The Host

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Bong Joon-ho helms this thrilling, inventive, and often bleak monster movie about leaking chemicals that create a mutated monster in South Korea’s Han River. The monster rises from the water and wrecks havoc, abducting a girl (Ah-sung Ko) in the process. The girl’s family takes it upon themselves to rescue her, but it won’t be easy. The Host is not your average monster movie, and there’s a sadness running through this thing that caught me completely off-guard when I first saw it. 

Matt: It’s Bong’s monster movie. You’ve all at least seen Parasite at this point. Now find out why international film fans have spoken Bong’s name for so long.

Digging Up the Marrow

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Digging Up the Marrow is a fun, under-the-radar indie horror pic finds director Adam Green (Hatchet) playing a fictionalized version of himself. While attempting to make a documentary about monsters, Green comes across a retired detective (Ray Wise) who says he knows how to prove monsters are real. As the story goes, there is an entire underground world known as The Marrow, and that’s where the monsters live. Sure enough, this is no tall tale – the monsters are indeed real, and they eventually reveal themselves, at which point they’re presented as ghastly beings created via some really nifty make-up effects. 

Matt: Between Frozen and Hatchet, I was pro Green. Then Digging Up The Marrow comes along and changes…nothing. Another win for Green in my book, with Wonka-wild creature design that bursts from Alex Pardee’s artistic vision (legend states. Pardee sent Green his artwork as fan mail and put into motion what would become Digging Up The Marrow).

Overlord

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: A gnarly monster movie that deserved more attention (it did moderately well at the box office), Overlord follows American soldiers who go behind enemy lines and discover that some Nazi experimentation has created zombie-like monsters. Fun, gory, and featuring a fun turn by Wyatt Russell (who seems to be channelling his father Kurt), Overlord is the type of movie that would’ve spawned at least five direct-to-VHS sequels if it had been released a few decades ago.

Matt: A mainstream B-Movie that I still don’t understand in terms of green lights, but boy-howdy am I glad it exists. It’s my favorite pull-quote to date, walking into a theater and seeing my name with a /Film byline across wall-to-wall banners (humble brag, what of it).

Destroy All Monsters

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max

Chris: The ninth entry in the original Godzilla series, Destroy All Monsters is a gloriously goofy sci-fi extravaganza. Set in the futuristic world of 1999 (it was released in 1968), Destroy All Monsters reveals that Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and all the other kaijus are living peaceful on an island called Monsterland. But that peace is interrupted when an alien race known as the Kilaaks – who all look like women wearing glittery capes – come to Earth and set the monsters loose. The Kilaaks are controlling Godzilla and his monster pals via remote control, and humanity has to find a way to stop them or face certain doom. Goofy, brightly-colored, and full of scenes where people make phone calls to the moon, this is an utter joy to watch. 

Matt: I am horrendously understudied when it comes to classic kaiju content, but one day will sit down and marathon all the original Godzilla movies. Today is not that day, week, or year.

King Kong (1976)

Now Streaming on HBO Max

Chris: The 1976 King Kong isn’t even the best King Kong remake (that would be Peter Jackson’s bloated, beautiful movie), but it has its charms! It’s basically the same story – Americans go to a remote island and bring a big ape back to America – and then the ape runs amok. But all of this unfolds with the sheen of a ‘70s flick, and features a giant Kong robot that was supposed to be cutting-edge but really just…looks like a Kong robot. Throw in Jessica Lange looking utterly gorgeous and Jeff Bridges cashing a paycheck, and you’ve got yourself a movie. 

Matt: Please see comment above.

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