Not every scifi film can star a Brobdingnagian shark or lizard. Some movies must make due with giant livestock, vermin, and apes who aren't named King Kong. Here are 10 of the most superfluous creature features ever made.
1.) The Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973)
This trash classic stars an eight-foot-tall killer sheep that has been mutated by mysterious vapors from an old mine. The film never explains why said creature is dubbed "the godmonster." I'm assuming the giant sheep is some sort of intricate Jesus metaphor lost to the cutting room floor.
2.) Beginning of the End (1957)
In this schlocky drive-in flick, grasshoppers consume radioactive foods, grow to preposterous sizes, and attack the citizens of Chicago. Aren't grasshoppers herbivores?
3.) The Killer Shrews (1959)
On a secluded island, a scientist tries to solve the world's food crisis by devising a method that will make humans half-sized. Somehow, he inadvertently creates a species of giant, bloodthirsty shrews. Let's table the fact that this scientist's plan is completely stupid and instead focus on how he "accidentally" created killer shrews. How did he get from Point A to Point B? This whole situation is like if I vowed to lose weight by chopping off my legs and, in the process, installed a grain thresher on the hood of my car.
4.) Food of the Gods (1976)
Food of the Gods was loosely based on H.G. Wells' novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth. In this film, a strange "food" is found on an island in British Columbia. A number of small animals, such as chickens, wasps, and rats feed upon it and subsequently become man-killing monstrosities. Look at those deadly hens!
5.) Gnaw — Food of the Gods II (1989)
Barring its title, this sequel had nothing to do with the original Food of the Gods — heck, it didn't even feature the titular vittles. No, this film was about an experimental growth serum which is tested on rats and a little boy named Bobby, who turns into a psychotic, cussing ogre. The above scene is unintentional comedy gold, and it's even funnier if you have no idea what the movie's about.
6.) Night of the Lepus (1972)
An experimental hormone designed to reduce a small town's rabbit population instead mutates them into Buick-sized killing machines. The studio could have made a fortune if they just called the film 90 Minutes of Fluffy Bunnies Hopping Around Incongruously Small Dioramas. It also contains one of the crappiest environmental messages in scifi history.
7.) Konga (1961)
An unworthy addition to the giant ape genre, Konga starred a massive chimpanzee who'd been injected with experimental growth serum. In addition to being a fairly blatant rip-off of King Kong, the giant chimp bore an uncanny resemblance to the animatronic gorilla from Showbiz Pizza. I like how Konga's first attempt at destroying the lab is to wanly ruffle some research papers.
8.) Ticks (1993)
Oversized vectors for Lyme Disease harangue disaffected youth (and Clint Howard) at a summer camp. And look, it's Seth Green before he could act!
9.) The White Buffalo (1977)
Charles Bronson versus a buffalo the size of a Sherman Tank. Nuff said.
10.) A*P*E (1976)
At first blush, A*P*E seems to be some sort of unholy mash-up of King Kong and M*A*S*H. In truth, it was just a shameless cash grab designed to preempt the release of Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong. The studios noticed, and posters for A*P*E were required to bear the disclaimer "Not to be confused with King Kong."
This io9 Flashback originally ran August 2010.