The franchise crossover makes a high-profile return with Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong, the long-awaited megamovie with the mutant brutes from Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island.
As a child I used to be floored by crossover films, these gimmicky makes an attempt to unite characters from one movie franchise with characters from a distinct one. I used to be glued to the display every time the late-night TV film was House of Dracula (1945), a Universal creature characteristic with not solely the black-caped bloodsucker but in addition Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolf Man. The assembly of horrors and powers and transformations made for an exciting collision.
The franchise crossover makes a high-profile return with Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong, the long-awaited megamovie with the mutant brutes from Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. The movie, in theatres and streaming on HBO Max within the US, reunites two creatures who’ve lengthy and wealthy histories onscreen, and who duelled manner again in King Kong vs Godzilla (1962).
Here are different film franchise crossovers that, whereas not all the time spectacular leisure, put aside improbability and took an opportunity with matches that (largely) clicked.
Creature Clash: Alien vs Predator (2004)
The studio 20th Century Fox paired two of its widespread film franchises to vogue this big-hit spectacular that’s a prequel to Alien (1979) and a sequel to Predator (1986). Directed by Paul WS Anderson, the movie stars Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen as leaders of a group of scientists investigating a warmth supply within the Antarctic. It seems that an underground pyramid is definitely a searching floor for the title monsters, and the hapless people get caught within the center. If all of it feels like an expensive-looking online game, you’re not unsuitable, and followers ate it up. Writing in The New York Times, Dave Kehr referred to as it a “dark, handsome, well-designed” characteristic that “turns out to be no worse than most mindless summer action films.” If you need extra of this duelling-species crossover, there’s a sequel, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007).
Macabre Matchup: Freddy vs Jason (2003)
Directed by Ronny Yu, this slick horror bout pits Freddy Krueger, the punny slayer of A Nightmare on Elm Street, in opposition to Jason Voorhees, the masked butcher from Friday the 13th. Jason Ritter, Monica Keena and Kelly Rowland lead a forged round a convoluted movie that’s extra stunt than scary, though it’s a deal with to observe Jason, his huge physique engulfed in flames, traipse via a cornfield massacring glowstick-waving ravers. There’s additionally a making-of-the-monster flashback that provides an enlightening snapshot of what drives Jason to rampage. Some horror followers would possibly get pleasure from watching these two legendary antagonists cartoonishly brawl, however the violence will get tedious. Unfortunately, the one really surprising second comes when Rowland’s character calls Freddy an anti-gay slur for amusing, a reminder of horror’s appalling historical past with queerness.
Classic Combat: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Roy William Neill’s black-and-white chiller was the primary Universal movie to characteristic lead characters from two of its horror movie franchises, a crossover that followers name a monster rally. Lon Chaney Jr. reprises his main position from The Wolf Man (1941) to play reverse Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein’s monster. (Twelve years earlier, Lugosi riveted audiences in Dracula, and Boris Karloff was unforgettable because the monster in Frankenstein.) The two characters meet when the Wolf Man, resurrected by graverobbers, travels to Dr. Frankenstein’s fort to discover a lycanthropy remedy, solely to find the physician’s monster frozen among the many ruins. The ending is a doozy, that includes the monsters in frenzied hand-to-hand fight and a dam explosion that washes them to a watery grave. Or does it? Swiftly paced and simply the correct amount of scary, this movie is a stable strategy to introduce a child to basic monster films.
Funny Feud: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
This family-friendly comedy is a twofer crossover of characters and genres. Like a goofball Gladiator, it aligns the Three Stooges’ slapstick and one-liners with the exaggerated bravado of swords-and-sandals movies like Goliath and the Barbarians that have been box-office attracts within the ’50s and ’60s. Directed by Edward Bernds, this black-and-white romp follows the Stooges as they time journey from Ithaca, New York, to historical Greece. (They’re performed by the later-years trio of Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita.) Kids will get a kick out of how eye pokes, intestine jabs and different bodily bits from the Stooges’ playbook upend a conventional togas-and-muscle journey story. Expect giggles when the Stooges beat again evil King Odius with cream pies to the face. The nightmarishly freaky two-headed Cyclops will delight followers of low-fi design however would possibly creep out younger kids.
Weird Warfare: Dollman vs Demonic Toys (1993)
Decades earlier than Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong, the capstone of horror comedy crossovers, there was this straight-to-video misfit from Full Moon Features, a proudly B-movie manufacturing firm. Directed by Charles Band, it’s a sci-fi horror crossover that pairs characters and story traces from different goofy Full Moon movies, together with Dollman (1991), a sci-fi thriller in regards to the ruler-size intergalactic cop Brick Bardo (Tim Thomerson), and Demonic Toys (1992), a supernatural yarn about crazed playthings, together with a snarling toddler who goes by Baby Oopsie Daisy. There’s additionally Nurse Ginger, a tiny vixen from a 3rd movie, Bad Channels (1992), about alien invaders who shrink their feminine captives. The plot is a delightfully warped mishmash that includes an area gun shootout, soul possession and a vicious motion determine named Zombietoid. This puerile pedigree is crossover catnip for followers of no-frills, what-budget, labor-of-love filmmaking.
Erik Piepenburg c.2021 The New York Times Company