Next week Paramount Pictures unleashed JJ Abrams’ love letter to giant monster movies, Cloverfield, which is quickly becoming the most anticipated movies in years. Who knows if the movie will be any good, but the fun is really the “event” surrounding the release. Here at B-D we’re big fans of giant monster movies so to prep for the release we’ll be watching dozens of them over the course of the next week. For those of you who aren’t well versed Slice and I compiled a list of our “Must-See Giant Monster Movies.” Read on to see what we recommend you check out before the big event next weekend – Cloverfield.
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Godzilla (Gojira) 1954
American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.
Q – The Winged Serpent
Truly the perfect appetizer to Cloverfield, this 1982 Larry Cohen flick features a resurrected Aztec God named Quetzalcoatl (the titular serpent) flying all over New York City and biting people’s heads off. The only people that can stop it are a rag tag group that includes Richard Roundtree and David Carradine. It’s gory, horrific and laced with humor, so why aren’t you watching this yet?
The ultimate hybrid of King Kong and Godzilla, this 1961 film finds a group of treasure hunters battling a 65 foot tall reptilian creature off the coast of Ireland that was awoken by a volcanic eruption. The real fun begins when Gorgo is captured and taken to a circus in London, triggering its full grown mother to seek her offspring and terrorize the city. The destruction level is huge in this one as everything from destroyer ships to Big Ben gets demolished.
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster/Godzilla vs. Hedorah
The 11th Godzilla movie has always stood out for its weirdness. One can imagine people were pretty pissed off by this film at the time of release but today, it stands as one the most unique films in the series. The big green guy fights an alien named Hedorah that feeds off of pollution and unabashedly kills humans, which is surprisingly rare in Godzilla films. The songs, score, and hippie involvement are all sort of left field but pretty entertaining today. Come for the sweet nightclub scenes and animated sequences and stay for the awesome Godzilla vs. Hedorah battle at Mt. Fuji.
Destroy All Monsters
One of the more famous monster movies in general, this 1968 Godzilla movie takes place in the distant future of 1999 and features 11 monsters doing their thing! Godzilla attacks NYC in this one so there’s your Cloverfield connection and there’s a monster battle royale at Mt. Fuji (sense a theme?).
If the Jaws 2 riffing tagline “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – you can’t get to it.” Isn’t reason enough to make you watch this, what if you were informed that people get killed by sand in this movie? There’s some twists, turns, and John Saxon, but let’s just say by the end of the film it certainly qualifies as a monster movie.
The Mighty Peking Man
A funny/amazing 1976 Shaw Bros. movie that would probably best be described as the nutty cousin of King Kong.
Frankenstein Conquers the World
From the director of the original Godzilla film, comes a story about a giant version of Frankenstein forced to defend his name and honor against a Godzilla-type monster named Baragon.
All Monsters Attack!
The perfect DVD to play during your pre-Cloverfield party (who ISN’T having one?), this is a collection of trailers for all kinds of old school monster movies ranging from the known (King Kong, Godzilla) to the very unknown. Pop this in, grab a beer, and celebrate the return of giant monsters to the big screen.
DAINIPPONJIN is like that Japanese candy that comes in a fun box. The exterior is simply eye catching, wacky and fun, but the bulk of the contents in just OK… not quite the best candy you ever had – but it will do!
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.
The Deadly Mantis
A prehistoric giant praying mantis attacks North America.
When a village is besieged by giant caterpillars, a more horrifying discovery is made in their underground home…a giant flying creature that resembles the prehistoric pterodactyl. Soon after, a second Rodan appears and the two monsters begin to destroy Japan.
Old school vs new school Godzilla, madness from start to finish. This is one of the most insane and interesting of the modern monster movies.
Godzilla , Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Three ancient guardian beasts awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla
King Kong (1933/1976/2005)
A giant ape, greedy Americans and a dinosaur battle in the jungle… what more could you want?
The Blob (1958/1988)
Two incredible monster movies about… goo, a giant pile of slime that eats people. Both films are a blast to watch and are a good variant to the more “physical” monsters.