These are some of the creature feature films that have animals that turn into monsters by pollution. These films deal with a lot of environmental issues mainly issues on pollution, waste management, industrialization and war. Many of them are classics but all of them are considered to be cult classics.
A nuclear attack over Japan created a gigantic lizard monster known as Godzilla. It spits fire while terrorizing Tokyo. The film is gloomy with a strong anti-war message, especially with nuclear arms used in war and environmentalism. It’s the first film of the kaiju (monster) movie genre. The Japanese name of Godzilla is “Gojira” which means gorilla + whale. Please note that the American edit and the Japanese edit of this film have completely different tones in their anti-war message. In the American 1956 release Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! has new footage of Raymond Burr explain the action of the monster (mostly likely to the viewers) and the aftermath in the hospital of extras of Godzilla’s nuclear fire attacks were edited differently. Before the film series franchise grew into what it is today, Godzilla was a metaphor for war in the age of the atomic bomb how nuclear bombs and the pollution it creates are cataphoric for humans and the planet.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
This film is a part of the Godzilla franchise with an emphasis on environmentalism. The name “Hedorah” is from the word “hedoro” which means “sludge” in Japanese. An alien crashes into a pile of pollution and grows into a poisonous, acid-secreting sea monster that Godzilla must defeat. Hedorah spurts out acid that can melt a person if it touches them. In short, Godzilla fights pollution in Tokyo for an environmental message about taking care of the planet. It’s an experimental film that is a campier film than Godzilla. It has a catchy song about saving the Earth. The theme song is a very repetitive theme song that’s very much a 1960’s pop song. It also has some 1960s psychedelic swirling colour LSD dance scenes for a movie mostly geared for children at the time.
Night of the Lepus (1972)
A scientist experiment in a nearby village creates gigantic rabbits that run amok throughout the town. It’s a b-movie that borderlines on weird and absurd than terrifying. The rabbits are real rabbits but the set is a miniature set. Especially the miniature cans the rabbits run by. It makes some scenes look a little cute. The movie is based on a black comedy science fiction novel The Year of the Rabbit (1964) by Russell Braddon. The movie tried to take out the comedy from the story to make it a more serious-toned story. It didn’t help the film.
The Host (2006)
After a military hospital carelessly dumps chemicals down a sink a mysterious creature shows up on shore. It starts attacking and eating people in public view but it kidnaps a little girl before disappearing. The family of the little girl goes on a quest to hunt down the creature but is declared outlaws. The government tries to cover it up but they are not sure what it is. The creature looks like a gigantic deep sea fish with legs. The special effects are pretty good for their time.
A scientist created a bug that kills disease-bearing cockroaches by mimicking them to kill them. A few years later after some suspicious deaths, the scientist is called back by the government with a small team to hunt down the evolved bug mimicking and killing humans before it takes over New York City.
A teenage girl buys an alligator at a Florida tourist trap but the animal is flushed down the toilet by her father after they return home. For 12 years the ex-pet survives by eating discarded pets from the sewers. A cop and a reptile expert are sent after the gigantic creature to kill and study it.
A black and white film of a gigantic big bug attacking a small American town. This film was one of the first “nuclear monster” films and “big bug” science fiction. Two nests of gigantic irradiated ants that were mutated by the atomic bomb testing combine to establish a new giant nest near California.
A science fiction film of a New York City doctor and his wife go on an assignment in a Maine forest town to report on a paper mill and land disputes for the EPA. They find out that the paper mill is spilling toxic waste in a nearby river which is caused by the mutation of a local bear now on a killer rampage. The lumberjacks of the paper mill blame the Native American people in the area for the missing people while the Native American people blame a vengeful forest spirit that the lumberjacks awoke. The film is fairly decent with some great outdoor shots of British Columbia which was where the film was produced. It’s noted to be the first film that garnered the name “Hollywood North” and created a massive film production industry.