Tuesday, 14 May 2013

May Monster Madness #4 - Monsters with Beautiful Faces

This is my fourth post for the  May Monster Madness Blog Hop.

This post is all about those monsters that hide behind beauty: I'm talking about evil step mothers and wicked fairies. In these creatures from fairytales and fantasy, beauty is ice cold, their ugliness hidden behind a mask, but that makes them no less monstrous than an ogress. 

The first beautiful monster I want to talk about is the Wicked Step Mother from Snow White. A woman who wants to kill her own step daughter simply because the developing young woman is more beautiful than her. She is the ultimate in self-centred ruthlessness and many different actresses has relished playing her. Charlize Theron plays a wonderfully demented bitch queen from hell and is, IMHO, the best part of Snow White and the Huntsman. However, for deranged monster, Miranda Richardson gives her a run for her money in a Hallmark version. Of course, though, Disney, on film at least, gave us the original!

 Sticking with fairytales, but moving away from mothers to fairies, one of my favourite Disney villains is Maleficent, the wicked fairy from Sleeping Beauty. For not being invited to the baby princess' christening, she turns up and curses the child to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. And then of course, she does her utmost to ensure that her curse comes true. Only Aurora's fairy god mothers' intervention turns death into sleep, but Maleficent is not finished. When the prince comes along to awaken his Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent turns herself into a dragon to prevent him from waking the damsel. This monstrous fae will stop at nothing to see her will win out.

Fairytales have their fair share of evil beauties, but they are not limited to this genre. In fact, science fiction has one memorable one for me, because she is introduced as a angel of mercy, a nurse, but she turns out to be anything but that. In Dr Who's, The Pirate Planet, we are introduced to The Captain, who rules Xanak with both a stick of rigid control, but also with the carrot of repeated Ages of Prosperity, where jewels and luxury are provided to all those who don't ask too many questions. The Captain has a pretty nurse looking after him. However, as the story progresses, this woman reveals herself as not only less than merciful, but also the new body for the evil Queen Xanxia, who was not only a despot, but used up all the resources of her own planet and has destroyed hundreds of others in the quest for eternal life. She's a mass murderer on an almost limitless scale and thus earns her place on my list of beautiful monsters.

Finally, I couldn't leave out my favourite genre and my favourite type of monster, that being paranormal fantasy and the vampire. In modern times, there have been many handsome/beautiful vampires gracing our screens, but I'm going to pick just one, because she is so coldly murderous, but intensely sexy that she deserves a mention. I'm talking, of course, about Vampire Willow from Buffy. Of course, she does have her ugly face, some would say her true face, but, like many of her type, her beauty is one of her weapons and when combined with her depravity is chilling.

So, that's it for today and I hope you enjoyed my little trip through monsters with beautiful faces. Do you have any favourite evil beauties?

On another note: I'm an author, and I have dabbled in a few horror stories if you're interested. :)

When Darkness Beckons
This is a two story horror anthology created for All Hallows Read 2012.

Catcher of Souls by Natasha Duncan-Drake (that's me :))
When Miles sets foot inside The King James pub he knows instantly there is a disembodied soul in residence. The question is, is the soul responsible for the deaths that have happened on the site or were they just accidents. It's Miles' job to catch troublesome lost souls, but when danger strikes he might just be too late.

Some Things Are Stranger... by Sophie Duncan
Life is weird enough for Jake being a werewolf on the run from The Pagan Dawn, ruthless hunters determined to wipe out all 'paranormal scum'. His luck runs out when he is ambushed after a Halloween party and, badly injured, he dives into the shadows of an abandoned warehouse with his pursuers on his heels. Yet, Jake discovers that he is not alone and his encounter with a goofy hobo, who talks about the place being haunted, teaches him that all strangeness is relative.

Book of Darkness
An anthology of six short horror stories.

Sleep Of The Damned by Natasha Duncan-Drake
How would you cope if you discovered your bed was haunted?
BFF by Sophie Duncan
New school, new best friend, but Karen discovers that Debbie has dark secrets.
Just One Day by Sophie Duncan
The house was a bargain and Georgie loves it, so she's not going to listen to the strange warning from the estate agent that for one day every year it is haunted.
The Crosses We Bear by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Shitty hotel, shitty team bonding weekend, but Lyle gets more than he bargained for when he removes the cross from above his bed.
Queen Of My World by Sophie Duncan
Alfred doesn't like people very much, but he knows how to use them to get what he wants and he wants Lissy.
Dead Not Dying by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Jo loves her cat, Tigger, but when he comes back from near death, Jo eventually realises that it might actually have been death itself.

Sacrifice of An Angel (The Haward Mysteries #1)
"Harry Potter (with grownups) meets Midsommer Murders with a magical version of C.S.I. thrown in for good measure." - Rob Drake

The body of a beautiful girl dressed in a ceremonial robe is found on a playground roundabout. Her throat has been ripped out and the roundabout has a bad case of perpetual motion. Is it a ritualistic, magical murder or a setup to distract from the real killer?
That is the question that faces twins, Theo and Remy Haward, detectives in the Sorcerous Crimes Task Force (SeCT), when they are called to the scene in the middle of the night. That and who could commit such an act. They must find the answers to these and other questions, all the while ensuring the general public finds out nothing about the magical world that co-exists with their own.
 Armed with their experience, their natural magical abilities and their complimentary instincts, Remy and Theo must identify the victim, follow the evidence and find the killer before anyone else dies.

Death In The Family (Heritage Is Deadly #1)

When coming of age means a taste for blood.

Tom Franklin has never really understood his midnight cravings for red meat, he has merely accepted them. His Harley Street doctor had always diagnosed his symptoms as a protein deficiency, aggravated by stress, particularly the dark dreams that haunt his subconscious. Yet, when his dreams and consequently his symptoms escalate, Tom's parents are forced to reveal the truth: he isn't human. Tom discovers that the nightmarish images of dark places and even darker instincts are in fact repressed memories of his early childhood, and he must face the wild heritage from his birth-father, a ruthless vampire known only as Raxos.

Realising his memories are his only hope of controlling his awakening instincts, Tom returns to, Coombedown, the sleepy, Cornish village in which he was born, unknowing that the night-breed in his veins will lead him into danger.

"Death In The Family" is a young adult, paranormal novel.


  1. I love Vampire Willow! "Bored Now." Hehe.

    1. Boredom had never been addressed so petulantly, or the statement of it struck so much concern into others :)

  2. I love this idea! There are so many great, beautiful monsters.

    1. Indeed. I restricted myself to 4, but many more come to mind: Glory from Buffy; Regine from Fright Night II and Jerry from Fright Night, I shouldn't have left out the boys, but the field would have expanded exponentially :)

  3. The first time the idea of beauty in evil really occurred to me, it was in Labyrinth, with Jareth's character. I had never really considered the role of seduction or the power of beauty like that before, but how effective would his character have been if he had been played by someone like Danny Trejo instead of David Bowie? (Sorry--I'm sure there's someone out there who thinks Danny Trejo is beautiful.)

    1. You're right, there is a power in beauty that can be used for all sorts of evil, and these kinds of monsters put it to effective use. To human detriment, we also forgive more easily if there is beauty in the mix, so beautiful evil can get away with more for longer. Good point about Jareth.

  4. Obviously Willow. But Sigourney Weaver also did a good Stepmother in a version that gives us a little more insight, background story, to why she wants Snow White dead.

    1. I'd forgotten about that version - it was supposed to be a more 'realistic' view of Snow White, wasn't it?

  5. Charlize was as usual so gorgeous, and surprisingly scary. Akasha from Queen of the damned would rate pretty highly for me. Fun post :-)
    Here's my day IV MMM at Design du Jour.

    1. Yes, good one, she is definitely one for the collection of beautiful monsters :)

  6. That is a great post, I love beautiful monsters!Evalina, This and that...

  7. I LOVED vampire Willow. So sexy, so evil. And when real Willow tried to act as her it ws brilliant because she was her normal adorable, awkward self trying to talk evil and be intimidating. just brilliant.

    I'd also add Queen Narissa from Enchanted (played by the lovely Susan Sarandon) who channels all the previous wicked step mothers by employing both a poison apple and turning herself into a dragon.

    1. Real Willow playing Vampire Willow was the stroke of genius for that first episode, you're right :). I've only seen Enchanted once, but yes, good call on Queen Narissa.

  8. What about Damon from the vampire diaries. He's beautiful and deadly. And if you need proof - come see me post! Loved Charlize as the witch. The beautiful one's are the deadliest.

    Shah X


    1. Yes, Damon would fit the bill - this list does need more men! :)


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