since none were released, there’s no horror movie dvd list this week, but we do have the final part of our “eleven horror movie plants with whom you should not f.” part one covered several evil trees and even a particularly menacing red vegetable, but this part of the list is where shit gets real.
6. plant goo from space, CREEPSHOW
stephen king isn’t much of a director or an actor, but the one exception to this is his incredibly humorous portrayal of simple-minded jordy verrill in CREEPSHOW. jordy is in dire financial trouble (he’s behind on a $200 loan from the bank). he thinks he’s struck gold when he stumbles across a meteorite, reasonably wondering “how much they’ll pay for this up the college?” unfortunately for jordy, the meteorite contains a fast-growing plant-like organism that quickly consumes everything it touches. his home, belongings and eventually even he himself becomes completely covered in the moss-like substance, leaving jordy few options not involving watering himself or trying to get a gig as a chia-pet spokesman. while leading credence to the panspermia theory of how life arose on earth, this story ends rather pessimistically for our planet’s current residents with the organism slowly spreading outward from jordy’s home, destroying and/or covering everything in its path.
5. biollante, GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTE
no one creates and/or revives gigantic, destructive monsters quite like the japanese. see if you can follow this… after a particularly brutal rampage by godzilla, clean-up crews collected several pieces of his skin. a scientist decided it would be a good idea to try to make more resilient and hearty crops by splicing godzilla’s dna found in the skin into plants. other nations disapproved of this obviously brilliant idea, and bombed the japanese scientist’s lab, killing the scientist’s daughter in the process. in a rather sweet (but also creepy) move, the scientist splices his daughter’s dna into a rose bush in the hopes of preserving some aspect of her. years later, with the rose bush dying, the creepy father/scientist decides to try to keep the plant alive by splicing in godzilla’s dna as well (making this a rose/daughter/giant monster bouquet, which is roughly the same thing has having a loving child). unfortunately this doesn’t go so well, and the flower turns into a giant, slobbering monstrosity named biollante, complete with tusks and vines with mouths. godzilla and biollante roll around for a while on model buildings, but the fight ends up roughly a draw with godzilla sinking into the ocean and biollante turning into a bunch of space spores (while not yet confirmed by toho, those spores may have given rise to another of godzilla’s adversaries — space godzilla!). biollante is some-what reminiscent of audrey ii in appearance, but is larger, more dangerous, more mobile and has much less of a singing voice.
4. pods, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
of all the evil plants listed here, these are probably the least outwardly violent but also the sneakiest. like little green crouching tigers, space pods sit patiently, waiting for you to be at your most vulnerable. once you’re asleep, their creepy little tendrils slink out and digest you, leaving a near perfect duplicate in your place. the resulting ‘pod people’ are identical to the originals, except they are devoid of emotion, are set on world domination, screech a lot and are communist (well, at least metaphorically). approaching the whole taking over the world thing from a “change the system from within” approach is indeed a clever plan, which is surprising given the idea came from a bunch of plant pods. still, you can’t come down too hard on the pods because regardless of which version of the story you watch, their plan seems to be very effective, besting even the likes of david sutherland and jeff goldblum.
3. leaves, THE RELIC
i’ve seen THE RELIC a few times, but i still don’t fully understand the plot. to the best of my understanding, there are these south american leaves that contain a mutating virus. coming into contact with these leaves will slowly turn you into a cgi rhinoceros-thing that tears up museums and has an insatiable hunger for said leaves, human hypothalamuses (hypothalamusi?) and tom sizemore. this creature, known as the mbwun (literal translation: “he who walks on all fours;” more useful loose translation: “he who just ate your brainstem“), is basically the result of a particularly unfunny practical joke the natives play on white men who come into their jungle and try to take their statues. moral of the story? do not go to south america and try to take other people’s statues.
2. trees, THE EVIL DEAD
while most of the plants on our list are content to just take over the world, dissolve you into your base minerals or smash you to a pulp, the kandarian demon possessed foliage of sam raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD kick things up a notch by trying to rape you. i suppose we’re lucky this idea never occurred to audrey 2 or biollante, but that will likely do little to comfort someone when they’re being felt-up by a pine tree. in THE EVIL DEAD, the trees actually leave cheryl alive after their encounter, but no one (not even her brother, ash) believes what happened to her. while the crimes of these trees may pale objectively in comparison to the murderous world-destroying antics of some of the other plants on this list, THE EVIL DEAD trees get our #2 spot because, come on — raping your sister? in terms of evil vegetation, this shit just got personal.
1. vines, THE RUINS
i made THE RUINS my #1 horror film of 2008 and i’m making its central villain #1 on this list as well because THE RUINS didn’t just make plants scary — it made them terrifying. playing off our fears of nature, disease and bodily intrusion, the vines from THE RUINS are the stuff of nightmares. without warning, they can drag you off into some dark, moist area and drink you alive… and that’s if you’re lucky! if you’re not, they’ll slowly grow into a wound, take root within, drive you insane and eat you from the inside out. fun!
so yeah — while you shouldn’t f with any of the plants on this list, personally i’d much rather face a hungry tomato, a druid god, a singing venus fly trap, or even an old-fashioned tree rapin’ before i got anywhere near the ancient architecture loving botanical bastards from THE RUINS.