11 Good Monster Movies

Friday, January 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Good monster movies can spotlight bizarre creatures of normal size, but they’re just as likely to include giant beasts capable of flattening a tank with their foot. Everyone knows about King Kong and Godzilla, but I’ve also tried to include a few that might’ve flown under your radar.

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King Kong (1933) – When it comes to good monster movies from America, this tale of a giant ape taken from his home on Skull Island has to be right at the top. After falling under the spell of “the beauty” (Fay Wray), he’s taken to New York and promptly runs amok. After all these years, the climactic showdown atop the Empire State Building still remains iconic.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) – Curious scientists travel into the Amazon and run afoul of the Gill-man, a missing link between land and sea creatures. Like many monster movies, the creature has no problem killing men, but he gets all obsessed with the lovely white gal. While he appears to die in the end, Gill-man would return in 1955’s Revenge of the Creature.

Gojira (1954) – Godzilla is the most famous movie monster in the world, and it all started in this film. A cautionary tale about the effects of weapons of mass destruction, the Japanese film was originally released as Gojira, then edited to include Raymond Burr and released in the U.S. as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! in 1956. I highly recommend that you see them both.

Tremors (1989) – Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon team up as a couple of small-town hayseeds who take on a horde of underground predators dubbed “Graboids.” The film has a lighter tone than many of the good monster movies on this list, but it’s still worth a look, especially for a scene in which Reba McEntire and Michael Gross lay waste to one of the creatures with their stockpile of weapons.

The Host (2006) – The highest-grossing South Korean film ever made, The Host follows a mundane family’s attempt to rescue a relative from the clutches of a monster living in a nearby river. Equal parts comedy, drama, and horror, The Host is not your usual monster movie. Starring Song Kang-ho, who seems ever-present in most South Korean films released in the United States.

Mighty Joe Young (1949) – A giant ape is taken from his home in Africa to perform at a nightclub in Hollywood. After getting drunk one night, he goes on a rampage and causes much damage. As a result, the court orders him shot. Will he get gunned down like a dog, or will he find a chance to redeem himself? Highly influential in the realm of special effects, it was created by the same people responsible for King Kong.

Cloverfield (2008) – The newest of the good monster movies on this list, Cloverfield follows the rampage of an alien creature through the streets of Manhattan. As the military tries their best to stop the creature, a group of yuppies is caught in the middle. Luckily, they’ve got a video camera with them. Created by J.J. Abrams, a sequel to this monster film is inevitable, especially considering that it grossed over $170 million on a $25 million budget.

Them! (1954) – The first “giant bug” film ever made, Them! was also one of the first movies to deal with creatures mutated by radiation. That might not seem too important now, but remember that this film came out less than a decade after the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. James Whitmore (the old prisoner from The Shawshank Redemption) stars, and the “them” of the title refers to a nest of giant ants on a rampage. Time to break out those Thompson machine guns, boys.

Eight Legged Freaks (2002) – If you enjoy Them!, you’ll want to check out this modern-day “giant bug” movie featuring spiders who grow to immense size after being exposed to nuclear waste. They quickly descend on the mining town of Prosperity, Arizona and begin killing or harvesting the locals. This enjoyable horror/comedy films stars David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Doug E. Doug, and a very young (and busty) Scarlett Johansson.

Destroy All Monsters (1968) – The ninth film of the Toho Godzilla era, this movie takes place at the end of the 20th century, when all the planet’s monsters have been rounded up and confined to Monster Island. But when female aliens show up and take control of the island’s staff, the monsters get look and begin attacking destinations around the globe. You’ll get to see Godzilla in action, as well as Rodan, Mothra, Gorosaurus, Minilla, Anguirus, Kumonga, Baragon, Varan, Manda, and King Ghidorah. A must-see for true fans of good monster movies.

Mothra (1961) – When an isolated island is discovered to be the home of two women the size of fairies, it’s not long before a sleazy opportunist grabs them and makes them perform in Tokyo. This doesn’t sit well with the island’s deity, a gigantic moth by the name of Mothra. The creature arrives on the mainland and promptly starts tearing the city apart in a search for her worshippers.

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In addition to this list of good monster movies, here are a few other recommendations:

This entry was posted on Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 2:07 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “11 Good Monster Movies”

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January 7, 2010

Matthew C. Kriner

I simply wanted to add a comment here to say thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming therefore I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and carry on You’ll defintely reach your goals! have a great day!

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