Name your favourite giant monster movie.
Well, I’m fond of the GODZILLA series and still have a great fondness for the original B&W version (the Japanese one, not the Raymond Burr recut).
The Giant Gila Monster tied with War of the Gargantuas.
For me, there’s only one true King of the Monsters, and that’s Godzilla. I’m sorry to say that I had never seen the original Japanese cut of Gojira until it finally got a limited American release four years ago. But if the only version you’ve seen is the one with Raymond Burr, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The original 1954 Gojira is a stark, nightmarish vision of terror bred from Japan’s real-life terror of the atom bomb. As much as I love the later Godzilla entries for their kitsch value, the first movie is in a totally different category, a high-quality film that stands the test of time.
Not GODZILLA, but the original Japanese monster movie with the wonderful subplots that were left out of the “Americanized” version. All in glorious, sometimes overexposed black & white.
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Between Shelob, the mûmakil, the fell beasts, and the trolls, I’m going with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
My favorite giant monster movie? That’s hardly even a question. One of the old Toho classics, of course– I’ll just say 1954’s “Gojira” and be done with it.
That said, I’ll take the opportunity to suggest an underrated success from recent years: 2002’s “Eight-Legged Freaks.” It’s not a great movie by any means, but man, is it fun. Somebody clearly said “You know, it’s been way too long since anybody made a giant spider movie,” and then proceeded to do just that. It’s a terrific throwback to the golden era of monster movies, updated just enough to keep things interesting. The script even manages to be clever in its awareness and exploitation of different species of spiders and their various behaviors and hunting methods. The set piece with a gang of jumping spiders chasing down kids on dirt bikes is a hoot. Highly recommended.
I’m gonna have to go with the 50 Ft Woman in ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN, if purely for sexual curiosity. She’s 50-feet tall, so her vagina has got to be, what, at least three feet tall and about, spread out, three feet wide, right? And I’m sure that it will take a midget, darting his body in an out rapidly, to give her any sort of pleasure. Let’s not even get into her clitoris, which has got to at least be the size of a softball. And what about if she decides to shave it all clean, porno-style? Surely she could donate the hair to a charity that makes wigs for kids with cancer.
Hmm…why doesn’t someone make this movie?
My initial response was Gojira, the original Japanese version of Godzilla King of the Monsters. However, after a little more consideration, I have to go with 1954’s Them! Them! rates at least a few notches higher than your standard giant bug flick for its intelligent dialog and above par acting. It’s also the original radiation-mutated monster movie. Today, many aspects of the film seem cliche, but that’s only because Them! has been emulated so often.
Although I really really liked Cloverfield, the only correct answer to this question is the original King Kong. It’s 75 years old this year and it still retains every bit of power it must’ve had when it first came out. That that tiny little model was able to get across, and still does, so much emotion, so much pathos, still astonishes me. And you can’t go wrong with dinosaur-fights, like, ever.
I have the sudden urge to say Cloverfield because frankly, the movie kicks some serious ass and it should be viewed in a theater more then once. I’ll also add that anyone who doesn’t like Cloverfield should have their giant monster movie watching privileges revoked permanently. Now that I’ve got my “Ain’t it Kewl” headline out of the way, I’ll mention the original Godzilla film since it will probably always reign supreme as the ultimate giant monster movie in my mind, but The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and It Came from Beneath the Sea both come damn close to beating it. Cloverfield will probably also be a favorite someday, but I need a few more years to enjoy it before I allow it to enter my pantheon of favorite films.
Well, I’m glad somebody mentioned King Kong. Huge thanks to all the contributors to this week’s edition of the Horror Roundtable, and if you get a chance please name your favourite kaiju in the comments below.2088