Monster Movie Display

There are three things I’m certain of in this world:

1) Helluva Good French Onion Dip is by far the best french onion dip on the market (and nothing else even comes close–if you even mention Dean’s french onion dip, I will ban you from the Internet!).

2) George Lucas could not have screwed up The Phantom Menace any more than he did. It is literally impossible to make that movie any worse.

3) You just finished reading my “Display Your Movies” post and, while you thoroughly enjoyed it, you’re longing for bonus entry about how to display your massive collection of monster movies.

Well, all I can do is “enjoy” for #1 and “plot” for #2, but I’m happy to help you out with the third one.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love love love classic monster movies, and have many more than I would like to admit. In my office, I actually have a collection of vhs (!) monster movies that I meticulously saved up for and bought as a kid growing up in Ohio. Why do I keep them? Well, it’s always fun to have my students try and figure out just what the hell a vhs is, after all the time I spent looking forward to purchasing them from Saturday Movie Matinee in the Richland Mall I can’t bear to get rid of them, and if I kept them at home I’m pretty sure Claire would make me throw them away (because honestly I can’t think of a reason to keep them–I already have practically all of them on dvd).

Don’t believe me? Check it:

Monster Movies Office

If you squint, you can just make out a few impressive finds, including a colorized version of the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (more on that movie later) and a copy of Peter Cushing’s Island of Terror, which is not available stateside on dvd. Yes, you should be jealous.

Now, obviously I can’t display all of my monster movies in the living room. To be honest, you should only display about half the number of your other dvds in the living room.  However, they’re important to me and I consider them part of my identity. So, I wanted to place a few choice movies in a cluster on one of the shelves in the living room. Just like my other movie display entry, I have some advice if you’re a bit nervous about the process.

And in case you’re wondering, here is my selection of monster movies currently on display in the Grimm/Odenweller house.

Monster Movie Display

1. Start with a list of must-haves

Just like with your regular movie collection, this is going to say a lot about you. If some monster movie expert comes to your house, you want to be able to impress them with your selection. Fortunately, I already had King Kong in with my other movie display, so I didn’t have to worry about it here. However, my all-time favorite movie is the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers featuring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynters. It’s absolutely wonderful, and I can’t wait for it to come out on blu-ray (currently, when I want to treat myself, I rent it in HD off of Amazon, like I’m some kind of animal!). However, I also included Forbidden Planet, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, and Mysterious Island as must-haves.

2. Sprinkle in the classics

The monster movie fan club is an exclusive membership, and we can be a bit snobbish. Plus, if the casual observer glances at the collection, it would be great if they could recognize a few titles (then comes the nostalgia, and then they’re trapped!). For me, I threw in the The Blob, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and One Million Years B.C. I think it’s a great way of connecting with people who have only a passing familiarity with this genre.

3. It’s all in the name

One of my favorite things about monster movies is that the names are so crazy and wild. You definitely want to showcase this, which is why I included some movies with really appealing titles: Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Crawling Eye, From Hell It Came, I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Tell me you wouldn’t at least pick up I Married A Monster from Outer Space, just to look at it. Then, while we’ll sharing a laugh, I can casually drop in that, if you watch this movie closely, it’s basically about women dealing with marrying a closeted gay man in the 1950s (the husbands look normal to everyone else, but are incapable of emotions, particularly when it comes to showing affection and having sex). Then BAM! You’re hooked.

This can also apply to cool dvd covers, which is why I’m considering putting Attack of the Crab Monsters out as well:


4. Keep a few of your newer monster movies on display

This is mostly for you. It’s great to have the classics and reliable ones out there (again, I don’t know what it is about Planet of Dinosaurs, but I do enjoy that movie), but it’s easy to forget about your more recent purchases. That’s why I have The Abominable Snowman (underrated and, at times, genuinely unsettling) and Caltiki: The Immortal Monster on display–it’s convenient (just throw it in the dvd player) and a nice reminder so that when you’re admiring your collection you can say, “Hey, I forgot I owned From Hell It Came.”

And just like that, you’re ready to have a monster movie display that will be the envy of your friends and won’t annoy your wife at all!

You’re welcome!

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