After clearing the dinner things away this evening, we huddled around the TV in the living room, turned the volume up, and sat down to watch “Skull Island” together – the latest monster movie to arrive on Amazon.
I was quite possibly the biggest monster movie fanatic in the known universe when I was young. I remember crying for an entire Saturday afternoon when “Valley of Gwangi” was supposed to be on the television, and was substituted at the last minute. The BBC received hundreds of complaints from similarly upset eight to ten year olds up and down the country, and had to show it at a later date.
Of course not all monster movies are good – there are some really, really bad ones. That’s the thing though – they’re so bad they’re good. Who remembers “The Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms”, “Gorgo”, and “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” ?
When I was young my Mum earned extra money cleaning my grandparents house in the week. During the summer holidays myself and my brother would tag along with her, and find things to do around the house during the day. This invariably included a diet of old TV shows such as “The Monkees”, “Champion the Wonder Horse”, and “Chopper Squad”. Sometimes you would strike gold though – sometimes a Godzilla movie would be shown. Everything stopped for Godzilla.
When you’re eight or nine years old, it’s not a guy in a rubber suit stomping on carboard houses – it’s a 300ft tall monster crushing houses and factories while doing battle with Mecha-Godzilla, and Titanosaurus. I can still remember the advent of video cassette recorders, and begging my Dad to hire out Godzilla movies for the weekend.
Anyway. Getting sidetracked.
We sat down to watch “Skull Island” tonight. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Sure, the plot is paper thin, and sure, it’s entirely predictable, but it’s a Monster Movie. A proper pop-corn munching monster movie like the ones I watched when I was young. Who’s not going to enjoy seeing Samuel L Jackson playing a deranged Army colonel, intent on destroying King Kong, or Brie Larson (future Captain Marvel btw) actually getting to be a relevant bad-ass character rather than a damsel in distress ?
Let’s just say I liked “Skull Island” a lot. It starts to fit the story together that started with Godzilla a couple of years ago, and sets up the movies we know are coming over the next few years – “King of Monsters”, and “Godzilla vs King Kong”. I’ll get my popcorn order in right now.