I finally got around to seeing the original Gojira,
and I realize why it's become such an amazing pop culture icon. Not just because of the amazing monster, or the revolutionary effects, but because of how it was portrayed. The coolest monster in the worst movie could make it completely useless. But when you put a badass like Godzilla in a movie that heavy, it just works. So, out of my own entertainment, I give you my absolute favorite monsters. So, without further ado, I present:
HITCHCOCK'S TOP 10 MONSTERS
An obvious choice, of course. Now, there have been many presentations of the count, but my personal favorite will always be Bela Lugosi, just because I've got a sweet spot for old films. Something about the black and white, scratchy feeling just seems more fitting than the bright red blood and higher quality film of any remake. Albeit, Christopher Lee scared the crap out of me.9) The Thing
So I'm expecting some flack because this guy's number nine, but there's a level where ultraviolence goes from being complementary to just nauseating. Not to imply the film was bad, the monster wasn't good, or the violence hurt the film in any way. I just couldn't handle it. I am of the faint of heart, and this film was just scary as balls. But the monster, having no constant form, was only really scary, not the kind of thing that leaves an impact on the world, and will be on t-shirts, in toy stores, on caps, or in the Simpsons. It was a good scary movie, but the monster, scary as it may be, didn't stick with me like others did.8) Frankenstein's Monster
Well, I loved the book. And like what reading Jurassic Park
did to the film, the book made me feel like the film could've been more. And the remake just was overdone. Somebody should remake this and get a better, darker cinematographer. I felt like the remake was a comedy. And I have my qualms with Kenneth Brannagh, but that's a story for another day. Now, I can't say that the film was bad. In fact, like I Am Legend
and others, it took a book and just got inspired. Which does make the screenwriter more original than a carbon copy. My feelings for Jurassic Park
(the film) were changed because it held back, while this film simply went in another direction. The reason, in the end, this monster is higher up is because he's not menacing. Unlike in the book, he's a good guy, just misunderstood. While, in the book, the same could be argued, I think willfully murdering a man's loved ones out of revenge is a lot more evil, even if justified.7) Alien
At this point, the choices get hard. It's almost a seven way tie for first, but I managed to try and split them up properly. This isn't so much the Alien from the film by Ridley Scott, nor any sequel, but aliens in general. It just seems fitting to have this, one of the most original concepts, as the covergirl of the monster. Now, I know the arguments (but technically ___ is an alien, too), and this is the difference: I mean the stereotypical, human scale evildoer from another world. This concept has always been a favorite of mine, and I can't place my finger on the distinction, so I'm just going to sidestep that and explain my fascination. I'm not the type of guy who thinks that these slimy green men have come and are coming every day to our planet. I do, as a logical man, believe that somewhere in the vast, undiscovered universe, there are other life forms. Not in this galaxy, but somewhere. And the idea of a chance meeting with these menacing creatures hellbent on destruction (ET ain't got shit on these mofos) is something so great, that any film that does it well gets a special place in my heart. I own Plan 9 from Outer Space
. That's all that needs to be said. Love that film.6) King Kong
This misunderstood gorilla is a combination of two of my favorite things:
1) He is a gorilla
2) He is in an old film
And there's more! In addition to gaining points for being revolutionary and classic in feel, this guy's a stop motion monster, one of my favorite forms of animation. This guy is one of the icons of American cinema, and also not just face value. Quentin Tarantino pointed out something about this film awhile ago in an interview (and implied in his new film Inglourious Basterds
) that I've always felt to be true: the film is almost a perfect analogy of what America did to African Americans (slavery, that is). Even so, the film does one thing that takes it down a few notches: the monster has a heart. Now, let's face it, every creature's got a soft side, but in this film, I always thought of him as the good guy (I think that's the point, but I never say I'm 100% on anything, because only the filmmakers know). And, as amazing a film and a monster he may be (or the film may be) that does hurt his placement on this list. I also think the seventies remake was terrible, but the Peter Jackson one was a pretty great show of how to take something old and make a respectable retelling that only helps the film by doing what they couldn't do back in the day. However, the original wasn't half a day long, so it is my favorite. I don't dignify the sequels with a response.5) Gwoemul
This film was one of my favorite monster movies and quite possibly my favorite foreign film. The visual effects weren't the best they could be, but what frightens me most is that it's being remade in America. For those who haven't seen it, this film is firstly a monster movie and secondly a satire on America. The ending is amazingly dark (as many of these films' endings are, for dark endings are really my favorite kind) and the point is an insult to America's bureaucracy, so being remade in America will probably make it lose it's purpose. Worst of all, it may become a film that takes place in America, despite the fact that it has to do entirely with a controversy that took place in South Korea. If you guys recall the remake of Godzilla
, you'll remember why this is trouble brewing. But the original film is just amazing in every way, and that monster was just evil. Pure evil. And I've got a soft spot for sea creatures because I love the idea of how little of the underwater is known to us, making it the perfect place for a mystery.4) Loch Ness Monster
Now, I have no clue what the fuck's going on over in Scotland, and I'm not going to waste your time trying to give you my opinion, because I'm at a stage of indifference. Nonetheless, it's one of the greatest bits of folklore out there and it's a great spot for a mystery. Best of all, some great films have been made with this. My favorite is the mockumentary Incident at Loch Ness
with a great director, Werner Herzog. I highly recommend it. It goes from being a comedy into something amazingly different. Great writing.3) Cloverfield Monster
Spoiler alert, I guess. If you haven't seen it yet, you probably didn't get all mixed up in the hype in the first place, anyway. I did. This is one of my favorite films ever. A lot of people didn't get into the web-hype, but it was amazing marketing. And the film itself is just one of the best takes at the genre I've ever seen. I own this DVD and proudly view this as often as I can. It doesn't get old. TJ Miller is in a comedy with that Tropic Thunder kid. Might check that out.
This is obvious. The idea of a monster of sorts that can be used and reused in every single way, or the fact that the slowest of monsters will always, and I mean always catch you in the end. George Romero deserves a lifetime achievement award.
Everything about this is just great. It's on t-shirts, it's on baseball caps, there are still toys at the local Toys R Us. This guy is an icon. And the original film is so dark and heavy, it has a purpose but it's not preachy. I love this film. And this monster. Good night everybody.