Day 228: Monsters Shoe-niversity

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry for that pun…

august 16 main

I hate slugs. It’s a hate bordering on a phobia (though not quite). The mere idea of stepping on one – even with shoes on – makes me feel nauseous. But what really annoys me is that there appears to be no word specifically for fear of slugs. Molluscophobia is the fear of both slugs and snails, but strangely I am completely fine with snails. I can pick them up; I can have them crawling on my hands. I think snails are actually kinda cute.

But slugs are vile. They’re like squishy, diarrhoea-filled condoms.

epic slugsAnd no, I have no idea how the addition of a shell makes so much difference or me. It may also be the reason why I was quite fine Photoshopping this image from Monsters University (because the sluggy monster has a back pack) while this image from Epic makes me feel like reaching for the sick bag. Honestly, I had real problems when I had to review Epic for SFX last year because the comedy slug was way too realistic to be cute.

I think I spent a lot of the movie fast forwarding through slug moments (I did endure three or four of “hilarious” scenes in the spotlight for the sake of giving a fair review – he wasn’t just vile he was irritating as well).

ventilation shaft

Not Wilma Deering’s arse, sadly

Another thing I always fast forward through are any scenes of characters crawling through ventilation ducts. Has there ever been crawling-through-a-ventilation duct scene in TV and film history that was actually interesting? I don’t mean the ones which involve some kind of monster-in-pursuit (like in Alien 3) because they can be exciting and tense – I mean the tedious, seemingly never-ending, sweaty crawling scenes that screen SF seems to love.

Buck Rogers In The 20th Century tried valiantly to, ahem, buck the trend by dressing Wilma in arse-hugging Lycra then loving shooting her bottom from behind, but it was a desperately cynical gimmick and I never approved. Honest.

Ventilation shafts are a useful plot device, sure. They can be use for escape, to spy on bad guys, and to unexpectedly drop in the action at opportune moments.

However, for this to happen, sci-fi ventilation shaft must have:

1) Space large enough for humans to crawl through, even if they’re on an alien spaceship and the aliens are a completely different size or shape to humans.

2) Grills that are similarly large enough for humans to get through.

3) The most easy-to-unscrew grills in the galaxy (in fact, many seem to be Blu-Tacked into place.

4) Regular junctions, so the sets don’t have to be massively long.

5) Really good sound proofing so that the villains can’t hear the heroes crawling through pipe a couple of feet above their heads.

If ventilation shaft scenes were banned from sci-fi I’d be a very happy man.

See you tomorrow.

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