Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Creature/Monster Features

I can probably say this about every one of them this month, but this week's topic for Thursday Movie Picks is right up my alley. It's all about creature features and/or monster movies, if you will. All I needed was a bit of clarification on what qualifies. It's pretty simple, by creatures our host, Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, actually means creatures. So, no, aliens, vampires, zombies, and werewolves are strictly prohibited. I could argue to let that last group in, but we already had a week where we just did werewolf flicks, so I won't. What does Wanderer use as an example of a creature or monster? She uses Cujo, the titular dog from one of the most famous Stephen King adaptations.

Okay, cool.

I could pick Cujo, but I won't.

Yes, a dog did find its way into this post. Let's proceed.

Kingdom of the Spiders
What do you do when your cattle starts dying off? You call up the local vet, of course. Even so, you might have some trepidation about the situation. I mean, there's only so much the vet can do, right? Well, you can put some of those fears to rest when that vet is Captain James T. Shatner. Anyhoo, he's not quite sure what's going on so he calls in some help from the local university. They send a sexy lady professor who figures out we have an infestation of killer spiders on our hands. Before you know it, these things are everywhere, killing up everything. They even take down a plane. Yup. No worries, Cpt. Kirk still finds plenty of time to put the moves on the lady who is there to help him. That's my boy. (Click here for my full review)

Man's Best Friend
You know the story. A boy finds a stray dog, takes him home, and if he can keep it. Mom says yes, they all live happily ever after. Hold on. There are a lot of steps between point A and point B. For starters, the dog, Max, is a runaway from a genetic research lab. Basically, he's a suped up, bionic canine who proves rather adept at killing people. And he swallows cats whole. Yup, you read that right. Lance Henriksen and Ally Sheedy show up to trick us into thinking this might actually be good. And it the worst possible way.

Big Ass Spider!
You know a spider is the real deal when the U.S. Army is actively looking for it. That's the case, here as our titular creature starts off like a regular arachnid. That's bad enough, just ask William Shatner. Things get progressively worse as it steadily increases. Before you know it, calling it a big ass spider is akin to saying Usain Bolt runs pretty well. It kills up a bunch of people while a bunch of people, our hero included, try to kill it. I don't know if that fits your idea of fun, but it does mine. (Click here for my full review.)

Bonus Pick:

The entire movie is not a creature feature so I didn't put it in as a regular pick, but I just couldn't leave it out as two of its five segments most certainly are. The first of them, "The Crate," is about a strange, murderous beast that is in a crate at a local college. Idiots foolishly open it. Idiots get dead. It's a solid segment, but not the one that gets it here. That would be the film's final segment, "They're Creeping Up On You." It features E. G. Marshall as a guy who has taken some extreme measures to keep his house roach free. Not only is it not working, by the end there are literally roaches popping out from everywhere. Yuk!



    I scrolled past those pictures so quickly. lol. I haven't seen any. This week was kind of hard for me, I ended up having to go with Cujo. lol

  2. I CAN'T with spiders, they give me the creeps SO BAD. Also, ever since moving into my own place in NYC, every time I'm away for more than a day my biggest fear is that when I return I will either find my place to be robbed or to be overrun with bugs like in that Creepshow segment. So, you know, thanks for pushing all my fear triggers, Dell! LOL.

    1. OK, I'm seriously laughing at this comment. I have that same fear whenever I am away from home for any stretch, if that helps.

  3. Kingdom of the Spiders is such crap but what makes it passable is the absolute earnestness with which the cast plays the material. Of course that major hambone Bill Shatner was just made for this sort of drivel.

    I hated Creepshow but those two segments certainly fit. Haven't seen Big Ass Spider nor Man's Best Friend, I have something of an Ally Sheedy allergy, but they work well for this week.

    I thought of you Dell when I was compiling this week's choices and since the theme lends itself to the lower strata of cinema I decided to follow your example and scrap around the bottom dregs of the barrel for this dubious crop of celluloid.

    Tentacles (1977)-Balderdash about a killer octopus terrorizing a resort town, and not just in the sea but on land!!! Three Oscar winners, Henry Fonda, John Huston & Shelley Winters, and several other respected performers collect a paycheck.

    Empire of the Ants (1977)-Shady real estate agent Joan Collins and a bunch of potential suckers for her latest scheme land on an island in the Florida Everglades that thanks to toxic waste has been overtaken by giant mutant killer ants!! Crunch and munch.

    Night of the Lepus (1972)-Bizarre cheapie about a genetic experiment gone wrong. Killer rabbits terrorize the countryside!! Hilarity ensues. Poor Janet Leigh from Psycho to this in only a dozen years!

    Bonus-Killer Bees (1974)-Young man (Edward Albert) brings his fiancĂ©e (Kate Jackson) home to his family’s vineyard to meet the matriarch of his clan Madame Maria von Bohlen (Gloria Swanson), who has a strange bond with the bee colony that is the backbone of the family business. Worth catching for the cast alone. This is somewhat out of the perimeter since it was a TV Movie of the Week but it’s surely the best movie on the list!

    1. An Ally Speedy allergy, lol.

      Odd as it may seem, I've not watched any of your picks all the way through. I caught bits and pieces of each over the years, but never gave them a proper viewing.

    2. Okay Dell color me shocked that you haven't seen any of these in their complete craptastic wholeness!!!! They just seem so much in your sweet spot for bad film I was sure you would have seen them all except perhaps Killer Bees (which is on YouTube!).

    3. A rather weird hole in viewing filmography, I know.

  4. So, so many potential choices here! Just off the top of my head, in addition to those already mentioned, we have Tremors, Squirm, The Giant Gila Monster, Them!, Phase IV, The Killer Shrews, Attack of the Giant Leeches, Food of the Gods...

    And (aside from Them!, which really is great), that doesn't even get to the actual great movies from this genre like Jaws. Or the modern stuff from this genre like Lake Placid and Anaconda and Deep Blue Sea. And Piranha. And...I'll stop now.

    I do kind of love Kingdom of the Spiders. The ending is so great.

    1. Tremors, yes.

      Jaws is only the biggest yes of all-time. Deep Blue Sea has possibly the greatest death by shark of them. Poor SLJ. I almost picked Anaconda, but I couldn't decide whether the snake was the monster or J-Lo's amazing nipples.

      Everything about Kingdom of the Spiders is great and terrible at the same time.

  5. Spiders.... why did you have to include spiders? I hate spiders.... they scare me. I have seen Man's Best Friend which was meh while Creepshow I slightly remember as I think it had a scene involving cockroaches. My mother would hate that.

    1. Lots of Arachnophobics, huh. To think, I almost went with the movie Arachnophobia.

  6. Big ass spider? The name alone is hilarious! Spidery picks apart the killer fido there. Interesting stuff :)

  7. I remember that show flick with William creeped me out because of the spiders which means I will pass on Big Ass Spider. Of course I went with Tarantula. The 70's had great camp movies like that film, Killer Bees, Piranha, Frogs, Tentacles which Joel picked, Ben, Killdozer, the Karen Black trilogy with that horrible Ooga-Booga doll. We have the 50's which is where I went, with everything from the giant ants to Gila monsters, praying Mantis and gigantic people.

    1. Yes, the 50s and 70s were both gold mines for these sorts of movies.

  8. Spiders! Another large spider that comes to mind is the one in Lord of the Rings.