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“Wait! I come in peace! I am the good…D’OH!” (Esplodes)

~ Crow, riffing on one of the “horrors” (on MST3K “The Horror at Party Beach”)

Just because they’re all monsters doesn’t mean they’re all “monsters”. The Good One refers to one particular individual in any group of movie monsters, demons, evil hellspawn, baddies, aliens, etc. who is not a horrible man-devouring, baby-killing, seal-stomping abomination but actually “has a heart” and ends up assisting and/or befriending the protagonists. It’s always a token individual rather than the monsters/aliens/baddies as a whole.

In many cases, the Good One is an easy, cheap way to add intrigue into an otherwise cookie-cutter monster movie plot. In some cases it can be used to show the moral issue of Nature vs. Nurture, showing that even a grotesque monster “raised by humans” can learn empathy and love. In other times, it provides a simple way to take a sequel or remake and give it “a new twist” to make it differ from the original.

Most of the time it’s a nonsentient creature, although occasionally it can be from an intelligent race of baddies. In that case, however, it still has to be an individual, or, as the audience might say: “See that guy? He’s not like the others. He’s the ‘good one’.” Hence, the dissenting Visitors in the original “V” series are not individually “the good one” as it turns out there’s a sizable group that opposes the majority’s plans to steal Earth’s water and devour its mammalian (including human) population. Also, a baddie who Joins The Winning Team is not the Good One. Hence, someone like Ker from “Battlefield Earth” doesn’t count. Neither are Anti-Villians unless they actually do a Heel Turn Face.

Examples:

“The Monster Squad” – Frankenstein’s monster.

“Gremlins” and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” – Gizmo.

“Aliens in the Attic” – Sparks.

“Day of the Dead” – Bub sort of qualifies as this.

“This Island Earth” – Exetor.

“Village of the Damned” – In the original, there wasn’t one. But the remake starring Christopher Reeve featured one of the alien-human hybrids developing enough emotion to rebel against the others.

“The Last House on the Left” – Junior(original…sort of)/Justin(remake…again sort of).

“Lunar: Silver Star Story” – Phacia.

“Bioshock 2” – (Depending on your actions) Delta…and possibly Eleanor.

“One Piece” – Hatchan from Arlong’s old crew, technically, as the other crew members likely went off to Impel Down still evil and hating humans. In that sense, Nami herself might qualify.

“Dragonball” – First Android #8, and later Android #16. Goku doesn’t count as later entries in the series reveal there’s nothing “innately evil” about Saiyan-Jins…it’s just the lifestyle they were brought up to embrace and is possibly mentally conditioned into them from birth. (The fact Radditz immediately assumes Goku hit his head as a child and therefore lost his desire to destroy Earth indicates other Saiyan-Jin infants in the past hit their heads as well and became benign as a result.)

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” – The T-800.

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