel, Earth really isn’t the place to start throwing your weight around.
If They Were Bad-Ass: They’d come bursting out of Mel Gibson’s chest before proceeding to bite Joaquin Phoenix’s face off. That’s how the professionals operate.
Night Of The Lepus (1972)
The Monster: The Giant Rabbits
The Tame: They’re cuddly, fluffy bunny rabbits. Yes, they are massive. And yes, they have designs on obliterating humanity. But still… look at the cuddly bunnies! Aren’t they cute? Awwwwww.
If They Were Bad-Ass: A dose of myxomatosis would at least make them look a bit scarier. Although it might hamper their plans for world domination somewhat…
Teen Wolf (1985)
The Monster: Scott Howard
The Tame: Despite his wolfish tendencies come the full moon, Scott wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s too busy larking about on the basketball court, you see. Perhaps other werewolves could be treated in some sort of slam-dunking rehabilitation programme? Just a thought.
If It Was Bad-Ass: You wouldn’t want him to catch you travelling on-court. A referee’s penalty would be the least of your worries…
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Monster: Jack Skellington
The Tame: Halloweentown’s number one scare-merchant might be a fright to look at, but beneath all that bluster, he’d rather be crooning show-tunes than making children scream. And on top of that, he ruddy loves Christmas. For someone with the moniker “Pumpkin King”, he’s a bit of an old softy, isn’t he?
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d have chopped “Sandy Claws” into hundreds of little pieces and bunged them into the children’s stockings.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The Monster: The Troll
The Tame: Trolls are notoriously tricky beasties to get right. On the one hand, they need to be presented as floundering dimwits, but they also have to be a bit scary too. The one that makes its presence felt in the Hogwarts bathrooms falls sadly wide of the mark. Not only does it look like a hungover Shrek, it’s defeated by a trio of 11-year-olds. Poor show, sir.
If It Was Bad-Ass: See the cave troll in Fellowship Of The Ring for how it should be done. The perfect example of lumbering menace!
Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
The Monster: Ira
The Tame: Whilst the rest of Spike Jonze’s hairy beasties like nothing better than fighting, shouting and generally smashing the place up, timid old Ira is a bit of a sap, utterly at the mercy of his strident girlfriend Judith. Put simply, the poor chap is distinctly under the thumb!
If It Were Bad-Ass: He’d learn to stand up for himself a bit and tap into his monstrous nature. He’s got James Gandolfini as a role model, for heaven’s sake!
The Monster: The Turtle Aliens
The Tame: A collection of bungling doofuses, the turtle aliens have got the firepower to make the entire universe bend to their will. Sadly for them, they’re dopey enough to leave said weaponry sitting in the desert after an abortive visit to Earth. D’oh!
If They Were Bad-Ass: They’d have fried us puny humans and set up shop on good old planet Earth. Instead, they ballsed it all up, and ended with a slap on the wrist from their despairing leader. The clowns!
The Monster: Edward Cullen
The Tame: One of the least threatening vampires in big-screen history, the perma-moping Edward is a bloodless proposition in more ways than one. The vamps from True Blood would have him for breakfast…
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d soon see off that shirtless poser Jacob for a start! What sort of vampire allows himself to be pushed around by someone from the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue?
Little Monsters (1989)
The Monster: Maurice
The Tame: As a monster, managing to secrete yourself under a child’s bed should be the perfect opportunity for a spot of infanticide! Befriending said child and aiding him in a range of “hilarious” pranks is frankly inexcusable! Hang your head in shame Maurice… you do the name “monster” a disservice.
If It Was Bad-Ass: He does get to wield a flamethrower towards the end, but inexplicably fails to melt the child’s face with it, an oversight no truly bad-ass monster would make.
The Monster: Shrek
The Tame: What sort of ogre allows his feelings to become hurt? He should be revelling in the fact that he’s an ugly blighter, rather than bitching and whining to a talking donkey. Nobody likes a whinger…
If It Was Bad-Ass: He’d partake in the usual array of ogre-centric activities. For example, not once does he grind anyone’s bones to make his bread! For shame.