You know, between movies based on big giant monsters (Pacific Rim, Godzilla), classic toys (The Lego Movie, Battleship), cartoons (Transformers, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and comic books (pick one), this past 10 years has been like raiding the toy boxes of every kid who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and projecting the results onto the big screen. Yes, the Saturday morning cartoon effect is back and it’s fittingly grown to gargantuan size. But why stick with only the popular stuff? Why not give the chance to shine to one of the other properties that came out all those years ago, but didn’t quite stick in memory the same way as the others did? Given the current popularity of giant monsters causing untold destruction on a human populace, there’s one cartoon I’d like to see make an appearance on the silver screen. Hear me now, oh studio heads… adapt InHumanoids!
Yes, THAT Marvel.
Here’s what it was about: the show follows a team of (originally four) scientists called Earth Corps. And when I say scientists, I mean it in the way that Indiana Jones is an archaeologist and university professor. Earth Corps specialised in various fields of scientific exploration, with each member having their own unique areas of expertise, like chemistry and spelunking. However, these intrepid mavericks of science become the last line of defence of mankind when three monsters of ancient lore are released from beneath the Earth’s surface. These monsters are the InHumanoids, and they are all about wreaking a terrible destruction upon the humans who now inhabit the land that was once theirs.
The show got a decent run of episodes, so was able to tell something of a complete story in its time. Of the four shows that got the shot, Jem and the Holograms proved the most popular, so it was the one that got backing for a full series (film adaptation currently on its way, too). However, InHumanoids still had a minor impact, with toys and a comic book series, and had such a bizarre mythology behind it that it’s actually kind of perfect for this latest trend of big budget monster movies and the efforts of humanity to put a stop to them.
The original team of scientists are made up of Dr. Herman “Herc” Armstrong, the charismatic and outspoken leader of Earth Corps; Dr. Derek Bright, the intellectual and engineer; Dr. Edward “Auger” Auguter, the team’s hot-headed archaeologist/mechanic; and Dr. Jonathan Slattery, the master chemist known to all as “Liquidator”. Aside from being smart brave and handsome, the team were also outfitted with ugly and cumbersome suits that were also pretty awesome (again, it was the 80s and they needed to sell toys). Armstrong’s suit had a giant grappling hook for a hand, Bright has big claws and old Liquidator had a cannon that sprayed all kinds of chemicals. Whilst seeing them in action wouldn’t really have the mighty scale of a Jaeger, they were some pretty unique suits and bringing them to the big screen would do a lot to make them sleeker and less awkwardly cumbersome than their cartoon counterparts of yesteryear.
The first was D’Compse, an undead dinosaur-like creature whose power was to induce near instant necrosis in its victims with a single touch, often rendering them as undead monsters themselves until the light of the sun can cure them. And just to make this beast extra freaky, D’Compose had an exposed ribcage that it could open and use to imprison people. The second InHumanoid was Tendril, effectively a giant plant modelled after H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu. Tendril was the brute of the monsters, largely mindless and stumbling, but a creature that could increase and decrease its own size, and regenerate pieces of itself that had been lost. It could even grow clones of itself when those lost pieces were big enough. The third and most powerful InHumanoid was Metlar, a creature of fire and lava who lives within the Earth’s core, kind of like a massive Hell demon risen to scorch the Earth. (And if you want to see a really cool modern take on how these creatures would look, check this out.)
Doesn’t this sound… okay, utterly insane, but kind of awesome, too, right? If we really are going to dig into our pasts and have a run of giant monster movies and the human heroics and a Saturday morning cartoon feel writ in cinematic scale, why not have this as part of it? Why not bring back something that never got a full shot, that most people haven’t even heard of, instead of regurgitating the same old stuff that we’ve had before? Never mind bringing back the Power Rangers, cause they’re never going to top Ivan Ooze. Bail on the return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which so far looks kinds meh anyway. Let’s adapt a property that hasn’t seen the light of day in almost 30 years, dig up these monsters and turn them into the massive city-smashing destructors of the big screen that they can become. We want the InHumanoids movie!