What is a monster? Is it purely supernatural like the old films of Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon or Frankenstein? Is it a human that is transformed into something that will kill other humans like zombies or possessed people? Is it just humans that have the desire for bloody vengeance so they kill their friends and random people like Freddy or Michael Myers? Or is it just your mother-in-law? To me monsters are all of these things, except for maybe your mother in law… Maybe. I put together a list of my favorite monster films from the ages. The list may seem a bit obvious, but I am not well versed in the horror or monster genre so bear with me.
5. The Exorcist
A little girl becomes possessed by Satan. Doesn’t that seem like a pleasant way to while away your afternoon watching? This horror classic scared the shit out of me when I was younger and I haven’t been able to watch it since.
4. Evil Dead
This low-budget classic has interesting scenes involving tree rape and creamed corn barf. I like this film because the women who get turned into the Evil Dead put on a chilling performance full of sing-song devil voices and crazy makeup.
3. Dawn of the Dead
Zombies! This film got me turned on to exploring the zombie film closely. I had liked the modern incarnations of zombie culture, but this film got me interested in how Romero came up with zombies and the history of them.
I haven’t seen the Bride of Frankenstein which I hear is better than this one, but I still find this film really interesting. I wish they would have shown this version of Frankenstein instead of the crappy Robert De Niro one when we were studying this book in high school. It is full of low-budget camp and silly special effects and yet I can watch it over and over again.
1. Dracula, Nosferatu, and Thirst
Vampires have always been a supernatural element that fascinated me. In fact I was one of those silly half-goth kids in high school who sat around reading Anne Rice novels. I also labored my way through the Bram Stoker original. (Don’t read it. It is one of the most frustrating and annoying classics of all time. Man Bram Stoker was not a good writer.) I also watch all of the vampire films that come out (with the notable exceptions of the Twilight Series. Those people are not real vampires. Dracula never sparkled and therefore vampires cannot sparkle, damn it. And they are supposed to be evil, not good!) I love watching Bela Lugosi gliding around being his bad ass self. I also like the Murnau version that is creepier than the novel could ever be. One of the best modern takes on vampires has got to be Thirst. That is a twisted and awesome story about the sheer bloodiness of being a vampire. So much blood! It is awesome.
Monster films I have not seen:
The Thing (John Carpenter)
The Invisible Man
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street
and probably many more films