By Michael Obrecki
Halloween is just around the corner! Along with all of the blood and guts in movies let’s not forget about the “monster.” From Dracula to the mad doctor and Dr. Frankenstein, monsters come in all shapes and forms. The following is devoted to the bottom of the bloody barrel types of monsters. So let’s stop the pleasantries and slice our way in to my personal list of monster movies.
THE GIANT CLAW (1953)
Let’s start out with a classic! The Giant Claw is about a giant bird that terrorizes the world. Still with me? The bird which never gets a catchy name is described throughout the entire movie…countless times…numerous times…like seriously a million times as “as big as a battleship.” I’m not sure if the writers figured this was an amazing line but they sure do want the audience to remember it. The film is plagued with stock footage and overall there were sub par special effects even for that period of time. Now, let’s talk about the monster. It is one of funniest looking monsters of all time. The actors had no idea what the bird would look like when they were shooting and that’s what makes the movie hilarious. Seeing the actors try to do their best and then seeing the monster is pure comedy. The lead actor Jeff Morrow first saw the film in his hometown. Whenever the monster appeared on screen the audience would laugh. Morrow was so disappointed he left the screening and went home to drink. The Giant Claw was one of the first in it’s genre and should be respected for that.
Robot Kong (King Kong Escapes 1967)
After the success of Godzilla vs. King Kong in 1962, King Kong was set to have another stand alone movie. Hmm… King Kong…who should we have him fight…how about ROBOT KONG! While I laugh at the idea, I laugh at how it was executed not the actual idea. King Kong vs. a robot version of himself? I’d pay for that over and over again. Evil Dr. Who…wait..what!? So yes, Evil Dr. Who creates Mechani-Kong aka Robot Kong. Dr. Who wants Robot Kong to dig for Element X. What’s Element X? It is brilliant Sci-Fi writing. Now moving on. Robot Kong malfunctions so Dr. Who traps King Kong and uses mind control to force Kong to dig for Element X. The movie ends with a battle between Robot Kong and King Kong. The reason this movie fails is because we wait the entire film for this battle and its over before you finish your popcorn. Some movies beg for a remake but this film isn’t one of those. Oh and by the way if you think the Dr. Who thing is weird, King Kong is supposedly a creation of Dr. Frankenstein but we’ll get to that another day.
I was so excited for this movie. Finally an American monster that rivals Godzilla. How will it look? What power will it have? Will it fight another monster? We get none of that in this movie. What we got was another fake boring American monster that plays hide and seek with the audience for 2 hours. A lot of people had problems with the shaking camera but it didn’t effect me. In American monster movies the humans are the main focus but there is a way of mixing human screen time with monster screen time. I bought a ticket to Cloverfield to see a monster blow stuff up! Godzilla has been doing that for over 60 years. I guess America didn’t get the message. Does anyone even know how the monster looks? The only full body picture I found was that of a toy. Hedorah (Godzila vs Hedorah 1971)
When I was younger there was no way for me to see every Godzilla movies. So when I got older I marathoned through all of them. This movie was a hard one to get through. Let’s talk about Hedorah what is it…? Well its.. and I swear I’m not making this up…Hedorah is pollution. He is sewage, dirt and everything else you can imagine. This continued the “hey humans are destroying the world message” which works great considering Godzilla is a symbol of nuclear destruction. The entire movie is as if you’re watching something on acid. Contrasting colors, jump cuts, and hypnotically bad music. There is even a scene with no audio at all. If you want to show your friend a bad movie this is it, although Godzilla does blow Hedorah into a million pieces which is pretty cool.
Zilla (Godzilla 1998)
I can’t even describe how excited I was for this movie. My favorite monster coming to America! Then I saw it. If only Shakespeare was alive to see such a tragedy. Hamlet himself would cry in the face of this movie. The dead and the dying, the meek and weak wouldn’t enjoy this movie if their life depended on it. First off, the movie uses Simpsons characters. Mayor Quimby, Mr. Burns, Kent Brockmen, and Arnie Pye all make appearances under different names of course. The fact that the directors and writers used Simpson characters blow my mind. Let’s talk about the monster. He’s pathetic. He eats fish, has babies, and plays hide and seek with the army. The monster is so bad that Toho the company that created the Godzilla official renamed the American 1998 version, Zilla. Why do I watch a Godzilla movie? To watch Godzilla fight monsters, destroy a city and breath atomic breath. The worst part – Zilla dies! WHAT! This is a true abomination of the greatest movie monster of all time. If you want a laugh search online for the script to the sequel that never happened. Spoiler! Our main character choose to love Zilla more than his wife.
Hope you enjoyed my list! There are many more monsters we could talk about but for now go home put on Godzilla vs. King Kong or Human Centipede and enjoy.
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