With 2017's 89th Academy Awards having closed its doors for another year, unsurprisingly there were no #Oscars, let alone nominations, for films such as Sharkenstein, Jurassic Wars, Moth or Terror Birds (nope, I hadn't heard of them either). But what is it about creature features that make them so bad? Is it that the film community is now obsessed with not-so-special effects, or is it that the animatronics are more Razzie worthy than Oscar worthy?
Whatever the reason, these films often fall into the category of "so bad they're good" — but maybe not always.
Below is a list of 10 films, all of which utilize animatronics. How would they fare if their creatures were nominated for an Academy Award for Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role? Who would walk away with the Oscar, and who would just walk away with a goody bag?
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10. J. K. Simmons And Patricia Arquette Vs. Reanimated Zombie Rodents In Zombeavers
Ceremony: 87th Academy Awards in 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Winners: The big winner that night was Birdman, which took home four awards, while Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore picked up the top acting awards for The Theory of Everything and Still Alice, respectively.
One of the most bizarre films released that year, however, was #Zombeavers, which followed four college friends who retreat to a lakeside cottage before coming under attack by a colony of zombie beavers.
Over at the Academy Awards, #JKSimmons was picking up his Supporting Actor Oscar for Whiplash, whilst Patricia Arquette was accepting her Supporting Actress gong for Boyhood.
Who should've really won? Could there have been an upset if the animatronic Zombeavers was also up for the award? Absolutely not!
9. Robin Williams And Kim Basinger Vs. The Deadly Snake In Anaconda
Ceremony: 70th Academy Awards in 1998 at LA's Shrine Auditorium.
Winners: Titanic was the big winner, scooping about six million Oscars. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt picked up the lead acting awards for their starring roles in the romantic comedy-drama As Good as it Gets.
In the creature-feature horror genre, Columbia Pictures released #Anaconda, a movie that follows a documentary crew filming a long-lost Indian tribe on the Amazon River. After the team is taken hostage by a snake hunter in search of a legendary giant anaconda, the reptile decides he needs more screen time and so devours pretty much the entire cast.
Back on the safety of dry land, #RobinWilliams was accepting his Supporting Actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting, and Kim Basinger hers for LA Confidential.
Who should've really won? Could the slithering star beat these two when it came to top pick? Despite giving Jon Voight his comeuppance, the answer would be no.
You can watch a behind-the-scenes documentary below featuring the animatronic snake.
On a side note, the snake now adorns the entrance to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
8. Christian Bale And Melissa Leo Vs. Bloodthirsty Fish In Piranha 3D
Ceremony: The 83rd Academy Awards in 2011 took place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Winners: The King's Speech and Inception won four awards apiece, while The Social Network, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 won multiple awards, too.
Sharing the spotlight with these films was The Fighter, which picked up two Oscars for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
Who should've really won? Christian Bale and Melissa Leo were the recipients of these accolades, but would they have won their awards if the piranhas were also thrown into the supporting category? The answer is clearly no, even more so for the fact that personally, I was rather horrified that their first victim was clearly a send-up of Hooper from #Jaws, played in cameo by Hooper himself, Richard Dreyfus.
You can check out how they made the animatronic piranha's here.
7. Michael Caine And Angelina Jolie Vs. Killer Crocodile In Lake Placid
Ceremony: The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles was the scene of the crime for the 72nd Academy Awards in 2000.
Winners: Celebrating the best films of 1999, American Beauty and #TheMatrix were the big winners, picking up five and four Oscars, respectively.
Snagging the top acting awards were Kevin Spacey for American Beauty, and Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry, with Michael Caine and Angelina Jolie earning the Supporting Actor/Actress gongs for The Cider House Rules and Girl, Interrupted, respectively.
Who should've really won? Could the crocodile from Lake Placid come along and take a big bite out of one of these prestigious awards? Despite its three sequels, plus the 2015 mashup Lake Placid vs Anaconda, it's safe to say that Caine and Jolie needn't have worried.
6. Jason Robards Vs. Colossal Ape In King Kong
Ceremony: 49th Academy Awards, 1977.
Winner: Only a couple of days ago Faye Dunaway made headlines at this year's Oscars by declaring #LaLaLand the winner of Best Picture instead of #Moonlight, but in 1977 she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring turn in Network. Also for their performances in that movie, Peter Finch won the Oscar for Best Actor and Beatrice Straight for Supporting Actress.
Who should've really won? At the same ceremony, #KingKong was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, but could the big ape have pounded the chest of Best Supporting Actor winner Jason Robards for his role in All the President's Men? As this animatronic primate managed to pull at the heartstrings in one of the most novel of unrequited love stories in a horror movie, I would say it was a very close call.
5. Michael Caine Vs. Hideous Insect In The Fly
Ceremony: On March 30, 1987, the 59th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in LA.
Winners: Paul Newman, for The Color of Money, and Marlee Matlin, for Children of a Lesser God, took top acting honors that year. Scooping an Oscar for Best Makeup, #TheFly was directed by David Cronenberg and starred future nominee Jeff Goldblum (for the short film Little Surprises) and future winner Geena Davis (for The Accidental Tourist).
Who should've really won? The Best Supporting Actor award went to Caine for his role in Hannah and her Sisters, but would the animatronics used when Goldblum transformed into that hideous flying insect be good enough to beat Cain to the golden statuette? There's a pretty good buzz surrounding an upset.
4. Louis Gossett Jr. And Jessica Lange Vs. That Thing In The Thing
Ceremony: The 55th Academy Awards in 1983 marked an amazing year for the epic Gandhi, which managed to scoop an astonishing eight wins out of 11 nominations, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ben Kingsley.
Winners: Louis Gossett Jr. and Jessica Lange picked up the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards for An Officer and a Gentleman and Tootsie, respectively.
Who should've really won? Could the animatronic thing in The Thing crawl into the record books and beat one of these two stars to take the award? If you consider that Gossett Jr. picked up his Oscar within 12 months of starring as Calvin Bouchard in Jaws 3-D for which he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor, then perhaps the 1983 winners were a good choice after all.
3. Kevin Kline Vs. Chucky In Child's Play
Ceremony: In 1989, the 61st Academy Awards were held at the Shrine Auditorium.
Winners: Rain Man reigned supreme, winning four out of its eight categories, including Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman. While Kevin Kline was picking up his Supporting Actor Oscar for A Fish Called Wanda, there was a little doll who just wanted to be your friend 'til the end. Yep, in 1988, following his possession by a serial killer, poor little murderous #Chucky, with his cute dungarees and flaming red hair, decided to go on a knife-wielding rampage.
Who should've really won? If Chucky would have turned up to the Oscars with the hope of bagging himself a statuette, would he have managed to upset Kline to take the winnings? It's a close call. Not only did he scare the bejesus out of a generation, but Chucky also managed to incite a worldwide pediophobia epidemic. So in my estimation, the award would've been doled out to the little guy.
You can watch how animatronic Chucky was made here.
2. Dianne Wiest Vs. The Alien Queen In Aliens
Ceremony: The 59th Academy Awards in 1987.
Winners: Thirty years ago, #Platoon was the big winner of the night, taking home four Oscars — but a certain horror film called #Aliens didn't do too badly, either. After being nominated for a very impressive seven awards, it brought home two, for Sound Effects and Editing, and for Visual Effects.
Who should've really won? The alien queen remains one of horror's most notorious icons, having first appeared in the original film in the franchise, 1979's #Alien. But if she was up against Dianne Wiest, who won the Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Hannah and Her Sisters that year, who would have taken top honors? For this one, the alien queen would be the queen of the ball. And not only that, if she was up for Best Actress, she would have been facing stiff competition from her co-star Sigourney Weaver!
1. George Burns And Lee Grant Vs. The Great White Shark In Jaws
Ceremony: In 1976, the 48th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Winners: That evening's big event hosted three winners in the form of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with five wins, Barry Lyndon with four, and aquatic nightmare Jaws with three. The latter has been the movie responsible for the coining of the phrase "summer blockbuster" and was the highest-grossing film of all time — until Star Wars.
Who should've really won? It was at this awards ceremony that George Burns picking up his Oscar for The Sunshine Boys, while Lee Grant collected hers for Shampoo. But could Jaws come along and eat up the competition? Most movie watchers will know that an actor doesn't need a lot of screen time to bag themselves an Oscar, as Judi Dench's eight minutes of Shakespeare in Love and Anthony Hopkins' 16 minutes of The Silence of the Lambs managed to prove. Considering the shark didn't make a full appearance until well into the second half of the film, I'd say the great white would be the great winner at the 1976 Oscars.
Which one of these animatronic terrors do you think would winning a Supporting Actor/Actress Oscar if they were nominated? Take part in the poll below and don't forget to sound off in the comments section, too.
Who do you think would have the best chance of winning a Best Actor/Actress Oscar?
[Main image: Eva Taylor of EKT Workshop]