5 Shapeshifters in TV and Film

Thursday, November 24 by Joseph Gibson

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Changing one's form is one of the all-time great dream superpowers. Who hasn't wanted to look like someone (or something) else? Similarly, who hasn't wanted to open up their chest cavity with a giant tooth-filled mouth and devour the arms of someone attempting to administer electrical defibrillation? These five shapeshifters from TV and the movies have gotten to achieve the dream of shapeshifting, maybe with practice you can too (probably not though).

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Mystique, The "X-Men" Movies It almost seems unfair that villainous (or is she?) mutant Mystique would be blessed with the power of shapeshifting, seeing as she looks hot even when she's covered in blue scales. Unlike many other shapeshifters, Mystique has learned to use her powers in combat, slithering across floors and disorienting opponents. Now if she could just get rid of that yellow eye-glimmer, she'd be set.

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T-1000 "Terminator 2" Schwarzenegger explains it so well in the movie, but there's no harm in trying to cover the same material, right? The T-1000 is a robot, but instead of being made out of solid metal, he's made out of liquid metal. And that liquid metal can ooze, morph and shapeshift into almost anything the T-1000 wants, provided it's of around equal size and doesn't have any complex moving parts. This means he can not only look and sound just like your annoying foster mother, but he can also turn his arms into "knives and stabbing weapons." One word sums it up best: Cool.

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The First Evil, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" Sometimes shapeshifting comes with built-in limitations, even if you're the embodiment of all Evil in the universe. In the case of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," The First Evil is only able to assume the form of people who have died. One wouldn't think the personification of Evil and postage stamps would have so much in common, but there you go.

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The Thing, "The Thing" Not all shapeshifting is a clean and efficient affair. Take the nameless monster in John Carpenter's "The Thing"—it can replicate any form of life it encounters, but it does so in incredibly gory and disgusting ways. Heads slither away from bodies, chests open up, dogs explode—it's rough.

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Dracula, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" There have been a lot of Dracula movies, but many of them forego the whole shapeshifting thing due to budget limitations. Not so with Francis Ford Coppola's take on the character, who goes from old and decrepit, to young and John Lennon-like, to some kind of wolf thing, to hundreds of rats (among other transformations). And he's played by one of Hollywood's leading shapeshifters, Gary Oldman.