October 26, 2010

Guest Post by Carolyn: Book Chick City's Top 5 Monster Movies

When Gef asked me to write a post of my 'Top 5 Monster Movies' I knew it would be tough. Therefore, although I've called it my 'Top 5' it's really just a selection of my favourite monster movies, as I love SO many… also, there was no way I could put them in any kind of order either - just too hard - so they are listed in no particular order. Here goes...

My Top 5 Monster Movies
1. The Fly (1986)
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Geoff Goldblum, Geena Davis
Plot: Seth Brundle (Goldblum), a brilliant but eccentric scientist, has invented telepods used for teleportation through time and space. While he's researching he gets impatient and uses himself as a guinea-pig. What he doesn't realise is that as he gets into the telepod, so does a fly. As he teleports himself his DNA gets mixed with the house fly and Seth finds himself slowly transforming into something monstrous...

This is the remake of the 1958 original which was pretty good too, ("heeelp me…" - *those of you who have watched the original will get that!*). But I loved this version more probably because it was more modern and in colour. I have watched this movie over and over, I just love it - I think it probably has something to do with the fact that I had a bit of a Goldblum crush, he just oozed sex appeal in this movie *or is that just me* Anyway, I loved the concept of mixing DNA while in transit across time and the effects are pretty gross - lots of thick gloopy flesh falling off - by the end of the movie Goldblum isn’t so sexy…

2. Cloverfield (2008)
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Lizzy Capian, Jessica Lucas, Mike Vogal, Michael Stahl-David
Plot: Revolves around a monster attack in New York told from the point of view of a small group of people. (IMDb)

If you aren’t a fan of the Blair Witch camera affects then you probably won’t want to watch this movie - the camera is all over the place. I suffer from motion sickness/vertigo and I didn’t think I would be able to cope but I was fine. Cloverfield is quite original in that we don’t really get a proper look at the monster - everything happens pretty fast. We only get to see what’s happening from the point of view of someone in the group holding the camera, which makes the tension pretty fierce and quite realistic too. The ending was great...Cloverfield 2?

3. King Kong (1933)
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack,
Cast: Fray Wray, Robert Armstrong, Brice Cabot
Plot: A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discover a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. (IMDb)

Although I really enjoyed Peter Jackson’s remake, the original King Kong has something about it that just surpasses it in every way. The movie is meant to be about a giant monster, but whenever I watch it I’m always on the side of King Kong - isn’t it just typical for humans to take something from its natural habitat where it is living harmoniously to bring it back to a civilization where it has no idea where it is or where to go and then be surprised when bad things happen. I cry every time they shoot and kill King Kong - enraged even... poor KK :(

4. Alien (1979)
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright
Plot: A mining ship, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. The crew discover some strange creatures and investigate. (IMDb)

Monster movies do not get any better than this! I love all the movies in the Alien series but I chose the first because, well, it was the first. I love the fact that the main character is a strong resourceful woman who kicks some serious butt. The animatronics for 1979 are amazing. The film has some serious tension, each time I watch it I’m on the edge of my seat, even though I’ve watch it four times!

5. Jaws (1979)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfus, Lorraine Gary
Plot: When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, marine science and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. (IMDb)

I love everything Spielberg does and Jaws is one of my all-time favourite movies. If you watch it now, yes it is dated, and yes Jaws does look all rubbery and unrealistic, but when I watched it as a kid it was exciting and terrifying all at once. The opening scene is one of the best in movie history in my opinion and this is what began my love affair with all things Steven Spielberg.

So, that’s five of my favourite monster movies! Thanks for having me Gef, it’s been fun! :)

A sincere thank-you to Carolyn for offering a fine list of monster flicks. If you'd like to read more of Carolyn's opinions on books and film, you can find her at Book Chick City.


  1. I was just thinking about The Fly the other day. Love that movie. I don't think they could have picked a better actor either. :-)

  2. You have me...sans Cloverfield. Turn off the camera. I can't suspend my disbelief enough to think any real person would keep the camera rolling through everything. (Granted, Coverfield is one of the better 1st person entries.)

  3. Hi onipar - I agree - Goldblum was fab in The Fly - to be honest I have enjoyed most of his movies *loved him in Independence day* :)

    Hi Aaron Poison - I'd have to disagree with you there - I think there would be many people who would keep the camera rolling. Journalists do it all the time in countries being torn apart by war, there's nothing more frightening than bullets whizzing past your head and yet they somehow keep their cool - I think it would be the same for a big scary monster! ;)

  4. Anthony - It's been a while since I saw Goldblum as the Fly. Saw the Price version over the summer though.

    Aaron - I'm with Aaron for the most part about Cloverfield. I rant about it a little in an upcoming post.

    Carolyn - Thanks again for contributing. Good to see King Kong get a little love. I was going to review of his films, but none are on TV and can't find any about. Ah well.

  5. Seriously, how is JAWS dated?!? It's pretty much the perfect movie!

  6. Hi Rabid Fox - Thanks for inviting me over! I have the original King Kong on DVD, which is one of my prizes possessions. Hope you get to review it!

    Hi Will - I'm sorry but Jaws is dated - you can't get away from the very unrealistic rubbery shark *as I said in my post!* But the actual film is still one of the best, hence why it's one of my favourite movies...

  7. great post and wonderful picks. I would pick all the same and add the very first Halloween and the very first Friday the 13th, oh and American Werewolf In London... sigh I could go on forever :)

  8. Great post!
    Alien & Aliens - I totally love those films & Jaws.
    I think The Fly is up there with one of the scariest movies ever! The very idea still makes me shudder.
    I haven't actually seen Cloverfield.
    Also the first Poltergeist film I think deserves a mention. As well as Halloween and Scream? ;)

  9. FSOM - Hiya, thanks for stopping by to see me here! I loved Halloween and Friday 13th too but I felt they were more 'horror' type movies rather than 'monster' movies. I *love* American Werewolf in London such a great movie! :)

    Laura - Hello! I enjoyed Poltergeist, another great Spielberg movie! Also Scream is definitely up there for one of my fav slasher movies - the first one especially :)

  10. I was never a fan of Poltergeist. Found it too cheesy for my tastes.

  11. "yes it is dated, and yes Jaws does look all rubbery and unrealistic"

    Ah, okay, see, I took this to mean that the movie is dated AND ALSO the shark looks fake. So I thought you were saying the movie was dated in other ways as well. I get it now.