Eps 60 – Top 8 Giant Monster Movies – Monster Movie Podcast

Posted in Articles, Featured Items, Monster Movie, Podcasts by - December 14, 2013
Eps 60 – Top 8 Giant Monster Movies – Monster Movie Podcast

Giant Monsters Attack! Doc Rotten and co-host Dave Dreher take a look at eight films that turn the tables on mankind and have us all running in fear with enormous radioactive ants, giant creepy crawly tarantulas, mutant bears, hideous sea creatures, the amazing colossal man and, of course, ferocious man-eating elephant sized bunny rabbits. Oh, the terror.

“Science is agreed. That unless something is done and done quickly, man as the dominant species on Earth will be extinct within a year.” – THEM!

Monster Movie Podcast
Episode 60 – Top 8 Giant Monster Movies
(75min, 34.09MB)
Direct Download

Hitting its heyday in the Fifties, giant monster movies are a staple of science fiction and horror films. Taking a step beyond the dinosaurs of The Lost World or One Million Years B.C., these creatures are born from nuclear testing, man-made mad-scientist experiments, toxic waste, evolution gone wild or the nightmares from the twisted imagination of the filmmaker. Many times these beasts take the mundane and make them the subjects of horror, science run amok, nature pissed-off and looking for revenge with mankind’s future hanging in the balance. Here eight films Doc and Dave have chosen as must see giant monster movies.


THEM! (1954)

Starring James Whitmore and James Arness, THEM! Terrified a generation in 1954 and still holds up surprisingly well more than 50 years later.  The sound of the ants approaching, their nerve-wracking sonic calls  are terrifying and the special effects, which include full size practical creatures, hold up to this day. THEM! is a film that should not be missed and easily makes it to the top of Doc and Dave’s list.



What’s more terrifying than giant ants? A giant, furry, eight-legged spider, of course! Eeek! Trading nuclear testing for the mad scientist, Tarantula has John Agar experimenting on a growth formula that is intended to alleviate the growing food shortages and feed hungry nations of people. But this is a horror film, instead, the test subjects, in this case a tarantula, grows to incredible heights and attacks nearby towns, threatening all of mankind.


KING KONG (1933)

The grand daddy of all Giant Monster Movies, King Kong ranks among the best of the best when it comes to giant creatures and spectacle. And cinema, in general. It is the film that has influenced every giant monster movie that follows. Starring Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, King Kong is iconic and masterful giving its titular beast heart and emotion more so than any other cinematic creature of its ilk. “It wasn’t the planes that killed Kong. It was beauty that killed the beast.” The climatic battle atop the Empire State Building remains one of the most famous scenes ever put to film.



John Frankenheimer’s mutant bear film from 1979 was suppose to be a monster hit, a new creature to define a generation. Unfortunately, Prophecy did not live up to the marketing, hype and anticipation. But, that does not mean it is not a fun, goofy, entertaining horror film. Once proclaimed by Stephen King as a personal favorite, this film has its mutations created by ecological disaster, a mill is polluting the water with mercury and chemicals which begin to have horrific effects on the wild life, including a family of angry, irate, violent mutant bears. Lucky for mankind, Robert Foxworth and Talia Shire are on hand to save the day. Don’t you feel better already.


TREMORS (1990)

Is it a comedy?  Is it a horror film?  Is it a creature feature?  The answer: Tremors is all those things and so much more.  When giant worms attack a rural desert town it is up to Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and an unlikely band of survivors to save not only themselves but also the rest of mankind from an underground threat that is beyond belief.



It is not always animals, insects or sea monsters that are effected in these giant monster films – no, sir. In The Amazing Colossal Man, it is Lt. Col. Glenn Manning that is radiated into becoming a towering, monstrous beast. The larger he grows, the more savage he becomes until he breaks free of the prison the army crafted for him to attack a late-fifties Las Vegas, throwing cars and destroying everything in his path.



Some giant monsters are those that have yet to be seen by man’s eyes. Much like the subterranean worms from Tremors, the creatures from Deep Rising are brought to the surface by man’s destructive handling of Earth itself. The sea monster rises to the surface to attach sea vessels and to terrorize Treat Williams and Famke Janssen in Stephen (The Mummy, Van Helsing) Sommers’ 1998 monster fest. Concentrating more on the action and humor, Deep Rising is the only film on the list that relies heavily upon CGI for its creature effects.



Some ideas must read far better on paper than the end up on film. Night of the Lepus is perhaps one of the most definitive of the bunch. In this film, a southwest American town is terrorized by giant, mutated…bunny rabbits. Oh, the horror. Even with a fascinating cast (Stuart Witman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun and DeForest Kelly), the 1972 film just cannot produce a convincingly menacing rabbit at a threat, giant or not. It simply has to be seen to be believed.

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This post was written by Doc Rotten
Doc Rotten is a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and podcast host for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, Decades of Horror 1980s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast, Hannibal Fan Podcast and The Future of Horror. He was also co-host Dracula on TV TALK and was a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior. He is also a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist.