Cinema is known for the paradoxical: opposites attract; it’s full of situations that are so wrong they are right; we often see good girls go bad, etc. As patrons of the cinema, we are frequently attracted to the oxymoronic and things that are not easily quantifiable. This is especially the case with movie characters that are so hideously deformed, or badly misshapen that they circle back around to being cute. We don’t know quite what to do with these anomalies. Do we hug them or run away screaming? With that in mind, we are counting down seven of our favorite creatures in cinema that are so ugly they are cute.
Bad Milo from Bad Milo
Sometimes, one’s inner turmoil manifests itself as a living thing. And sometimes, that living thing has murderous intent and lives in its host’s intestines until it can escape through his butt. But who says that a physical manifestation of one’s inner turmoil can’t also be damn cute? Milo is hideous; and he is full of ill will but somehow, he manages to be simultaneously adorable. You see Milo and you want to shriek in disgust and embrace the little monster all at the same time.
Slimer from Ghostbusters
Though Slimer is a made entirely of ectoplasm, is a extremely messy eater, has an insatiable appetite, and may come on a little strong at, at first, he has a tendency to grow on you. This Class Five Full Roaming Vapor is even sort of cute after you get over some of the less flattering attributes. Over time, this wraith has become somewhat of a mascot for The Ghostbusters brand and graced all sorts of merchandising. Slimer’s image has even been altered to be less hideous, over the years, perhaps due to his tendency to represent the brand in a variety of fashions.
The Martians from Mars Attacks!
The Martians from the 1996 film Mars Attacks! (which was preceded by the long running comic that originated in 1962) are absolutely ugly and totally ridiculous looking but somehow their hideous exterior lends itself to making the little creatures almost adorable. Their giant brains that aid in their unmatched appetite for destruction somehow work to make these alien beings seem even more precious.
The Cockroaches from Joe’s Apartment
Joe’s Apartment is the kind of film that falls under the ‘so bad it’s good’ classification. And the idea of singing cockroaches gets a little tired by the end of the film’s 80-minute runtime but it’s still a nice novelty. While cockroaches aren’t normally used in the same sentence as the word cute, Joe’s insect friends do most certainly wind up winning us over in record time. They talk, they sing, what’s not to love?
Zombie Baby from Dead Alive
The zombie baby from Dead Alive is slightly repulsive but it’s almost humanly impossible not to find a baby cute on some level – even ugly babies are cute in their own way. So while we weren’t entirely devastated to see this bouncing baby boy end up in the blender, we were slightly conflicted about rooting for its demise because it is still a baby and thus cute in its own disgusting, hideously misshapen way.
Paul from Paul
Brilliantly voiced by Seth Rogen, Paul is certainly not cute in the conventional sense. In fact, he’s barely cute in any sense, upon first glance. But his laid back personality, affinity for birds, and ability to heal make him lovable. The fact that Paul’s companions (played brilliantly by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) are bumbling but lovable science fiction enthusiasts makes it all the easier to love this displaced alien.
The Chestburster in Spaceballs
The chest-bursting scene in Spaceballs is one of the greatest moments in the film. It takes one of the most horrifying and frightening scenes in Alien and makes it utterly hilarious. With the little creep donning a top hat and cane to sing a little ditty, it’s impossible not to appreciate this alien life form. Though Chestburster is completely hideous in appearance, it is impossible not to find it somewhat cute on account of its various talents (singing, dancing, sporting a top hat).
Honorable Mention: The Killer Rabbit from Monty Python
It’s technically not ugly; in fact, the killer rabbit from Monty Python is actually pretty normal looking but it is a highly recognizable vicious creature from mainstream cinema. And it is just as vicious as it is cute – thus why one wouldn’t want to find themselves in close proximity to it. This, decapitating, vengeful, bunny rabbit appears cute at first but it quickly becomes ugly when it is attacking, biting clawing, and decapitating its way through human flesh.