Saturday, May 25, 2019

Native American Monster Marathon Recap

It Waits is a silly monster film that you will likely find on a Saturday afternoon on Syfy, nonetheless, I like it....mostly because of Eric Schweig (you may remember him as Uncas from Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans). The monster is not named as any specific to any actual native monsters from lore, but it does bear a striking resemblense to the Mayan Camazotz--a bat diety/monster that lives in caves (pictured above).

One of my top five favorite episodes of Supernatural--the wendigo has taken the place of the Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) at the top of the list of Native American monsters/spirits in horror.

Also a favorite of mine, Nomads does not make most lists of films/episodes depicting Native American monsters--but the monsters/ghosts/spirits here are drawn firmly from Inuit stories and lore!

Here's a rare one! The Mishipeshu (or Water Panther) is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) creature--to my knowledge, this 4th season episode of Grimm is the only time it has been used in a film/series (also, as I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, it is highly likely that this is the creature depicted in Ohio's "Alligator" effigy mound). 

Another take on the wendigo--this film sports a real monster explanation for the creature. Stars Kevin Durand, if you haven't seen it--I do recommend it--here's the trailer.

Another staple of my native monster "catalog"--Shapes offers a take on the standard "shapeshifter" narrative, with a nod toward werewolves...cuz everyone has werewolves, right??!!

I was recently lucky enough to be gifted a Native American horror blu ray double feature that includes Shadow Of The Hawk (most grateful!!!). The film was one of my favorites as a kid--catching it on Saturday afternoon matinees on the local cable channel--I am pretty sure that it was my first experience with Native horror. I have been a devoted fan of the late Chief Dan George ever since! There is no specific monster here, save for the evil Shaman troupe--the film contains several nasties cooked up for our good guys--some of which seem more than a bit racist & misguided today (the Inuit style throat singing is the best example of this; in the film it is used as a component of on evil summoning ceremony, in what can only be called "indian voodoo.")

What can I say, I love me some Kolchak. Not even the lack of Native actors or the silly "diablero" monster character can keep me from including it. It's just too much fun! 

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