In the 1930's when movies were new, a new genre of movie was created, known as the monster movie. While there are examples of what coould have been monster movies before the 30s, the movie that seems to have really propelled the genre was King Kong. After King Kong monster movies exploded onto the scene, and by the 50s monster movies where everywhere all across the globe. Many of these monster movies were also considered B Movies, or low budget spectacle movies. They were often incredibly cheesy, to the point where many Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes end up riffing on old monster movies.
Monster movies aren't just a relic of the past though, movies like Independence Day, Pacific Rim, and even this weeks Godzilla: King of the Monsters all follow in the monster movie tradition, even if they go about the genre in different ways. The monster movie genre is still going strong, and one Japanese company decided to pay tribute to monster movies, old and new with their now most well known series...
For this month's Band of Blogger's prompt, I played Earth Defense Force 5. While not technically based off a movie, it is based off the monster movie genre with references to many classic monster movies, and with all cheese the cheese of those movies included.
The Earth Defense Force is a military force dedicated to defending Earth, though they've never actually had to do that in EDF5, as it's a reboot of the series. Soon after the game starts, however, a horrible alien invasion begins, and it's up to the player character for some reason (who starts out the game as a civilian touring the EDF facilities) to save the day! Throughout the adventure there will be many monsters fought, there will be shouts of "EDF!" and there will be a completely ridiculous story that makes little sense and is filled with camp. I highly recommend the game and the series in general.
But we're here for movies and movie references, what movies does Earth Defense Force 5 reference? Let's find out.
The first enemy one encounters in most EDF games is the giant ant:
The giant ant, also known as "Aggressive Alien Species Alpha" in EDF5, is the most common enemy in the game, with the most variants. There are black, red, green, gold, and queen variants. While other Earth Defense Force games refer to the ants (and the various other bugs in the game) as giant insects, EDF 5 ignores the fact that these are ants at all, and all characters seem to not recognize them as such. This is honestly probably because it's stupid, and human characters in monster movies are generally pretty stupid.
The ants are a reference to the 1954 movie Them! A movie about giant killer ants.
The next enemy generally encoutered are the giant spiders.
Also known as "Aggressive Alien Species Beta" the giant spiders come in three variants, the ones seen in the above picture, the aranea version, which drags you closer with its webs, and the king version, which is the normal version but ten times bigger. The spiders swarm you and attack with their webs, and fun fact, are the reason a friend of mine simply couldn't handle the game.
The spider are likely a reference to the 1955 movie Tarantula.
While there are many giant monsters in this game, none are as feared as Erginus and Archelus.
It should be obvious who Erginus is referencing, but Archelus might be a little more obscure. Here's a movie poster featuring both of the monsters they reference.
Erginus is a Godzilla like monster, and Archelus is one of Godzilla's rivals, Anguirus. The best thing about fighting Erginus and Archelus in EDF is that in order to do so, you have to pilot a giant mech.
There are so many things that the "Gigantic Unloader Barga" references, but the fact that it wasn't built to fight giant monsters, but to, as it's name suggests, move huge cargo is just so stupid and wonderful.
The next two enemies in the game are a much more obscure reference. The Teleport Anchor and the Deroy.
The Teleport Anchors teleport enemies to the area, and the Deroys are giant three legged robots with incredible destructive power. Instead of referencing a movie, these enemies are references to a book (that has had movies made from it) These enemies reference the cylinders and the tripods of the novel The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The tripods made it into the 2005 movie, and took on the cylider's role as well (being shot from space into the ground).
I am no expert on monster movies, but I do love them. So I obviously also adore these games. There are probably a lot more references in these games to monster movies, but this blog is getting pretty long already. There are more enemies in the game, like giant motherships that are the size of a city (a la Independence Day), alien bipedal frogs (that all characters in the game seem to think look just like humans due to them being bipedal, because the game needed more cheese), and of course traditional Roswell aliens.
The Earth Defence Force series is a giant love letter to monster movies, so if you enjoy monster movies and have ever wanted to shoot those monsters in a video game, you should definitely play Earth Defense Force.