With THE GREAT WALL debuting at the end of this month, December 29th, before 2016 ends, I’d thought to take a closer look at the “monsters” who will be plaguing the warriors in the upcoming Zhang Yi Mou-directed film! And thanks to a music video titled “《饕餮》” - which literally translates to “Gluttonous”, it tied in to my earlier research for the beasts, AND provide us tons of footage of said beasts - from CGI-rendering to final visuals!
But first, let’s have a look at the trailer again:
SYNOPSIS: "In the battle for humanity, an elite force makes a heroic stand atop the Great Wall of China to combat an army of monsters. The monster is identified as the Taotie, a beast of great greed from ancient Chinese mythology. A horde of monsters creep up on the wall every 60 years forcing the army to defend it." (Wiki)
With the creature “identified” as a “Taotie”, I’d searched for the origin of the moniker, and even a visual, to be met with this:
WHAT-IS: ”The Taotie is a mysterious monster in ancient Chinese mythology. It is said that the monster was extremely greedy of eating and would eat anything within its sight. It even ate its own body. So, the image of the taotie is just a big head and a big mouth without body. The taotie ate too much and died as a result. The monster then became a symbol of greediness and was used to describe people too gluttonous or too greedy.And so the word “gluttonous” ties the origins in to the music video title! And while I’ve yet to read about the “official” description of the beast from the feature film, here are some screensnaps of the four-legged beast of gluttony from the MV (posted at bottom of this post).
There's a ferocious animal motif often found in ritual vessels of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. The fierce-looking beast is mysterious and terrifying. And some beasts even hold a human head in the mouth. Things adorned with such a motif have a deterrent effect, symbolizing the power of a ruler. The motif was called "taotie pattern" by later generations.
According to other legends, the taotie was the fifth of the nine sons of the dragon and it was said to be a big eater and fond of eating human beings. Actually, the taotie was an abstract expression of the dark side of ancient society. The monster was used to symbolize the barbarian slave society, which was the most important connotation of the ancient taotie culture. ” (Above Images & text via cultural-china.com)
TAOTIE CONCEPT & CG
TAOTIE TRANSFORM? or MV Effects only?
Looking at these images, especially those in reference to the cage with the iron bars … makes me wonder if the creatures might actually have been bipedal human beings, morphed into four-legged beasts? Or maybe it’s just music video aesthetics and “creative” imagery hahahaha
And there seems to be two types of species? One with “wings” on their backs … but both seem to bleed “green blood” … a metaphor for “greenback money”? LOL
TAOTIE Vs MATT DAMON
TAOTIE HEAD DETAILS
TAOTIE Shoulder Eyes