Tis the season for spookiness, thrills, and chills, and for all of us to stand up proudly and announce our love of sexy monsters. Do not worry, for you shall not be judged here on SYFY FANGRRLS for your tastes. Hell, we’d be major hypocrites if we started spreading our scorn on said subject. We here at Team FANGRRLS have expressed our great respect and not-so-subtle appreciation for vampires, werewolves, strutting robots with impeccable posteriors, Venom, Thanos, the occasional killer clown, and giant man-eating/f***ing spiders.
Of course, if you want to discuss sexy monsters then you must consider the work of the one and only Guillermo del Toro. The multi-Oscar-winning writer-director has been a crucial and pioneering voice in genre cinema for over 25 years. He is a lover of the magnificent dark, the underworlds of fairy tales and classic horror, and the beauty of the grotesque. He’s also arguably our generation’s greatest lover of sexy monsters. We guarantee you that nobody else, living or dead, loves and supports hot creatures as much as del Toro. Remember, this is the guy who made a romantic drama where a woman has red hot shower sex with a fish-man whose penis pops out when the occasion calls for it, and then won an Oscar for it. Truly, he has cracked the code.
Now, with Halloween on the horizon and the director celebrating his 56th birthday this month, it is only right that we dedicate some time to the sexiest monsters of Guillermo del Toro’s filmography. Frankly, it’s a real delight that there’s even enough of them for such a list. Bless you, Guadalajara's finest.
The Fish Man
Of course, we have to kick things off with the amphibious sex god who made our hearts flutter in The Shape of Water. Played by Doug Jones (as are a significant portion of hotties on this list), the nameless fish man who captures Sally Hawkins’ heart is empathetic, keen to learn, a great lover of boiled eggs, and ready to kill for his love (watch out, Michael Shannon). With a build like that, who can blame Hawkins for going from zero to “I’m going to free you from captivity so we can visit Bonetown”? Really, the fish man is a pretty classic Golden Age Hollywood romantic hero. Think Clark Gable with gills. In a movie that’s all about the passion and community of outsiders fighting the oppression of "good old American family values," there’s something both heartening and radical about our love for the fish man. All that and he’s a great kisser? Why bother with the land anymore?
We’ve been freaking out over Ron Perlman in various layers of creature prosthetics for decades now (thank you very much, Beauty and the Beast), but his casting as Hellboy is so ridiculously perfect that you wonder if he was engineered in del Toro’s gothic lab for the sole purpose of playing the character. How many guys look that good in red? Del Toro also makes his Hellboy a full-on romantic hero, with a strong, often difficult but utterly devoted relationship with the pyrokinetic Liz Sherman. And del Toro doesn’t sidestep the realities of a human-devil romance: This Hellboy f***s! He’s got the muscles, the stamina, the penchant for drama, and he’ll destroy the world if anyone tries to take his love away from him. When Liz is forced to choose between Hellboy and stopping an apocalypse, she picks him, and it’s the easiest decision in the world. We’re with you, Liz. He did promise that he’ll always look that good, after all.
Long before The Shape of Water, del Toro made Doug Jones into a sexy fish man by way of one of Mike Mignola’s most beloved creations. The character was originally voiced by David Hyde Pierce, but he's all Jones in the second movie, and that's where he comes into his own as a romantic hero. There's something achingly earnest about Abe, an intensely intelligent being who longs for something as innocent as a crush. He’s the sweetie pie to Hellboy’s more boisterous sarcasm, and watching them get drunk, lament their romantic entanglements, and sing along to Barry Manilow is a true highlight of cinema.
The Elf Prince and Princess of Hellboy 2
Make no mistake, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is a surprisingly horny movie. It’s essentially a rom-com taking place amid the impending fantastical apocalypse. As you do. Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala, the pale-skinned elf royals, represent the yin-yang balance between the light and the dark of the fantastical worlds that Red and the B.P.R.D. are tasked with policing. Both are styled to look like mythic beings from a tapestry or a rococo mural, only with added martial arts prowess and some hardcore incestual subtext. Never fear, however, because Nuala isn't into that and would rather sweetly smile and share words of poetic bliss with Abe. If you like your sexy monsters with a regal edge, as always, Guillermo’s got you covered. And yes, it will forever be hilarious that Prince Nuada is sung by one of the guys from Bros.
The faun of Pan's Labyrinth
Fun fact: The faun is not Pan. They just call him that in the English titling of the movie because apparently, the studio didn’t think we’d know what a faun was. Sure, whatever. But what we did get was a gloriously layered and textured creature of majesty and allure. Doug Jones strikes again! The faun seems to have grown straight from the earth, with limbs like warped trees and fingers like twisted roots. His motives may not be fully trustworthy, but as a leader into a strange new world beyond one's own, you'd follow him anywhere. I mean, it's him or the Pale Man, ladies. Would you risk that?
That wig on Corey Stoll’s head in The Strain
Ever seen that one "Treehouse of Horror" episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets a hair transplant from Snake and it takes over his brain to make him kill people? I spent SO many episodes of The Strain wondering when the obviously fake hairpiece on top of Corey Stoll’s beautiful bald head was going to possess him and send him on some sort of vengeful rampage. It’s the only thing that would have made sense about that styling decision. Actually, if you watch the series and accept this evil toupee as canon, The Strain becomes even more entertaining. Still, it doesn’t impede on Stoll’s sexiness, so we’ll allow it here, but we certainly weren’t sad to see it go when he finally decided to shave it off.
The Sharpe siblings
This one is probably more a metaphorical kind of monstrous than anything literal that haunts poor Edith Cushing at the dilapidated mansion of Allerdale Hall in Crimson Peak. If your options were to deal with ghosts or your maniacal sister-in-law who's banging her sensitive sexy brother on the regular, you'd probably run straight into the bony ethereal embrace of the undead. Maybe the hints of incest in Hellboy 2 weren’t enough for you? Still, you can't deny the pallid goth allure of Tom Hiddleston at his sexiest (yeah, I said it!) and Jessica Chastain having the time of her life as a barely concealed maniac with bountiful petticoats and deranged passion for her brother and casual murder. So pretty. Shame about the murder-incest thing.