List of films featuring giant monsters

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This is an alphabetical list of films featuring giant monsters, known in Japan as kaiju. One of the first films involving giant monsters was the 1933 classic King Kong, as developments in cinema and animation enabled the creation of realistic giant creatures. The film influenced many giant-monster films in its wake, including many produced in Japan, starting with the adaptation King Kong Appears in Edo in 1938, which is now presumed to be a lost film.[1] The visual effects in King Kong, created by Willis O'Brien, inspired future monster film effects artists such as Ray Harryhausen and Dennis Muren.[2] Early giant-monster films often had themes of adventure and exploration of unknown regions, and incorporated fights with giant monsters as a climactic element.

The development of atomic weaponry in the 1940s gave rise to its involvement in popular themes. The 1953 American film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms featured a giant dinosaur that awakens due to nuclear tests in the Arctic.[3]:42 The 1954 film Them! involved giant irradiated ants. Later in 1954, the Japanese film Godzilla was released, followed by Rodan in 1956. This was at a time when giant creatures created by nuclear radiation became popular. Japan continued with a giant moth in Mothra, a turtle in Gamera, and many more that followed. Other countries have their own giant monster movies such as the United Kingdom and Denmark with Gorgo and Reptilicus, both released in 1961.

Films featuring Godzilla and Gamera were made into the 1970s, and a King Kong remake was released in 1976. Awareness of toxic waste and the growth of the environmental movement in the 1970s inspired the release of various horror films, and the giant monster subgenre saw the release of 1971's Godzilla vs. Hedorah, in which the themes of pollution and environmentalism were incorporated into the series.[4] Following a second series of films in the 1980s and 1990s, Godzilla received a 1998 remake by TriStar Pictures, while King Kong received a 2005 remake by Universal Pictures. 2008 saw the release of the successful Cloverfield, which some critics have claimed inspiration from the September 11 attacks.[5][6][7] Pacific Rim, a film featuring giant mecha battling with kaiju, was released in 2013, and the following year Legendary reinterpreted Godzilla for a new generation of audiences in the series' 30th film. The latest entry in the Godzilla series, Shin Godzilla, premiered in Japan in July 2016.[8][9] A reboot of King Kong known as Kong: Skull Island was released in March 2017.[10]

List of films[edit]

Name Year Country Description Ref.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad 1958 United States Cyclops, dragon, roc [11]
20 Million Miles to Earth 1957 United States extraterrestrial from Venus [12]
A Monster Calls 2016 UK giant anthropomorphic yew tree [13]
All Monsters Attack 1969 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Alligator 1980 United States Giant alligator [14]
Always Zoku Sanchōme no Yūhi 2007 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Anaconda 1997 United States Giant anaconda [15]
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 2004 United States giant anacondas [16]
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters 2007 United States Insanoflex / robot [17]
The Arctic Giant 1942 United States Dinosaur-esque monster [18]
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman 1958 United States human [19]:18[20]
Attack of the Crab Monsters 1958 United States giant crabs [21]
Atragon 1963 Japan Manda / daikaiju [22]
Attack of the Giant Leeches 1959 United States Giant leech [23]
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms 1953 United States Rhedosaurus [24]:28–37[20]
The Beast of Hollow Mountain 1956 United States Allosaurus [24]:37–42
Beginning of the End 1957 United States radioactive grasshoppers [25][20]
The BFG 2016 United States Giants [26]
Big Ass Spider! 2013 United States giant spider [27]
Big Man Japan 2008 Japan daikaiju [28]
The Black Scorpion 1957 United States giant scorpion [29]
The Blob 1958 United States Blob [30]
Clash of the Titans 1981 United States Kraken [31]
Clash of the Titans 2010 United States, United Kingdom monsters from Greek mythology [16]
Cloverfield 2008 United States Clover [19]
The Cloverfield Paradox 2018 United States Clover [19]
Colossal 2016 Canada/Spain unknown creature [32][33]
Conan the Barbarian 1982 United States giant snake [34]
Daimajin 1966 Japan Daimajin [35]
The Deadly Mantis 1957 United States Praying mantis [36]
Deep Rising 1998 United States giant octopus-like creature [37]
Destroy All Monsters 1968 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Earth vs. the Spider 1958 United States giant spider [38]
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 United States Exogorth (giant slug) [39]
Eight Legged Freaks 2002 United States, Germany, Australia giant spiders [16]
The Food of the Gods 1976 United States Giant Rats [18]
Galaxy Quest 1999 United States Gorignak (rock monster) [40]
Gamera 1965 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [41][42]
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion 1996 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [12]
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris 1999 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [43]
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe 1995 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [44]
Gamera: Super Monster 1980 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [45]
Gamera the Brave 2006 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [46]
Gamera vs. Barugon 1966 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gamera vs. Guiron 1969 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gamera vs. Gyaos 1967 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gamera vs. Jiger 1970 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gamera vs. Viras 1968 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gamera vs. Zigra 1971 Japan Gamera / daikaiju [42]
Gappa: The Triphibian Monster 1967 Japan bird-lizards / daikaiju [47]
Gargantua 1998 United States Prehistoric Creature [48]
Garuda 2004 Thailand Garuda / giant bird creature [49]
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster 1964 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Ghostbusters 1984 United States Stay Puft Marshmallow Man [50]
The Giant Behemoth 1959 United Kingdom, United States Paleosaurus [51][52]
The Giant Claw 1957 United States extraterrestrial prehistoric bird [53]
The Giant Gila Monster 1959 United States beaded lizard [54]
The Giant Spider Invasion 1975 United States giant spiders [55][56]
Godzilla 1954 Japan Godzilla [8][57]:Chapter 3[20]
Godzilla 1998 United States, Japan daikaiju [8]
Godzilla 2014 United States Godzilla, MUTO [8]
Godzilla 2000 1999 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla 2002 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju / mecha [8][57]:Chapter 32
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle 2019 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [58][59]
Godzilla: Final Wars 2004 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla: King of the Monsters 2019 United States Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah [60]
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack 2001 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][12]
Godzilla: The Planet Eater 2018 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [61]
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters 2017 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [62]
Godzilla Raids Again 1955 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 2003 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju / mecha [8]
Godzilla vs. Biollante 1989 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 28
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah 1995 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 33
Godzilla vs. Gigan 1972 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 20
Godzilla vs. Hedorah 1971 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][4]
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah 1991 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla vs. Kong 2021 United States King Kong / Godzilla [63]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 1974 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju / mecha [8]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II 1993 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju / mecha [8]
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus 2000 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla vs. Megalon 1973 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 21
Godzilla vs. Mothra 1992 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster 1966 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 14
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla 1994 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Goosebumps 2015 United States giant praying mantis [64]
Gorgo 1961 Ireland, United Kingdom, United States sea monster [19]
Grabbers 2012 Ireland, United Kingdom tentacled [12]
He's a Dragon 2015 Russia Dragon [65]
Helluva Good Luck 1999 Czech Republic Dragon [66]
Helluva Good Luck 2 2001 Czech Republic Dragon [67]
The Host 2006 South Korea amphibious [12]
Ilya Muromets 1956 Soviet Union Dragon [68]
Invasion of Astro-Monster 1965 Japan, United States Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
It Came from Beneath the Sea 1955 United States radioactive octopus [69]
Jack the Giant Slayer 2013 United States giants [16]
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 2012 United States giant lizard [70][71]
Journey to the Beginning of Time 1955 Czechoslovakia dinosaurs [72]
The Jungle Book 2016 United States King Louie (giant orangutan) [73]
Jurassic Park 1993 United States numerous dinosaurs [74]

[75][76][77][78]

Jurassic Park III 2001 United States numerous dinosaurs [78]
Jurassic World 2015 United States genetically-modified dinosaurs [16]
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 2018 United States numerous dinosaurs [78]
King Kong 1933 United States King Kong [19]
King Kong 1976 United States King Kong [79]
King Kong 2005 United States/New Zealand King Kong [80]
King Kong Appears in Edo 1938 Japan King Kong [81]
King Kong Lives 1986 United States King Kong [82][83][84]
King Kong vs. Godzilla 1962 Japan, United States King Kong / Godzilla [8][57]:Chapter 42
Konga 1961 United Kingdom giant gorilla [85]
Kong: Skull Island 2017 United States King Kong, Skullcrawler [10]
The Loch Ness Horror 1981 United States Loch Ness Monster [86]
The Lego Batman Movie 2017 United States King Kong [87][88]
Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus 2010 United States shark and crocodile [89]
Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus 2009 United States shark and octopus [90]
Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark 2014 United States shark [91]
Mighty Joe Young 1949 United States giant gorilla [92]
Mighty Joe Young 1998 United States giant gorilla [93]
The Mighty Kong 1998 United States King Kong [94]
The Mist 2007 United States various [16]
Monster 2008 United States giant octopus [95]
Monster Hunter 2020 United States numerous monsters [96]
Monsters 2010 United Kingdom six-legged, tentacled beast [12]
Monsters: Dark Continent 2014 United Kingdom six-legged, tentacled beast [97]
Monsters vs. Aliens 2009 United States various [16]
Mothra 1961 Japan daikaiju / giant moth [98][99]
Mothra vs. Godzilla 1964 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Night of the Lepus 1972 United States mutated rabbits [53]
Notzilla 2020 United States daikaiju / Godzilla parody [100]
On the Comet 1970 Czechoslovakia Dinosaurs, Sea monster [101]
Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon 1994 Japan Yamata no Orochi / dragon [102]
Outlander 2008 United States Moorwen [16]
Pacific Rim 2013 United States, Mexico daikaiju / mecha [12]
Pacific Rim: Uprising 2018 United States daikaiju / mecha [103]
Primeval 2007 United States crocodile [16]
Princ Bajaja 1971 Czechoslovakia dragon [104]
Pulgasari 1985 North Korea Pulgasari / daikaiju [105][106]
Q 1982 United States Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, depicted as a giant winged lizard [107]
Queen Kong 1976 UK giant gorilla [108]
Ralph Breaks the Internet 2018 United States Giant Ralph Monster [109][110]
Rampage 2018 United States Giant Three Monsters - George the Gorilla, Lizzie the Alligator, Ralph the Werewolf [16]
Ready Player One 2018 United States King Kong, Mechagodzilla, Tyrannosaurus [111]
Rebirth of Mothra 1996 Japan daikaiju / giant moth [113]
Rebirth of Mothra II 1997 Japan daikaiju / giant moth [113]
Rebirth of Mothra III 1998 Japan daikaiju / giant moth [113]
Reign of Fire 2002 United Kingdom, Ireland, United States dragons [16]
Reptilicus 1961 Denmark, United States prehistoric reptile [114]
The Return of Godzilla 1984 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8]
Rock Monster 2008 United States rock monster [40]
Rodan 1956 Japan flying daikaiju / irradiated pteranodon [102]
Shin Godzilla 2016 Japan Godzilla [8][9]
Snow Dragon 2013 Czech Republic Dragon [115]
Son of Godzilla 1967 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju [8][57]:Chapter 92
Son of Kong 1933 United States Giant ape [116]
Space Amoeba 1970 Japan daikaiju [117]:75–76
Spider-Man 1978 Japan swordfish [118]
The Story of Voyages 1983 Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Romania Dragon [119]
Super 8 2011 United States alien [16]
Tarantula 1955 United States spider [120][20]
Tentacles 1977 Italy, United States octopus [121]
Terror of Mechagodzilla 1975 Japan Godzilla / daikaiju / mecha [8][57]:Chapter 24
The Lost World 1925 United States numerous dinosaurs [122]
The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 United States numerous dinosaurs [123][78]
Them! 1954 United States radioactive ants [12][20]
Tremors 1990 United States Graboids [12]
Trollhunter 2010 Norway troll [12]
Underwater 2020 United States Cthulhu [124]
Varan the Unbelievable 1958 Japan giant lizard / daikaiju [125]
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep 2007 United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand Crusoe (Loch Ness Monster) [126]
The War of the Gargantuas 1966 Japan daikaiju [8]
World Without End 1956 United States mutated spiders [20]
Wrath of the Titans 2012 United States, United Kingdom, Spain monsters from Greek mythology [16]
The X from Outer Space 1966 Japan Guilala / daikaiju [127]
Yonggary 1999 South Korea Yonggary [128]
Yongary, Monster from the Deep 1967 South Korea Yonggary [129]
Za humny je drak 1982 Czechoslovakia Dragon [130]
Zarkorr! The Invader 1996 United States daikaiju [131]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Bellotto, Adam (July 24, 2015). "A new renaissance for giant monster movies is almost upon us". News. Film school rejects. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  • Berry, Mark F. (2005). The dinosaur filmography. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 9780786424535.
  • Farlow, James O.; Brett-Surman, M. K. (2000). "Dinosaurs and the media". In Farlow, James O.; Brett-Surman, M. K. (eds.). The complete dinosaur. Bloomington, Ind. [u.a.]: Indiana Univ. Press. pp. 675–706. ISBN 9780253213136.
  • Landis, John (2011). Monsters in the movies. Penguin. ISBN 9780756688462.
  • Marrero, Robert (1994). Giant monster movies: an illustrated survey (1st American ed.). Key West, Fla.: Fantasma Books. ISBN 9780963498229.
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