5 Underappreciated Giant Film Monsters
We all know about King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, The Cloverfield Monster and Majin The Monster of Terror. Wait, perhaps you’ve never heard of Giant Majin? Here’s my short list of 5 underappreciated giant monsters and associated films.
Meganulon / Meganula / Megaguirus (Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, 2000). These are three developmental stages of a dragonfly-like Kaiju that test Godzilla’s patience. At one point in the film swarms of Meganula cover Godzilla. I love the final design of these monsters. Here’s conceptual art (above) for the Meganula. When we think of Godzilla’s adversaries we usually think of Ghidorah or the Smog Monster, but Megaguirus is one of my favorites.
Reptilicus (Reptilicus, 1961). This isn’t a bad film, but poor Reptilicus will never win the “authentic monster of the year award”. Yet there’s something charming about this acid-spitting leviathon from Lapland. Along with Troll Hunter and Terror in the Midnight Sun (1959), Reptilicus is my favorite Scandinavian monster film!
- Majin (Daimajin, 1966). There are 3 of these films from DAIEI. The first one is the best. A giant stone god comes to life to protect exploited villagers. The production values, score, acting and special effects are all top notch. I like how the Giant Majin looks annoyed at the underlings, knowing he can squish them like bugs.
- Dogora (Dagora, the Space Monster, 1964). Dogora or Dagora? Without a doubt this giant carbon-consuming space jellyfish is one of the most unusual creations from the fruitful minds of Toho. Dogora appears as both a marionette puppet and a cell-animated creation. Here’s some conceptual art.
- Giant Preying Mantis (The Deadly Mantis, 1957). Of the Universal-International films, most people will pick Tarantula (1955) as their favorite giant bug flick. My main gripe about Tarantula are the projected live action images of the spider. I prefer the Giant Mantid, which is one of Universal’s coolest creations. I love how the mantid roars…
S. Galbraith IV, 1994. Japanese Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, McFarland & Company, Inc.