Memorable movie creatures, good and bad

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Memorable movie creatures, good and bad

LOS ANGELES - It’s an alien warrior that can turn invisible, bleeds glowing green and mercilessly stalks its human prey using heat-seeking vision, only to turn its victims into trophies.

But are the predators of “Predators” the most frightening - or even the most memorable - movie creatures ever conceived?

With this weekend’s opening of a sequel to the 1987 sci-fi action thriller “Predator,” here’s a look at some other beings, both deadly and benevolent, who’ve stood out on screen.

* Yoda: List him first, I will. He’s so formidable for such a little guy, how can you do anything but place him at the top of the heap? (Yoda said it best: “Size matters not.”) Besides, even if you didn’t, he’d levitate up there using his prodigious mastery of the Force.

* Gollum: Andy Serkis was so fantastically fiendish in his portrayal of the villainous “Lord of the Rings” creature, there was talk he should have received an Oscar nomination. A mix of human performance and digitized effects, Gollum often stole the show in the last two films of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy. Smeagol, the sweet side of this twisted, wiry, former hobbit, comes out from time to time. But it’s the duplicitous, manipulative personality that takes over and craves his “precious,” the ring.

* Queen from “Aliens”: She lays eggs, scads of them, which will grow up to become charming little facehuggers and, eventually, chestbursters. But the queen’s also got a protective instinct, as any mom would have. Famously, this is what inspired her climactic showdown with Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in 1986’s “Aliens,” James Cameron’s second film in the franchise.

* Creature From the Black Lagoon: He’s kind of human and kind of amphibious, but mostly he just needs a hug like the rest of us. Standing upright with his gills and his giant webbed hands, the dude in the suit wasn’t all that high-tech - this was 1954, after all - but the movie itself was in 3-D, which has unfortunately returned as the preferred format these days.

* E.T.: Just you try to watch “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” without crying. It’s pretty much impossible. Sure, you’ve seen this 1982 Steven Spielberg classic a million times, so you know the little alien is going to be just fine, that he’ll phone home and end up back with his family again. But his face is so expressive with those enormous, inquisitive blue eyes, and watching him say good-bye to Elliott is so tough, he gets to you every time. Even though he’s an alien, he connects deeply with our humanity.

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