I love monster flicks, I love monster television series. I already did a top ten monster-supernatural television series of all time, and now I’m going to do the same for movies. Now, just like the television side, this is not aimed at superhero comic book shows, or starkly horror based movies. We’re talking more fantasy and dark toned, that’s driven by a darker tone. Not a movie that relies on frights and jump scares.
Just like before, this isn’t a science fiction list, so no aliens or intergalactic nonsense. So no “Pacific Rim”, no “Aliens”, no “Cloverfield” or “The Mist”.
– Ok, so shut up. Yes, this is a ‘baby movie’. Yes, the animatronics and special effects don’t hold up. Yes, the story is unimpressive. However, it has a likable cast of main characters, magic, cool looking monsters, and a fantasy land most of us would love to go to every once in a while. So yes, Disney makes one of my list. I hate them, but that doesn’t mean that everything they’ve ever done is crap. So shut up, sit down and watch Marnie kick some ass.
– So yes, consecutive kid’s movies. Eat me. I don’t care. I loved the books as a kid, not as much as “Animorphs”, or even “Galaxy of Fear”, the YA horror books from the Star Wars universe. I loved the t.v. show of Goosebumps, why do you think it made the t.v. side of this list? And don’t get it twisted, I did not have any excitement with this film. I had little hopes for it. But it was actually fun. Yes, the CGI sucked, but most modern movies have shitty CGI. So I’m not going to let that detour me. It made sense, it worked story wise, it introduced an interesting love angle that isn’t really explored. So why wouldn’t it make the list? Now, I could of done without Jack Black voicing the dummy, but hey, that’s just me.
8) Van Helsing
– Yes, I have an affinity for this shitty movie. I know it’s not great. Yes, Van Helsing being the reincarnated, Earth-bound version of Gabriel the angel was…what? And then he’s a werewolf? What? Ugh. However, Dracula was amazing, his brides were gorgeous, the Monster of Frankenstein was unique and original, plus Kevin J. O’Connor from “The Mummy” is in it as Igor, and I have a fun way of connecting those two movies in my head. The steampunk aesthetic isn’t something I’m a fan of, but it worked somehow in this movie. It made the protagonists look like they were genuinely pushing the envelope of technology in order to combat evil. Plus, despite CGI-Hyde being bad looking, you genuinely thought he was evil and creepy. That’s exactly how he should be. This movie is awesome, if you’re not expecting an Oscar nominee.
7) The Monster Squad
– This movie is super not cool socially anymore. Like, the language it was used in this was making me cringe. I say ‘cunt’ like it’s giving me oxygen. So yeah, keep that in mind. But it’s a movie where the Monster of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man, Gillman, and a Mummy all chill together, attacking and killing people in suburbia. It features a group of kids fighting monsters, kicking Wolf-Men in their nards, and some weird ogling of neighborhood hotties. This movie, like all of the previous ones, aren’t great. It leaves a lot to be desired, but outside of Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, this is the best ensemble cast of monsters in one movie going. If Van Helsing had Gillman (the Creature from the Black Lagoon), then it’d be ahead of this film on the list.
6) Bram Stoker’s Dracula
– Bram Stoker’s Dracula scared the hell out of me as a kid. The Gothic vibe, the puddles of blood, the demonic like knight armor, the dramatic changes in Dracula’s appearance throughout the film, and the uncertain nature that you feel while he stalks around the film. It was all horrifying. However as an adult, the scariest thing about this film is watching Keanu Reeves (who I adore), and Winona Ryder (eh) try and speak with an accent other than their own. It was…oh god, so terrible. But Gary Oldman more than made up for it with his ability to make every physical appearance of Dracula feel scary but for different reasons. Add into the fact that the mother fucking Rocketeer (Billy Campbell) was in the film, as well as Cary Elwes and Anthony Hopkins were all in the film makes this a fucking masterpiece in monster cinema.
5) Last Man On Earth/The Omega Man
– It’s hard to pick between these two films. So I won’t. On one hand, “Last Man on Earth” is classic horror. Starring one of the most famous horror icons of all time, Vincent Price, in a battle against the hordes of the undead. It’s a black and white masterpiece in isolationism, and the battle that man has with not just nature, but also with himself. However, “The Omega Man” makes the monsters more intelligent, and gives them a cult-like vibe. Their pale skin, dark robes and group like mentality really makes them seem so much more ominous and deadly than the vampires (or zombies?) of it’s predecessor. Plus, it’s got Charleston Heston in it. They relatively the same film, same plot, same basic structure, same ending, but are both unique enough in setting and style to significantly make each worth your time in watching. They’re both far better than the Will Smith’s CGI’ed hellhole of a film; “I Am Legend”. All three films are based off the same book, so if you’d rather just go that route, that’s fine too.
4) The Lost Boys
– So I really love this movie, and hate it’s fucking guts all at the same time. On one hand, it’s the quintessential ’80’s film. Missing scenes explaining plot, over the top acting, dramatic last second swerves, and just the worst fashion ever. On the other hand it’s a movie about vampires who hang out on the boardwalk, drive dirtbikes, and rule the California underground. In the 80’s these vampires were, I guess, really terrifying. However they now just look like the goth kids from “Southpark”. The music still holds up. The biggest issue is the acting of some of the cast. The Corey’s are and will always be awful fucking actors. They were terrible from the get go and never got better. So their scenes will really slog the movie down; however thank God for Kiefer Sutherland. Yup, he’s a true blue assholes, but he’s also the scene stealer in this film. I’d even argue that this was his “breakout” role as a leading man in Hollywood. The film does get an A for mood and ambience, so that really helps. So if you can get past the over the top acting, plot holes, and general 80’s cheesiness, then this is for you.
– Like most people from the 80’s and 90’s we grew up on the good “Ghostbusters” films. The core foursome of Billy Murray (Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Stantz), Harold Ramis (Spengler) and Ernie Hudson (Zeddmore), alongside sci-fi icon Sigourney Weaver? Fuck yes, sign me up. The story of three scientists and Zeddmore banning together to fight ghosts in New York city, while Venkman tries to woo Weaver’s Dana Barrett is a nice and honestly smooth story. No real plot holes, a seamless transition from shot to shot, and a great combination of humor and horror to really give the fans something unique for the time. The special effects still hold up, in all their cheesy glory, while still delivering the same feelings on your 30th viewing that you had on your first. No terrible remake could ever take that away.
– It’s a coming of age story featuring Michael J. Fox as a hormonal teen who, instead of growing hair down there, grows fur. That’s right, cus he’s a teenage werewolf! Now, this is some hokey ass shit. I get that, I’m not naive to that. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this movie is charming as a con man. There are genuine scenes of ‘accepting who you are’, while sending a message to not ‘rely on the things that make you unique to make you special’, with a dash of ‘love the ones who love you for you’. A lot of great, cliche as hell messages. But that’s not a bad thing. Cliche things are often times the most honest things. I mean, at it’s heart, it’s still just a movie about a teenage werewolf surfing on vans, and playing basketball like a boss. I’ve not heard if Scott Calvin got signed to North Carolina State (Google them), but it’s a safe bet that they were interested.
1) The Mummy (1999)
– Yup, contrary to what you might remember, this is a monster movie. Sure, it’s got a lot of great humor, fantastic action, and is a better fourth “Indiana Jones” film than the actual fourth film, but at it’s core is still a horror film. Imagine a member of the undead, walking around it’s lair, stealing your eyes, tongue and souls for it’s own revival. Sure, some of the Universal and even Hammer “Mummy” films are great, but this is the classic that redefined what classic means. I could literally sit here and quote lines from the film without having to watch it anytime recently. The chemistry between the leads Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz sizzle like few others. The action is top notch with great stunt coordinators. The special effects totally still hold up, and oh yeah, Kevin J. O’Connor is back as another hilarious asshole. This time though he isn’t torturing monsters for his own amusement, he’s simply betraying everyone and everything he can, just to stay alive. Now, don’t get it twisted, this film is still scary at parts, or should I say creepy. The possessed citizens chanting the name of Imhotep (the Mummy), watching the aftermath of Imhotep stealing the other adventurers organs, and not to mention the more implied imagery that you see throughout the scenes. Seriously, I can’t rave about this film enough. Go watch it, right now. Seriously, go watch it. This column is over, go out and by this film, and watch it. You’re welcome.