Each week Yahoo Tech’s Alyssa Bereznak will help you pick the best movies and shows to stream online.
Godzilla will once again be unleashed onto our nation’s big screens this weekend. He’s got a killer roar and a tail that just won’t quit, but he may only whet your appetite to see giant, uncontrollable beasts destroy everything in their paths. That’s why this week we’re exploring the best streamable monster flicks out there, known for their thin plots, campy special effects, and penchant for destruction.
If you want to know what a basic monster looks like, Konga is your beast. This 1961 flick features a man walking around in an ape suit who is ordered by his botanist master to kill his former enemies. One of those enemies happens to be the lover of the scientist’s longtime crush. This doesn’t sit well with the botanist’s current lady (and lab assistant), who decides to exact revenge by feeding Konga a serum that makes him grow into a colossal ogre. Konga proceeds to wreak havoc on the city. He’s eventually met by a fleet of British authorities, and a battle ensues.
It’s all pretty shoddy, as ’60s horror flicks tend to be. But I would technically qualify this one as good shoddy as opposed to shoddy shoddy. The costumes, the overly dramatic acting — it’s all too campy to hate.
2. The Blob
“If it had a mind, you could reason with it. If it had a face, you could look it in the eye. If it had a body, you could shoot it. Now, man is no longer the supreme being on this planet.”
So goes the trailer for the 1988 remake of The Blob. Though I prefer the original 1958 version starring Steve McQueen as a rascally high schooler, there are no four sentences that better summarize what captivates and terrifies us most about monster movies.
As far as evil beings go, the Blob is the epitome of a shapeless foreign force, here to envelop and suffocate all those in its path. Luckily, the Blob’s menacing nature is somewhat undercut by the fact that it looks like a giant melted gummy bear. And that brings me to my point: Make sure you buy some sort of gummy treat before you settle in to stream this one.
Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller kept me from the deep end of the swimming pool for years. There’s nothing more chilling than a toothy sea savage lurking in a seemingly endless body of water.
But aside from telling the story of “a mindless eating machine” out for blood, Jaws also demonstrates what can happen to a community if a government ignores the warnings of an expert ichthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and sacrifices safety for profit. Lesson learned: Never ignore the advice of an ichthyologist.
This 1979 thriller tells the story of a team of astronauts who visit a sketchy pod field in space. One of their team members is attacked by a terrifying face-hugging creature. No one really knows what to do, so naturally, they bring their friend back on the spacecraft. This, as you may have guessed, was unwise, as their friend becomes a hatching vessel for a particularly violent alien, who bursts from his body and begins terrorizing Sigourney Weaver and company.
As you might remember, the movie’s unforgettable tagline is: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” It is important to remember, however, that everyone can hear you scream through your apartment’s paper-thin walls. So muffle accordingly.
Before Godzilla was a terrifying product of CGI and advanced sound effects, he was, essentially, a papier-mâché puppet who knocked over doll houses. This 1964 contribution to the Godzilla canon is particularly entertaining, if only because of the fact that his enemy is a colorful giant moth that looks like a festive Anthropologie ornament.
Beware, though. This one was originally made for Japanese audiences and is therefore dubbed. It also features a pair of eerie, soothsaying Japanese twins, which I guess never hurts.
And honorable “what is this?” mention goes to …
After enduring a lifetime of relentless bullying, a skinny dork falls into a tub of radioactive sludge. He’s transformed into a superhuman — and super-ugly — monster who punishes the bad and protects the good. He’s also suddenly a ladies’ man. Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meets Porky’s.