Monster Cinema Essay

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Monster Cinema: The Myth and History of the Spectacle In recent years, the monster genre has been dominated by zombies, vampires, werewolves, and supernatural creatures. Although these monsters terrify audiences, they don’t have the same impact as their larger, far more destructive counterparts. The kaiju, or giant monster, have been a neglected and misunderstood genre for a long time. It wasn’t until recently that these monsters started to make their way back on the silver screen. This paper will look into the history of giant monsters, using a cultural and socio-historical criticism, in an attempt to explain the resurgence of the genre. The first giant-monsters to star in a movie were the dinosaurs in the 1925 silent film, The Lost World. …show more content…
The film was made during the depression, and like other films from the depression era, it dealt with the struggles of everyday life and otherness. Films such as James Whales Frankenstein (1931), Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931), Joesf von Strenberg’s The Docks of New York (1928), and others dealt with depression themes by keeping us in a depressed world. The audience could identify with the otherness or characters within the film because the world they lived in was similar that on screen. What makes King Kong so brilliant is the depression begins the film and the viewer “is immediately immersed in a particular, then-current socio-economic circumstances," but King Kong (1933) does not linger in this depressed world; it instead takes the viewer into fantasy (Stymeist 400). The films venture into fantasy will ultimately lead to a resolution of the real state of affairs. This is achieved through its visuals and narrative, which presents us with an idea that “depression and progress are eventually presented as opposing polarities in human existence” (Stymeist 400). Kong, is presented as the depression, this monster who threatens the survival of industry, and the slaying of this monster represented the “organized forces of industrial technology” (Stymeist

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