Shadow’s Monster Survival Guide: It! The Terror From Beyond Space – By Timothy M

Name: IT!

Monster Genus: Vampirus Martianus

Notable Appearances: It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958).

Height: As is all too often the case when it comes to the physical proportions of various creatures and critters, it was never quite feasible (let alone safe or wise) to get close enough to the specimen to actually make a detailed determination of it’s dimensions. IT is certainly no exception to this rule. In virtually every example of a human in close proximity to IT, said human was much more concerned with preserving the integrity of his or her posterior and not inquiring into IT’s pants size. Thus, yet again guesswork must be employed in establishing the size of the organism. In this case, when comparing IT”s stature next to that of the humans around it, and factoring in the average human male height of six feet, we guesstimate that IT must be around seven feet in height. What this means for your survival is that such a height, coupled with IT’s long arms and extraordinarily oversized hands, and trying to evade the beast by climbing up high atop something might not be the most prudent move one could make. That long reach and those big hands seem made for plucking some unlucky fool from atop a pile of crates, a ladder or a raised ventilation shaft.

Weight: Just as in determining IT’s height, we must make an educated guess as to the creature’s weight. Given it’s sheer size and bulk when standing next to your average Homo sapiens, and we must conclude that IT must easily weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 to 400 pounds. Aside from making IT eligible for both the NFL and pro wrestling, this also means that anyone foolish enough to take on the beast in a physical showdown is about as bright as a five-watt light bulb. Even the largest and strongest of humans will be hard pressed to last very long in a fight with this monster and will no doubt quickly end up bitch-slapped to death. Unless you hail from the planet Krypton, have bionic appendages or are just downright insane, the best way to survive a physical confrontation with IT is to not even have one.

Intelligence: 3/5 While IT doesn’t boast the intellect of other offworld lifeforms, it is by no means stupid. It’s prime motivation in life seems to be the desire to obtain sustenance. In fact, it seems that IT spends the majority of it’s waking time in pursuit of this goal (rather than say your average teenager who only thinks about food every other hour). Sadly for you, IT considers humans an excellent source of nutrition. While engaged in that never-ending quest to turn you into dinner, IT is quite capable of problem solving on a limited scale. Granted, most times problem solving turns out to be bashing through a wall or pounding something into paste, but IT has been known to open doors and employ stealth on occasion in order to catch it’s prey. This is not to say that the beast is on the same level with Einstein. IT can be fooled by the clever opponent. In fact, IT has a proven record of being easily deceived and distracted. Just be very careful if you plan on using your superior gray matter against IT – once it realizes that it has been duped, it will be quite…and I do mean quite, pissed off. It would be a good idea to not be in the general vicinity when this realization occurs, nor would it be wise to leave IT somewhere with volatile and/or dangerous surroundings given it’s predisposition to smash the hell out of things. Outwitting the monster and fooling it into entering a locked room isn’t gonna help if that room is full of explosives.

Description: Your basic Terror From Beyond Space is a tall, bipedal humanoid with a thick rubbery hide-like skin. This skin appears weak, given it’s pliable nature, but make no mistake – it is stronger that steel. Overall, the critter has a vague reptilian appearance, as if the Creature from the Black Lagoon had an inbred son. This is most noticeable in the monster’s scaly face. IT’s hands are huge three-fingered things which are utilized in the bitch-slap attack (see behavior below). No visible sexual organs are evident, so how the species propagates itself as well as gender issues are unknown at this time. In other words, kicking it in the crotch in hopes of momentarily incapacitating it doesn’t seem to be a viable option.

Origin: IT heralds from the Red Planet Mars. Whether it is native to Mars or it’s species originated elsewhere is unknown at this time.

Habitat: The creature was first encountered on Mars. The creature’s body seems adapted to the extremely thin atmosphere on that planet as well as the scarcity of water. The harsh conditions on Mars may also explain how easily IT has been able to adapt to other environments as well as how easily it has shrugged off various methods to kill it. What this means for you is that coming up with a way to kill it may prove to be somewhat of a challenge.

Behavior: As mentioned before, IT is driven by the need for sustenance – especially water. IT takes a proactive approach in acquiring such food. Rather than waiting for dinner to come to it, it goes looking for dinner. It is inquisitive and will explore it’s surroundings, trying to determine if a food source is nearby. It will lie in wait of passing lifeforms and spring out to take it’s prey unawares. It employs a “bitch-slap” attack method where it throws a victim to the ground, then pinwheels it’s arms over the prey, raining blow upon blow upon the hapless soul. This usually results in the prey having all it’s bones broken and being killed. After the “bitch-slap” attack IT then utilizes an osmosis process to drain it’s prey of all bodily fluids – blood, bone marrow – everything. It is this leeching away of fluids that has also earned the beast the name of Vampire From Beyond Space. Knowing how scarce food can be, IT will not always drain a person dry all at once, and will often carry the victim’s corpse around in order to have a handy snack later on.

Special Abilities: Aside from it’s “bitch-slap” attack and the osmosis process it uses to feed, IT’s other most notable ability is it’s sheer resilience. This guy is one tough dude. IT’s thick hide allows it to shrug off bullets as if they were annoying insects and survive multiple grenade detonations just inches away without incurring the slightest scratch. Flames from a welding torch applied directly to it’s face, while causing it to back way, did little to kill it. Poison gas failed as well. Furthermore, not only has electricity failed to accomplish more than just slightly annoy it, massive amounts of radiation didn’t even kill it – just sent it into a homicidal rage. Hell, even a bazooka rocket fired at point blank range just bounced off it! So unless you have a tank nearby, your arsenal is most likely woefully inadequate to deal with this threat. In fact, most hand weapons you could probably devise are pretty much useless.

Weaknesses: No matter how big or how tough something may be, it will have some kind of weakness. IT is no exception. Sure, it’s strong and super tough but your clue in how to finish it off is in it’s breath. Just listen to it breathe. IT sounds like Darth Vader with a head cold and sore throat. It seems that thin atmosphere on Mars has caused IT to evolve a huge lung capacity and need for oxygen. Deprive it of breathable air and THUD, it will keel right over.

Relatives: IT is related to the title creatures in the Alien films, the gang from Planet of the Vampires (1965) and every vampire to ever rise from the grave and suck somebody dry of blood.

What to do if you encounter: This cannot be stressed enough: RUN LIKE HELL. IT may be big and fast, but if given a head start, you may be able to outdistance it, especially once it’s need for massive amounts of air are factored into it’s labors. If running is not an option then hide your ass in the most fortified and secure place you can find and try to wait for help to arrive. Do not try to take IT on alone. You will only end up bitch slapped and sucked dry. Guns, grenades, bazookas, gas, fire, electricity, radiation – all have been tried and all have failed to kill it, though the last two might be useful in keeping the beast at bay until help arrives. However, while a flamethrower will help in keeping it at a distance, anything short of a patriot missile is going to do you little good when it comes time to kill it. In fact, unless you have a way to remove breathable air, you are pretty much screwed if you are outdoors. If indoors, you may be able to lure the creature into a room which you can then lock, but unless that room has a way to remove the oxygen, you’d better skedaddle ASAP before IT gets pissed and pounds down the door. Your best bet is to use your brains to trick it, get out of the area and then let the military bombard it with some missiles.

Endorsements: American Lung Association