We love Godzilla. Doesn’t everybody? Haven’t we all felt the touch of Godzilla in our lives?
Unfortunately, while Godzilla is awesome, he’s made almost thirty movies, fighting a new monster each time, and, well, they can’t all be brilliant. And then there are the ripoffs…
While this will be the first of many, many decidedly non-threatening Godzilla foes we’ll be listing on here, we always liked King Caesar because he’s really just a cuddly, mangy dog at heart. We just want to scratch him behind the ears and watch him go into paroxysms of ecstasy. Who’s the cutest threat to Japanese civilization? Yes you are! Yes you are!
Read: Look at this Dog.
Ebirah, on the other hand, always just makes us hungry. Seriously, the Toho creature design shop was either hungover or having the absolute worst creative cold streak in human history.
“OK, we’ve got a new Big G movie coming out, who’s he going to fight?”
“Aâ€¦ aâ€¦ a lobster!”
“Tohiro, did you just come up with a monster by looking at your lunch?”
Mothra is justâ€¦ well, it’s Mothra. Just look at Mothra. This is a country that features the Vespa mandarin japonica or Japanese giant hornet, a creature that spits acid and is already the size of your thumb. Here’s a video of approximately five of them murdering an entire colony of bees and eating their children:
These things live outside of Tokyo, and kill forty people a year.
So what does Toho do? Make a big colorful moth puppet and turn it into a giant monster. Way to drop the ball there.
Read: Killer Moth is Looking Fly.
The Gappa is billed as the triphibian monster, because it walks, swims, and flies. You know, like a duck. Which it rather closely resembles. The Gappa were only ever in one movie because even Japanese schoolchildren knew a repurposed mascot suit when they saw one, and also because that movie was ear-bleedingly retarded even by the standards of kaiju movies, which is a genre where grown men put on fifty-pound latex suits to clumsily wrestle each other. People who take that seriously think Gappa is retarded.
Read: Knockoff Toy Fails.
Stepping away for a minute from giant scaly lizards, we’ve got Daimajin. Daimajin was a good giant monster, a huge stone statue of a samurai that awoke whenever it sensed injustice and swooped down on various sixteenth century sleazebags to wreak vengeance. If putting a bunch of doofuses with katanas and spears against a hundred foot tall stone statue seems like it kind of erases all dramatic tension, seeing how that’s a ridiculously mismatched fight, well there’s a reason you’ve never heard of these movies before reading about them on a comedy site.
Pulgasauri or Pulgasari, (depending on your translator) is a monster movie that’s more interesting for its production than anything else. You see, this movie is executive-produced by everybody’s favorite pompadoured power-mad midget, Kim Jong-Il. And it’s supposed to be a metaphor for what happens when you let capitalism go unchecked (the Pulgasari looks like a bull! Get it? Get it?!)
It also features a bunch of peasants teaming up to overthrow a tyrannical ruler. Sadly, it was very hard to find. We say “was” because somebody uploaded the whole thing to Google Video, and what are the Communists going to do? File a DCMA lawsuit? Here it is:
Fear the giant flying squirrel lizard!
No seriously, that’s all he’s got going for him. He glides. Like a flying squirrel. It took a movie fifty years later, “Godzilla: Final Wars” to give him a power that didn’t completely suck — super sonic beams, and he literally shows up for ten seconds. It tells you something that even Toho is embarrassed.
Remember all that fun we made of Mothra? Well, this is EVIL Mothra. Battra was supposed to redirect a prophesied asteroid but woke up seven years too early. When he realized what had happened, he basically decided “Well, I’m earlyâ€¦might as well trash the place!”
It’s about as sad as it sounds.
It’s a giant cockroach with drill hands! Wait, is he starring in a Godzilla movie or a hentai?
Yet another one-and-done embarrassment for Toho, Godzilla Vs. Megalon isn’t just bad — it’s MST3K worthy. One of the few Godzilla movies bad enough to merit such treatment. Even when they were doing their big celebration of Godzilla mythology (and alleged last Godzilla movie) Final Wars, Megalon never showed up.
On the other hand, in the Godzilla games Megalon has been a consistently popular character because he’s cheaper than a hooker at 6am in the Lincoln Tunnel, and therefore awesome. So we guess Toho got their money’s worth. Just don’t ask what they did with the character in the intervening ten years.
Biollante is a big, viciousâ€¦ sentient rose bush that, depending on your opinion of Freudian symbolism, also betrays some serious female issues as his/her first form (Toho was kind of vague about the gender) is a flower with lots of teeth. Basically a mad scientist spliced DNA from a rose bush with DNA from his dead daughter, and then spliced in Godzilla’s DNA to try and save her. Confused? Good! So were we.
All we know is that they picked the wrong plant. Imagine Godzilla spliced with some amazing cheeb. Sure, nothing would get done in Tokyo ever again, but they’d make up for it with the tourism.
by Dan Seitz