A monster movie, creature feature, or giant monster film is a disaster film that focuses on a group of characters struggling to survive attacks by one or more antagonistic monsters, often abnormally large ones. The film may also fall under the horror, comedy, fantasy, or science fiction genres. Monster movies originated with adaptations of horror folklore and literature. Typically, movie monsters differ from more traditional antagonists in that many exist due to circumstances beyond their control; their actions are not entirely based on choice, potentially making them objects of sympathy to film viewers.
The most common aspect of a monster movie is the struggle between a human collective of protagonists against one or more monsters, who often serve as the antagonistic force. In Japanese cinema, giant monsters known as kaiju often take up this role.
The monster is often created by a folly of mankind – an experiment gone wrong, the effects of radiation or the destruction of habitat. Or the monster is from outer space, has been on Earth for a long time with no one ever seeing it, or released (or awakened) from a prison of some sort where it was being held.
The monster is usually a villain, but can be a metaphor of humankind's continuous destruction; giant monsters since the introduction of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms have for a time been considered a symbol of atomic warfare, for instance. On the contrary, Godzilla began in this fashion yet as time moved on his reputation quickly grew into that of a cultural icon to the Japanese, as much as Superman is a cultural symbol to America, with a number of films presenting Godzilla as a sort of protagonist who helps protect humans from other, more malevolent monsters.
The attempts of the humans to destroy the monster would at first be the usage of an opposing military force – an attempt that would antagonize the monster even more and prove useless (a cliché associated with the genre). The Godzilla series utilized the concept of a superweapon built by Japanese scientists to suppress him or any of the monsters he fights.
The first feature-length films to include what are regarded as monsters were often classed as horror or science fiction films. The 1915 German silent film The Golem, directed by Paul Wegener, is one of the earliest examples of film to include a creature. The German Expressionist Nosferatu in 1922, and the depiction of a dragon in Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen in 1924, followed tradition. In the 1930s, American movie studios began to produce more successful films of this type, usually based on gothic tales such as Dracula and Frankenstein in 1931, both heavily influenced by German Expressionism, followed by The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933). Classified as Horror films, they included iconic monsters.
Special effects animator Willis O'Brien worked on the 1925 fantasy adventure The Lost World, based on the novel of the same name. The book and film featured dinosaurs, the basis for many future movies. He began work on a similar film known as Creation in 1931, but the project was never completed. Two years later, he produced special effects for the RKO 1933 film King Kong directed by Merian C. Cooper. Since then King Kong has not only become one of the most famous examples of a monster movie, but also is considered a landmark film in the history of cinema. The monster King Kong became a cultural icon, being featured in many other films and media since then.
King Kong went on to inspire many other films of its genre and aspiring animators. A notable example was Ray Harryhausen, who would work with Willis O’Brien on Mighty Joe Young in 1949. Following the re-release of King Kong in 1952, Harryhausen would later work on The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms in 1953. The film was about a fictional dinosaur, a Rhedosaurus, that was awakened from frozen ice in the Arctic Circle by an atomic bomb test. It is considered to be the film which kick-started the 50s wave of “creature features” and the concept of combining nuclear paranoia with the genre. Such films at the time included The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Them! (1954), It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), Tarantula (1955), The Deadly Mantis (1957) and 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957). The Giant Behemoth (1959) was an unacknowledged remake of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
Also during the 50s, the nuclear concept from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, along with real life historical events helped Japanese film studio Toho produce their first successful Kaiju films; Godzilla (1954) has spawned the longest-running film franchise in history, and the titular monster has become one of the most recognizable monsters in cinema history. Another Kaiju film from this time was Rodan.
A parallel development during this era was the rise of the Z movie, films made outside the organized motion picture industry with ultra-low budgets. Grade-Z monster movies such as Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and The Creeping Terror (1964) are often listed among the worst films ever made because of their inept acting and amateurish special effects.
In the 1970s, director John Guillermin remade King Kong in 1976. In 1975 Steven Spielberg directed Jaws, which while labeled as a “thriller”, features a large (but by no means unrealistically so) great white shark. The xenomorph alien had its first appearance in the 1979 science-fiction/horror film Alien, directed by Ridley Scott. That was the same year when magazine Fangoria began been published, in response to the popularity of this genre.
Since the mid 1970's with Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, and into the 1980s, monster movies like Larry Cohen's Q, the Winged Serpent (1982), Tom Holland's Fright Night (1985), George Romero's Creepshow and Ron Underwood's Tremors (1989) used comedy as a scaring device. Just before the technological revolution that made possible to create digital special effects thanks to CGI, the last generation of SFX artists impressed us all with the quality and realism of their creations: Rick Baker, Stan Winston and Rob Bottin are among the most remarkable names in the industry.
1993 saw the release of Jurassic Park, based on the 1989 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and directed by Steven Spielberg, which set a new benchmark in the genre with innovative use of CGI and tried-and-tested animatronics to recreate dinosaurs. The film was an enormous critical and commercial success and at one point held the title of the highest-grossing film of all time. The success of Jurassic Park and its four sequels: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom made sure that dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex and the Velociraptor established themselves in the public psyche. The movies also helped generate renewed interest in paleontology. While the films showed allegedly authentic dinosaurs which had been recreated by Genetic engineering and could be understood as science fiction, advanced contemporary animation technology made it also possible to revive medieval legends about dragons. The successful feature film Dragonheart showed a friendly dragon voiced by Sean Connery.
Traditional monster movies re-emerged to a wider audience during the late 1990s. An American remake of Godzilla was made in 1998. The Godzilla featured in that film was considerably different from the original and many Godzilla fans disliked the film; despite that, the film was a financial success. In 2002, a French monster film Brotherhood of the Wolf became the second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades. In 2004, Godzilla was temporarily retired following Godzilla: Final Wars. Director Peter Jackson, inspired by the original King Kong and Ray Harryhausen films, remade King Kong in 2005, which was both a critical and commercial success. In 2006, a South Korean monster film, The Host, involved more political overtones than most of its genre.
The 2008 monster movie, Cloverfield, a story in the vein of classic monster movies, focuses entirely on the perspective and reactions of the human cast and is regarded by some as a look at terrorism and the September 11 attacks metaphorically. The following year The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep was released, and the legendary Loch Ness Monster is a playful creature menaced by overly aggressive humans. The British Independent Film Award winning film Monsters, in a manner similar to Cloverfield, presented the story of a monster epidemic from the perspective of the humans affected by it. Although not entirely focused on monsters, blockbusters such as The Avengers and Prometheus included scenes that featured monsters posing threats to the protagonists.
In 2013, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures released the Guillermo del Toro film Pacific Rim. Though the film was heavily inspired by the Kaiju and Mecha anime genres, del Toro wished to create something original with the film rather than to reference previous work. The film was a moderate success in the United States but a box office hit overseas. It received generally positive reviews with significant praise for the film's special effects.
In 2014, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures released Godzilla, a reboot of the Godzilla franchise directed by Gareth Edwards. Legendary originally intended to produce a trilogy with Edwards attached to direct all films. Shortly afterwards, Legendary announced a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong, titled MonsterVerse. Kong: Skull Island was released in March 2017, a reboot of the King Kong franchise and second film in Legendary's MonsterVerse. The third film in the MonsterVerse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is currently in production and is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2019. Michael Dougherty will direct the film and will feature Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. The fourth film in the MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong, is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2020 and to be directed by Adam Wingard.
Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany, in 1968 by the core quartet of Holger Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group cycled through several vocalists, including Malcolm Mooney (1968–70) and Damo Suzuki (1970–73), as well as various temporary members. Drawing from backgrounds in the avant-garde and jazz, Can incorporated minimalist, electronic, and world music elements into their often psychedelic and funk-inflected music. They have been widely hailed as pioneers of the German krautrock scene.Can had occasional commercial success, with singles such as "Spoon" and "I Want More" reaching national singles charts. Through albums such as Monster Movie (1969), Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973), the band exerted a considerable influence on avant-garde, experimental, post-punk, ambient, new wave and electronic music.Delay 1968
Delay 1968, or just Delay (as the SACD version is titled), is a compilation album of early outtakes by German experimental rock band Can during its work with singer Malcolm Mooney, including some of the band's earliest material. It notably features the song "The Thief", a slightly longer version of which had already been released officially on the United Artists compilation album Electric Rock in 1970. The track was later covered live by Radiohead.Holger Czukay has said that Delay 1968 was originally intended to be the band's first album and would have been titled Prepared to Meet Thy PNOOM ("Pnoom" being the name of the album's second track—a 27-second saxophone instrumental, recorded as part of their Ethnological Forgery Series). When no record company would release the record, Can set out to make a somewhat more accessible album, which became their 1969 debut Monster Movie. Parts of Delay 1968 circulated in bootleg form for several years under the title Unopened, and included other tracks recorded during the same sessions that would later surface in various forms on other albums.Dreamend
Dreamend is a Savannah-based shoegazer musical group signed to Graveface Records, whose music is characterized by textured guitar work and prominent drums and percussion. Song styles range from post-rock to bluegrass. The group has been compared to groups such as Mono and Explosions in the Sky.Dreamend is the main musical output of Ryan Graveface, Graveface Records’ owner/sole employee. He also contributes musically in the psychedelic band Black Moth Super Rainbow (BMSR), the Halloween band The Marshmallow Ghosts & The Casket Girls. Since its inception in 2002, Graveface has released albums by Monster Movie (ex-Slowdive), The Loose Salute (Mojave 3 side project), Kid Dakota, Appleseed Cast, Whirr, Mount Eerie, BMSR and many more. Ryan has talked about Dreamend's self-titled album being the last Dreamend record, and also the tour for s/t being the last one.Glass Trap
Glass Trap is a 2005 American science fiction monster movie starring C. Thomas Howell & Stella Stevens and directed by Fred Olen Ray, credited as Ed Raymond.Gojirasaurus
Gojirasaurus (meaning "Godzilla Lizard") is a dubious genus of coelophysoid theropod dinosaur named after the giant monster movie character Gojira (the Japanese name for the monster Godzilla).Graveface Records
Graveface Records is an American independent record label from Savannah, Georgia, solely owned and operated by Ryan Graveface (who plays in the groups Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dreamend, the Marshmallow Ghosts and the Casket Girls). He has released recordings by Serengeti, Dosh, The Appleseed Cast, Haley Bonar, Xiu Xiu, Monster Movie, Dreamend, Jakob, Jason Molina, Mount Eerie, The Loose Salute, the Lava Children, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Seven Fields of Aphelion, and Whirr.Jack Brooks
Jack Brooks may refer to:
Jack Brooks (cricketer) (born 1984), English cricketer
Jack Brooks (footballer) (1904–1973), English footballer
Jack Brooks (lyricist) (1912–1971), British-American lyricist
Jack Brooks (American politician) (1922–2012), American Representative present at the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Jack Brooks (Welsh politician) (1927–2016), Baron Brooks of Tremorfa
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Canadian monster movieMalcolm Mooney
Malcolm Mooney (born 1940) is an American singer, poet, and artist, best known as the original vocalist for German krautrock band Can.Monster Movie (album)
Monster Movie is the debut studio album by German rock band Can, released in August 1969 by Sound Factory and Liberty Records.Monster Movie (band)
Monster Movie is a British dream pop band originally formed by Christian Savill and Sean Hewson in 1989.The band reformed in 1999, with Rachel Goldstar. In 2009, Ryan Graveface and Sophie Pittaway made recording contributions. In 2011, seeking to do more live performances, Gregg Cox and Sam Williams joined on bass and drums, respectively.
Savill previously played as guitarist in shoegazing band Slowdive, until he left shortly before they changed musical direction and became Mojave 3. Both Savill and Hewson had played together in the pre-Slowdive band Eternal. They released one single on Sarah Records in 1990.
In September 2009, Monster Movie announced the completion of their album Everyone Is A Ghost. The album was released by Graveface Records in March 2010.
As of August 2015, the band have 543.1K scrobbles and 37.7K listeners at last.fm. Along with occasional radio airplay on Seattle's KEXP, DJ John Richards described their debut album as "very beautiful, jangly atmospheric pop featuring smoothly strummed guitar." The band also has a presence on myspace.com, with community uploaded music at youtube.com.Monster Movie (film)
Monster Movie is a 2008 horror comedy film by the Polonia brothers. It marks the last film created by the filmmaking duo before John Polonia's death at age 39.Rage of the Yeti
Rage of the Yeti is a 2011 monster movie by Syfy.Rite Time
Rite Time is Can's twelfth and final studio album, considered a reunion album because of the time elapsed since the band's previous album, Can, which had been released in 1979. The album consists of sessions recorded in the South of France in late 1986, edited extensively by the band over the course of subsequent years. Rite Time features the vocals of the band's original singer, Malcolm Mooney, who had left the group in 1970 after their debut album Monster Movie. Upon the album's initial release, "In the Distance Lies the Future" only appeared on the CD version, but it was subsequently featured on the 2014 vinyl reissue.Some Kind of Monster (film)
Some Kind of Monster is a 2004 American documentary film featuring the American thrash metal band Metallica. It shares its name with the song "Some Kind of Monster" from Metallica's 2003 album St. Anger. The film shows many studio rehearsals and fragments of concert footage. It won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature. The DVD release was handled by Paramount Home Entertainment. Metallica re-released the film, including a bonus documentary, in 2014 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.Soundtracks (Can album)
Soundtracks is a compilation album by the Krautrock group Can. It was first released in 1970 and consists of tracks written for various films. The album marks the departure of the band's original vocalist Malcolm Mooney, who sings on two tracks, to be replaced by new member Damo Suzuki. Stylistically, the record also documents the transition from the psychedelia-inspired jams of their earliest recordings (i.e. Monster Movie and Delay 1968) to the more meditative, electronic, and experimental mode of the studio albums that followed (such as Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi).
The back cover of the album states: ""CAN SOUNDTRACKS" is the second album of THE CAN but not album no. two...Album no. two [Tago Mago] will be released in the beginning of 1971.""She Brings the Rain", originally appearing in the 1969 film Ein großer graublauer Vogel by Thomas Schamoni (brother to directors Ulrich Schamoni and Peter Schamoni), was later featured in Wim Wenders' 1994 film Lisbon Story, the 2000 Oskar Roehler film Die Unberührbare and Tran Anh Hung's film Norwegian Wood, released in 2010.
"Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone" features Damo Suzuki's first recorded performance with Can.In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Mother Sky" at number 48 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.Supernatural (season 4)
The fourth season of Supernatural, an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke, premiered September 18, 2008, and concluded on May 14, 2009, on The CW.
This season focuses on brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) encountering angels for the first time in their lives as hunters of the supernatural; this marks the introduction of eventual series regular, the angel Castiel (Misha Collins). The angels intervene to rescue Dean from Hell and bring him back to life after he was trapped there in the third season finale "No Rest for the Wicked". They explain that they have arrived on Earth for the first time in thousands of years in order to prevent demons from freeing the fallen angel Lucifer from Hell, as Lucifer would then cause the Apocalypse. The demons are led by the Winchesters' enemy, and Dean's murderer, Lilith. However, it becomes increasingly clear that something is wrong with Heaven and that the angels have their own agendas. Despite an initially happy reunion, tension grows between Sam and Dean because Dean fears Sam's growing demonic powers and distrusts Sam's returning demonic ally Ruby (Genevieve Cortese).The Loch Ness Horror
The Loch Ness Horror is a 1981 independent monster movie directed by Larry Buchanan. The film was written by Larry Buchanan and Lyn Schubert.
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