Hello, my monstrous friends. Let’s look at some of my favorite horror films in the creature feature sub-genre. These films are normally thought of as existing within the confines of science fiction and super B movies (thanks Scifi Channel). Creatures are often considered outside the normal pantheon of supernatural beasties. Vampire, werewolves, ghosts, and zombies all exist separately but the creature feature, well, it will show you some strange beasts wreaking havoc only to succumb to the army or scientists who created it. But here are the top 5, that I recommend you guys watch.
5) The Relic – Believe me when I say that the movie hardly resembles the book at all, but this is a fun movie. It’s set in the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, which provides an excellent backdrop for the Kothoga to stalk and kill. It’s days before the opening of the Superstition exhibit and the Kothoga statue is on display. The real creature is actually stalking the grounds as well, using the subbasements and underground tunnels to traverse the labyrinth like museum. On the night of the opening exhibit, the Kothoga strikes and manages to cause the security system to shut down, trapping many of the guests (including the Mayor) inside, with 2 of the investigating officers and one evolutionary biologist who uncovers the origin of the Kothoga. This film has a good feel to it and I enjoy the characters, including the Kothoga. I assure you, that you’ll never look at the musuem the same way again.
4) Black Sheep – Night of the Lepus-like only instead of giant killer bunnies they used genetically altered man eating sheep. That’s right sheep, this time they’re doing the shearing. Not only are there killer man eating sheep, but anyone who’s bitten by the sheep and lives will turn into a giant weresheep. Great, right?! Sheep are just kind of funny looking while they chew, but when you see them chew with blood smeared on their muzzle and the actor’s reactions to this, you’ll crack up. Still despite it , this film was well done, tongue firmly placed in cheek, but the movie is good because it knows what it is. If they had tried to pass this off as a serious film, then people would not have liked it, but this film must be seen. So watch the sheep and remember when you see that sweater in the closet, the sheep might be coming for you.
3) They – This film takes an interesting look at children that suffer night terrors, claiming that they are actually being terrorized by creatures. It’s not until much later that you realize that they didn’t imagine it. They actually were dragged to another dimension and implanted with this tracker in their skulls so that years later they can be found for the purpose of being eaten. Four people in this film who at one time suffered night terrors are our cast of protagonists. One of them who blows his brains out in a diner so they can’t get him. Two of them who don’t believe until it’s too late. And the last, our heroine, who must convince others that they are real, and they are coming. I absolutely love this film for the way the creatures are portrayed and the fact that you never get a great look at them, but it’s still awesome. This one will make you think twice about dismissing someone who claims to have had a similar nightmare.
2) Pitch Black – This film introduce us to the anti-hero Riddick (which most people came to love) and Vin Diesel. Also, the creatures were an interesting concept living underground until the triple sun solar eclipse then they come out to feed. Riddick (in the custody of a bounty hunter) is a murdering felon, but he also can see in the dark and, in this case, that’s a very helpful skill. I absolutely love this movie and thought it was well done. There’s something about watching a bad guy fight monsters, especially when those monsters are faster, stronger, and tougher than you. Watch and see who will survive and who will feed the beasts.
1) The Descent – Hands down the best horror films made in the past 10 year. You don’t see any monsters until later in the movie, but the way it’s shot and the set design make you feel like you’re in a cave system. The film has a very claustrophobic feel to it, and then once the ladies get good and lost. There’s a cave-in, so they must brave the uncharted caves or risk never getting out again. Unbeknownst to them, is a tribe of humanoids living down in the caves and they are hungry. I encourage anyone who likes a good suspenseful film that’s well done to watch this. It has some graphic parts to it, but it’s just an awesome movie. I can’t say anymore about it, awesome.
If these don’t seem to suit your fancy then I’d recommend Humaniods from the Deep (fishmen mating with our women), of course the first real creature feature The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Watchers (based on the Dean Koontz book), or Pumpkinhead (nothing like some southern demon justice). Thanks for reading and remember, no matter where you are they might lurk so check the bed, the closet, and any dark corners for creatures abound.