With the release of the iconic movie Godzilla earlier this year, the clamor for kaiju movies has been raised once again. Kaiju, a Japanese word with the literal translation for “giant beasts” have been the term used to refer to movies that have giant monsters as part of its main characters. Some kaiju have been one of the good guys and some of them have been the villains terrorizing defenseless humans, and some like Godzilla have played both roles.
Though the particular movie genre originated from Japan, usually with the monsters either attacking Japan or fighting another equally frightening beast, kaiju movies have now reached worldwide audiences. Moviemakers around the world have embraced the genre and have done their own version of these beasts, whose range of origins and physical appearance vary as far as the imagination goes. Here’s a list of top ten movies that have been influential worldwide:
Obviously the 1954 classic by Ishiro Honda will top the list for being the original, and most arguably the best. One of the legendary movies about the horrors of nuclear war, this movie has made its mark on all kaiju movies with the monster’s dark and terrifying rampage around Tokyo.
- Pacific Rim
The ultimate robot versus monsters modern movie had been received positively around the world. Set in 2020, the plot revolves around gigantic mecha having to battle monsters from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Its superb effects and fight scenes really make it worth the 132 minutes you’re going to watch it.
The thing about Cloverfield is that at the start of the movie you don’t expect it to be about gigantic monsters. It’s not set in another world or in another time so it adds to the terrifying effect. The found footage that follows young New Yorkers on the night that a huge creature appears out of nowhere and attacks the city is enough to give you chills at night, yet that also makes it enjoyable to watch.
- Jurassic Park
Discovering that dinosaurs still existed and that they eat human beings on a regular basis made the United States the king of kaiju movies at the time of release. Steven Spielberg’s legendary creation was the first American science fiction adventure film. With the stunning visual effects and cinematography, it became the highest grossing film worldwide at the time.
- King Kong
Both the 1933 classic and the 2005 remake are definitely worth watching. Romantics will feel for the huge gorilla seemingly in love with the lady character, while die-hard action fans will love the chase and excitement of every other part of the movie.
- Gamera Trilogy
All three Gamera films are worth seeing for any kaiju fan. The 1995 original has been highly praised for its darker and more mature tones, as well as the groundbreaking special effects.
- Troll Hunter
This Norwegian film about discovering the existence of trolls has top-notch visual effects and cinematography. Add that to fun storyline and you have a hundred minutes worth of awesome.
This gigantic garden moth is the second most popular kaiju character, next only to Godzilla. One of the few kaiju monsters considered to be female, she appeared in seven movies with Godzilla and even has a trilogy of her own.
If this movie being produced by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il doesn’t cut it out for you, either it being set in feudal Korea, or Kim kidnapping the director and lead actress, or the plot being about communism probably will.
This 1968 Japanese sci-fi film, the ninth in the Godzilla series was produced a year later in the United States. The final battle scene is one you won’t want to miss.
Kaiju movies have not always been successful. After all, just having giant monsters in your movie does not always equate to blockbuster success. You need special effects and at least a decent plot to get your audiences going. So to find out which movies are worth watching, you can either do your research online or get the phone number of Charter Cable customer service here so you can call them for assistance. They will not only provide you with a list of movies to watch, but will happily assist you in finding the channels where these movies will play.