Can you slay this movie monster?

Staff

Vampires are allergic to all sorts of stuff. Seriously, you can take them out with everything from running water to a pile of knotted yarn. But let's say you're dealing with Count Orlok in 1922's "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens." What method should you use?

Sunshine on Count Orlok's shoulder does NOT make him happy. In fact, it makes him fade out of existence entirely.

Here comes another vampire. This one has a taste for gaudy robes and butt-shaped hair styles. Yes, it's Gary Oldman in 1992's "Bram Stoker's Dracula." If we follow that film, what's the best way to dispatch this fabulous fanger?

Big Drac goes down thanks to various execution methods  -- and most of them don't match the original novel. In this film, Mina Murray (played by Winona Ryder) stabs him and beheads him. Talk about a rough breakup.

Some vampires require far more esoteric methods of execution. Take the reaper vampires from Guillermo del Toro's 2002 slayfest "Blade II." Their peculiar anatomies make them exceedingly difficult to kill, unless you're willing to indulge in some heavy Catholic imagery. Which of the five wounds of Jesus Christ does Blade use to defeat arch-reaper Nomak?

A reaper vampire's heart is protected by an impenetrable bony plate, so you have to stab the creature through its side to fatally pierce the heart -- thus mirroring the Roman spear wound that finishes off the crucified Christ in Christian belief. Failing that, however, just blast it with UV light.

Werewolves are tough as nails but highly sensitive to silver. If you take your cue from the classic 1941 flick "The Wolfman," what's the best way to slay the beast with a little Ag?

As the monster's own father demonstrates in the classic Universal horror film, simply thrash the heck out of wolfy with your trusty, silver walking stick.

Surely the modern werewolf is wise to the slaying methods of curmudgeonly old men, right? If we take our tips from the 2010 remake of "The Wolfman," how should we vanquish our snarling, lupine adversary?

Apparently it just isn't kosher to beat a werewolf to death with a fashion accessory anymore. In this big-budget reboot, it's also the wolfman's fiancée who does the deed, rather than his father.

Frankenstein's monster is coming at you like a juggernaut. He's flat-topped and bolt-necked, so he's probably the Boris Karloff variety. What slaying method, illustrated in the iconic 1931 film adaptation, should get the job done?

Simply corner the monster in a building and apply fire. Sure, it's exactly the same way an angry mob would later create the monstrous Freddy Krueger, but it should work fine here.

By the 1950s, your average Frankenstein's monster was a tougher nut to crack. Just consider 1957's "The Curse of Frankenstein," Hammer Film's first take on the monster that starred Christopher Lee. What slaying method does this film recommend?

Always be sure to torch your Hammer Frankenstein's monster and dispose of the remains in a handy vat of potent acid. You have all the requisite equipment, don’t you?

Frankenstein's monster is supposed to stand as a blasphemous offense to our standards of decency. After all, the mad doc's playing God! Still, 1973's "Blackenstein" finds whole new ways to offend us. What method defeats this blaxploitation take on the creature?

The film's lackluster monster goes down thanks to a ravenous pack of Doberman pinschers. Lame. The film attempted to cash in on the success of 1972's "Blacula," with limited success.

Let's leave the classic canon of movie monsters and go a little old school. In fact, let's go a little <i>gamol leorninghús</i>. In the Old English epic poem "Beowulf" (as well as the 2007 film adaptation), how does our hero defeat the monstrous Grendel?

Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm, leaving the creature to flee back to its home where it dies, presumably of blood loss. You can handle that, right?

It takes more than raw strength to defeat other ancient monsters. Take the legendary Kraken, for instance. According to "Clash of the Titans," what deadly relic will you need to bring down this terrifying leviathan?

In both the original 1981 "Clash of the Titans" and the 2010 remake, Perseus takes down the Kraken by showing it the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Even in death, the snake-haired monster's gaze turns the mighty Kraken to stone.

Monsters created through sorcery present their own share of problems. Consider the golem of Jewish folklore. This being of clay becomes animate via an elaborate rite of sorcery. The 1920 film "The Golem: How He Came Into the World" is the only surviving example of Paul Wegener's silent golem series. How do the villagers deactivate the monster?

In folklore, the golem is typically deactivated by removing a letter from the inscription in its forehead, changing the Hebrew word for "truth" to the Hebrew word for "death." In Wegener's film, however, the monster's power resides in an amulet. Once removed, it turns back to inanimate clay.

Conan the Barbarian sure knew how to take down a monster. Why, in the 1984 film "Conan the Destroyer," the muscle-bound sword-slinger takes down not one but two sorcerous creatures. Which of the following methods does he NOT employ?

Conan defeats two monsters in the film, the first by breaking the mirrors that empower it (and horribly lacerating the wizard behind it all). He slays the second monster by ripping a magical jeweled horn right out of its skull. It's gross, I know, but that's how Conan gets the job done!

Not all leprechauns are wish-granting, good-natured tricksters. Some, like the star of the "Leprechaun" horror franchise, are total nasties. Luckily (ha!) there are several ways to defeat these impish monsters. Which of the following methods is NOT used to defeat the leprechaun in the six original films?

The leprechaun suffers from a weakness to four-leaf clovers and wrought iron, but he has yet to be Blarney bludgeoned. His other big vulnerability in the films is the very gold he protects. Melt it, and you melt its owner as well.

If you're not afraid of monstrous plants, then maybe you should be. The killer asparagus from 1962's "The Day of the Triffids" could "spit poison and kill," as Richard O'Brien was good enough to remind us. But triffids are also easily defeated when exposed to this common element.

It's a deviation from the original 1951 novel, but the 1962 film sees the monstrous alien plants fall to the power of salt water. So fill your Super Soaker and prepare for the vegetative onslaught.

Mindless alien plants are one thing. Spacefaring extraterrestrials are quite another. Humanity faced just such a threat in Tim Burton's 1996 film "Mars Attacks!" Luckily, humanity discovered something that makes the aliens' weird, green heads explode. What was it?

Yodeling has proven quite effective against the Martian threat -- particularly Slim Whitman's 1952 rendition of "Indian Love Call."

When shape-shifting energy vampires attack, you better know their weakness. In Stephen King's 1992 horror film "Sleepwalkers," that weakness turned out to be what?

Cats hate shape-shifting energy vampires. Granted, cats hate most creatures that aren’t their human keepers, but they'll claw and bite a sleepwalker till it bursts into flames.

Sure, you're prepared to fight traditional Norwegian trolls with your fancy UV cannon, a la 2010's "Trollhunter." But are you prepared to combat the sinister troll Trantor from 1991's "Ernest Scared Stupid?" What should you shoot at this fat-headed ne'er-do-well?

Legend has it only "the heart of a child" and "a mother's care" can harm Trantor. As it turns out, "a mother's care" means milk. Don't settle for 2 percent. Use whole for maximum effect.

When squaring off against the nightmare-inducing Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's "It," you have to go a little esoteric. What strange and sacred rite enables its defeat?

Think of the Ritual of Chüd as a test of wills between man and monster. Oh, and both man and monster have to be biting each other's tongue during the whole fiasco. Don't knock it! It works.

When globs of ravenous space jelly run wild through small-town America, someone has to step up and stop it. The human race managed to pull it off in both the original 1958 "The Blob," as well as the 1988 remake. What turned out to be the entity's big weakness?

Cold temperatures did the trick, freezing the amorphous man-eater solid. Then they either shipped the blob-sickle to the Arctic or stored it in deep freeze, depending on the film.

The 1979 sci-fi monsterpiece "Alien" spawned quite a few subpar knockoffs. In which one do the heroes kill the ravenous extraterrestrial by feeding it a human lung tumor?

The movie was "Forbidden World," and one of the characters bravely tells his fellow heroes to cut his lung tumor out and feed it to the monster, which kills it deader than dirt. So yeah, when an airlock and grappling hook aren’t available, make sure to keep a tumor or two on hand.

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Are you ready to earn your degree in slayanomics? Think you can murder your way through the foulest and meanest monsters ever to slouch their way out of our cinematic nightmares? Let's put your knowledge to the test.

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