Best Monster Movies of the 1990’s
Creature Feature / Monster Movies are one of my favourite sub-genres of horror. Obviously, creature feature films have been popular dating back to the post-war, atomic fall-out fueled fear of the 1950s. Or the Universal Monsters of the 1930s. But my favourite incarnation of these (probably because they were what I was watching as a teenager) are the 90s monster movies.
I like to think of them as B-Movies with a budget. Kind of like comfort food, probably not all that good for you — but enjoyable all the same.
I feel a bit like they don’t make these sort of “R-rated B-movies, full of gore and chaos and smart-stupidness, but with a big-budget, big-cast sheen” as much anymore. It’s all low budget Sharknado rip-offs and two-headed, flying, giant whatever combos these days (God I sound old!)
In the 90’s creature features, there’s often our old favourite the mad scientist involved somewhere along the line. You know the one who thinks it’s a good idea to make super-intelligent, extra fast sharks. Or release a new species of bug into the New York sewer system or whatever. Explorers going where they shouldn’t, greedy corporations meddling with nature for profit — All the good stuff in other words (B-Movie wise anyway!)
So you get J-Lo and Ice Cube (also a young Owen Wilson) chasing a giant snake in the Amazon, while John Voight chews the scenery, in my personal favourite (sue me!) Anaconda (1997).
The aforementioned super-intelligent sharks in Deep Blue Sea (1999). Where a team of scientists experiment on genetically engineered Mako sharks, in an isolated underwater facility. What could possibly go wrong? Well, specifically the genetically engineered sharks escape and flood the facility with the scientists still in it.
Deep Blue Sea is worth it for that scene with Samuel L. Jackson alone (you’ll know it if you’ve seen it) Also LL Cool J’s parrot. My favourite character (LL Cool J that is, not the parrot).
Lake Placid (1999) Giant Croc, terrorises a small town. Investigating are the grumpy local sheriff, joined by game warden Jack Wells, nature-phobic New York palaeontologist Kelly Scott and eccentric mythology professor Hector Cyr. It got pretty much panned by critics, but I like it. It’s a silly, campy, self-aware, medium budget monster movie with a 30-foot killer crocodile. Basically, it does what it says on the tin.
In Arachnophobia (1990) once again, a group of pesky science types (this time Entomologists) accidentally transport a new species of extremely aggressive spider back to the fictional small town of Canaima, California. There it mates with a female domestic house spider and… Well, you can probably take a stab at how that works out for the population of Canaima.
There’s Jurassic Park (1993) of course, and a sequel The Lost World (1997). Other favs include: Bats (1999) genetically mutated (what else?) bats, Mimic (1997) (genetically mutated bugs in the subway), Deep Rising (1998), The Relic (1997) based on the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child book Relic, Tremors (1990) (Kevin Bacon fights giant Sandworms) and Starship Troopers (1997).
Top 10 creature feature movies list of the 1990s
- Anaconda (1997)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Deep Blue Sea (1999)
- Arachnophobia (1990)
- The Relic (1997)
- Tremors (1990)
- Lake Placid (1999)
- Mimic (1997)
- Deep Rising (1998)
- Bats (1999)
Have I missed any Gems? What is your favourite Creature feature from the ’90s?