As the new Clash of the Titans rereleases the Kraken all over multiplexes this weekend, we're going fishing for sci-fi/fantasy's best underwater beasties. Here's our attack of the clash of the greatest sea monsters ever!
While the word "kraken" is Scandinavian in origin and, as such, was never a part of classic Greek myth, thanks to the two Clash of the Titans films — in which the kraken is a massive wet beast that needs vanquishing — it's become synonymous with the legend of Perseus.
Also known as the giant Dick that bit off Captain Ahab's leg and sent the peeved mariner on a self-destructive quest for revenge.
Now, here's one that was in the legit Greek myths — a multi-noggin'd dragon-y creature who grew back a pair of heads whenever one was cut off. Slaying the Hydra was one of Hercules' Twelve Labors. Most recently seen in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, not requiring the hero to break a sweat.
Biblical scholars may know leviathan from Isaiah 27:1: "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish the leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." I know leviathan from that 1989 Peter Weller movie. (Not the Greg Evigan one; that was Deep Star Six, also out in '89, and it also had a sea monster. And a giant beard — on Evigan, not the monster. But that'd be funny.)
Listen, if you're coming to this site and you don't know who/what Cthulhu is, you should just turn right around and go visit redbook.com or something. Go on, git!
Okay, when I was putting together this list, io9's capo di tutti capo Annalee Newitz said "don't forget the awesome sea monster in China Mieville's The Scar." So, despite me not having read The Scar — yet another blind spot — here it is.
While not the biggest sea monster on the list, nor the oldest, he's clearly the most famous. See, more people have seen Jaws — which saw Bruce (named after Steven Spielberg's lawyer) terrorize the deliciously coastal town of Amity — than anything else on this list.
The "Sea Monster"
I guess that by the time you get to making the seventh Godzilla movie (1966's Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster), you're willing to settle for having Big G fight a giant lobster.
Mom, there's a reason I never wanted to go to SeaWorld. This movie was the reason. And, judging by current events, I think I was right. They ain't called killer whales for nothing. I'm just surprised they're not called killer-especially-if-you-murder-their-pregnant-mates whales, after what happens in this movie.
Deep Blue Sea still has the best motivational speech ever.
The Watcher in the Water
This speed-bump in the road for the Fellowship of the Ring looked a whole lot more fearsome that it actually was, given how quickly it was sidestepped by simply ducking indoors. But, hey, tentacles!
Sigmund the Sea Monster
What are the odds that "Sigmund the Sea Monster" was just the name of the weed strain that Sid and Marty Krofft were smoking?