Admittedly, there are few Academy Award-winning movies in the giant monster film genre, but nobody said that guys in rubber monster suits were supposed to produce highbrow, intellectual art.
With the recent release of the new Godzilla film, there will be a spotlight once again placed on the giant monster and his/her/its place in film history.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a very subjective listing of the five all-time greatest giant monster movies:
The original Godzilla may not have been the first giant monster movie, but it certainly was the biggest and most influential, generating 27 sequels, billions of dollars worth of merchandising, and even a Saturday morning cartoon. Arguably, this tale of a giant nuclear radiation-spawned lizard is also the best of the genre, given its original concept and the overall limitations of special effects at the time. The fact that a new Godzilla movie is generating so much mainstream buzz-sixty years after the release of the original-serves as testament to the awesomeness of the story.
King Kong (1976)
Fans of the King Kong story will argue about which of the three major motion pictures is the best telling of the classic tale. However, the 1976 version, in this subjective opinion, offers the best blend of mega-pic bang and solid storytelling. A classic story fit into giant monster intrigue, King Kong is very close to being the king of the genre.
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
One of the many, many films in the Godzilla series, Destroy All Monsters is the Battle Royal of giant monster movies, featuring many of the all-time Japanese favorites like Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and several others in a planet-wide battle for control of Earth. Forget the silly story about alien mind control, just focus on all the cool building-crushing giant monster action.
The Blob (1958)
The original version of this giant monster classic features Steve McQueen in his debut role as a leading man. Unique in the genre, humanity faces the threat of being sucked dry by a growing, pulsating blub that originated as the ugly, gooey center of an Earth-bound meteorite.
Jurassic Park (1993)
The fifth slot on this list is very much open for debate and could’ve gone to several other films. However, because of its special effects wizardry and the overall strength of the story, this tale of dinosaur rejuvenation gone horribly wrong gets the highly subjective nod. Epic without being gaudy, Jurassic Park is simply a darn fine movie.