So yeah, writing about The Gate got me all up in my stop motion animation feelings, so much so that I may have to pop Jason And The Argonauts into the ol’ DVD player later and make an evening of it. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve loved stop motion since I was a kid, so here’s a list of my Top 10 Stop Motion Horrors.
For this list, I’m focusing on movies that combine stop motion animation with live action So Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle Of Dogs, and Nightmare Before Christmas, as much as I love you all, sorry, but you’ll have to sit this one out. That said, let’s jump in.
#10 King Kong (1933)
The original all-time stop motion classic. The animation still stands up strong to this day, and the end still makes me mist up a little.
#9 It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)
Gotta have an early Ray Harryhausen on this list, and for some reason, this one has always appealed to me more than Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Maybe it’s the tentacles. I am a big Lovecraft fan after all.
#8 Subspecies (1991)
Radu’s demons. Despite being formed from Radu’s bloody, snapped off finger tips, they’re cute lil guys.
#7 The Gate (1987)
Also cute lil guys, and mischievous. I especially love the scene when they scurry under the door like silverfish then reshape themselves.
#6 Equinox (1970)
Got a two-fer on this one—the ape-lookin’ thing and the winged demon. It’s such a fun watch, and lays so much groundwork for later movies like The Evil Dead.
#5 The Puppet Master Series (1989-2020)
There’s just so much stop motion to appreciate throughout all these movies. I love Blade, and Tunneler and Pinhead are high points as well, but by far my favorite has to be anything involving Six-Shooter. Imagine a kind of demented, evil looking, six-armed Woody who actually shoots people.
#4 Dead Alive (1992)
Who doesn’t want a Sumatran rat monkey? Back before Peter Jackson started taking himself and Tolkien wwwaaayyy too seriously, he made some damn funny horror comedies. The part where this rabid-lookin’ beastie attacks a monkey in the cage next to it is fairly nasty. When it bites the protagonist’s overbearing mother, however…a yuk tsunami.
#3 Alice (1988)
If you like your nightmare fuel in stop form, you owe it to yourself to check out Jan Švankmajer. A lot of his work is just so surreal and bizarro that it stays with you for a quite a while. Alice, an unpleasant imagining of Alice In Wonderland, is a great place to start with this particular brand of weird.
#2 The Outer Limits: The Zanti Misfits (S1 E14 1963)
“The Zanti Misfits” is, hands down, the single most terrifying episode this show ever aired. It’s bad enough that they’re basically ants the size of your hand, but then they turn their heads and have sinister little human faces. I still shudder a bit just thinking about these nasty buggers. I’m reasonably sure that the weird insectoid critters in “The Sandkings” from the 1995 revival of The Outer Limits were modeled after these vicious little fuckers.
- American Horror Story: Freakshow- Intro
- Clash Of The Titans- Medusa
- The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad- Kali
- Laserblast- aliens
- Q: The Winged Serpent- well…the winged serpent duh
- XX- Intersegment animations
And in the #1 spot we have…
#1 Jason And The Argonauts (1963)
First of all, this movie contains some of my all time favorite stop motion sequences and is also one of my all time favorite movies in the history of ever. The segment with Talos is super effective in the sense that the stop motion movement is perfect for capturing the movement of a bronze statue. But by far one of the best stop motion sequences ever filmed is the skeleton attack. I love this so much that eventually I’m getting one of these guys as a tattoo.
Stop motion animation just gives me so much unexplainable joy that it was extremely difficult to limit myself just 10 for this list (which, really, with 6 Honorable Mentions I kinda didn’t), and I’m sure I’m missing a few that some of you may hold near and dear to your own hearts. If so, tell me about them in the Comments.