Sentia share their Ultimate Monster Movie List: A blood-curdling cinematic journey into the macabre and bizarre
Melbourne prog / alt-rock boys Sentia are by no means strangers to horror movies.
From arthouse appreciation to B-movie binges, the influences on Sentia’s music stem just as much from cinema as other music. And it shows.
Whether good, bad, or so bad it’s good, the band’s love of monster movies is more than apparent in the new werewolf-themed music video for their latest single, Make You. Assembled by combining scenes from a range of vintage horror films, Make You tells an entirely new werewolf story, starring vocalist Amos Phillips as the digitally-inserted protagonist.
To celebrate the release of their new video, Sentia have shared a list of some of their favourite monster movies. But beware, one man’s craving is another man’s cringe!
2006 / Directed by Rob Roy
Sure, it’s got some bad reviews. That’s fine! What’s important about Lycan Colony is how fun it is. Centering around a secluded werewolf community with a creative take on the werewolf story, this one-and-done 90 minute werewolf classic is a long-time favourite.
From the use of day-for-night to peaking audio, to a fur-suit that rivals that hell scene bunny in Bell & Ted’s Bogus Journey, it’s an equally amazing and confusing film of the early 2000’s. Just make sure to watch this with friends for a good laugh.
FUN FACT: While attempting to contact Kevin Bacon for a cameo, director Rob Roy was allegedly chased off the actor’s property by dogs. How ironic.
1986 / Directed by Stuart Gordon
A loose adaptation of a very short HP Lovecraft story, From Beyond stars the great Jeffrey Combs as a scientist attempting to stimulate the pineal gland (third eye) using a device called the Resonator, in order to perceive otherworldly dimensions. As you would expect, this doesn’t quite go to plan, instead inviting terrifying and grotesque creatures into our reality.
With visceral effects that would look almost at home in John Carpenter’s classic The Thing (more on that later) and body horror imagery that would make David Cronenberg wince, From Beyond is an intensely discomforting cosmic horror well worth your time. If you’re into that kinda thing…
FUN FACT: Medical advisers were consulted during production in order to ensure the accuracy of the medical procedures shown in the film.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
1981 / Directed by John Landis
Featuring hands-down the most incredible werewolf transformation ever seen in a movie, and a uniquely comedic take on the genre, An American Werewolf in London centres around the survivor of a werewolf attack as he struggles with his newfound curse.
Equal parts funny and terrifying, witty, dark, and just plain excellent… Not much else needs to be said about this triumph of the genre. If this is still in your watch-list, do yourself a favour and move it to the top.
FUN FACT: Won the first ever Academy Award for Best Makeup. Rightly so.
1987 / Directed by Peter Jackson
Pure. Unadulterated. Schlock.
Mostly self-funded by director Peter Jackson before he had any money, Bad Taste took nearly four years to shoot, relying heavily on gory and disgusting practical effects. Aliens come to earth (New Zealand more specifically) to harvest humans for a fast food restaurant. Gross, rude and very amusing.
Sure, Peter Jackson’s moved onto bigger and better things, but for a dropkick high school kid in Mullumbimby in the 90s, this was the pinnacle of rad!
FUN FACT: Bad Taste was made without a script. The film was shot on weekends using ideas Peter Jackson had come up with during the week.
THE MAD MONSTER
1942 / Directed by Sam Newfield
One of the all-time classic b-grade werewolf movies, The Mad Monster follows lowly gardener Petro as his employer, Dr Lorenzo Cameron, subjects him to an experimental serum, transforming him into a werewolf in order to carry out vengeful deeds.
Featuring groundbreaking (at the time) werewolf transformation scenes and a simple, contained story, The Mad Monster is a must-see if you’re a fan of classic monster movies. It’s also in the public domain, so don’t feel bad for watching it on the internet!
FUN FACT: The Mad Monster formed much of the backbone of the video for Make You, with our vocalist Amos digitally replacing Petro as the main character.
ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES
1978 / Directed by John DeBello
A classic love story of man loves tomatoes, tomatoes become sentient and revolt against their human oppressors…
Made in 1978 on a micro budget, the film is honestly, completely shit! It’s just so bad that it’s always stuck with me. One scene in particular follows are a bunch of swimmers screaming at the beach as they are swarmed by “killer tomatoes” (see: floating blobs of red plasticine).
Enjoy this notorious gem with company.
FUN FACT: This was the first feature film most of the cast had ever appeared in. And for quite a few, also the last.
THE TOXIC AVENGER
1984 / Directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman
Troma films were the kings of schlock back in the day.
Seriously, check their credits. It’s a long and illustrious list including rising talents ranging from James Gunn to JJ Abrams, and movies like Cannibal! The Musical, from two young guys who went on to create South Park.
So, yeah. That’ll give you an idea of the tone to expect from this film.
A nerdy janitor, bullied by school jocks, is transformed into a superhuman mutant by some toxic chemicals before embarking on a (very problematic by today’s standards) crusade to make the world a “better place”.
Not for the weak-of-stomach. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you were now, would you?
FUN FACT: Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei even makes an appearance… as an extra.
1993 / Directed by Mark Jones
This movie is so bad, so campy, so… American.
Starring Warwick Davis as a murderous leprechaun hunting for gold (and a bride) opposite Jennifer Aniston in her first feature film role, Leprechaun’s awareness at its own insanity is where the charm lies.
FUN FACT: You can thank Warwick Davis for much of the humour in the film, which the studio were originally intending to be a straight horror movie.
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
1951 / Directed by Christian Nyby
John Carpenter’s 1984 classic The Thing may be an absolute masterpiece – and one of our favourite movies of all time – but I’m just going to assume you’ve already seen that.
The 1951 ‘original’ (I use the term loosely) may lack the incredible shape-shifting creature effects, brooding synthesised soundtrack, and Keith David, but is surprisingly almost as unsettling and creepy as Carpenter’s version, which is testament both to the story, and the less-is-more approach apparent in this film. Forget about the red fear undertones common in science fiction movies of this time, the sense of isolation and dread is all here. Especially if you’re a fan of The Thing, this is well worth your time.
FUN FACT: Due to issues with the makeup, there are no closeups of the creature. For the best too! It’s what you don’t see that scares you the most.