Jaws, one of my favorite creature features, returned to theaters for a one-night-only screening on June 21st to honor its 40th anniversary. I was there, and as I watched one of my favorite movies in the company of a few other Jaws lovers, it got me thinking about having another ofNuketown’s Monster Weeks.
UPDATE: Watching and reviewing the movies is taking longer than I’d hoped. Monster Week 2015 is canceled.
The rules of Monster Week are straight-forward — the films must be about an unusual or alien creature or creatures. The emphasis is on creature features of a non-intelligent (or semi-intelligent) kind. Exceptions are made when the monster is particularly cool (see also: Predator, Slither, and Cabin in the Woods) but the emphasis is still on the creature feature smackdown. There are also certain cinematic rules one expects a creature feature to follow, but again, exceptions are welcome.
In 2010, we watched: Slither, Predator, Deep Rising, Cloverfield, and Lake Placid. In 2013, the list was Pacific Rim, Alien, Prometheus, The Relic, Eight-Legged Freaks, Anaconda, and Cabin in the Woods.
I don’t have a final list in mind for 2015 but I do have a few contenders:
- Aliens is one of the rare creature features that is every bit as good as the original Alien (and in some ways, better).
- Alien vs. Predator is the movie we waited years for, pitting the xenomorph against the galaxy’s ultimate hunters, but it doesn’t come close to any of the Dark Horse comics of the same name. It might make for a good movie vs. comic comparison (and a worthwhile addition to my summer reading list…)
- The Blob (1958) is one of the original creature features. I watched it a few years ago in anticipation of a Monster Week that didn’t happen; it’s worth re-watching
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)is another monster classic and one I’ve never seen. It also inspired an excellent pinball game.
- Creature is a terrible Alien-knockoff that’s available on Netflix streaming. I barely remember watching it when I was a kid back in the 1980s; those memories aren’t good.
- Grabbers is a recent movie about blood-sucking, tentacled horrors that attack an island off the Irish coast. The inhabitants discover that the things are repulsed by having a high blood/alcohol level.
- Hellboy isn’t a traditional creature feature, but it’s got a big red devil with a gun fighting all manner of tentacled horrors.
- Predator 2 or Predators are viable Monster Week options. Predator 2 introduced the idea of an Alien vs. Predator smackdown, while Predators is an homage to the original movie that builds on its tropes.
- Jurassic Park / Jurassic World would be a dinosaur double feature in honor of this year’s summer blockbuster.
- Split Second is an early 1990s horror moving staring Rutger Hauer that I loved in college. Rising seawater has caused a humanoid monster to run amok in the sewers of London. It was one of my favorites in college.
- Tremors is a logical addition, and really, it’s a shame it wasn’t featured earlier.
- The Thing is one of my all-time favorite horror movies (the 1982 version, not the remake, although that wasn’t awful); it deserves its own entry in Monster Week.
Have your own thoughts on what would make a good creature feature for Monster Week? Want to participate as a guest writer or on your own blog? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.