Lake Placid: Monster vs. Cow

Back when the Blackrazor Guild still played D&D, we had a list of standard battle tactics. They were things like “spring the ambush then fight your way out”, “lightning bolt in a short corridor”, “fireball at your feet” and the classic “stake out a cow to lure the monster into the open”. Lake Placid is … Read more

Cloverfield: The monster movie Godzilla should have been

In 1998 director Roland Emmerich released a remake of Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick and featured a monster heavily inspired by the designer Patrick Tatopoulos’ pet iguana attacking New York City. It failed on multiple fronts, starting with uninspiring Godzilla design, continuing with the half-assed Siskel and Ebert knockoffs as government antagonists, and ending with a … Read more

The Rules of a Creature Feature

The Scream series was famous for enumerating the rules of the slasher horror genre. The Creature Feature has its own rules, and the best movies play by them — or play off of them. Here’s my take on the rules of the genre; feel free to to add your own in the comments.

Star Wars: The Storm Dragons of Tarl

The storm dragons are magnificent creatures hunt the hurricanes of the storm world of Tarl. The Outer Rim planet’s binary stars provide a constant source of energy for its moisture rich atmosphere, giving rise to an unending series of cyclones. The dragons constantly ride these storms, hunting the great airbag herbivores that dwell in storms’ eyes and battling each other for arial supremacy.

Predator: 1980s military adventurism meets alien horror

Predator starts off as a standard 1980s-style military adventure film, not unlikeSchwarzenegger’s own Commando. It’s got the bad-ass elite soliders (led by Arnold’s own Dutch), a bombastic soundtrack, and a pitched firefight with guerillas. But in between the bouts of testosterone, there’s tension. Our troops realize something isn’t quite right — but is it in … Read more

Jaws: The prototypical modern monster movie

Jaws is the definitive monster movie of the modern era. While there were all manner of science fiction creature features before it, Jaws did what films about vampires, werewolves and other supernatural spawn couldn’t: it made millions afraid of the water. It was the first modern blockbuster, and established a pattern for releasing summer movies … Read more

Monster Week 2010

Check the batteries in your motion trackers, refuel your flamethrowers, lock and load your shotgun, and make sure you’ve everything you need to make a few dozen pipe bombs. Monster Week is here. The week-long celebration of speculative fiction’s monster movies is running July 25-31 at Nuketown. It focuses on “creature features”, movies like Aliens, … Read more