Social Question

erichw1504's avatar

Do you think that media correctly protrays how monsters and aliens would act in real life?

Asked by erichw1504 (26309 points ) November 10th, 2010

This is a spin-off of sorts from my previous question.

If monsters (zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc.) and aliens (E.T., Klaatu, Yoda, etc.) actually existed, do you believe they would behave and/or look like they do on movies, TV shows, and comics?

You may not have actually seen or interacted with a real one, but give your own opinion as if you do know how they act. You can be as funny or serious as you want.

What are your thoughts about this? What is the most accurate interpretation you’ve seen? Which monster or alien is best portrayed?

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69 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

I’m pretty sure they’d all be super-pissed off and stuck in zoos. We’re pretty good at killing things nowadays…

CMaz's avatar

No and never. Since “monsters and aliens” are not real.

TexasDude's avatar

If zombies were real, I’m pretty sure they would be slow and shambling… assuming they could even move at all.

Infected, on the other hand… they could be fast, since they technically aren’t dead.

JustmeAman's avatar

You are comparing things that are totally different. It is like comparing Santa, Easter Bunny to Movie stars. One type you are discussing exists and the other doesn’t. Therefore an answer is not possible.

erichw1504's avatar

@ChazMaz But what if they were?

iamthemob's avatar

On a serious note…here’s my thing about the biology of certain members of the monster community – if your blood isn’t flowing, and you’re not breathing, there are certain things that you’re not going to be doing. One of them is moving…another is talking.

erichw1504's avatar

@JustmeAman It’s more of a hypothetical discussion. What if they did exist?

Mikewlf337's avatar

The media doesn’t portray people correctly in real life.

iamthemob's avatar

@Mikewlf337 Very good point, indeed.

JustmeAman's avatar

@erichw1504

But one group does exist the other doesn’t.

erichw1504's avatar

@JustmeAman OK, if you can formulate your own hypothetical opinion then never mind.

CMaz's avatar

”@ChazMaz But what if they were?”

ok, sure. I can see Godzilla shoot flames out his mouth.

erichw1504's avatar

@ChazMaz OK cool, so he would act the same as he does in the movies?

wundayatta's avatar

You have to understand that monsters and aliens are metaphors for things that bother us in the real world. Since they are metaphors, it is not possible that they be portrayed incorrectly. They are whatever the artist has got inside his mind.

CMaz's avatar

@erichw1504 – How else would he? Since that is all we have to go by.

IE NOT REAL. ;-)

erichw1504's avatar

@wundayatta & @ChazMaz You’re right. But, in your mind, are they portrayed correctly? Better yet, how would you portray a zombie or other monster?

Smashley's avatar

I’m having difficulty picturing these creatures “in real life.” Monsters and ghosts, of whatever specific variety they are, are cultural creations that apply to certain cultural traditions. If a werewolf, as we call it, actually existed, yes it would probably look and act exactly as popular depiction holds, otherwise it just wouldn’t be a werewolf.

Certain definitions are stricter, and some are more loose. I can imagine a theoretical parasite that would impair motor function, destroy higher brain function, cause pale skin and sores, and force the infected person to bite other humans, in order to spread the parasite. Sure, this could be called a zombie, but they certainly wouldn’t be the living dead, except in a metaphorical sense.

As far as aliens go, they are the most likely to actually be real (most likely, not strictly likely), somewhere in the universe, and if they are, I’m sure we have terrible cultural representations of them. If contact is ever made, generations to come will laugh at our ideas of “little green men,” “robot monsters,” and “the grays.” Our depictions of aliens follow the same cultural traditions of monsters, but the difference is that a yeti who didn’t live in the Himalayas, and wasn’t covered in white fur, wouldn’t be a yeti, an alien who didn’t meet any of our other definitions would still be an alien because they plainly come from somewhere that isn’t Earth.

So…. yes. Cultural depictions of monsters, generally speaking, are accurate because that’s what a monster is.

crazyivan's avatar

I find that MSNBC has a very pro-alien slant and Fox News is pretty anti-Monster. It’s dispicable.

erichw1504's avatar

@Smashley Thank you for your insights and not complaining about how you can’t formulate your own opinion because they don’t actually exist.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My mother-in-law comes close ;)

CMaz's avatar

Finally some proof that monsters/? exist.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ChazMaz -I am nothing if not helpful. :)

ucme's avatar

I like King Kong. Although it was noticeable that not once in any of the movies did he take a giant crap.

mrentropy's avatar

I have no idea and couldn’t possibly begin to guess without seeing a real monster or alien. Unless I have seen one and didn’t know it…

faye's avatar

I wonder why zombies are hungry? The Walkin Dead show has pretty good zombies and I thought Star Wars and Star Trek did some pretty good aliens.

crazyivan's avatar

It always cracks me up how incredibly humanoid aliens are in movies. They always seem to have two eyes with a nose under that and a mouth under that. They always have shoulders and necks, they’re usually bipedal with opposable thumbs… You would think intergalactic life would at least be as diverse as interplanetary life.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

We put them in Congress, don’t we?

Oh, yeah… and the White House. Nearly forgot that one, I did.

mrentropy's avatar

@crazyivan The Blob? Most of that I attribute to needing to use human actors. With CGI being more prevalent I’m expecting that to change.

crazyivan's avatar

The blob wasn’t an alien, it was a man made monster.

I hope you’re right, but I keep expecting more alien aliens. In Avatar every alien on the planet was an alien version of an earth animal. I’d love to see somebody use their imagination on one of these…

faye's avatar

I thought the Blob hitched a ride on a meteor.

erichw1504's avatar

@faye “I wonder why zombies are hungry?” That’s a good question, anybody have the answer?

CMaz's avatar

@erichw1504 – Exactly!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Which ones did we put in Congress, monsters or aliens? Personally, I’m gonna go with aliens. Most Congresscritters are so out of touch with constituents that they might as well be from another planet.

erichw1504's avatar

@ChazMaz But, I would imagine their hungry because of the disease that has spread within them messes with their neurons and re-wires them to think that cannibalism is the only way to get nutrients.

CMaz's avatar

“I would imagine”
Just think if my doctor said that before cutting me open.
to get the alien out of my belly

IE, Media incorrectly portraying how monsters and aliens would act in real life.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Dr_Dredd zombies, aliens (space aliens; I’m not getting into that legal or illegal aliens thing again), monsters and blobs.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yeah, I can see how Congress could have both zombies and aliens in it. Now that I think of it, zombies especially. I think politics eats people’s brains.

crazyivan's avatar

@faye Depends on which Blob version you watch. The old school B&W kind of leaves it’s origins up in the air, though we’re left to believe it came in on a comet (kind of hard to believe if it can be frozen to death). In the remake it was a government expirement gone wrong.

mrentropy's avatar

@crazyivan In the 1958 and 1988 movies, The Blob, the Blob is in a meteorite.
You’re not thinking of The Thing, are you?

camertron's avatar

I think that we may have already come into contact with aliens and we don’t even know it. It’s hard to branch out and invent an entire race of beings without making them look markedly human (Star Trek) or at least representative of something we’ve already seen on Earth. Earth’s creatures are all we know. They’re almost all carbon-based, they need water to survive, and they exist as collections of molecules. Who’s to say that’s how other aliens should be built? What if a species of alien actually lives in another dimension (as string theory suggests) or through the very air we breathe? There’s no way of knowing. I therefore believe that the media only portrays aliens as far as they can fathom them. They’re using models of Earth’s existing creatures (often humans) to formulate their aliens. Have you noticed that most aliens in movies have legs, a head, a heart, etc? That’s all based on the creatures here on Earth!

crazyivan's avatar

@mrentropy No, by the end of the ‘88 version it comes out that Dr. Meddows created it in a lab and the meteorite story was a cover.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Vampires do exist. Not like super speed and strength like in the movies, but they worship the devil and drink blood. They act like normal people and learn from experience like all people.

CMaz's avatar

“Vampires do exist.”

As does Willie the one eyed wonder snake.

watch out, he spits

erichw1504's avatar

@ChazMaz I see what you did there.

crazyivan's avatar

…Vampire bats exist. I don’t know if I can say “vampires exist” because a bunch of arm-cutting emo-geeks decide to call themselves “vampires”. If they want to prove themselves to be vampires, let me stick a wooden stake in their hearts, cut off their heads and fill them with garlic. If they die, I guess they were vampires after all…

CMaz's avatar

I prefer to tie rocks on them. Toss into the lake and see if they will float.

As you know, if they don’t. They are not.

Smashley's avatar

@crazyivan – I liked your point about humanoid aliens, especially in Star Trek. It seemed like humans were the “base” race and every other race was “human plus antennae/elf ears/nose gills.”

crazyivan's avatar

@Smashley I hate to admit what a geek I am, but there was actually an episode where they made at least a vague attempt to explain that by saying that some long ago alien race had manipulated the DNA in several up and coming species, causing them to look similar. Each species then carried part of a code in their DNA that could later be used to unlock this holographic image that told them all that junk.

As pathetic an attempt as it was (genetic Voltron is the technical term, I think) I have to give them a few points for trying…

CMaz's avatar

“monsters and aliens would act in real life?”

It should read, molested aliens would act in real life.

I mean, they have been molesting us for years.
at least that is what the media has been saying

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Vampirism is a religion. Just as real as christianity, catholic, voodoo, and witchcraft.

CMaz's avatar

@daytonamisticrip – Do they get tax exemption?

Smashley's avatar

@crazyivan- yeah, I was thinking of that episode while writing my answer actually, but even in with the similar DNA explanation, humans are still inexplicably the “normal” aliens, and everyone else is just human plus stuff.

crazyivan's avatar

I always pictured a bunch of Vulcans watching a movie with aliens and saying “why do aliens always look like Vulcans with round ears?”

@daytonamisticrip Nope. Sorry. As ChazMaz points out, those other religions are legally recognized as religions. I can call myself the leader of the first church of Bigfoot, but that doesn’t exactly prove that Sasquatches exist.

Plucky's avatar

I totally lol’d @ChazMaz “I mean, they have been molesting us for years.”

fundevogel's avatar

I’m convinced if vampires existed they’d predominately be racist, misogynist cocksuckers. Why do I think vampires would suck so much you might ask? Because they’re frickin’ old and every body knows that not very many people can change. So dealing with a vampire would be like dealing with my bigoted grandmother, except with all the 14th century prejudices on top of my grandmother’s early 20th century ones.

Chances are a lot of them would be poorly educated and technically illiterate as well. Again I’m using my grandmother as a model. It took her 30 years to learn how to use the answering machine and she hasn’t really tried to update her education since the 40’s.

In short, most vampires would misogynist, bigoted Luddites with seriously outdated educations. And that’s assuming they were lucky enough to come from a time and station that allowed them to be educated.

fundevogel's avatar

@faye & @erichw1504 “I wonder why zombies are hungry?”

A hungry zombie would be consistent with zombification via infection where the infecting organism causes hunger and/or aggression as a mean of spreading to other organisms. It’s similar to how rabies provokes aggression to help spread the love froth around and causes hydrophobia which allows the infected to remain alive and infectious once the disease makes swallowing impossible. Having rabies is actually a lot like being a zombie.

EDIT: I just saw @erichw1504 already said something similar, but I’m leaving my comment as is.

filmfann's avatar

Aliens: Not really that anal obsessed.
Werewolves: Not so guilt ridden.
Vampires: Not as emo, not dressed as fancy as in the old movies. Much more like the Interview ones.
Zombies: Actually watch a lot of FOX, and still quite brain starved.

fundevogel's avatar

@filmfann I thought Interview WIth a Vampire was super fancy-pants emo. If you want non-emo, non-fancy-pants vapires 30 Days of Night is more on target.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@ChazMaz I prefer to tie rocks on them. Toss into the lake and see if they will float.

But what if they weigh the same as a duck? Does that mean they’re really witches… er, vampires? :-)

Kraigmo's avatar

On TV, such things are usually portrayed as 3-dimensional beings.

The extraterrestrials that are on Earth now, if that’s what they are, seem to exist in a way that transcends the 3 regular dimensions.

jballzz's avatar

i don’t think aliens would come to earth and just randomly start destroying it. the human race would fuck up our good relations with them, and then they’d start attacking. I think the movie District 9 is a good portrayal of how the human race would react to an alien race coming to earth, and srew everything up instead of trying to make peace with them.

Plucky's avatar

^ Ditto

CMaz's avatar

Yea, unless it is an alien race on Nazis. If hitler, stalin and their likes behaved the way they did. What would stop ET?

Symbeline's avatar

Tough question to answer. When it comes to things like outworldly monsters, aliens or things like that, I highly doubt the media has any kind of decent grasp on how such creatures might act. The reason is, aliens in movies and stories are way too human, which shows right away that we created them. Star Trek always makes me laugh with that. All their races are so human, or ideas of certain human attributes rendered to perfection manifest. (Spock is a good example, as are the Klingons.) The only thing that usually makes aliens stand apart from humans are their looks, although I thought ET and Encounters of the Third Kind were pretty unique.

More often than not, alien sightings and the like are merely a collection of grossly misinterpreted sleep disorder experiences, and highly reflect the demon possessions or vampire visits people claimed to have been a part of in the middle ages. Which again, shows that they are creatures of the human mind, used as a sort of explanation for shit we don’t get.

The best thing I’ve seen is James’ Cameron’s Alien films, where they act more like ants than humans. That’s plausible, and fits well in the movies, I think. Predators on the other hand, are basically just all of man’s hostility and brutality turned into a creature.

I also doubt a yeti or a bigfoot would act the way they’re described to act. Even if they are descendants of prehistory somehow, the human fashion they often seem to show, such as compassion towards the weak, tribal behaviors or emotive fear that transcends survival kind of contradict what they’re supposed to be.

The undead and other related creeps are a different matter when it comes to my argument however. A vampire used to be a human, a werewolf (Not undead, but it belongs to the same ’‘spectrum’’.) is a human afflicted with what is generally agreed upon as lycanthrope, and zombies were also human at one point.
While a zombie is very unlikely to present human behavior that goes beyond survival, it can happen, or so some movies have suggested, and a vampire remembers its past life, and really has nothing to obstruct its human behaviors besides its physical disposition.

So, if the undead were real, I’m thinking the media and entertainment is a little more accurate on them than they are with things that are not related to humanity at all.

fundevogel's avatar

@Symbeline “More often than not, alien sightings and the like are merely a collection of grossly misinterpreted sleep disorder experiences, and highly reflect the demon possessions or vampire visits people claimed to have been a part of in the middle ages. Which again, shows that they are creatures of the human mind, used as a sort of explanation for shit we don’t get.”

Carl Sagan devotes a fair amount of Demon-Haunted World to that argument, though he includes saintly sightings as well. I think the two of you are onto something with the correlation between alien sightings and historical religious ones.

Symbeline's avatar

@fundevogel Yeah, forgot about religious stuff. I think what one sees must have to do with the culture they’re in…but the phenomena is most likely a set of similar happenings. :/ Thanks for the link, this should be neat. :)

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