Top 10 Giant Movie Monsters & Robots (Video Edition)
PACIFIC RIM is not the first American movie to feature giant robots or monsters but will probably be one of the highest grossing (aside from the TRANSFORMERS movies). Leaving the Autobots and Decepticons out of the equation, here is a list of the ten best giant monsters and robots from the history of cinema. You may see some of your favorites missing from the list, in which case please mention them in the Talk backs below. Otherwise, sit back in awe as these behemoths blow your mind out of your ass!
A pretty popular Korean import when it first hit theaters, THE HOST is often called LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE meets GODZILLA. That is a pretty adept comparison as it features a dysfunctional and funny family as they battle a creature of bizarre origins. While not hundreds of feet tall, the creature is a pretty cool design and shows no mercy when it comes to innocent bystanders. We all await the sequel with bated breath.
SUPER 8 is J.J. Abrams version of E.T. and any movie that wants to be like the Steven Spielberg classic has to have an iconic creature at it's center. The lovingly nicknamed Cooper may not be as cuddly as E.T., but he certainly makes an impression. With very little screen time, Cooper makes an impression. Fun fact: did you know that Captain Pike himself, Bruce Greenwood, provided the motion capture for Cooper?
I know I am not the only person who knows about this series of Japanese kaiju movies. DAIMAJIN is a giant stone statue that comes to life to destroy those who do not respect his power. Daimajin is a brutal trilogy of films featuring a lot of blood and grisly deaths of the human characters. The big guy also is a pretty cool looking monster, a stone samurai warrior, which I would kill to have a toy version of in my office.
TROLLHUNTER is a Norweigan found footage monster movie that gives us the craziest trolls ever put to film. Before the inevitable American remake happens, check out the original that is both funny, dark, and has some excellent special effects. My favorite of the trolls, or jotnars, is this big guy in the scene above.
Frank Darabont's THE MIST is a great movie that spends most of its running time featuring modestly sized monsters that attack the grocery store housing survivors of the Mist. It isn't until right before the sucker-punch of an ending that we see the impossibly gigantic monsters traversing the woods of Maine. The elegiac music that plays over this sequence is fitting to the unfathomable scope these creatures represent.
Love or hate CLOVERFIELD, you cannot argue that it was by far the best giant monster movie produced in America to date. With a huge drought in major city destroying monsters, CLOVERFIELD, like SUPER 8 would a few years later, showcased destruction and mayhem while barely showing the creature causing it all. Clover did not get a full clear close-up until the final scenes of the film and it still takes a long time to process just what this creature looks like.
Vin Diesel and Brad Bird created a monster/robot that is the most sympathetic killing machine since The Terminator. THE IRON GIANT is a movie that many missed in theaters but discovered later on home video. When you watch it you almost think it could fall in line with any of the Disney animated masterpieces. Thrilling, fun, and unique, THE IRON GIANT is one of the best animated movies of all time. Just don't point a gun at him.
With barely 2 minutes of screen time, The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man stole GHOSTBUSTERS from Bill Murray. The giant cuddly advertising mascot would go on to become a pop culture symbol that people still recognize out of context today. I would have loved to see the big man go apeshit on Manhattan but alas we are left with 120 seconds of violent bliss.
Through countless films featuring Fay Wray to Naomi Watts, King Kong has always been the American answer to Godzilla. The two have fought each other in the past which made for the ultimate, if not incredibly cheezy, battle of fictional monsters. The closest we have seen since was Peter Jackson showcasing Kong against some T Rexes, but that still seems lacking. I feel that Kong is the more sympathetic creature and the easier to relate to emotionally, but the number one is still...
That's right. No matter what happens, no matter how bad the sequels get (including the Matthew Broderick version), Godzilla is still the all time king of movie monsters. He is the perfect mix of dinosaur and original design. No one will ever mistake Godzilla for anything but the iconic creature he is. I am hoping that Gareth Edwards creates a Godzilla movie on par with the effects in PACIFIC RIM. Once I see that, I can die a happy movie fan.