Main menu

"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Open Polling for Nuketown's Monster Week

by Ken Newquist / April 11, 2010

The Discovery Channel has Shark Week. That's all well and good -- sharks are equal parts terrifying and fascinating -- but why limit yourself to one species? This summer Nuketown is launching Monster Week -- one full week dedicated to the best in cinematic horror. We're going to have movie reviews, soundtrack reviews, blog and game posts inspired by said movies, and -- if I can swing it -- feature length audio commentary for a film.

The big question is ... what movies? I plan on featuring seven monster flicks, focusing on post-Jaws era. They don't need to be straight up horror movies -- in fact, I'm just as happy to review later day creature features. I'm also looking to come up with at least one monster per major environment (e.g. space, desert, arctic) so as to avoid overlap. The key is that they need to be realistic monsters; I'm not looking for supernatural horrors like Freddie and Jason.

Here's my tentative list, comprised of some of my all-time favorite monster flicks? Who would you add to it? Who's on your list? And which of these would you like to see a feature-length Nuketown commentary track for?

  • Aliens (space): It's hard to choose between Alien and Aliens but the sequel has the queen AND a fully operational hive. And, oh yeah, kickass space marines.
  • Cloverfield (giant monster): Great homage to Godzilla with modern sensibilities. Far better than the Godillza remake.
  • Deep Rising (ocean): It appeals to the gamer in me: giant squid creature attacks an ocean liner then retreats, leaving the band of merc pirates who'd planned to conquer the ship utterly confused
  • Jaws (ocean, natural predator): The first creature feature blockbuster of the modern age.
  • Predator (jungle): Schwarzenegger vs. an alien big game hunter in the depths of a jungle.
  • The Thing (arctic): Truly alien horror coupled with psychological terror.
  • Tremors (desert): Giant worms that travel underground threaten a secluded desert town; it's the token monster comedy here.

Monster Week is tentatively schedule for July. If you're interested in participating in Monster Week -- either by contributing something to Nuketown or posting something on your own web site -- please leave a comment or email me at

Blog Topic: 


Dibs on Aliens. But you probably saw that coming. ;)

BTW, this is a really cool idea for a big feature.

Excellent! I'm leaning toward Aliens for the commentary track; I was thinking we could do it with a handful of interested Blackrazors. I do need to do some research on how to capture our voices without getting the TV (though we've all watched Aliens so many times we could probably watch it without the audio :))

Hmm, but the Blu-Ray Aliens compilation isn't due for release until Holiday '10. Clearly, we will have to rent it from XBL Zune Marketplace in HD. :)

Maybe if we used PC headset mics on vox, they wouldn't trigger if we kept the movie volume at a low roar? We could use a separate laptop for each commentator, each running Skype? I have a network switch in the living room. Perhaps my iMac could do the actual recording upstairs?

Don't foget

-Alien, more of a 'monster' movie than pt.2(which seems to be more of a fleeing from unstoppable space critters film to me)
-30 Days of Night, A nice new Vampire flick (with nasty beasty vamps, not thr romantic crap)
-Little Shop of Horrors, campy, yes. But an interesting idea (I like the plant as monster angle. There is a cool, but still cannot remember the tiltle, movie about ab Aztec plant eating spring break folk (not great acting, but pretty flowers).

While Aliens is the superior horror movie, I like Aliens as a better monster movie because it gives us the whole ecology of the alien.

"But each one of these things comes from an egg, right? So who's laying these eggs?" - Ripley

Little Shop of Horrors is a good suggestion -- maybe for round 2? 30 Days of Night is in my Netflix queue, but i haven't gotten to it yet. In any case, I'd file vampires under supernatural monsters (along with werewolves) although you could make an argument for them as natural critters depending on the flick.

I think a directional microphone/recorder might do the trick; if the field is aimed at us, and the volume is low, we might be able to pull it off without any fancy skype tricks. Clearly some experiments are in order. :)

Yes, vampires do belong anoung other supernatural ilk. And No, this is not as silly an argument as batman vs. spiderman. (spiderman wins by virtue of superpowers, batman is just an uber-cool dude)

The movie about the plant eating spring-breakers in Aztec ruins that Bob is referring to is called The Ruins. It's based upon the novel of the same name by Scott Smith, who also wrote the novel A Simple Plan ( and the screenplay for the movie based upon that novel). A great read, but only a so-so movie.

For me, the problem with The Ruins was that it stressed gore over suspense; I think it was a cool setup (and might make for an excellent game scenario) but I stopped watching about halfway through, and didn't feel compelled to return to it.

If the book's better, I may have to add that to my summer reading list.

Agreed. Within 6 seconds of encounter Spider-man, Bruce Wayne already has a half-dozen contingency plans for taking him down. Within 12, Spidey's down.

He might be able to take Nightwing though. :)

Ah damn ... now that you mention it, I Lake Placid almost *has* to be in there. Sure it was a silly monster movie, but by all that is good and geeky, THEY USED A COW SUSPENDED FROM A HELICOPTER AS BAIT! That's like, Blackrazor Battle Tactic #3!

I know that Christiana Ellis has the "Who wants to watch a movie podcast", Now I have yet to listen or be a part of this one but maybe she will have some advise on how to set up a group of people watching movies online and recording it.

my 'Spiderman is a superior superhero to Batman' argument is not based on a head to head contest. If Barman and Spigerman were to mix it up, Batman would win 8 of 10 falls. My point is that Batman has no superpowers! His origin is as a psychologically troubled person who happens to be really smart and really wealthy. He is 100% natural. No magics, no radiation and no Deux ex Machina. Just lots of training, smarts and gadgets.

Batman is a monster, Spiderman is a supernatural being.

I'm adding Slither to the list; it's a cool, gross and funny take on the monster movie featuring Nathan Fillion as the sheriff of a small town overrun by bodysnatcher-like horrors. Good stuff, especially for monster movie fans, because it has so much fun with the tropes of the subgenre.