kaiju

Kaiju of the Month: Ebirah

ebirah

In Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, a terrorist organization called the Red Bamboo set up a base of operations on an island. The giant shrimp/lobster Ebirah was successfully used to destroy any ship that came too close to the island. The Red Bamboo ships used a special extract from the island’s fruit to protect themselves from Ebirah. However, a group of people became stranded on the island, found Godzilla dormant in a cave,and woke him in order for him to protect the island against Ebirah. Ebirah was defeated, injured by Godzilla. Later, when a ship belonging to the Red Bamboo tried to enter the island’s perimeter,the crew unknowingly used a placebo and not the island fruit extract. Ebriah attacked, and Godzilla went after the giant lobster-thingy yet again, ripping off its claws.

I kinda feel like Ebirah was wronged. Damn, it was just doing its job.

Kaiju of the Month: HEDORAH

From from the 1971 film Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Hedorah came from the Dark Gas Nebula and fed on  pollution, hence its alternate name of the Smog Monster. Falling to Earth as a cloud of spores, Hedorah hatched into millions of microscopic tadpole-like organisms which began to feed upon mankind’s pollution. As they increased in number and power, they began to merge into a giant monster of living sludge capable of reducing the entire planet to an uninhabitable wasteland.

hedorah1

Interesting about this kaiju is that is appears in three forms: a land form, a flying form, and a water form. All have the detailed, blood red eyes; the dark, unctuous body; and the glowing head for a truly disturbing look.

Kaiju of the Month: REPTILICUS!

REPTILICUS_(3)

Reptilicus is a Danish movie, so I’ve slipped you a fast one, here. I really like the design of the monster, which also goes against the Kaiju norm of big, bulky costumes. Reptilicus is brought to life–if you can call it life–by means of a wired marionette.

The movie was produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studios, and is upon close examination two distinctly different films helmed by two different directors.The original version, which was shot in Danish was directed by Danish director Poul Bang, was released in Denmark on February 25, 1961.The American version, which was in English with a nearly identical cast, was directed by the film’s American producer-director Sidney W. Pink; this version was initially deemed virtually unreleasable by American International Pictures and had to be extensively reworked by the film’s Danish-American screenwriter, Ib Melchior, before being finally released in America in 1962.

In Reptilicus, miners in the tundras of Lapland discover a frozen chunk of a tail belonging to some unknown prehistoric creature. The specimen is taken to an aquarium in Copenhagen, the resident scientist gets more than he bargained for when the tail regenerates into a giant, acid spitting monster that terrorizes the countryside. Reptilicus, as the monster is dubbed, has nearly impenetrable armored skin,can shoot acid from its mouth, and can fly. The Danish military attempts to hunt down the seemingly unstoppable monster and destroy it. Finally,with the help of ingenious scientists, they kill the creature with poison,but its foot is not destroyed and ends up on the bottom of the sea. Due to the monster’s regenerative abilities,the movie is left open-ended, because of the possibility that the foot could grow into another creature.

reptilicus3

Reptilicus, spindly marionette on a rampage.

Kaiju of the Month: GAMERA!

I’m trying to remember to make a kaiju (Japanese Movie Monster) post in the second week of every month. This month I present one of the biggies: Gamera!

GAMERA

Gamera is a giant, flying turtle  starring in films produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company in Japan. Created in 1965 to rival the success of Toho Studios’ Godzilla series during the monster boom of the mid-to-late 1960s, Gamera has gained fame and notoriety as a Japanese icon in his own right.

Gamera is similar to other turtles, having a resilient and strong protective shell into which he can withdraw his body. However,the resemblance ends there, as Gamera can then fly, with rocket blasts shooting from the holes for his limbs. He also has a mouthful of teeth and huge tusks, he breathes fire,and he walks on two legs.

In his first series of films, Gamera appears as an ancient giant specis of tortoise reawakened by an accidental atomic blast in the Arctic during an aerial assault by US fighters on Soviet bombers caught crossing into North American airspace. In later movies, his background has been reassembled into that of a hero:a bio-engineered Guardian of the Universe,created by a company called Atlantis.

From Wikipedia: The giant turtle is found floating adrift in the Pacific, encased in rock and mistaken for an atoll. Within the rock, investigators discover a large monolith explaining Gamera’s purpose, as well as dozens of magatama, which allow a psychic link between Gamera and humans. In the third film of the series, an undersea graveyard is found with many other Gamera fossils, suggesting Gamera was not the only member of his kind created. One character in the film refers to these fossils as “beta versions” of Gamera, possible failures in Atlantis’ attempts to create the final version. Another scene provides Gamera with a link to Asian folklore, with a character relating a story in which a giant tortoise is considered the Guardian of the North, with separate, rival creatures defending the East, West and South.

A second regeneration of Gamera occured during the Millenium Era, with the story circulating around a young boy finding an egg and taking it home to hatch it. A turtle hatches from the egg but then grows at an alarming rate.The turtle then develops the classic Gamera powers and begins fighting off monsters, but cannot gain its full power until ingesting the strange glowing rock the boy had found with its egg. The rock seems to have come from the site where Gamera is seen in a flashback at the beginning of the movie,sacrificing himself to destroy several Gyaos in 1973.

When seriously injured, Gamera can enter a coma-like state to heal. His only real weakness is to cold.

Featured Kaiju: Titanosaurus

titanosaurus1

One of two antagonists in the film Terror of Mechagodzilla, Titanosaurus is not to be confused with the real dinosaur bearing the same name.  In the movie, a mad scientist named Mafune gains control of Titanosaurus, with the help of the Black Hole Aliens, after it attacks a submarine investigating the remains of the destroyed Mechagodzilla. Dr. Mafune rebuilds Mechagodzilla, and with both monsters under control, begins his revenge on humanity. Godzilla creams Mechagodzilla and then blasts Titanosaurus with his atomic ray.Titanosaurus then tumbles off a cliff into the sea.

Titanosaurus’ weapon is creating a huge winds by waving his tail, and even using it to cause boat-destroying whirlpools in the ocean. Not much help against an atomic ray, though.

I like this costume because of the head built high up above the shoulders. Most of these kaiju monsters have chunky little necks and, consequently, the actors’ head right inside the monster’s head, so it’s nice to see the head up a bit higher than normal.