Top 10 ICONIC Giant Movie Monsters

Written by George Pacheco

The enormous monsters that dominate the big screen movies and have graduated to the status of icons of cinema. WatchMojo presents the top 10 giant movie monsters, but what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Godzilla, King Kong, or Clover from the found footage masterpiece Cloverfield? Watch to find out!

Big thanks to Afonso Cardoso Brasil, FilmSpence, Camron Lee Russell and Chris Anderson for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted check out the suggest page here: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Giant+Movie+Monsters


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Get ready to rumble with the biggest and the baddest of all time. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Giant Movie Monsters.

For this list, we'll be taking a look at the most iconic and memorable giant monsters ever to grace the silver screen.

#10: Mutated Fish Creature

"The Host" (2006)

Talk about fish gone bad! This 2006 film from South Korea showcased a slimy, squirmy style of giant movie monster for a modern audience. The creature from "The Host" serves as a commentary about pollution and the mishandling of dangerous chemicals, similar to how Godzilla was an analogy for America's use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Director Bong Joon-Ho and crew utilized animatronics and models to create this monster, as well as a bit of unfortunate looking CGI, but the end result was still a fun entry into the giant monster genre.

#9: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

"Ghostbusters" (1984)

At first glance, this cuddly candy man might seem harmless. That is, until he stomps all over New York City and threatens to bring down civilization as we know it. The Sumerian deity Gozer gives the protagonists in "Ghostbusters" the chance to choose the instrument of their destruction. Although they attempt to clear their minds of any dangerous thoughts, Ray's image of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man just "pops" into his head. Before they know it, a giant version of the confectionary mascot looms ominously on the horizon. The design may be cute, his face may be lovable, but make no mistake: Mr. Stay Puft can be bad news if provoked, so just don't get on his bad side, okay?

#8: Indominus Rex

"Jurassic World" (2015)

Go big or go home. Perhaps this was on the mind of director Colin Trevorrow and Co. when they geared up for a return to the "Jurassic Park" franchise in 2015. The star of the show this time was the Indominus Rex, a genetically altered hybrid of DNA from some of the world's most lethal dinosaurs. The result was a smart and efficient killing machine that refused to go down without a fight. It all builds up to a glorious showdown, as a Mosasaurus, Velociraptor, and T-Rex join forces to finish Indominus once and for all.

#7: Troll

"Trollhunter" (2010)

"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman." This line is usually attributed to the giants in the fairytale, "Jack and the Beanstalk." This time, however, the blood is of the Christian variety, and the monster in question is that Scandinavian creature known as the Troll. In André Øvredal's 2010 film, a group of students are making a documentary about killings that have been attributed to bears. Of course bears have nothing to do with it, and the kids instead find themselves face to feet with some very violent trolls. The action is frighteningly convincing during the film's troll attacks, while the CGI creatures looks great, making "Trollhunter" something of a modern cult classic.

#6: Giant Squid

"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954)

Fans were thrilled at the sight of this underwater monster as part of the 1954 adaptation of Jules Verne's classic 1870 novel, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." The attack of a Giant Squid upon the passengers and crew of Captain Nemo's submarine, The Nautilus, was considered a landmark special effect sequence for the time, successfully capturing the harrowing feeling of a battle beneath the waves. Tentacles batter the ship's hull and seem to squirm their way through every door and hatch, as Nemo and The Nautilus struggle for survival. It's a prime example of old school Hollywood magic at its best.

#5: The Kraken

"Clash of the Titans" (1981)

Forget that 2010 remake. The 1981 original made the most out of Ray Harryhausen's amazing stop-motion animation. Harryhausen had already set the industry standard for the medium long before working on this final project, but even his impressive résumé was improved upon once audiences caught a look at his marvelous work for The Kraken. The beast serves to highlight the climactic final conflict for hero Perseus, as he uses to head of the slain Medusa to subdue what is essentially a giant, scaled sea monster. It's an example of stop motion animation at its finest, and a testament to the power of old school, hand-made creature features.

#4: The Kaiju

"Pacific Rim" (2013)

Although the term "kaiju," a Japanese word meaning "strange beast," can also be applied to the legions of giant, rubber suit monster movies which thrilled audiences in the past, 2013's "Pacific Rim" brought a whole new meaning to the word thanks to director Guillermo del Toro. In the film, humans operating giant mechas are fighting a war against inter-dimensional creatures known as – you guessed it – Kaiju. Although the creature designs may have lacked the attention to personality present in their practical effect forebears, the detailed CGI and massive size of the Kaiju updated the idea of strange, city-destroying monsters for a whole new generation of moviegoers.

#3: Clover

"Cloverfield" (2008)

Sometimes it's what we don't see that frightens us the most. This was definitely the case with Matt Reeves-directed and J.J. Abrams-produced 2008 found footage movie, which made the most out of its creature's impressive size and destructive capabilities. Audiences only caught glimpses of Clover at various intervals throughout the film, with the beast's impact primarily being felt when Lady Liberty's head comes careening down a city street. It isn't until the horror flick’s final act where we fully see what's been assaulting NYC the whole time, and it isn't pretty. Matt Reeves crafted some legitimate suspense in this loving throwback to giant monster assaults, and it's obvious that Clover is near and dear to the director's heart.

#2: King Kong

"King Kong" (1933)

Oh, King Kong. We love this big hairy ape. It seems as if audiences just can't get enough Kong, whether it's the 1933 original starring Fay Wray, the underrated remake from 1976, or director Peter Jackson's 2005 version. It should be said that it's the amazing special effects work from Willis O'Brien which gives the OG Kong such an everlasting appeal, from his shocking first appearance on Skull Island to his final, tragic climb up the Empire State Building. Meanwhile, the '76 Kong featured effects from "E.T." designer Carlo Rambaldi, while Andy Serkis further revolutionized motion capture technology in his portrayal of the beast in 2005. This Lord of the Jungle may often be imitated, but he'll never be duplicated.

Before we name our number one giant movie monster, here are a few big time honorable mentions!


"Rodan" (1956)

Nancy Fowler Archer

"Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman" (1958)

King Ghidorah

"Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” (1964)

#1: Godzilla

"Godzilla" (1954)

Is there any giant movie monster with as much personality or multi-cultural appeal as the King of the Monsters, Godzilla? It isn't every day that a character can enjoy so many iterations, from nuclear analogy to world hero, back to natural disaster, while continuing to capture the world's imagination. Godzilla has been portrayed by actors in suits, by convincing CGI, and some... not so convincing CGI over the years, yet his appeal has never waned, and this atomic-breathing, tail swinging, monster bashing icon continues to rule court over the giant monster world to this day. Long may he reign!


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