In Star Trek from 2009, Spock (Zachary Quinto) maroons Kirk on a desolate planet where he is promptly set upon by a giant, Cloverfield-esque monster. That monster was created by creature guru Neville Page, who was tapped by J.J. Abrams for Cloverfield, Super8, the 2009 reboot Star Trek movie and its sequels.
Page draw inspiration from the jaws of anglerfish, the limbs of green tree frogs, and the inflating wattles of male frigate birds, according to an interview with Wired, Page notes that his otherworldly monsters are based in earthly biology. “If you know that,” he said, “your ability to manipulate it into something bizarre will still feel correct.”
The animal is named ‘Hengrauggi’ but was nicknamed by the crew as “Big Red” during the production, though it was also often referred to as a “lobster monster”.
“So developing the real threat was kind of interesting. J.J. had a [few] things that he was very specific about: he wanted it to be red in contrast to the snow, which I think was purely an aesthetic thing, he wanted hands that could reach out and grab Kirk. And he also wanted to have hundreds of eyes all over its head and body.”
– Page said in an interview with AWN.
In the scene in the clip above, the Hengrauggi chases Kirk into a cave where it wraps its whip-like protrusion around Kirk’s leg and proceeds to pull him towards its mouth. But before it could, however, it was repelled by a familiar character wielding a lit torch.
The guest appearance of Leonard Nimoy as Spock served as the connective tissue between “old” Trek and “new” Trek, and his scenes are among the best in the film, especially the sequences with Chris Pine.
The hengrauggi, or hengra, was a predatory creature native to the ice planet Delta Vega. It had three sets of limbs, two used for running and another smaller hand-like set. It had hundreds of eyes. They also had a protrusion which served as a whip which they could use to grasp their prey. They were capable of traveling and attacking from underwater.