We've all felt them: the strange stirrings of attraction, however vague and however meaningless, inspired by something different. Something horrible. Something other.
Something beastly. Whether it be Smaug's sexy basso profundo or the slow-moving eroticism of a well-decayed zombie, we geeks are no strangers to the idea that, sometimes, the monsters are the most interesting characters in a book or a film or a show. They're also, occasionally, the sexiest characters. For today's Friday Five, we're unburdening ourselves of our secret - and not so secret - inhuman desires. Why not display the underside of your own libidinal rocks in the comments? We don't judge.
As he's written a story about sexy monsters for our Pandemonium anthology, we can't think of a better person to join us for this week's list than Gentleman Geek Den Patrick. Den lives in London and loves genre literature, cinema, peculiar music and writing. He can letter comics, proofread and tie his own shoe-laces. He also makes a mean cup of tea.
The Succubus (Dungeons & Dragons). Rare is the Dungeons & Dragons player who won’t admit that he or she spent a little bit too long checking out the artwork for the succubus in the Monster Manual. Sure, dryads are supposed to be super hot, but why not just make out with an elf and not get blinded in the deal? It’s the succubus’s stock in trade to be sexy. It’s who she is and what she does – the dangers of the male gaze made manifest. She knows what you want, and you’ll only need to part with your soul to get it.
Pris (Blade Runner). With a body made for sin and a Valentine’s Day incept date, Pris is not an obvious kind of monster. Not until we see her plunge her hand into boiling water and set a trap for Deckard in the Bradbury Building, that is. She’s not above manipulating J.F. Sebastian either, all so Roy Batty can gain access to Tyrell. Like Frankenstein’s monster, she has the capacity for love as well as for destruction, as witnessed by her relationship with Roy. Pris is easily one of the most iconic femme fatales in modern cinema, and one skin job we’re sad to see ‘Retired’.
Lin (Perdido Street Station). Nothing encapsulated the eroticism in Miéville’s approach to the New Weird movement quite like Lin, the Khepri sculptor from Perdido Street Station. There’s a strong element of fetish about her red skin, enviable physique... and insectile head, complete with mandibles and segmented legs. The familiarity of her female body married to the otherness of her head is a fair summary for much of Perdido Street Station, where much is recognisable and yet distorted: surreal, occasionally repulsive, and unquestionably attractive.
Dracula’s Brides. I’m not too proud to admit that Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola's version) is a guilty pleasure of mine. You say ‘Mina Harker;’ I think ‘Winonna Ryder’. I offer no apologies. But it's the rather more explicit action that takes place back in Transylvania that gets my attention. Dracula’s brides are all played by achingly hot European models, (including one Monica Bellucci) who mouth, nibble and generally make a meal out of poor Jonathan Harker. (Woah.) Debauchery and excess are reoccuring themes in Gothic literature, and Dracula’s brides are my poster girls for bad behavior and bloody shenanigans.
The Alien (Alien) Not what anyone in their right mind would term sexy, granted. But there is a powerful sexuality at work in Giger’s nightmarish creation. With the curving, phallic head married to those extending jaws (playing on male fears of penetration) there’s a disturbingly sexualized undercurrent to the creature’s design. And it doesn’t stop there. Check out the labial lips of the alien egg as it opens, or the organic doorways in the derelict ship found on LV-426 in Alien. The film layers on suggestive biological (and sexual) horror until the chest burster erupts onto the screen.
Forget Colin bloody Farrell. Chris Sarandon as the vampiric Jerry Dandridge in the original Fright Night was the real deal. The film, whose hero is more interested in the handsome man next door than his pretty girlfriend, can be read as an allegory about repressed homosexual yearning. And if I were a straight man, Chris Sarandon would definitely make me reconsider.
Ron Pearlman is far more attractive as Vincent in Beauty and the Beast than he is as Ron Pearlman. I don’t know if this says something awful about him or about me, but either way I’m afraid it’s true. And let’s be honest, someone who can live in a sewer and still be sexy must be doing something right.
I’m not a huge fan of urban fantasy novels, mainly because of the way every monster seems to fall in love with their protagonists, leaving me with the uncomfortable feeling that I’m learning rather more than I wanted to about the author’s weirder sexual fantasies. But I’ve got a soft spot for Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, and it’s all because of vampire Ivy Tamwood. She’s dark and tormented and desperately in love with the considerably duller heroine. Hers is a role which is usually occupied by men, and she's more appealing than any of them.
So… if I said I’d always had a bit of a thing for Doctor Who’s Ice Warriors, would you think less of me? Yes, I thought so.
Nighcrawler used to be a mutant and now he’s a demon, apparently (I lost track of X-Men continuity a while back), but either way he’s the perfect man – although mainly when he’s drawn by Alan Davis. He’s heroic, good-hearted, acrobatic, blue and he has a prehensile tail: all the things I look for in a lover.
I've already mentioned that Beauty and the Beast (Disney's) is one of my favorite films. So it's probably no surprise that the Beast is a favorite, erm, sexy beast of mine. He's got a hell of a temper, I grant you. But he's enormous and interesting and pretty cute, with his baboon/wolf/buffalo physique and big ol' sexy cape. And he's undeniably way better looking as a monster than as a man.
Dracula: I mean, really. The entire point is that he's irresistably attractive. To everyone.
Where ol' fang-face is magnanimous with his sexual appeal, Mr. Bag O'Bones himself, the Mummy, is the picture of monogamist devotion. Dude breaks the laws of nature for his lady. Repeatedly. There's definitely something attractive about his fixation on ancient Egyptian princes whasserface. And honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to decide between the exsanguinous Boris Karlov, the cadaverous Christopher Lee, or Arnold Vosloo's waxed, buffed and very, very naked version of the character. How about all of 'em?
Well, I've hit two of the three classic movie-monsters so far. Let's drop a wolf-man into the mix, shall we? It's no traditional werewolf narrative, but 1985's Ladyhawke is still unquestionably a monster movie. There's the woman who's a bird by day... and her eternally frustrated love, Etienne Navarre: knight by day, wolf by night. It doesn't hurt, at all, that in his human form, Navarre is a) played by stone-cold hottie Rutger Hauer and b) wears black armor, rides a black horse, and can shoot his cross-bow with one hand. And he has a sexy cape too.
My fifth monster doesn't even speak English, but that doesn't stop me from finding him pretty hot: Chewbacca the wookie. He's a major bad-ass, he's loyal, he's really tall, and he's clearly a great hugger. What can I say? I like a cuddler.