Giant monster movies, or Kaiju movies, have been incredibly popular since the 1950s, when Godzilla first made its appearance. This genre is special in the sense that many countries have turned the corner to add a new flair. It became a style of filmmaking that united the world by giving audiences a common goal both in movies and in real life. Although King of the Monsters is still a fan favorite, many other Kaiju films have strived to compete.
8 Deep Rising (1998)
The 1998 action horror movie deep ancestry is the perfect definition of a cult classic. The story follows a group of heavily armed hijackers as they board a luxury ocean liner. As they aim to plunder the ship, they find themselves in a battle with large, man-eating sea monsters who have already taken the ship hostage. The film exploded at the box office, grossing just $11.2 million overall. It achieved cult status with its performances and fun B-movie storyline.
seven Colossal (2016)
The black comedy film of 2016 Colossal uses the giant monsters in a very interesting way. The film follows an unemployed writer who struggles with her alcoholism and an abusive co-worker. Thanks to a freak accident as children, the heroine and villain are able to manifest giant creatures in Seoul and make them move at will. As the relationship between the two becomes increasingly volatile, the citizens of Seoul are placed in danger. The heroine must learn to take control of her life and defend herself. The film was well received for its performances and direction; however, the box office numbers were less than respectable. Ultimately, the film was a flop, but it became cult for its interesting take on the giant monster genre.
6 Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
The 2009 animated film Monsters vs Aliens is a Kaiju movie for the whole family. The film follows a young woman as her life is turned upside down after being hit by a meteorite that transforms her into a giantess. She is quickly taken from her home and transferred to a government facility that houses monsters. When an evil alien overlord arrives on Earth, the monsters must work together to save the day. The movie had a great cast and was incredibly fun. Not only did the movie have a giant female, but it also had Insectosaurus, a 350-foot-tall mutated insect.
5 Gamera (1965)
The Japanese monster Gamera debuted in 1965 in the movie Gamera, the giant monster. The giant fire-breathing tortoise was meant to compete with the Godzilla franchise that began in 1954. In the first Gamer movie, Gamera is revealed to be a mutated prehistoric turtle who is awakened by a nuclear explosion from a crashed American jet fighter. Gamera goes on a destructive spree, but is shown to have a soft side for a young boy who loves turtles. The film was released and became a bigger hit than expected. It paved the way for a fan-favorite seven-film franchise, with even more films set in a rebooted era.
4 Reptilicus (1961)
The 1961 movie Reptilicus was produced in duplicate in Denmark and the United States. The original Danish-language version was released in February 1961. The American version was in English with an almost identical cast. The American distribution company felt that the film could not be released as is, so it was reworked and released in 1962. The original film follows the story of a giant reptilian tail found frozen by a miner. When the Tale thaws, he regenerates into a giant monster, Reptilicus. The monster is on the loose and a group of scientists must find a way to stop it. This film is Denmark’s only giant monster film and developed a cult following that remains to this day.
3 The Host (2006)
The host is a 2006 monster film that became the highest-grossing South Korean film of all time. It follows the story of a monster who kidnaps a man’s daughter. The monster is believed to be the product of the illegal dumping of chemicals into the Han River. When the young girl is taken by the creature, her father must find a way to rescue her from the sewers where she is trapped with the beast. The film had an excellent multinational release as well as an award-winning run at top film festivals. It is one of the most popular Kaiju films made outside of Japan and was directed by Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho.
2 Rim of the Pacific (2013)
The 2013 Guillermo del Toro movie Pacific Rim is a great modern Kaiju movie. In the future, Earth is at war with the gigantic Kaiju that emerged from an interdimensional portal that opened at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To stand a fighting chance, humanity creates giant humanoid robots that use pilots bonded to each other. The film was nominated for several awards and won a few as well. Audiences and critics love this film and its beautiful modern take on classic Kaiju films.
1 Motra (1961)
The giant protector Mothra is one of the most popular Kaiju monsters in movie history. She was first featured in the eponymous 1961 film motra. An expedition to Infant Island finds life on the radiant landscape. They discover twin fairy priestesses protecting a sacred egg. When a greedy businessman kidnaps the twins, the egg hatches into the island’s deity. Mothra takes to the skies to save her priestesses from being exploited as a traveling freak show. Mothra is part of the Toho Studios monster universe, has become one of the most popular monsters and has been invited to be added to the Godzilla movies. She is different from other monsters, as she is the protector of her island, her culture, and the Earth.