Mutant space worm
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But you should hear his theory about mutant space worms.
The mutant space worm is not directly named in the film; its moniker comes from one of Howard Stambler's conspiracy theories, as explained by Emmett before its existence is known to the characters. In another conversation, Howard speculates that the invaders are Martians, although this is never confirmed. Character designer Kurt Papstein referred to two early concepts for the creature as "Roach" and "Leech."
According to 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, the design of the mutant space worm was inspired by the Gears of War franchise. Concept art of the creature was submitted by Tim Napper, Luke Fisher, Jerad Marantz, Kurt Papstein, Raul Dominguez, and Jake Lunt Davies; its final look appears to draw inspiration from Fisher's and/or Davies' designs. Originally, the Space Worm was to attack Michelle one more time after she destroyed the spaceship, but a test audience rejected it as overkill.
The alien is a quadruped creature with hexagonal-shaped, grey, metallic armor. It has slender arms that end in three fingers and long hind legs. The head appears to be a nonexistent stub at first, but can open up into a false mouth which its true head comes out of. The true head is pale and leach-like, with two pairs of fang-like structures on its top and bottom.
Though the connection between them is left ambiguous, the mutant space worm and the alien spaceship which housed it were both designed to look like "manufactured organics."
The destruction of Howard's bunker attracted the attention of an alien spaceship, which dropped down a mutant space worm to investigate. Michelle was unable to start Howard's truck, and trying to open his neighbor's nearby car only set off its alarm. Hiding from the creature in a shed, she found the neighbor's remains and used her keys to distract the monster. As she ran towards the house, the mutant space worm chased her for a time, then withdrew as the craft returned to spray her with toxic gas. She survived by putting the mask of her makeshift hazmat suit back on. Once the gas dissipated, the mutant space worm attacked again, removing her mask as she tried to hide in the truck. It retreated again, this time for good, after the spaceship extended a pair of tentacles to lift the truck off the ground.
Once the mutant space worm presses its mouth up against an object, it can extend its teeth all at once. It used this technique to puncture and remove Michelle's mask.
- Main article: Mutant space worm/Gallery.
The mutant space worm's roar drew upon recordings of whales, dolphins, bats, sea lions, camels, and lions.
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