Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Top Ten Movie Monsters

With Halloween being the time of year when all the ghosts, goblins and monsters come out to play and as films are a big passion of mine, I decided I would share a list of my top ten favorite movie monsters. This is just my personal preference so is only based on my personal opinion. After writing a long list, I then had to whittle it down to ten. Some of the monsters were easy to decide on. But for some it was hard to decide on which to keep and which to discard. So without any further delay here is my list of my favorite ten movie monsters.

10. KING KONG (1933)

When King Kong came out in 1933, it featured some new and innovative techniques to world of movie making. For me, I like King Kong but the reason for him appearing on my list is actually for the influence he had on the movie world. This groundbreaking film influenced many people who would go on to be successful in movie making. The most famous of which is Peter Jackson (Lord of the rings) who went on to remake King Kong in his vision whilst staying faithful to the original. Another person who this film influenced was Eiji Tsuburaya. After seeing this film in Japan, Tsuburaya decided he wanted to create a monster like King Kong. He eventually went on to work for Toho films and helped to create Godzilla. Although King Kong was not the first ever movie monster, he definitely set the bench mark for all monsters that came after.


What is not to love about a giant, singing, man-eating plant from space? The songs from little shop of horrors are camp, catchy and fun. The cast is full of cameos of big name actors but the star of the show is the giant plant that lives in the corner of a failing flower shop. This plant shows that if you can sing then you don't always have to smash everything in sight to be an awesome monster.


I have always been a fan of mythology and at a young age was amazed at the great effects in the 1981 film: Clash of the titans. But it was Medusa that had the most lasting effect on me. The tone set in the film and the visual effects scared me as a child. The story of Medusa is actually a tragic one. She was once a beautiful maiden of Athena until she was raped by Poseidon. She was then cursed by Athena and turned into a Gorgon and banished to earth. With her back story, it makes her character scarier as it is understandable why she is so hate filled. With hair made from snakes and the ability to turn you to stone when she looks you in the eye, she is one monster that has always fascinated me.


Predator really needs no introduction. I remember watching this film with my brother one night while my parents were asleep. We had turned the TV on and had the volume down low so we didn't wake them. Watching this alien stalk commandos in the jungle while picking them off one by one was really exciting. Waiting to see how he was going to take the next victim was brilliant and as he had cloaking device that made him invisible, only getting glimpses of him throughout the film added to the anticipation of seeing what he really looked like. Finally, right near the end of the film, we get to see the Predators face and seeing the detail and the realism was definitely worth the wait. Since his original outing in 1987, Predator has had two sequels, comic books and computer games. There has even been Alien vs Predator crossovers. This is a monster that has garnered a cult following.


So maybe Sully isn't the scariest monster on this list. But he is still a monster so qualifies none the less. Although Monsters Inc starts with Sully being the top scarer and a monster that takes pride in making children cry, we soon learn that really he is just a big softy at heart. Being a fan of both monsters and Disney, Sully brings both worlds together so is a natural selection as one of my favorite monsters.


The Rancor, seen in Star wars: Return of the Jedi is only in the film for about five minutes. But that was all it took for the monster to become a favorite of mine. The way the iron gate opens upwards to slowly revel the monster added suspense to the scene. What helped make this monster for me were the moments after he dies. Seeing the handlers run into the enclosure crying over the death of the creature they have loved and looked after gave this monster some depth and showed that he wasn't just a mindless monster. It gave you the impression that despite his size and look, he was loved as someone would love their pet and just because he was used for evil intentions, it didn't necessarily make him an evil monster.


I remember the first time I saw Gremlins. I was round my friend's house and he said it was a funny horror film. At the time I wasn't sure what he meant but after watching it, I understood completely. This is a film that knows how to be original while playing on old clich s and manages to have fun at the same time. It even goes so far that it points out its own plot holes in the sequel but does so without taking away from the films integrity. Although they are evil and mean-spirited, the way they go about it, you can't help but enjoy watching all their wrong doings.


I was in two minds over including the T-Rex. I wasn't sure if she really qualified as a monster as she was a real creature once. But after some Googling, I was reassured that she is indeed a movie monster. As I have never grown out of loving dinosaurs, I was always going to love the T-Rex. When I watch Jurassic park, I find myself rooting for the dinosaurs. But the way the T-Rex was introduced in the first film made it all the more awe-inspiring. We get hints about the T-Rex from the start when Hammond mentions the speed she can run. We get teased with her initial appearance only for her to no-show when she doesn't fall for the goat being used as bait. Then, in the dark to a backdrop of rain and thunder we finally get teased that she is coming when we see the water rippling due to vibrations. Then she finally appears and the build up gets the pay off it deserves. This scene is one of my favorite scenes in any film and the initial appearance of the T-Rex is something I still enjoy seeing.


I know that Stay puft doesn't look like a monster but when something has been manifested by a demonic deity, it isn't here to give you a cuddle. The first time I saw Stay puft I fell in love with him and to this day he is not just one of my favorite movie monsters, but one of my favorite movie characters. I still don't like watching him get toasted by the Ghostbusters and the look on his face is one of pain. He has become an iconic character and as he is made entirely of marshmallows, he is definitely a monster with a difference.


I want to make things clear from the start. When I talk about Godzilla, I am not referring to the 1998 Tri-star attempt. I am only talking about the Toho monster. Godzilla made his first appearance in 1954 and the film had very dark undertones. With Japan still reeling from the atomic bombs, this film struck a chord with the Japanese population. Originally called Gojira, he was created from nuclear radiation. It wasn't until America changed the film to appeal to an American audience by adding scenes of Raymond Burr (Ironside) that his name was changed to Godzilla. People often mock Godzilla due to the lack of computer effects with Toho choosing to stick to the man in a rubber suit approach. But for me, this has been vital in helping Godzilla to keep his appeal for 59 years. The detail that goes into making the models and the art of walking and staging the fight scenes in the suit goes unappreciated in my opinion. Having spawned 28 films, comics, cartoon series, and video games surely makes Godzilla the most successful monster of all time and is the reason why he has earned the nickname "the king of the monsters".
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment