[Written by Charlie Clarke]
Who doesn’t love a good creature-feature? We here at Superfreak HQ are massive fans of the creature sub-genre and so this month we thought we would celebrate some of the best of the beasts and dedicate a whole blog post to them!
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Kicking things off with an oldie but goodie, we couldn’t do a blog about creature movies without featuring this Universal icon! A quintessential horror film full of all the tropes and campiness you would expect from a 1950’s horror, it was received so well by audiences that it spawned two sequels! It has been set to be remade almost 10 times since it’s release, including versions that would have seen John Carpenter or Peter Jackson in the directors chair! The closest we’ve come however, is Guillermo del Toro’s incredible ‘The Shape of Water’ in 2017 inspired by his love for the original.
The Birds (1963)
Alfred Hitchcock’s entry into creature features didn’t just feature one monster, but a whole flock of them! Fun Fact – the majority of the birds featured in the film were real, but a reported $200,000 was spent of creating mechanical birds for some of the scenes. Of course Hitchcock’s take on the creature-feature was done in his signature style, slowly building the tension with a clever use of music to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Let’s just say, we haven’t looked at a large flock of birds the same way since we watched it.
The reason why so many of us are terrified of swimming in the ocean – even the trailer still scares us!! This film hits the nail on the head when it comes to exploiting our natural fears as humans, taking a situation that allows us to be so carefree and happy and flipping it on its head and making it terrifying (seriously, does anyone not think that a giant great white has come to eat them whenever something touches your leg in the sea?) Ok so it’s sequels are a little sketchy, but hey, at least Michael Caine was able to buy a house from his appearance in Jaws 4!!
Coming in with a more modern day creature now in the form of Clover. This is how you do a found footage film! It’s jumpy, it’s emotive, it makes you a part of the action, which makes it all the more scary and not to mention you actually give a damn about the characters the film follows! One thing we love about this film is how little you actually see of Clover throughout the film, which just adds to the suspense the whole film creates.
King Kong (1933 – now)
Can you believe there have been a total of 12 King Kong films made?! From his very early beginnings with stop animation that sparked Ray Harryhausen’s career to Kong: Skull Island and everything in between, cinema just cannot get enough of ‘The King’. The latest entry into the franchise saw him battling another icon of the creature-feature genre in a truly epic showdown, and just in case you don’t know which monster we are talking about, read on…
Godzilla (1954 – now)
Of course if Kong was on this list, Godzilla was going to make it too. Although they are younger in years than their ape counterpart, they have racked up TRIPLE the amount of movies. That’s right, there have been a whopping 36 Godzilla films made over the years! We at Superfreak HQ absolutely love the 2014 entry into the franchise as well as ‘King of the Monsters’ and sorry, but we can’t help but have a soft spot for the 1998 film too – yeah we said it and we stick by it!
This is possibly one of our favourite films of recent years to be honest! It’s packed full of tension, gore, suspense and great characters. The storyline, like with most creature-features is pretty simple – escape the monster(s) – but it’s just executed so bloody well!! We found ourselves holding our breath for a lot of it! Directed by Alexandre Aja he is no stranger to creature-features with his incredibly schlocky reboot of ‘Piranha (3D)’ back in 2010. If you haven’t seen either yet make sure you check them out.
So there you have it, our favourite creature-features! Have we missed one? What’s your favourite? Let us know, as always, in the comments – you know we love to hear from you guys!
Until next time, stay safe and keep it creepy!