For the month of October, I shall be making a post every day about a monster that I like from movies and t.v.
For starters, let’s go with the Gmork from the Neverending Story.
This creature’s goal was to kill the main protagonist (named Atreyu) as well as to aid the nihilistic destructive force called the Nothing. He was a scary monster, combining the visual aspects of a giant black wolf with huge fangs and glowing green cat-like eyes. He also had a sinister, whispering voice.
Hell, his first appearance in the movie begins with the camera slowly approaching a very creepy cave. The audience is like “no way, I don’t want to go in there!” but it does. Suddenly, we get a glimpse of this threatening horror accompanied by flashing lightning and frantic, chilling music:
Gmork is always on Atreyu’s tail, pursuing him to the literal ends of the earth. When we catch him again at the end of the film, we’re already worn with sorrow and sadness: Fantasia is being ripped apart by the nothing, Atreyu is separated from Falcor, the friendly luck dragon, the magical Auryn is lost and the Rock Biter just made us all tear up with a super heart breaking speech. So his appearance, and his ultra evil speech, already pummels an audience that’s really feeling the creeping nihilism:
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?
G’mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G’mork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It’s like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?
G’mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control… has the power!
What an asshole! And what a chilling concept. Many villains are just about amassing power through force or subjugation. Gmork arguably is the same. However, the Nothing’s effect on people is a very real existential darkness that permeates the world. It goes beyond the usual sinister plot, in my opinion.
And of course, after Atreyu reveals who he really is, Gmork loses his shit, roars and lunges at him to engage in a fateful duel at the end of the world. Freaking EPIC.
The Neverending Story gets bonus points for me because it is a family film that deals with real world topics such as death, loss, despair, hope, nihilism and evil. But not cartoony evil, real evil that’s all about crushing hope and controlling people.
Oh also there’s blood. Lots of it as Atreyu impales Gmork with a shard of rock.
Hope that you found this informative, nostalgic or at least a bit entertaining. Come back tomorrow for the next one! Hint: scaly and forgotten.