I have many obsessions. From Batman to Basketball, there's a lot of stuff I like to keep track of. But one thing that really captures my imagination without fail is the giant movie monster. Whether they're defending or destroying mankind I love to watch kaiju on the big-screen. And frankly, who doesn't? There's just something inherently awe-inspiring about seeing a fifty-story tall creature rear its head and let loose a giant roar. So, without further ado, here are my five greatest giant movie monsters ever.
The thing that sets the Cloverfield monster apart is how little we know about it. There is literally no back-story to it beyond the fact that it came from the ocean floor. And it completely destroys New York. As in, the whole US military tries to take it down and fails, ending with them deciding that it's a lost cause, and nuking Manhattan. Yet, there is implication that the monster survived the nuclear attack, meaning that basically the whole world is going to be screwed over by this guy. The design of this monster is unique, and the style of the film creates a real sense of its size, strength and speed. Not to mention that it releases mini versions of itself to bite people with a venom that makes them explode.
4) The T-Rex (Jurassic Park)
Why is the T-Rex so scary? It's not like we've never seen dinosaurs in movies, and it doesn't exactly do anything particularly unique as antagonistic reptiles go. But for some reason it has stuck with us since its debut in 1993. And I'll tell you what that reason is: practical effects. The sheer attention to detail and use of animatronics whenever possible bring this scaly fiend to life in a way no-one had ever seen at the time. Even with the technology we have today, 22 years later, has yet to supersede the heart-stopping terror that the T-Rex induced in us as children. This is a timeless monster, and one that never ceases to simultaneously awe and petrify.
3) Xenomorph Queen
After seeing Alien, what could possibly scare you more than a Xenomorph? That was the foolish question we all asked ourselves going into Aliens. With the obvious answer being a twenty foot tall Xenomorph with the ability to control all other of her kind. Ruling from her nest, this Queen Alien works much like a queen ant. Except that her workers are the second most lethal and terrifying beasts ever conceived, and she the first. The intricate character design of this eponymous creature is staggeringly intricate, and fascinating to stare at despite its hideousness. The iconic status these things have in pop-culture almost speaks for itself.
2) King Kong
What places King Kong on this list isn't his incredible design, or terrifying nature, although that's not to say he lacks them. No, the reason he is so iconic is his sympathetic nature. He has never been much of a villain, but rather is presented as an instinctive animal torn from his home by arrogant men who is then brought low by his affection for a woman. Say what you will about Kong not being as scary as other monsters, it can't be denied that the line "twas beauty killed the beast" never ceases to pull the heartstrings. Despite the many reboots and spin-offs, Kong still remains an engaging character who's films have always been at the forefront of pioneering technology.
Come on, did you really expect anything else? He's called the King of Monsters for a reason you know. But let's think about that for a second though. Why is he the most iconic kaiju ever to grace our screens? Because not only did he do the whole giant monster thing first, he also did it best. He is the epitome of his genre because he is depicted as the epitome of his genre. Having a hard time with that one? No worries. See, what really drives the concept of the giant monster film is the power fantasy. We have all, at one stage, imagined ourselves as Godzilla stomping through Tokyo and laying low skyscrapers with every step. So when we see that Godzilla is regarded as the King, he is thus seen as the ultimatum of the power fantasy. What I'm saying (if it's unclear) is that he's cool both because he's just genuinely cool and because in our minds, we have singled him out as the coolest, so seeing him on-screen is thus regarded by everyone as special. And to be fair, even when you take the psychology out of the equation, Godzilla is still damn awesome. Every single detail of his immense frame screams "ULTIMATE PREDATOR" and his size is colossal. On top of his franchise of dozens of films, he has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible. So that's why he tops this list.
Thanks for reading guys, feel free to let us know your favorite giant movie monster below, and until next time, enjoy your lives!
P.S. for more geeky goodness, be sure to check out my YouTube channel over at Wishful Thinking.