9 Best Monster vs. Monster Matchups in the History of Film
By CT Goodson
9 Best Monster vs. Monster Matchups in the History of Film
What is the general make up of a “traditional” monster? We know most of them suffer from insomnia – they never seem to sleep. We also know they are pretty much invincible to mortal hands. This is probably because the traditional monster is usually undead or a mutant, and often immortal. Although insomnia, invincibility and immortality are still key characteristics of the contemporary monster, advances in science (fiction) and changes in pop culture have brought about complexity in the modern monster. The whole genetic makeup of monsters has become very sophisticated. Take triple threats Tad and Bunny from the series Vampire Zombie Werewolf, for instance. Tad’s transformation to first werewolf, then zombie, then vampire, created a unique DNA – one later adopted by Bunny, his suburban vampire zombie werewolf wife.
Regardless of whether you prefer the old-school simplicity of the blood sucking undead or the new-age twinkling emo-romantics that make up the Twilight saga, it’s still fun to watch humans battle against them. What can be more exhilarating than the battle between human against monster? How about monster against monster? Nothing immortalizes the monster better than a good old-fashioned match of menace, where evil battles evil.
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1. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, 1943
This is the first EVER monster meet and beat match in movie history. The pairing is a good one with a desperate, newly-risen-from-the-dead Wolf Man and a newly-revived Frankenstein monster. As the story goes, Wolf Man sought out Dr. Frankenstein to cure his lycanthropy – needing his monster for the research. It was a good idea until the monster tried to shamble off from the lab with a damsel. Wolf Man then attacked Frankenstein’s monster, and they ended up tossing each other about the lab. Wolf Man’s canine agility versus the monster’s brute strength and stamina made the outcome impossible to call. A burst damn rendered the match a draw when the cascading water covered them both and carried them to their ultimate demise.
2. Alien v. Predator, 2004
This movie monster match has it all. It is comic book sci-fi brought to life. Predators hunt Aliens as a teenage rite of passage. Aliens live among humans. Humans are caught in the middle. Everyone has mandibles. The fight scene is awesome – full of Alien acid blood and Predator prowess teamed with human intervention. After all the brick bursting and water tower demolition, it seems that Predator came away the victor until it succumbs to its battle wounds. In the end, it is clear (from the double species mandibled chestburster that erupts from its lifeless chest cavity) that this was only one battle won within an endless war.
It even includes a small tribute to the very first movie monster match. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is shown on the satellite receiving station TV near the beginning of the movie.
3. King Kong v. Godzilla, 1962
Godzilla had already confirmed his role as a badass by terrorizing Japan and ruining most of its architecture before he got trapped in an iceberg. All that was left to make his final claim to the island of Japan was to defend his turf as his own. Enter King Kong – a perpetually PO’d monstrosity of a monkey who not only had to battle a giant octopus but was unceremoniously dropped into Godzilla’s neighborhood while he nursed a hangover. Kong rebounded and kicked giant reptile booty after a spectacular fight on Mt. Fuji – including atomic fire, a tree in Godzilla’s gullet, and a knockdown, drag ‘em out fight down the coastline. Kong emerged King from the ocean into which HE unceremoniously dumped the reptilian titan.
4. Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, 2009
Speaking of Giant Octopus…
The slow moving, anticlimactic underwater fight scene between the enormous monsters of the sea doesn’t pack the thrill of fire breathing reptiles and giant apes. The movie does, however, get props for finding a way to pair off two critters that most people wouldn’t normally be able to see fight. It’s too bad it ended in a draw. Mega Shark took a giant, bloodletting bite out of one of Giant Octopus’ tentacles just before being strangled to death by its remaining limbs. Both monsters sank to their respective watery graves along with the plot line.
5. Dracula vs. Frankenstein, 1971
Since the Frankenstein monster was merely an animated corpse, Dracula could not use his normal hypnotic or blood-draining tricks to put an end to him. The idea of having to destroy Frankenstein’s monster by tearing him limb from limb made sense. It just didn’t carry over into the 1970s B movie very well.
6. Mothra vs. Godzilla, 1964
This monster match up clearly defined Godzilla as the truest of villains in the mega monster world when he tried to kill Mothra’s egg before it hatched. He then succeeded in killing Mothra with his atomic ray straight to her face. The final shot of the fight scene was of Mother Mothra as she lay dying with one giant wing sheltering her egg. Godzilla, apparently no longer amused with the egg covered in giant dead moth, walked away the victor. Until… the hatchlings avenged their mother’s death by using its cocoon spray to trap Godzilla and send him to the sea once again.
7. Optimus vs. Megatron, Transformers, 2007
Even though this match was unlike the other evil on evil match ups (Optimus Prime is a good guy), it was still an epic monster brawl. We got to watch two behemoth robot monsters do battle – complete with wrecked buildings and torn up asphalt. Optimus was the good guy and the ultimate victor, but the fight was exciting enough that we hoped for a sequel if only to bring Megatron and his evil forces back for more metal on metal mayhem.
8. Freddy vs. Jason, 2003
Freddy Krueger vs. Jason Voorhees is quite possibly the most brilliant if not the most EVIL match since Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. If there were ever two villains that could meet the criteria for hellish evil monsters better, I don’t know who they would be. Already banished to Hell, the twisted and demented duo escaped their hellhole to battle it out in Freddy’s dream world and again in Jason’s real world. It seemed that Jason had the home field advantage in the real world when he ripped off Freddy’s claw arm… until Freddy drove Jason’s own machete into his chest, and they both went tumbling into a lake. But you can’t keep a winning evil team at bay for very long, even after you drown the psychopath and behead the maniac. The powers of evil bring them together again at the end of this movie, in pieces.
9. Ginormica vs. Gallaxhar, Monsters vs. Aliens, 2009
Props have to be given to DreamWorks Animation and Paramount for setting up a monster battle that even the kids could enjoy. Although this animated feature film lacks the special effects of architectural destruction and the blood and gore usually associated with messy monster match ups, it made up for it with creative computer animation and stereoscopic 3D effects. The animated battle ended with misunderstood monsters leaping to safety from the self-destructed alien ship captained by Gallaxhar. It is just unwholesome enough to be enjoyed by kids who don’t prefer Disney.
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CT Goodson is a die-hard Chicago native, temporarily transplanted to a small, northern Illinois town. When she is not working at her day job managing office chaos, she is busy managing life’s chaos from her kitchen table, which provides plenty of material for her own writing projects.