Exploitation Film - Subgenres - Monster Movies

Monster Movies

These "nature-run-amok" films focus on an animal or group of animals, far larger and more aggressive than usual for their species, terrorizing humans while another group of humans tries to fight back. This genre began in the 1950s, when concern over nuclear weapons testing made movies about giant monsters popular. These were typically either giant prehistoric creatures awakened by atomic explosions or ordinary animals mutated by radiation. Among them were Godzilla, Them!, and Tarantula. The trend was revived in the 1970s as awareness of pollution increased and corporate greed and military irresponsibility were blamed for destruction of the environment. Night of the Lepus, Frogs, and Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster are examples. After Steven Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws, a number of very similar films (sometimes regarded as outright rip-offs) were produced in the hope of cashing in on its success. Examples are Alligator, Cujo, Day of the Animals, Great White, Grizzly, Humanoids from the Deep, Monster Shark, Orca, The Pack, Piranha, Prophecy, Razorback, Blood Feast (Night of 1,000 Cats), Tentacles, and Tintorera. Roger Corman was a major producer of these films in both decades. The genre has experienced a revival in recent years, as films like Mulberry Street and Larry Fessenden's The Last Winter reflected concerns about global warming and overpopulation.

The Sci-Fi (now known as SyFy) channel produces large numbers of such films, often consisting of nothing more than "Giant _____ attacks!" Examples include Sharktopus and Dinoshark.

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Monster Movies - History
... The first feature length films to include what are regarded as monsters were often classed as horror or science fiction films ... In the 1930s, American movie studios began to produce more successful films of this type, usually based on gothic tales such as Dracula and Frankenstein in 1931 ... Classed as Horror films, they included iconic monsters ...

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