I was chatting with a friend who likes science fiction movies. During the conversation we realized that there were several movies and TV shows that feature rock creatures. Here are my favorite 10 such movies, listed in no particular order.
1. Missile to the Moon (1958) – Five people take off in a rocket. One of them is secretly an alien from the moon. Two other are escaped convicts. When they reach the moon they find moon women, intrigue, a giant spider, and unfriendly rock creatures. This is a bad movie but I like it anyway.
2. Galaxy Quest (1999) – Has-been actors from a canceled TV show like Star Trek are thought to be real space heros by a hapless group of aliens. Captain Taggert (Tim Allen) goes to a mining colony to get fuel but encounters a nasty rock creature. This is my favorite science fiction comedy movie. If you’ve ever watched the original Star Trek TV shows, I think you’ll like this movie.
3. The Monolith Monsters (1957) – A meteorite falls in the California desert. When water touches any part of the meteorite, it forms crystals and grows to huge size. If a person touches any part of the meteorite, they are turned to stone. Luckily scientists figure out that salt water will stop crystals.
4. The Outer Limits TV Show, Corpus Earthling (1963) – Geologist Dr. Paul Cameron (Robert Culp) has a metal plate in his head which allows him to overhear aliens who look like rocks but can morph into crab-like parasitic creatures. They are bad rock creatures. The aliens are defeated in the end.
5. (tie) Star Trek TV Show, The Devil in the Dark (1967) – The crew of the starship Enterprise are summoned to a mining base on a distant planet. Miners are being mysteriously killed. It turns out that aliens called Horta are intelligent silicon-based creatures who can burrow through rock and killed miners only to defend themselves. The situation is resolved peacefully. Many fans rank this as one of the best episodes.
5. (tie) Star Trek TV Show, The Savage Curtain (1969) – The starship Enterprise goes to planet Excalbia to conduct a survey. The Excalbians are rock-like creatures with great powers. They force Kirk and Spock to join forces with Abraham Lincoln and Surak, the father of Vulcan civilization, to battle four of history’s most evil villains: Colonel Phillip Green, Klingon warlord Kahless, Dr. Zora, Genghis Khan. The idea is for the Excalibans to study good vs. evil. Many fans rank this as one of the worst episodes ever, but it’s one of the most memorable.
6. Dr. Who TV Show, The Hand of Fear (1976) – Dr. Who encounters a hand. When the hand is exposed to radiation, it grows to a rock-like alien named Elrad who was originally from the planet Kastria. Elrad is not nice and decides he wants to rule the Earth. Dr. Who defeats Elrad.
7. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) – This was a series of 12 short episodes, shown one per week in movie theaters before the main shows. A deadly plague is ravaging the Earth. Flash Gordon learns that Ming the Merciless is behind the evil plot. Flash and friends travel to Ming’s planet Mongo where they meet with a race of Rock Men. They really aren’t made of rock, but they live in rocky terrain and camouflauge themselves like rocks.
8. Rock Monster (2008) – The title pretty much sums this movie up. A group of American college students go to a creepy Eastern European village. Did they not ever see ANY science fiction movie involving Eastern Europe? One of the students removes a sword from a stone, which brings an ancient rock monster to life. After much stuggle, the hero student defeats the rock monster.
9. Island of Terror (1966) – British scientists on a remote island off the coast are doing experiements with radiation and silicon. What could possibly go wrong? Well, how about bone-dissolving “silicates” that reproduce rapidly and apparently can’t be killed? Famous actor Peter Cushing plays a scientist called in from London. The silicates are defeated by yet additional radiation injected into cattle which are then eaten by the silicates.
10. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) – I’ve watched this movie three times (don’t ask why because I can’t answer) and the storyline is a bit vague. It involves the Titans who are monsters who heal the planet by nearly destroying it, or something like that. Anyway, one of the Titans is Methuselah, a cross between a mountain and vegetation. Methuselah makes only a very brief appearance.
11. The Neverending Story (1984) – Bastian is a 10-year old who reads a book that tells the story of young warrior Atreyu who must save the world of Fantasia, ruled by the good Childlike Empress. Along the way, Atreyu meets a helpful Rockbiter named Pyornkrachzark. Not science fiction so it doesn’t make the main list.
12. Return to Oz (1985) – Dorothy Gale returns to the Land of Oz and discovers it has been conquered by the Nome King, a rock-like creature. Dorothy defeats the Nome King when he accidentally eats a poison egg. Princess Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, is restored to power. Not science fiction so it doesn’t make the main list.
13. Fantastic Four (2005) – Five people travel into space to study the effect of a weird cosmic energy cloud. All five are mutated: Mr. Fantastic (super stretchability), Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Dr. Doom, and “The Thing”. The Thing (formerly Ben Grimm, played by actor Michael Chiklis) looks like he’s made of rock but it’s really just very coarse tough skin.
(Thanks to Jennifer McCaffrey for pointing this movie out.)