Saturday, 11 May 2013

May Monster Madness 01: Creature Features


I love May Monster Madness because It's a chance to get in touch with my monstrous roots. Nothing is more comforting to me than sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching some Creature Features. I thought we delve a little into what makes a movie a Creature Feature to start the week off right.

Creature Feature is a general term for monster movies, be they science fiction or horror. From the 60's all the way into the 80's, Creature Features were aired on TV Broadcasts. These late night shows were usually horror-hosted by greats such as Vampira, Elvira and more. You could catch Creature Features airing cult movies from the 30's to the 50's, a lot even had no color to them. Just black and white classics of cheesey awesome with monsters. If you were a kid growing up in the 80's like myself, you probably stayed up late, curled up in your jammies watching these films and trying to not get too excited so you don't get caught. *wink* Sometimes they aired American cult classics, other times British monster films, and even Japanese "giant monster" films like Gozilla. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, and monsters are creatures that cross genre boundaries.


If you've ever seen a Universal Monster movie, then you've seen a Creature Feature. Dracula, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man and Frankenstein are but a few that fall into this category. Some British monster films come from Hammer Films, with classics such as The Phantom of the Opera. Alien invasion films and "nuclear monsters" are also pretty popular Creature Feature movie types. The concept of beings from outer space/mutations taking over the plant was pretty popular entertainment. Movies like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Thing from Another World, The War of the Worlds are just a few examples of such films.


With effects today, we can make Creature Features that would blow the minds of the people who originated the title. The Thing From Another World was remade into The Thing, and it's an amazing movie, with good storytelling, crazy effects and creepy music. When this film was made the first time it disturbed people, but The Thing is still regarded as the better of the two films simply because it has so much more to offer an audience. (Yup, I'm not even gonna talk about the "Prequel". It's not worth my time.) While a lot of these classic films aren't terrible and should be credited for the creation of Creature Features, not all of them stand up to the standards of a viewing audience today. Which is a shame, as they do carry their own charm and have inspired many a filmmaker.


Okay, my research hat is off now. I think I have rambled enough. Please feel free to share some of your favorite Creature Features with me in the comments, and tomorrow I will share my top 10 Modern Creature Features list with you!


20 comments:

  1. Creature from the Black Lagoon! That's a fave for sure... I haven't seen it in years though... I will have to revisit. Awesome hop, here's my MMM at Design du Jour.

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    1. Mmm Creature From the Black Lagoon! A classic! you have good taste!

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  2. A few favourites: "The Thing"; "Jaws"; "Rogue"; and "Horror Express".

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  3. Love a good creature feature! I think Critters was probably my favourite back in the day. Don't judge me, I was like six! ;)
    Awesome post, Kweeny! It's been far too long since I dropped by!
    Here's my MMM'S Carmen Jenner Author! and Book Me!
    Happy Hopping! =D

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    1. I don't judge! I have some fond memories of Critters! http://kweenytodd.blogspot.com/2012/05/mmm-critters-make-kweeny-happy.html

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  4. One of my all time favs from childhood was Mothra. At least I think that was the name of the film! Great MMM post!

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    1. HEHE Mothra! I loved watching Mothra and Godzilla go at it!

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  5. Fully agree: creature features only work with practical effects. Screw CGI :/

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    1. CGI should only be used sparingly in my opinion.

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  6. I thoroughly enjoyed the remake of The Thing :)

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    1. The prequel? Or the John Carpenter remake?

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  7. Classic!! The Munsters are the best!

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    1. Munsters and Addams Family were what I wished my family was like as a kid.

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  8. I hope you're happy. I just spent about 5 minutes staring at the thing under the desk, out of the desk, under the desk, out of the desk... It's mesmerizing!!!

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    1. You know what, I am happy. Big shit-eating grin over here. ;)

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  9. Don't forget 'The Wasp Woman'! ;)

    I'm riveted by the blinking Frankenstein's Monster gif. It's mesmerizing!

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    1. Wasp Woman! LOL! Yes, we cannot forget her!

      BE SPELLBOUND BY MY GIF! OOooo *wiggles fingers*

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  10. I loved all those oldies, especially things like "Godzilla vs. Mothra." You and I are researching the same stuff. It's taking me a lot longer than I thought (but isn't that the way with everything?). Plus, it's fun since it's such a great subject to research! :-)

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    1. Research for me is never work when it's something I -choose- to look up. So for me, it's fun to learn about Creature Features. :D

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