Your Weekend Creature Comforts: Monsters From The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride is just one of those movies that everyone loves. Seriously, I can’t think of one person that has told me they hated that movie. Of course, I do know a lot of people who have not watched it for one reason or another, and let me tell you, you are really freaking missing out. This movie has everything you could want in a fantasy: sword fights, torture, mysterious heroes, romance, great side kicks, adorable wizards, loathsome villains, memorable one-liners, and even some creepy creatures. There is so much I could rant and rave about how fun this movie is, and timeless, but this weekend I am going to spotlight the two creatures we encounter in this fantasy world: the shrieking eels and R.O.U.S.es.
Let’s start with the shrieking eels as they are the first we encounter in this movie. As Princess Buttercup is being kidnapped and sailed across the sea she attempts her escape when her captors aren’t looking. Jumping in to the water she begins to swim as fast as she can towards a ship behind them. Before I go on about the eels, I will comment that the only thing that frustrates me about this movie is how weak Buttercup can be at times. This is probably the bravest she acts in the entire movie as she tries to escape. But her attempt is thrawted.
Not long after she begins swimming she starts to hear distant screams, and the water around her begins to ripple. She becomes confused, but Vizzini informs her what the noise is: the shrieking eels. They are a species of carnivorous eels in the waters that loves any meat, but particularly loves some human flesh. And unlike many sea dwelling creatures we know of, they can produce sounds audible to our ears. In particular, they scream, shrieking louder and louder as they approach their prey, probably to alert others that there is a meal near by, or just to scare us as we watch the movie.
The one close up shot we get of an eel shows it’s mouth completely jam packed with pointy teeth, but luckily for Buttercup she is rescued by Fezzik before the eel can bite her.
The next amazing creature in this movie is encountered in the Fire Swamp, and there is quite a bit of speculation as to whether or not they actually exist. But our hero Westley finds out the hard way. R.O.U.S., which stands for rodents of unusual size, do in fact exist. And they also appreciate the taste of human flesh. These creatures are more ferocious then a straightforward giant rat. They too have quite gnarly, large, and pointy teeth. Teeth that you know would lead to an infection if you happened to end up on the end of their dirty mouth. These monsters are aggressive and sneaky. But our pair manage to defeat them. If you have ever been lucky enough to have worked with opossums, in many ways they resemble these interesting creatures. Hopefully it will make you smile a bit more if you cross the path of a possum late one night.
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