Whether you are a new comer or an old hat, you gottta give it up for horror’s giant monsters. Maybe it originates from the “Jack and the Bean Stalk” days or simply seeing a gorilla climb one of America’s largest buildings. Who’s to say. For me, it was those crazy Asians and their monster suits stomping over buildings and electric cables. Still till this day we are fascinated with things that appear very large in the horror genre circuit. Really that idea seems to have come full circle again in the 21st century. Below are some of our top picks for various reasons. There are alot of gems here that deserve a good viewing. So when you look out your window and see a gigantic eye staring back at ya….well its probably time to move.
(not in ranking order)
1- Cloverfield (2008)
“Cloverfield” did something that few release ever accomplish, It seeded a huge interest in the horror community while on press restriction till release. Groves flocked just out of curiosity to see what the hell this was. Even when we did se what it was, …well we weren’t quite sure. ‘Cloverfield” used found footage and giant monsters making it a market savvy hybrid ready to satisfy its core audience. The film was deemed a huge success and uses some of the biggest green screen work I’ve seen to date.
2- King Kong (2005)
While I was awed by the 1933 version, and then re-awed by the 1976 version, it was the 2005 version of King Kong that put a smile back on my face realizing that King Kong was forever to be part of my horror film history. This film was so well made centering on a lost island gorilla that it gave the whole King Kong franchise a reboot.
3- Big Man Japan (2007)
Man, this film is pure sappy giant creature excellence. “Big Man Japan” is the hero of the film who grows to huge proportions in order to take on the weird scifi like creatures that attack Japan. The film has a variety of weird monsters that pay tribute to its roots. Its quite good, quite silly, and quite impressive all rolled into one. Don’t leave this one off your list….in fact buy a copy , it’s worth it.
4- The Troll Hunter (2010)
A film that crosses over into several categories such as fantasy, horror and even cinema verite footage genres is truly an original idea that makes great use of old lore with a modern take. The hunting of trolls and troll types makes for a innovative approach. Most noted is the great blending of these giant creatures within cam footage making for a surreal experience. I loved this film the moment it hit my player, and truly is a must see.
5- The Host (Gwoemul) (2006)
The Host got alot of press. But if you’ve given this a whirl its really a great monster flick. The CGI was cleverly woven in making the cinema experience of this believable. This hosty creature is bizarre and is more bizarre to see interacting with real situations. Asian films have not made many new claims to giant monster films, though Host is one worth the wait.
6- The Blob (1958) (1988)
The blob…..the blob………what a unique way to make a bag of slimy puss appear scary and menacing. The original was a great classic of its time, the remake really gave it a boost. There are plans for another remake, but we have the 2 to get our blob fix for now. That final act made the film as its oozed out of the theatre doors in pursuit of a movie house full of poor souls. Who’d have thought a red bugar could be effective??
7- Megashark VS Giant Octopus (2009) (and related films that followed)
There are actually several big monster films that have come along. “Megashark VS” Giant Octopus”: was a trendsetter that began the whole slew of giant modern monster films. I could easily fill this list with them involving snakes, gators, and alligators, though the shark seemed to get the most attention. The film is campy and unbelievable providing some great entertainment that’s fun to watch while pushing the envelope
8- Anaconda (1997)
I still call this a classic when others have dismissed it entirely. Anaconda uses the famed giant snake that works extremely well with its all star cast. The CGI was current for its time entraining enough folks to warrant a number of sequels to its name. I don’t seem to tire of this one, as where many others leave me bored. For its contribution I had to include it as a top giant monster film.
9- Godzilla (1954)
Nope not the Matthew Broderick version…the original incarnation which forever changes the horror film industry. Godzilla was to Japan like hot dogs are to America. It may have been a man in suite, but to us children of this era, its was pure awesomeness in the form of a giant lizard dinosaur creature. It even got a Blue Oyster cult song named after it. Show respect to the roots…..show respect to the zilla.
Update: New Entry – Godzilla (2014)
10- The Mist (2007)
A bad ass Stephen King film that made great use of monsters hiding in foggy places. The film really brought its A-game while using giant creatures to its advantage. Those spiders were sure nasty but the giant Mantis thing was bizarrely massive. This film really puts the scare back into things of large origin.
11- Jurassic Park I (1993) II, III
These of course are dinosaurs but they provided some of the great monsters within giant monster history within each of the films plotlines. Dinosaurs became scary and magical really pulling in the box office numbers and thrilling countless drives of drooling fan boys and prehistoric consumers.
12- Clash of the Titans (2010) | Green Lantern (2011) | Ghost Busters (1984) | Reign of Fire (2002) | Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1954)Clash of the Titans is forever remember for its final 3r act that unleashed the power of the Kraken. I’m gonna have to pass on the earlier version of this in 1981 and give kudos to its remake which did a much better job at this. Clash of the Titans had a few different large creatures in it, but the Kraken was the ultimate bad guy. “Green Lantern” ushered in a monster of celestial proportions called Parallax. I figured it was at least worth mentioning. “Ghost busters”…..we can’t forget the marshmallow man, can we??? “Reign of Fire”…one of the more cooler dragon films to surface. My favorite for dragon films. And of course that dreaded killer sea monster that attacks the sub…damn squids.
13- Tremors (1990) | Dune (1984)
Giant Sand worms became somewhat of a trend. In the case of “Tremors” if became a franchise. We have to give kudos though to the “Dune” Worm which obviously inspired the “Tremors” worm. We even got a brief appearance of it in the “BeetleJuice” film. Giant sand worms are scary as you never know when they are gonna strike. Personally the concept takes me back to the film “Blood Beach“.
14- The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad take us back to the year 1958 heralded with the magical powers of FX wizard Ray Harryhausen. his use of stop motion created a look that had not been experienced yet giving birth to the first bitch ass looking Cyclops. There were of course some other cool monster within this classic masterpiece, but the Cyclops was the fuel that pushed the future of film into a new era.
15- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka The Smog Monster) (1971), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Son of Godzilla (1967)
I was first turned on to this in the 70’s when I was a child. It seemed magical at the time, when film was still trying to evolve. This was a theatre showing for me which advertised under the name of Gozilla vs the Smog Monster”. It’s one of the more off beat inclusions into the Godzilla franchise making it a original piece on its own. Gozilla VS. Megalon was another on my list at the time, though I can only take so much……final word……Johnny Socko and the Giant Robot, enuff said!
Top 15 Giant Monster Movies