Apes and Kaiju and Sharks, Oh My!

By FPL_Staff

It’s getting toward the end of summer. Have you started running out of things to do? Is it too hot to leave the house? What about a good old-fashioned, curl-up-on-the-couch movie marathon? And nothing says summer like a monster movie. Why not try one of these routes below?

Classic Monsters: Are you in the mood for the OG kings of monsters?

King Kong started it all in 1933 with Cooper and Schoedsack’s film, “King Kong,” which was noted for its pioneering use of a stop motion animated primary character. Interest in kaiju (Japanese for “monsters”) re-awakened with Honda Ishirō’s 1954 Japanese film, “Gojira,” or “Godzilla” in English. Featuring a monster created by careless nuclear testing, the Godzilla films were a response to heightened fears of atomic weapons after the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in World War II, less than a decade prior. King Kong and Godzilla first fought in the 1962 film, “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”

Figure 1 https://legendary-digital-network-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/13000451/Godzilla-Vs-Kong-1962.jpg

Now that you know the history, snuggle up with the newest bout of Godzilla and Kong films:
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Godzilla, King of the Monsters, opens a new window

Kong Skull Island, opens a new window

Godzilla Vs. Kong, opens a new window

A delightfully weird, lesser-known Godzilla film, “Shin Godzilla” is a 2017 Japanese film that focuses on the bureaucratic nightmare that a catastrophic kaiju attack would pose to a country. We follow frantic governmental workers scrambling to figure out and contain the disaster. It’s a little less action-packed but a lot goofier.
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Off-brand Kaiju: Maybe Godzilla and King Kong are a little too traditional for you and you’re looking to dig a little deeper.

If you like a dose of giant robots with your giant monsters, try Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 film “Pacific Rim.” You can do a double feature with the sequel, though it doesn’t come close to the fun, action-packed emotional gut punch that the first is.

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Pacific Rim, opens a new window: Uprising

How do you feel about found footage horror? 2008’s “Cloverfield” was an early installment in the 2010’s frenzy of found footage horror films. We follow a group of friends in New York trying to find safety during an attack by a very large monster and the little monsters that accompany him, while filming it all for posterity. 

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Into the Depths: Maybe nothing is as terrifying to you as monsters from below.

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 “Jaws,” widely regarded as the first summer “blockbuster,” ushered in a new fascination with sharks that continues to this day. From Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week to upcoming movies like “Meg 2: The Trench,” our sharp toothed friends aren’t going anywhere soon.

If you’re into Jason Statham-style action movies, then “The Meg” is for you. With the sequel coming out in August, you can do a double feature!

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If you’re more into horror and less into sharks, try “Underwater.” A crew of scientists working in a deep-sea laboratory try to find a way to survive at the bottom of the ocean after their base is all but destroyed by an earthquake. But maybe it wasn’t an earthquake after all…

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If you’re in the mood for claustrophobic horror with real-sized sharks, try a “47 Meters Down” double feature. The first follows two women trapped in a shark cage in shark-infested waters after the cage breaks off their boat and falls to the ocean floor. The more effective sequel follows a group of friends lost in shark-infested underwater caves.

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47 Meters Down, opens a new window

If being fully underwater is just too stressful for you, try “The Shallows.” A woman surfing alone off a remote beach gets stranded on a rocky outcropping only 200 yards from the shore by a shark that just won’t let up. 

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https://www.britannica.com/topic/Godzilla, opens a new window