Print E-mail

Monster Movie - How To Improvise


This is any movie where people are threatened and/or attacked by a huge, animated something. Usually seen from the point of view of a small group of people.


  • Although the creature is huge and the damage and cost to life often immense, the story will keep it human by narrowing in on the relationships between a few survivors.
  • The thing can be a giant example of regular animal, dinosaur, robot, alien, mythical or otherwise fabricated creature.
  • Often the monster is not the villain, but the human treatment and reaction to the monster.
  • Sometimes nature goes berserk to create the monster, but usually we are to blame. As such these movies are often an indictment (at least in subtext) on human attitudes to science and nature.
  • Often very similar to a Disaster Movie.


WhereUsually starting in remote places (islands or the bottom of the sea) and heading towards cities.
When From the dawn of man until the far flung future, but usually from the time cities appeared.
WhoThe monster (there is usually just one of them, initially, however it could be massed smaller creatures that act as a single threat). Often creature actually benevolent and curious about humans, but confused or made angry by their response. Flashing cameras make them very angry.

A small group of people, usually those who eventually defeat or understand the thing, are thrown together and must work together despite their differences and, frequently, past animosities.

Scientist: mad or misguided, often too wrapped up in their work to see the moral implications or dangers of what they are doing and creates or releases the monster.

Sometimes a circus impresario, or similar, who wants to exploit the creature for financial gain. He will usually get his come-uppance.

In general people are just your average joes, some of whom are forced into heroic deeds by circumstances, others terrified by something to big to comprehend.

The army is often called in to combat the menace with brute ignorance.
WhatA template for such a movie is: a creature is created, discovered or revived by nuclear tests, pollution meddling scientists or other people who want to exploit it; It escapes, is sighted a few times and kills, but nobody believes it exists; The evidence mounts and the thing attacks more and more times and is seen by more credible witnesses; Soon it’s impossible to deny it exists, or it is captured and put on display but it escapes; The army is called in but is powerless to stop it, in fact the army makes it angrier; It eventually reaches a big city and goes on the rampage causing much destruction and high body count; Somehow, through luck or judgement, the creature is killed, repulsed or it simply gets what it came for and leaves.

People running, screaming, being squashed. Crazed monomlogues by mad scientists.

Examples (from Amazon)

< Prev   Next >