SCARY MONSTERS AND…MORE BIG SCARY MONSTERS! - Fear FestEVIL
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SCARY MONSTERS AND…MORE BIG SCARY MONSTERS!

Kirk Hammett Monsters

29 Aug SCARY MONSTERS AND…MORE BIG SCARY MONSTERS!

Kirk Hammett Talks Monsters, Monsters, and More Monsters!

I was watching this movie called JeruZalem — it’s a cool, foreign horror movie with a pretty cool premise. At one point there’s a horde of demons descending on the city of Jerusalem, and it’s great because there’s a total point of chaos before you see all this military air power coming in and shooting at something really big… which is when, from the distance, you see a goddamn giant demon. And I just thought — ‘totally unexpected! How often does that happen?’ How cool is it when you see a giant monster when you’re not expecting it?! You’re like “whoa, where did that thing come from!?” Another movie that had a great monster cameo of this nature, was Troll Hunter. That’s one movie I discuss a lot because I love the premise, I love how it’s made, I love that they use stop-motion animation and I loved the concept of a giant troll monster. And when I saw the giant troll in that movie, I got amazingly excited and thought ‘how fucking cool is that!’ Maybe it’s the concept in my head of how difficult it is to be a giant monster, how difficult it is to hide yourself, and how difficult it is to enter and exit without making a huge “splash.”

Kirk Hammett Monsters

Troll Hunter (2010)

There are many giant monsters, and many definitions of what one is. Take Jaws. Check it out – Jaws is truly a giant monster that lives in reality, so Jaws might be the biggest monster out there. And that giant alligator that was filmed walking down a Florida golf course… people should check that out if they’re having any doubts about whether or not monsters still exist. The Loch Ness Monster is definitely prime territory for a movie, but maybe no-one has seriously approached it because possibly there isn’t enough data on the Loch Ness Monster to effectively support a storyline that can sustain itself. That must be a main reason, because there’s very cool premise and you can really go a couple steps further and tie in all sorts of craziness with the Loch Ness Monster. That whole area itself has a lot of mythology to it. One monster I have to mention that’s one of my very favorite giant monsters to make a cameo is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. How effective is that, when all of a sudden, the last quarter part of Ghostbusters, Dan Ackroyd gets a look on his face, and then the next scene is a gigantic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? I mean, how cool is that? And how ominous is it when the SPMM starts frowning and gets mad?! For me, that’s a moment, a cinematic moment.

Kirk Hammett Monsters

Ghostbusters (1984)

I thought The Host was a spectacular giant monster movie. And Cloverfield, I have to say, that was one giant monster who is highly effective at causing mayhem. We’ve all seen the trailer, or maybe we haven’t! — but it’s a memorable part of the movie and trailer when all of a sudden, the head of the Statue of Liberty comes rolling down Fifth Avenue.

Kirk Hammett Monsters

Cloverfield (2008)

How fucking epic is that!? Cloverfield as a movie is great because there’s no real resolution to it. It ends pretty much in the same open way as 10 Cloverfield Lane ends. You’re not really sure WTF is happening in the bigger picture. I also really enjoyed the very end of Cabin In The Woods. It offered up some sinister beings of gargantuan persuasions that make it to the party at the film’s conclusion…

And then there’s the classic giant monster movies. I saw Gorgo when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. I love the fact that not only is it a cool giant monster movie, but in a time when all the monster movies were black and white, Gorgo was actually in color. The great thing about Gorgo is he’s a giant monster but really — spoiler alert here for people who have not seen Gorgo — he’s just mad because he can’t find his mother, who’s twice as big as Gorgo Junior. How cool is that? That movie one-ups your perception of the key giant monster protagonist in the film.

Being a huge Harryhausen fan, I love how in It Came From Beneath The Sea, the monster wrapped itself around the Golden Gate Bridge — it was five miles away from my house, down to the ferry building, where I often go myself. I love the SF aspects of that movie and I love the fact that a giant monster is rampaging through it. Because usually when you see giant monsters through cities they’re usually in Tokyo, NY, Washington, D.C. But this time they picked SF… and the civic pride I have for SF comes out when I watch that movie. I’m so proud that that monster picked SF to thrash!

Kirk Hammett Monsters

Tremors was an early 90’s movie that really felt like a 50’s sci-fi, giant monster, technology-gone wrong kind of film. But the entire time I was watching that movie in the theater, I kept thinking about the giant sand worms from Dune and wondering if that was an inspiration — the book and movie Dune. But having said that, I loved the humor of it all. One line in that movie that still sticks with me to this day is when one of the older guys guy was just trying to figure out what was going wrong and he said, ‘we have to name the monster, we have to name it, we have to name it’ for some philosophical reason, and he said, ‘maybe we can call it Graboid.’ When I heard that — it was all in his delivery and all in his seriousness, I just started cracking up man. To this day I find I still think about that line, the delivery of it and how funny it was to me…unforgettable.

One of my all-time favorite giant creatures was The Amazing Colossal Man, who later became the Colossal Beast in War of the Colossal Beast. Glenn Manning started off as a regular guy in the army where there’s a nuclear bomb test site. He doesn’t make it to the shelter, he gets exposed to the radiation and he starts growing and growing and growing until he’s like 50-60 feet tall. At the same time as he’s growing, he’s losing mental capacities for whatever reason and at the end of the first movie, he gets shot off the Hoover Dam. In the second movie, they discover that he survived, but the whole side of his face miraculously has been shaven off down to the bone and miraculously he has an empty eye socket. Which is biologically not feasible, but looks tremendously cool and really really great.

I heard the makeup job for The Colossal Beast was done by the one and only Paul Blaisdell, Monster Maker of The She Creature, The Invasion of the Saucermen, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, etc. I just love the fact that when he comes lumbering around, he’s this basic giant monster guy who’s just trying to survive, and all the little humans around him are trying to put him in his place. There are some super-memorable parts in both those movies, and I just love the scene when the Colossal Man – as opposed to the Colossal Beast – is in Las Vegas and roaring down the strip and tearing down all these casino and theater signs and whatnot.

Kirk Hammett Monsters

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

One giant movie monster which is world famous and absolutely needs to be mentioned here is Alien. When I saw the Alien Queen it was epic. And you know the crazy thing about the Alien Queen is that if you look at her feet, it looks like she’s wearing high-heeled women’s pumps! Crazy!

Kirk Hammett Monsters

Alien (1979)

One thing to be clear about. Since we’re talking about giant monsters, I’m purposely guiding the argument away from your stereotypical giant monsters like Godzilla, King Kong, Rodan, the entire Asian Giant Monster mythos. But I like how Japanese culture needs to perceive their monsters as big, larger-than-life — a minimum of 30 feet tall. Their take on Frankenstein is of a 60-foot tall creature. If you watch Frankenstein Conquers the World, Frankenstein is the same size as Godzilla. That movie definitely deserves a mention here in that it’s taking the giant monster concept and really going somewhere different. It’s a complete revision of the whole Frankenstein mythology, is one of my favorite Japanese movies and he fights Baragon at one point!
The really funny thing about any giant monster scenario that never gets talked about are the residual civilian casualties. You hardly ever see the nightmare scenario after a giant monster has tromped through your favorite city, which would be the civilian casualty count. There is one Godzilla movie where they actually focus on civilian casualties and Godzilla’s effect. But generally not. I’ll give you one example — it was a more modern Godzilla movie… Godzilla is walking through Tokyo, then the scene cuts to this woman in her living room. She sees Godzilla out the window and she sees a swinging tail coming right for her apartment. And the next scene is the tail taking out the entire apartment building, which would happen! I guess my nightmare giant monster scenario would be to take a count of all the fucking human decimation in its wake. They always show people trying to leave the city, but you and I know that there are people who just don’t leave!

Well, that’s me and giant monsters, what do YOU have to say? Let me know below.. I’m all eyes.

Until then,

Kirk Hammett Signature

P.S. I recently launched a collaboration with Blackcraft Cult. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I’ve been a big fan of their t-shirts and have been wearing them for years. When they approached me to do a Kirk Hammett x Blackcraft Cult collaboration, I immediately wanted to do it! We just released the first shirt called The Lusurfers! It combines my love for surfing, skulls, and all things evil!! It’s just the beginning of a very cool creative project! Check it out when you have time. Cheers!

Kirk Hammett Blackcraft Cult

Kirk Hammett BlackCraft Cult

Kirk Hammett BlackCraft Cult

20 Comments
  • Colin Ashcroft
    Posted at 07:26h, 30 August

    Thanks for your thoughts and info, I agree that Troll Hunter is a real nice film! The Trolls do have a stop Motion feel like the work of the Master Ray Harryhausen, although you might be surprised to know the Trolls were all created in CGI. I supposed that gives the art department credit in being able to make their creations look so nice with that stop motion feel! I imagine this was a smaller budget film in todays standards, normally CGI fails miserably in such a scenario,…but not in this movie!

    Cheers,

    Colin.

  • Kevin J
    Posted at 07:30h, 30 August

    Killer shirt, I usually think the Blackcraft stuff is a little too “LOOK AT ME” and annoying but this one hits the mark. Hope to see some more mature designs in the future. Black on black would also be cool!

  • Bob O'Rourke
    Posted at 07:54h, 30 August

    Right on Kirk! Another good read bro! Lately, because of your own inspiration, I’ve been on a kick of late 50s/early 60s monster movies like I Was A Teenage Werewolf, It Conquered The World and 20 Million Miles To Earth! I, too, LOVE the Colossal Man/Colossal Beast films…anything from American International Pictures is ace in my book! In fact, director Bert Gordon was supposed to appear at a film fest here in Chicago earlier this year where Food of the Gods was playing, but had to cancel when he broke his leg boarding his flight! 🙁 BTW, if you haven’t seen it or don’t have it yet, I HIGHLY recommend the trailer compilation called All Monsters Attack! It’s a great mix of American and Japanese trailers ranging from King Kong ’33 through several Godzilla titles, some Harryhausen titles, and even Night of the Lepus! The DVD insert (and the cover art), listing all the titles, is designed to look like the instructions for an old Aurora model kit! So awesome and a couple hours of fun! Cheers!

  • yill myers
    Posted at 08:07h, 30 August

    I didn’t know there was a movie out there with giant frankenstein ;o I have to see that, thats so cool!
    the troll hunter was really well made indeed. Have you seen eraserhead? with the monster baby, altough it’s not a giant monster I loved the looks of it!

    great read kirk! as always,

    love, yill

    ps: I have my own horror movie blog now too..theres not too much on there yet but maybe you could read it that’d be cool because I’ve never met annyone that’s such a huge horror movie fan that I can talk to about it.. except for you (even tho I haven’t met you) http://yills-horror-movie-blog.mozello.com/
    thankyou for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • Derrick R
    Posted at 08:33h, 30 August

    Kirk, if you do another Q&A can you please answer what’s going on with Fear FestEvil?
    The first year had so much promise, the second (except for Winchester) was a little off the mark, and more like generic horror fests. But that first year, so amazing! I think it’s time to address what’s going on, because I get the feeling since nothing has been announced nothing will be announced due to the new album dropping soon.

    It frustrates me as a “real horror” fan that guys like Rob Zombie do Halloween events every year that are wildly successful but so horrible in quality. Why don’t you, someone much more popular and likable take over that title as king of horror? I mean, even Phil Anselmo does his horror fest every year!

    There was a short guy with long black hair in Minneapolis who was shooting video for Metallica who said the person who runs your horror stuff is unprofessional and she doesn’t know how to do what the last guy did. I don’t know if that’s true, but from a fan perspective it sure seems like something not cool is going on.

    So please Kirk, bring back Fear FestEvil, or partner with someone, or just do…..something! Save us from the mediocrity that is flooding the market!!!

  • Frédéric Biever
    Posted at 09:28h, 30 August

    Thank you very much Sir for sharing your thoughts and passion. I love horrof and Sci-fi movies and Will try to watch all The films you talked about. Recently, i saw “Conjuring 2” (pretty cool) and watched again The Insidious trilogy. By The way, i ve ordered my Blackcraft shirt on last sunday ? Frédéric from Monaco

  • Henry Klotkowski
    Posted at 10:09h, 30 August

    If you like big monsters, check Big Man Japan! Totally bizarre.

  • Veronica
    Posted at 11:43h, 30 August

    You left out one very obvious monster that’s also a troll: Donald Trump

  • Kelly
    Posted at 16:49h, 30 August

    Has Kirk thought about doing Facebook Live blog or answering questions?

    Also, what about the chupacabra?

  • Larry LaBrie
    Posted at 21:47h, 30 August

    I am not good with movie names, …the girl gets eaten by the beast in the box, under the stairs, when the janitors toss the box out, at the end of the movie credits, by the dumpsters, on the side of the building, that deformed mama-bear comes down out of the woods to prophesize, ends up that it eats the beast in the box then in turn gets eaten by a manic Wendigo. Mama-bear’s spirit is released but Wendigo ingesting the polluted meat goes all ape-shit until Burt Reynolds shoots it with his bow, remember that?
    Then that little mad doctor Finkelstein has Sally go collect its brain and she comes back with the right one but in a box, not a cooler, so it’s been compromised. Creepy doctor was trying to make a Weapon X and fails miserably due to bad song choice and turns the brain into a runaway gelatinous life-form that morphs larger with each feeding. It eats Jeff Goldblum, the neighbor’s cat, some old man, his widowed wife, a 57 Buick, and becoming ashamed of its binging takes off toward the seashore to hide. Perseus, flies his horse into it and gets stuck, the massive blob eats Persius, gorgon-head an all, turns the whole tidal pool to stone, and the coolest Big Scary Monster ever! the Kraken!! swims off with the sacrificial virgin (Sally Fields, I think)… what the….. just playin. totally enjoyed your post, Kirk! I bet you’re busy, so thanks for taking a moment to share! keep it coming when you can!

  • Sheena Mackie
    Posted at 22:17h, 30 August

    And then there were the Killer Tomatoes… culinary monstrosities.

  • David H
    Posted at 05:18h, 31 August

    Kirk,

    What is your opinion of “Stranger Things?” I think the feel of it is great, very accurate to the era, and I think it’s going to help acclimate a lot of non-horror fans into the genre. Which is something that’s always good, IMO.

  • RKB
    Posted at 07:24h, 01 September

    Is there a monster u think tht is just stupid or dislike??? And Y???

  • Jackie Harris
    Posted at 15:44h, 01 September

    Comment above me is good — what popular horror movies do you dislike and why?

    Also, how about horror stories from the road?

  • Anna H
    Posted at 23:04h, 01 September

    HI Kirk, I started following you on Facebook, then Twitter then found your blog that you posted! Was so excited to see someone else that also loves the Classic Horror movie genre. I also collect action figures on top of the movies. -One of my favorites is how the classic horror characters appeared in comedies with Abbott and Costello. I loved “Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein”…..everyone, including Dracula, Werewolf and Frankenstein where all there…..(Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr. original actors that played the original horror characters!!!). -I was a little upset that The Bride of Frankenstein (Elsa Lanchester) wasn’t included. But all in all, one of my favorite movies! -I also collect “The Crow” action figures….love “The Crow”…love “Edward Scissorhands”….love that Edward was a gentle monster. -Vincent Price was awesome in it. I love that “The Walking Dead”, “Stranger Things” and even “Ash vs Evil Dead” (Evil Dead/Army of Darkness) have revived horror the way it should. 🙂 xx

  • Rick Perez
    Posted at 18:51h, 03 September

    Couldn’t figure out how to find you thought you might go on here, about the flight longboard . hit me up
    Rick
    sorry about posting this here everyone.

  • Mary Fields
    Posted at 13:37h, 16 September

    I loved your post ! Like you, I always look for movies set in SF, hardly any. Your post was a good read . Thanks!

  • Marc Restivo
    Posted at 02:41h, 27 October

    Dear Kirk,

    I want to wish you a very happy Halloween in advance. I’ve been a huge horror fan and collector since I was a little boy here near Annapolis, Maryland (I’m now allegedly “grown up” at 42). But it’s not since I bought and read “Too Much Horror Business” (it’s now a major Halloween reading staple), and watched the the collection’s excellent 12 minute video on Metallica TV, that I was inspired to get all this great shit out of boxes and work much harder on displaying it. It’s been very far from easy, but it’s been extremely rewarding and I want to thank you for motivating me to get off the dime and do it. I’ve got some very cool, lower-end props, masks, art, toys, etc., and one of these days I’m want to send you pictures of it, as I’m very appreciative of your work as a modern day “Uncle Forry”. Anyway, thanks again Bro, and I can’t wait to read the next installment of this super cool blog!

  • mymonsanto
    Posted at 11:31h, 17 May

    We’re delighted to announce the signing of Leeds duo, Kamikaze Girls to Big Scary Monsters and will be releasing their debut album ‘Seafoam’ on June h!

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