What movies have no CGI?

Answered by John Hunt

When it comes to movies, CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) has become a standard tool for creating stunning visual effects. However, there are still some films out there that have managed to captivate audiences without relying on CGI. These movies have proven that practical effects and creative storytelling can create an immersive and awe-inspiring cinematic experience. Here are eight films that stand out for their lack of CGI and their amazing special effects:

1. “The Thing” (1982): Directed by John Carpenter, “The Thing” is a sci-fi horror film known for its grotesque and realistic practical effects. The creature transformations and gruesome scenes were created using animatronics, prosthetics, and puppetry, making it a classic in the genre.

2. “Metropolis” (1927): This silent German expressionist film directed by Fritz Lang is a pioneering work in the science fiction genre. Despite being made in the early 20th century, “Metropolis” featured intricate sets, miniatures, and practical effects to depict a futuristic cityscape and bring the story to life.

3. “Day of the Dead” (1985): The third installment in George A. Romero’s iconic “Dead” series, “Day of the Dead” showcases impressive practical effects in its portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. The film used elaborate makeup, prosthetics, and animatronics to create the chilling undead creatures.

4. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968): Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this groundbreaking science fiction film is hailed for its realistic portrayal of space travel. “2001: A Space Odyssey” employed practical effects such as large-scale models and meticulous set designs to depict the spacecraft and outer space, creating a visually stunning and immersive experience.

5. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988): This live-action/animated hybrid film pushed the boundaries of visual effects at the time. Combining traditional hand-drawn animation with live-action footage, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” seamlessly integrated cartoon characters into the real world, relying on practical effects and clever camera techniques.

6. “Godzilla” (1954): The original Japanese film that introduced the iconic giant monster to the world, “Godzilla” relied on suitmation and miniatures to bring the creature to life. The practical effects used to depict the city destruction and the battles between Godzilla and other creatures have stood the test of time.

7. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981): Directed by Steven Spielberg, this action-adventure film showcases practical effects and stunts that have become synonymous with the Indiana Jones franchise. From the famous boulder chase scene to handcrafted props and sets, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” captures the spirit of adventure through practical means.

8. “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963): This fantasy adventure film, directed by Don Chaffey, is known for its remarkable stop-motion animation by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. The film’s iconic skeleton fight scene, featuring meticulously animated creatures, is a testament to the artistry and skill involved in practical effects.

These films demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of filmmakers before the widespread use of CGI. By relying on practical effects, they were able to create memorable and visually stunning moments that still captivate audiences today. So, if you’re looking for movies that showcase the power of practical effects, these eight films are a fantastic starting point.