Stock Monster Symbolism
You wanna make a serious minded monster movie? Well, the result is going to be taken as symbolism, regardless of what you intended. Here, then, are some of the standard Monsters from Our Monsters Are Different, with notable examples of said symbolism as interpreted.
- Anything to do with parasitism or disease, including:
- Who Wants to Live Forever?
- Too many Vampire Detective Series to mention
- Vampires Are Sex Gods
- Bloodthirst as a metaphor for drug addiction
- The Beast Within
- The Wolfman 1941
- Just about every other werewolf using the whole amnesia shtick.
- Metaphor for STDs
- Metaphor for menstruation
Zombies (of the Zombie Apocalypse variety)
- Humans Are Bastards
- Survival of the Fittest
- Faceless conformity and loss of identity
- Epidemics, especially when zombieism is The Virus.
Zombies (of the Hollywood Voodoo variety)
- Again, faceless conformity and loss of identity
- Fear of being Buried Alive
The Body Snatchers and similar
- Conformity and infiltration are the watchwords here.
- Frequently associated with a Red Scare
- Disasters. Either man made (Hedorah, giant robots, mutants) or natural (Rodan), a sort of divine retribution tied to shinto beliefs can also be read into it (Mothra).
- Godzilla has basically been all of the above at some point. He started out as a metaphor for the devastation of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! has him being the collective manifestation of the souls of those who lost their lives during Japan's Pacific campaign in World War II. Godzilla (2014) gives him a Gaia's Vengeance characterization on top of being a radioactive mutation.
- Anti-military aesops. Almost always military might will fail miserably and just waste everyone's time, and often it's the fault of the military that the Kaiju are there in the first place.
- Human imperialism and war.
- The original The War of the Worlds novel was largely meant as a critique of the British Empire and imperialism in general.
- Human reaction to disaster, similar to zombie films in that the people are more of a problem than the invaders. Also an element of all War Of The Worlds adaptations.
- Science Is Bad / My God, What Have I Done?
- Turned Against Their Masters
- Unforeseen Consequences of Human Industry/Technology