Previously, on Boiling Point… I bitched about Hollywood not releasing enough horror movies in October. This week, I’m taking aim at them for not releasing any monster movies – pretty much ever. I’ve come to ask where all the monsters have gone.
Monster movies have a special place in any horror fan’s heart. Whether you’re a fan of giant mutated ants, hybrid beasts, strange aliens, or any crazy old weird thing someone dreamed up that crawled out of a swamp and raped a cheerleader, monsters are awesome. The bigger, badder, and bloodier the better.
It seemed for years that even if you weren’t looking for a monster, one would come out of the darkness and tear your face off. Nowadays, you’re hard pressed to get your shit packed in by a mythical beast even if you go defecating on Native American burial grounds.
Yes, of course some monster movies have come out in the last few years – even a few of them were big time movies. But overall, finding a true monster movie has been difficult and finding a good one has been nearly impossible. Defining a monster movie can be difficult, but let’s be clear – I don’t count vampires or zombies or Twilight werewolves. When I say monster, I don’t mean a mutated human a la I Am Legend, I mean a mutated human a la C.H.U.D. or a hybrid beast like in The Relic. Something animalistic with almost nothing relatable.
Theatrically speaking, the monster movies that come to mind over the last three or so years include Cloverfield, Piranha 3D, and Super 8. Yeah, two J.J. Abrams films, one that barely showed the monster and another that just made that same monster a lot smaller and showed him a few more times. Piranha 3D I guess counts, though that’s more of a monster sub-division since they’re just uglier, larger piranhas.
If you switch over to SyFy Channel, you get the great joy of watching shitty movies about MegaPythons, Wyverns, or MegaSharks and Sharktopusses. These are monstrous animals, and I’ll use them here because there aren’t a lot of examples of monster movies.
Expand to the DVD market and you find some good monster movies, like 2008’s Splinter or 2007’s Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, some okay ones like the Feast franchise or Outlander, and plenty of bad ones like Hyenas. Include foreign films that you later get from Netflix and you’ll find stuff like Monsters or Troll Hunter.
Sure, I’ve come up with a few titles to talk about – and most of them suck or are barely monster movies. Where are the cool ones?
I mentioned a few good ones earlier, and now I return to you with such enjoyable films as The Howling, Monster Squad, The Blob, Pitch Black, Basket Case, Tremors, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Host, Gremlins, Critters, Pumpkinhead or any number of others.
Monsters are cool. Monsters should be on the big screen. Again, if Hollywood only really cares about money, take a look at how much money can be generated when a monster movie gets good word of mouth like The Host or any of the other foreign films that gained a lot of traction. These movies don’t cost a lot to make and people want to see them. Monsters fascinate us. They can represent our greatest mistakes or just pure evil. There is no need to feel sorry for the monster – you can kill the fuck out of it for shits and giggles and just have a damn good time.
I personally love monsters – the creativity of the design, the mythology and backstory. When I find a cool looking monster toy or statue, I snap it up. If only there was some way to see these things on the big screen again.
So where are the monster movies? Where are the malicious, mean, killer monsters? The blind, ravenous pre-Cambrian worms or the swamp creature who lusts for women? Let’s move away from humans as monsters and boring ass, cliched, obvious allusions to our humanity and whatever other bullshit the zombie and vampire movies are trying to push on us.
Give me a big ass monster that is killing people because people fucking taste good. And when you make that movie, Hollywood, release it in October. Every time I go hunting for a monster movie, either I come up short or it does – and that’s pushing me past my boiling point.