: Image: Marvel When a scientist witnesses Bruce Banner's transformation into an anger-fueled green giant in The Incredible Hulk, he calls it the most extraordinary thing he's ever seen.
The CGI spectacle starts with the classic green-eyed flash in the eyes of actor Edward Norton, who plays Banner, and moves impressively through vein-popping, muscle-roiling territory into all-out lab-trashing ferocity. It's the best screen presentation yet of the radiation-induced metamorphosis that turns the brooding Banner into the smash-prone Hulk, and the latest in a long line of silver-screen transformations in sci-fi and horror flicks.
From the The Fly's Brundlefly to the fleshy, obese explosion of Neo-Tokyo biker Tetsuo in Akira, here are some of the best.
Which unforgettable scenes did we leave out? Submit your faves in the comments below.
The Incredible Hulk
Each time molecular scientist Bruce Banner, played by Ed Norton, forgets the cardinal rules of anger management, audiences are rewarded with his transformation into an enormous green brute.
: Image: Sunset Boulevard/CorbisThe quintessential werewolf movies starring Lon Chaney as the Wolf Man used extensive camera trickery
, yak hair and rubber prosthetics to produce the actor's full-body transition from man to wolf man.
: David Cronenberg's 1986 sci-fi flick about a lab experiment gone horribly awry features one of the most memorable long-form transformations in movie history. When a fly zooms into the teleportation device used by scientist Seth Brundle, played by Jeff Goldblum, the results are disastrous. First the scientist gains superhuman strength and libido thanks to a dose of housefly DNA. Then, he quickly deteriorates into a jawless, decaying, acid-vomiting mess he calls Brundlefly
: Image: Sunset Boulevard/CorbisAnimal House director John Landis' 1980s comedy-horror film beats out its lupine brethren **** Wolf, Wolven and The Howling purely for its lethal combo of camp and creep. The mixture of robotic and prosthetic body parts used in the extended lunar transformation sequences led the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create an award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup in 1981 -- and hand An American Werewolf in London the Oscar.
: Shape-shifting supervillainess Mystique wowed fanboys and fangirls alike in 2000 with her seamless CGI transformations into various characters, and the blue-skinned bodysuit worn by former model Rebecca Romijn as the cerulean evildoer only added to the appeal.
Romijn works Mystique's magic in all three X-Men films before she's finally transformed into Raven Darkholme, after being injected with an antidote that suppresses her mutant X-gene.
: When rebel biker Tetsuo Shima uncannily channels the psychic power of a superhuman 10-year-old by the name of Akira, he inherits kinetic powers beyond his bodily control.
The futuristic city of Neo-Tokyo is no match for Shima's grotesquely deformed body, which eventually becomes an obese blob of tentacles, mechanical parts and veiny appendages. Did we mention Akira was buried in a cryogenic chamber beneath an Olympic stadium nearly 40 years earlier? Yeah, he's that powerful.
: Image: Marvel Forget Spidey sense. When an extraterrestrial symbiotic life form takes up shop in Eddie Brock (played by Topher Grace), the slimy reporter becomes a powerful creature with superhuman strength and a mangled maw of pointy chompers.
Known as Venom, Brock resembles an evil, mirror image of Spider-Man, and he's hell-bent on conducting a vendetta against Spidey's alter ego, Peter Parker.
: Though this film was ridiculed on Mystery Science Theater 3000, there's nothing funny about slowly liquefying into a gelatinous, murderous mass.
Steve West, the only surviving astronaut from an ill-fated mission to Saturn, begins a rapid descent into insanity and gloop upon his return to Earth. Before West disintegrates into a pile of red slush, viewers are treated to lengthy eyefuls of open sores, jellylike matter and bones in this late-'70s screen gem.
: When Norwegian researchers awaken an alien being in Antarctica, they're probably hoping for a friendly creature a la E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Instead, they got the Thing. John Carpenter's 1982 creature feature revealed the darker side of an alien invasion -- a murderous, shape-shifting being able to infect and assimilate anything.
: Image: John Springer Collection/CorbisAfter swilling his highly addictive home-brew tonic, Dr. Jekyll (Fredric March) morphs into his skirt-chasing, hard-drinking alter ego in a transformation sequence that stunned movie audiences in 1931. With the help of camera tricks and lens filters, the kindly scientist devolved into the iconic Mr. Hyde on-screen.
: Michael Bay's 2007 live-action adaptation of the cult classic '80s cartoon didn't shy away from full-frontal money shots of the army of Deceptacons and Autobots as they assembled. Though the 2007 movie adaptation included cameos from Starscream to Jazz, it was Optimus Prime's lengthy transition from red-and-blue cab into a massive, 20-foot-tall bipedal bot that stole the show.
: Step aside, Silver Surfer. The upgraded T-1000 cyborg killing machine in James Cameron's 1991 Terminator sequel is able to mimic almost any shape, thanks to its poly-alloy molten-metal form. The T-1000's effortless mutation into other people and simple weapons creates one of the most terrifying -- and eye-popping -- movie villains ever.
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