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13 Gigantic Monster Versus Helicopter Movie Moments

Helicopters have long made appearances in movies, but easily their best showing is when they face off against monsters (of any variety). For this list, were looking at some of the best ever from all genres. These are only one-on-one creature features and not alien attacks so sorry, the helicopters in Independence Day are out. Also, TV movies are out. Sorry Mega Piranha.

Enthiran (2010)

Monster versus Helicopter
Enthiran, 2010

We’ll start by breaking our own rule since this wildly creative but over-the-top 2010 Indian sci-fi film is technically about a robot (named Chitti) and not a monster, but still kinda sort is (you’ll see). In this one, that robot understands human emotions and after being controlled by an evil scientist, replicates itself into a massive army that can take the form of just about anything. At one point, it combines into an enormous robotic snake (see!) that defends against a Bell 412 Gunship, chomping on the cockpit like it’s found itself a tasty mechanical rodent. Yummy.

Winner: Helicopter, believe it or not (Round one at least. Have to see the movie to see the results of round two. Hint, it involves a robot fist.)

Lake Placid (1999)


An enormous crocodile inhabits a countryside lake and starts devouring whatever it can get its toothy maw into. It draws the attention of local Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), Fish and Game officer Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda), and croc enthusiast named Hector (Oliver Platt) who investigate. When the monster corners Hector scuba diving in the water, he slowly makes a swim to his waiting copter where Deputy Sharon Gare (Meredith Salenger) frantically gets behind the stick. Hector makes it into the cockpit and Gare gets airborne but not before the crocodile bites a bit on the runner and nearly drags the two into the water. Score one for the helicopter, but the next battle (which involves a cow) doesn’t go quite so well.

Winner: Tie (First round to the helicopter, second to the croc but then the croc gets stuck in the chassis so, hard to say.)

Moby Dick (2010)

Monster versus Helicopter
Moby Dick, 2010

A modern twist on the classic Herman Melville novel sees an obsessive captain push his submarine crew to chase and catch an outlandishly huge prehistoric monster living under the sea. At one point, a Sea Hawk transport helicopter is searching for Ahab, who stole the submarine, and when they find him, he’s chasing a 600 foot target, which he thinks is the whale. It’s here that the whale welcomes the helicopter to the get-together by leaping from the ocean and swallowing it whole. Gulp.

Winner: Read the above last sentence.

Reign of Fire (2002)

Reign of Fire, 2002
Reign of Fire, 2002

A huge hibernating dragon is awakened under a construction site in London, causing a worldwide scourge of the beasts that populate at hyper-elevated levels and soon leave the Earth a scorched planet with only pockets of survivors. A few years later, an American team of dragon-slayers arrive in London with a plan to take out a nearby monster who has discovered a colony living in an old castle trying to start a farm. The Americans have learned a weakness to the dragons and plan to exploit it using an Agusta A109 helicopter so take to the skies to lure the fiery beast to give chase. On their first flight, the dragon swoops in and smashes the helicopter with a sideswipe of its head while the crew jump out to lead the winged lizard to their trap.

Winner: Helicopter (or at least one of the three people that jump out of them).

Reptilian (1999)

Monster versus Helicopter
Reptilian, 1999

A Korean (though cast with Western actors) monster movie (original title: 2001 Yonggari and a remake of the 1967 film of the same name), this one sees an ancient alien force waken the titular monster, a beast 50 times as big as the T-Rex but with much better abs. Seemingly unstoppable, the military send in their Cobra gunships to dispatch that pesky, poorly animated CGI behemoth, but Yonggari has different plans and shoots energy bolts from his mouth (because of course he does) and says bye-bye to his incoming welcoming party.

WinnerYonggari “Is that all you got?” the Reptilian.

Monsters: Dark Continent (2014)

Monster versus Helicopters
Monsters: Dark Continent, 2010

A sequel to the far, far superior Monster, this cheap military sequel sees the aliens of the first film spread to new containment countries. Meanwhile a rising insurgency has gripped the Middle East, forcing military interaction. The problem is, the area is overrun by terrifying monsters of incredible size and speed. In one brief encounter, army helicopters are scouting the roaming creatures that look like mutated giant trees, and get a little too close as one beast reaches out to snag a passing copter with its spindly tentacles. It evades just in the nick of time. That’ll learn ’em to get too close.

Winner: Tie (Just another day in the desert for these fellas.)

Godzilla (1997)

Godzilla, 1997
Godzilla, 1997

A giant creature from the sea tramples through Manhattan while scientists and the army try to stop the carnage. As the city is in the grips of a cataclysmic disaster, the military send their best helicopters in to mow the creature down. The Apache airships sweep into the cavernous skyscrapers and lay volley after volley into the fleeing monster, who is able to deflect and avoid the onslaught. At one point, the three copters believe they have the monster cornered in the shambling carcass of an obliterated building and continue to fire but unbeknownst to them, Godzilla emerges from the building behind them and crushes them all. Surprise! Not! (90s pop-culture reference!)

Winner: Godzilla (Silly men in their little plastic toys).

The Black Scorpion (1957)

Monster versus Helicopter
The Black Scorpion, 1957

A deadly earthquake in Mexico creates a new volcano. Scientists travel to investigate and discover some strange circumstances with dead livestock and missing people as a result. A mystery at first, when the volcano erupts a second time, giant prehistoric scorpions emerge from the mountain and terrorize the countryside because science. Naturally, the military fly in with attacking helicopters but are no match for the behemoth scorpions. With great stop-motion special effects by the legendary Willis O’Brien, this cheesy sci-fi thriller is a fun romp to a time when imagination fueled a lot of what we were seeing on the screen. Lots and lots of imagination.

Winner: Scorpion (Stop-motion crunch).

Cloverfield (2010)

Cloverfield, 2008
Cloverfield, 2008

Another massive sea monster comes ashore in New York City while a group of friends try to outrun the creature as the military attempt to bring it down. Rescued by the army, three of the friends get aboard a Huey helicopter to be evacuated from the city. As they get airborne, the beast is seen smashing its way through downtown, other helicopters launching strikes. A cloud of debris, smoke and fire obscures the monster while the helicopter banks over the chaos. Then, from the dark inferno, the monster lunges and attacks the helicopter, sending it careening to the ground. Boom.

Winner: The Cloverfield Monster (Swat that fly!)

Mega Spider (2013)

Meg Spider, 2007
Meg Spider, 2013

Also known as Big Ass Spider, this action/comedy sees an alien creature escape from the government laboratory where it’s being held and run amok in downtown L.A. When it climbs atop the U.S. Bank Tower and builds a nest, the military moves in for an attack with Apache helicopters. Echoing King Kong (sans a lovely blonde girl), the spider, clinging to the buildings top, defends against the incoming helicopters like she’s picking berries off a vine . . . though a weak spot is revealed . . .

Winner: Big Ass Spider (Duh.)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Monster versus Helicopter
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 2010

This modern interpretation of the classic original series features some remarkable CGI effects to bring the apes to life. The story centers on one ape who is administered an experimental drug that greatly increases the chimpanzee’s intelligence to the point where he recognizes his suppression and then secretly gives the drug to the others, thereby creating an army of creatures that only want to be left alone and find a place for themselves. Naturally, the military intervenes and a showdown is set up on the Golden Gate Bridge. When Caesar, the ape’s leader comes under fire, his friend and bodyguard, a massive silverback gorilla, charges the hovering helicopter, sacrificing himself to bring the copter down.

Winner: Gorilla  (No monkeying around – okay so apes aren’t monkey’s but that’s a darned good line.)

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jerry M. Baxter (Jaws 2, 1978)
Jerry M. Baxter (Jaws 2, 1978)

In this follow-up to the original classic, a second shark arrives in the coastal island town of Amity and he’s not happy with out things ended in the last movie. Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider) must once again try and stop a bloodbath from ruining the tourist trade that only now seems to be improving. As a group of teenagers, including Brody’s two sons, go sailing without permission, they end up being hunted by the great white, and soon the boats are a floating heap of debris with the survivors clinging for life. A Harbor Patrol helicopter on the lookout, spots the kids and attempts to tow them back to shore, but before the line can be secured, the shark attacks the helicopter and chomps it into a smoldering mess of twisted steel and rubber as it surrenders to the frothy waves. Cue the John Williams score.

Winner: The shark (It eats helicopters for breakfast, preferable with a side of screaming teenagers).

Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World, 2015
Jurassic World, 2015

After the first dinosaur park failed, the good people at Masrani Global Corporation see no problem with opening a second and even tinkering with dino DNA to make new bigger badder attractions. When one of those attractions gets smart and cleverly escapes from her paddock, the hunt is on both for the park staff to find it and for her to hunt lots of tasty human snacks. Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), the wealthy CEO of the company, takes to the air with two security troopers to find the dinosaur but instead are found by a flock of pterosaurs released by the fleeing Indominus Rex. The helicopter gets tore up and crashes through the enormous aviary and into the ground with fiery specatularitude (a word that had to be made up to just describe it).

Winner: See picture above. That yellow stuff is a helicopter. ‘Nuf said.

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One Response

  1. Nuna May 9, 2016