Five Ultimate Forgotten Monster Movies To Devour Right Now [Watch]
With the success of Scream VI almost guaranteeing yet another sequel, horror fans are keeping the slasher subgenre in the mainstream with no end in sight. Sure, Top Gun: Maverick gets a lot of credit, but horror movies continue to put butts in seats at a time when theaters desperately need it. So, where all the monster movies?
Cocaine Bear cannot be the closest we’re going to get this year. Directed by Lee Thongkam, the aquatic monster in Dread’s The Lake is sure to scratch that itch for the time being and, hopefully, it will inspire more studios to give the green light to more creature features.
In the interim, take a look at five indie monster movies that inspire us here at Dread Central. We want more beasts for our buck!
Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You!
Regional filmmaker Matt Farley has been making charming detective stories and family-friendly horror movies for years now. He’s amassed a fairly loyal following mostly due to his infectious optimism and childlike sense of wonder that shows no signs of subsiding. Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You! isn’t just a so-bad-it’s-good movie. It’s genuinely heartwarming and manages to pay homage to Swamp Thing on a shoestring budget. Riverbeast stars Farley as a nerdy tutor who swears to the local New England townsfolk that he keeps seeing a mysterious creature known as the Riverbeast. No one believes him, so he sets out with the help of his friends to spot and capture the creature, once and for all. It’s a throwback to ’50s B-movies that manages to deliver some genuine laughs and a few ridiculous thrills.
Creatures From the Abyss
Directed by Alvaro Passeri, Creatures of the Abyss is pure underwater insanity. In what starts as an ill-advised boating trip, five teens embark on a vacation on the water that feels like a lost episode of Below Deck. They discover a derelict yacht that happens to have an experimental biology lab on board. Prehistoric fish begin attacking them from all angles. Made in 1994, Creatures of the Abyss boasts some incredibly bad CGI and a few kills that will absolutely make your jaw drop. Almost every kind of mutant sea creature makes an appearance in some form or another. It may sound stupid, but this is not to be missed.
Curse II: The Bite
Beloved actress Jill Schoelen (Popcorn, The Phantom of the Opera) stars in Curse II: The Bite as a girlfriend on the brink. Her boyfriend Clark (J. Eddie Peck) doesn’t appreciate her and grows even more belligerent after he’s bitten by a radioactive snake. Clark stalks and slithers after Schoelen until he transforms into a hideous giant python with a serious penchant for murder. Schoelen has always managed to elevate whatever movie she’s in, and she probably deserved better earlier on in her career. Still, the combination of Schoelen, a giant mutant snake, and effects by Screaming Mad George, make Curse II essential viewing.
Forget Evil Dead, Winterbeast has some of the most over-the-top stop-motion effects you will ever witness. There are all kinds of creatures on display here. The most memorable ones are the possessed totem poles that resemble aliens out of Whitley Strieber’s Communion. It’s incredibly obvious that director Christopher Thies’ film is strung together and shot over the course of at least a few years. There are so many laughable continuity errors that Winterbeast is worth watching strictly for its bold stance against anything that resembles actual filmmaking. The creatures are worth witnessing, however. There’s a four-armed alien, mutant chickens and lizards, and rickety stick-figured monsters with bug eyes. It’s DIY schlock of the highest order.
If you’ve survived all of the movies mentioned above, it’s time to reward you with a true classic of the genre. Alligator operates under the same underground New York City mythology as C.H.U.D. with a little Jaws thrown in for good measure. When a baby pet alligator is flushed down the toilet, the urban legend of alligators in the sewer turns out to be true. Years later, the giant beast is on the prowl and only Robert Forster can stop it. The monster lurks in the shadows at first, then explodes onto the surface for some spectacular levels of destruction. Director Lewis Teague (Cujo, Cat’e Eye) takes a ridiculous premise and actually makes a great creature feature that could easily have been a B-movie Spielberg ripoff in the wrong hands. I just watched Alligator again recently and have a new profound level of appreciation for it.