With Pacific Rim on the cinematic horizon, we've (Rory and Brian) decided to pit our two lists against each: Top Five Giant Monsters VS Top Five Robots! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! There are a few rules to this monster movie list, like no ridiculously fantastical monsters (we really wanted to put the Giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters on here!) or nothing that isn't really a monster to begin with (case in point: King Kong). Anyways, on with the list!
Top 5 Giant Monsters
This unnamed beast completely tore Manhattan a new one, repositioning the head of the Statue of Liberty to somewhere further downtown, and basically just redesigning the architecture of the city to a more angled look. Between swatting helicopters from the sky, dropping little (by comparison) bugs to infiltrate the subway, and just generally nomming down on pedestrians, Cloverfield's monster is definitely one of the most intensely scary
giants of cinema.
GODZILLA (1954 - 2014)
From his first incarnation back in a 50's Japanese movie, all the way through the countless TV and cinema sequels, including the hilariously bad 2008 U.S. version, Godzilla (aka Gojira) is one of the most enduring franchises in cinema history. Plus we have a new version to look forward to next year, from the director of Monsters (see below).
THE HOST (2006)
No, not the awful Saoirse Ronan movie, this is a fantastic South Korean movie about a creature that emerges from the highly polluted Han River. Probably the smallest monster on this list - but still about the same size as an elephant, so not to be sniffed at - The Host's big bad guy likes nothing more than snatching up innocent bystanders and hiding them in a sewer to digest later. Lovely.
THE MIST (2007)
For most of this Stephen King adaptation, the folk involved have to deal with insects, most of which are no bigger than a man. But then during the movie's climax, from out of the… eh… mist, comes a MASSIVE creature, so passive to the existence of miniscule man that it walks right by them without giving a second thought. This is the kind of stuff H.P. Lovecraft had nightmares about.
Earth has been invaded by aliens, but after six years, there has been an uneasy alliance, as the relatively non-aggressive creatures seem to stay put in the areas they've landed in. All giant tentacles and glow-in-the-dark luminescence, there is the subtext that these aliens aren't the real threat, it's us humans that are truly monstrous.
TOP FIVE ROBOTS
Well, let's look at it like this. None of these guys are going to be able to destroy entire cities the way the monsters can. They haven't got the size or the power. But they've got personality, right? That goes a long way.
5. C3P0 & R2D2 (Star Wars)
Come on, who didn't love this comedy duo? Here's the real question. How did everybody seem to know what Artoo was saying? You look back at the Star Wars films and, weirdly, everybody could understand a series of beeps and boops. The same goes with Chewbacca, as well. How did everyone know what the growls meant?
4. WALL-E (Wall-E)
If you didn't think Wall-E was a heartwarming romantic comedy with a beautiful message, then YOU belong on this list. He's small, cute and looks like he was designed by Apple. But more than anything else, Wall-E showed that you didn't have to have a million words when a few was all that's needed. The cute little way he says 'Eeevaaa' just melted our hearts.
3. OPTIMUS PRIME (Transformers)
He's the leader of the Autobots. He can turn into a big-wheel truck. There's a decent chance this guy was an integral part of your childhood. And he can fight Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons single-handedly. He's not Optimus Maybe. He's Optimus PRIME.
2. ED-209 (Robocop)
It's dated, sure. It doesn't look all that fearsome of terrifying nowadays. But you have to remember the first time you saw ED-209 in Robocop. In a weird way, the stop-motion jerkiness made it all the more creepy. And that voice! "YOU NOW HAVE FIFTEEN SECONDS TO COMPLY."
1. T-1000 (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
You only need to watch this film for about five or ten minutes to know that it's easily one of the greatest chase films ever made. Not only that, it's aged incredibly well. The CGI for T-1000's shapeshifting was state of the art in 1990 and twenty-three years later, it still holds up incredibly well. Our favourite bit? When he's chasing after them in the carpark. Homer Simpson did it better, though.
Words: Brian Lloyd, Rory Cashin