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Monster Movies: The Saga of Their Evolution from “King Kong” to “The Shape of Water”

Whether they display tentacles, claws or various appendages, monsters are a recurring figure of cinema. Present since the beginning of this art, they also stir emotions and dreams. Many influences have nourished the evolution of this particular cinematographic genre.

Once-on-the-paper creatures begin their film career with The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy by the famous Willis O’Brien in 1915. There is nothing better to hd movie download than the very figure of the antediluvian monster the dinosaur. Even though the venerable Gertie is the first representative of the species to have been animated (with drawings) in 1914 by Little Nemo’s creator , Winsor McCay , O’Brien’s film remains one of the oldest experiments of his kind. the stop motion technique.

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King Kong and Dracula

The host continues his exploration in The Ghost of Slumber Mountain in 1918, a test run for what Harry Hoyt will be The Lost World in 1925. This dive into a closed universe, populated by dinosaurs and simian creatures, is an important date in the history of the monster film as it prefigures the King Kong of 1933. The fascination of the time for paleontological research brings in a natural way the imagination to exploit such subjects.

lost-world

However, we must not forget the influence of literature with the Dracula of Stoker published in 1897 or the Frankenstein of Mary Shelley in 1821. Two outstanding works, already well established in the collective unconscious at the time who have also participated in the birth of monster movies. The Manoir du Diable Méliès in 1896 is considered the first vampire movie. But the demon he shows, Mephistopheles, does not, strictly speaking, have a “monstrous” character.

The Frankenstein of J. Searle Dawley in 1910, on the other hand fully fits in this genre. This potting mix of animated creatures and disguised fellows makes the codes of the monster film for many decades.

King of Kong

An essential stage of the cinema, King Kong is nevertheless a relatively average budget production of the RKO (American production company). Created by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the film comes at the time in line with many productions depicting explorers diving into a fierce jungle.

Led by Cooper’s passion for monkeys, King Kong naturally tells the story of the birth of humanity in the heart of this giant wild animal. Once again, the talented O’Brien takes care of the “trick” aspect. With the simple beauty of his subject and his incredible visual rendering, the film is a huge success. It marks the pop-culture and the image of the monkey perched on the Empire State Building becomes an icon.

Chain production B series

An ideal launching pad for a whole section of genre cinema, which the RKO will quickly make profitable by producing a large number of Latest movie B-series films. Of course, the impact on the general public is not equivalent to that of the first historical blockbusters that will be The Teeth of the Sea or Star Wars , but King Kong reassures about the potential of monsters on the big screen.

Big names in cinema will then have the opportunity to work for this company, like Tourneur with his masterpiece La Féline (1942) or The Body Snatcher (1945) by Robert Wise, who has the privilege of welcoming a duo of key actors of the movie of monsters, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Note that it has nothing to do with Siegel’s feature film Invasion of the Body Snatchers , taken from another novel.

The Second World War will then create a parenthesis in production, with a retreat to the propaganda film at the international level. But a recovery comes at the very