Thursday, January 01, 2009

Any good "creature" films in 2009?

Welcome to 2009!

Keeping an eye out for creature films in the new year is a fun sidelight of cryptozoology. I like creature films, dramatic or light-hearted, when they are done well, and zoological plausibility is not always required for a good film.
There have been enjoyable almost-kinda-plausible examples, like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Harry and the Hendersons, as well as fun-although-impossible ones like The Fly (Goldblum version) and Cloverfield. (Think about how long it would have taken nerve impulses to travel from the Cloverfield behemoth's brain down the limbs and back, or what its blood pressure would have to be.)

It's odd there have been few really good dramatic/thriller films about cryptozoological themes, given that remote locales, personal quests and conflicts, scientific (and commercial) issues, exotic creatures, and the wonder of discovery can all be elements of great drama.

Loren Coleman started a thread on Cryptomundo about 2009, noting there is a remake of Creature and a new Wolf Man due out this year.

As always, we'll have to see what actually shows up on the screen. The people behind Wolf Man make it sound promising, but when was the last time a remake of a creature film was good? Aside from Peter Jackson's King Kong (a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in excess), the most recent example I can think of is The Fly, and that was made 23 years ago. Still, Wolf Man might break the drought. The Creature remake, though, sounds like it will be heavy on the eco-preaching (the animal is not a "missing link," but a mutant creatured by dumping of pharmaceutical waste).

Others due in 2009, from Wikipedia and a quick trawl of other movie sites: There’s another chapter of Underworld due out for werewolf fans, plus a new animated Ice Age film and a movie about an albino sign-language-capable gorilla, also for a young audience (the title, Vanilla Gorilla, is a giveaway there).
Cool creatures will no doubt be on display in the next Harry Potter and in James Cameron’s Avatar.
Then there is Piranha 3-D, set in Arizona. Really.
Cloverfield seems likely to have a sequel, but it's unlikely to make a 2009 release date.

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