Monday, July 4, 2016

Top Ten Favourite Giant Monsters

Ah, Independence Day. A day when people across this land come together to celebrate America. It can be a lovely place...that's full of horrible assholes who bomb abortion clinics, shoot people in clubs, and support a man who looks like a living Cheeto puff. But we're not to dwell on those negatives today, instead we're going to practice one of those lovely sins that so many Americans practice on the reg: Gluttony. We're not going to talk about one giant monster, but rather ten wondrous ones whom I adore. Also, as with all other things, I do consider giant robots to count. And yes, there may be a few I've already given lip service to in the past. Let's kick it!

He may have conquered the world, but he'll never conquer dental hygiene.

#10, Frankenstein

Oh yeah, if you're a fan of my work, then you're likely very familiar with this big boy. Japan is known for being weird and instances like this definitely seem like they're out to prove the case. They went and made Frankenstein a giant monster who then sacrificed himself heroically to take down another giant monster. And all of this? Yeah, it's in the official canon of the Godzilla universe, so if they ever think about reviving my boy here, we could realistically see him either duke it out with or team-up with the Big G himself. Simply amazing. I really do love him though, both for his tragic story and for the lunacy that is a giant Frankenstein monster running around in Japan.

I hear Jack Sparrow's not a fan.
#9, The Kraken

Now this one is tricky, as the mythological creature itself is supposed to really be more of a giant tentacles squid or octopus type monster. But me, I've got a serious soft spot for Ray Harryhausen's version. He's like a giant four-armed Creature from the Black Lagoon, looking for women in all the wrong places. And while he got a CGI makeover for the remake of Clash of the Titans that really was quite imposing, I'm still leaning towards the classic dude here. He's not made to look scary but is rather scary due to his vast size. He's a major threat to the people and if Perseus hadn't shown up, he would've easily succeeded in his quest for a woman.

He can totally do the Robot better than you.
#8, Jet Jaguar

JJ doesn't get nearly enough love. He's a size-changing robot is best buddies with the Big G himself, people! What's not to dig? I'd wager it's because there are people who aren't a fan of the more heroic Godzilla stories and feel like characters from that era are too silly. But I love that era, personally, and Jet Jaguar is a perfect highlight from it. He was the creation of a Japanese child initially, being called Red Alone and sporting wings and a slightly different head. He got a bit of a redesign and got to tag-team with Godzilla against Megalon and Gigan, making kaiju loving kids everywhere wet themselves with joy. Sure, he's not the least bit cat-like, but it doesn't stop him from being an interesting character. He's a weaponized robot who gains sentience and wants to protect Earth. And he's going to look fabulous while doing it too.

He will open all the cans! ALL OF THEM!!
#7, Gigan

Here we go, the first alien kaiju on the list, and the fact that he's alien in origin isn't very hard to believe. Just look at him. He's like some giant cyborg dinosaur bug. It's so damned beautiful. Yes, as has been pointed out to me, I have odd tastes when it comes to favourite characters, and it's only gonna get odder. Gigan here though, I won't lie to you a bit about: it's all visual for me. He's a glourious spectacle and I adore beholding him in all his splendor. Apparently he has chainsaw hands now...which I'm not real crazy about...but he's still on this list because he's just so much fun to look at. Even if he is a giant walking can opener.

All those years of lawn-care and now the lawn is here to mow you! Should've gotten AstroTurf.
#6, Tendril

Now this guy is gonna resonate with some of you and others are gonna look at me like I'm crazy. Which, I probably am, but that's not important to the current topic. Tendril here is one of the beasties from the sadly forgotten Inhumanoids cartoon/toyline/comic from the 1980s. More on that another day. Now, of the monsters present in it, I always dug D'Compose more as a kid. He was a giant zombie creature who turned people into zombies. I liked zombies. I still like zombies. But now? I find that Tendril is my favourite. Why? Probably because, when I look back on the whole thing, he freaked me out the most. He's got these glassy black eyes, those red tentacle fangs, and he's literally our opening monster for the cartoon. This big plant monster unnerved me in the best of ways and I now find myself enjoying him for it. Not to mention that green is my favourite colour.

His dick is currently nestled in the top floor, much to the chagrin of the maintenance staff who have to clean up afterward.
#5, Zilla Jr.

Hating on the 1998 Godzilla film made by Roland Emmerich is a popular thing, and with good reason. The movie is honestly quite a let-down for fans and doesn't really deliver any sort of good dialogue for the human characters. But do you know what it did that was good? It birthed a far superior thing with Godzilla: The Series, which had better acting, better writing, and a much better kaiju. Zilla Jr. here is America's very own kaiju protector, giving beatdowns to all sorts of mutated beasties that come calling, and behaving in a much more compelling manner. He's not really Godzilla, but he does have the Big G's more heroic compulsions to protect the Earth from dangers both foreign and domestic. He's also far more agile than both Big G and his own mother, Zilla, being able to do things like climb buildings without damaging them and leaping through to air to attack his enemies. I'm a massive fan of Jr. a have sang his praises before. I most likely will do so again too.

Death has never been more adorable or delicious.
#4, Stay Puft

Yep, he's getting a spot on this list. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, created from Ray Stanz thinking of him when the Ghostbusters were asked to choose their doom by a god from another dimension. He's also one of the most enduring and iconic giant monsters in all of pop culture, adorning memorabilia and receiving numerous toys. He was even made into a full-fledged character with speaking lines in the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series. He's also on a lot of people's minds lately too, what with the new Ghostbusters film coming soon. I don't really know what to say to justify his spot here. He's simply Stay Puft and I love him. He's one of the giant monsters on my kaiju shelf, rubbing elbows with Godzilla, Macron 1, and Ultraman Belial. So yeah, he's cool with me.

"I need a really big drink..."
#3, Godzilla

I can feel the questioning glares and disdain already. How dare I put  Godzilla at number three?! Well, the truth is that this was not an easy call. He could've easily been number two, but the pure enjoyment I've gotten out of the next entry edged him down. That and the fact that the next Godzilla film has him looking like a gnarled burnt husk of himself with a serious need to see a giant dentist. Hey, two dentist jokes in one day! But I have a ton of love for the Big G here, which should incredibly apparent. And I actually really dug his last outing too, which felt like a natural evolution both designwise and storywise. He was a massive wall of muscle but also seemed to be covered in numerous scars from past battles. This was my Godzilla, the one who had sacrificed his body over and over to protect a world that feared and tried to kill him repeatedly. This was the righteous fist of the Earth striking back at threats to it. By the end, he was so weary that you felt every blow and saw how truly exhausted he was. I adored the hell out of that. He made the list because he's the hero the Earth deserves, even if humanity itself does not.

Yes, please, make getting eaten easier. Stick you arm directly inside.
#2, Sharktopus

I'm sooooo getting mail for making this call, but I don't care. I fucking love Sharktopus. In a genre that has started to try taking itself far too seriously, this creature came along to make me smile again. Just barely making it into the kaiju classification that I set forward previously, he's not the biggest, but he's definitely the most unforgettable. A hybrid of a shark and an octopus that was created to be a weapon. God damn, do I love that. It brings me back to the days of science creating some giant horrible monster that gets loose and wreaks havoc. If you've never watched the Sharktopus films, go give them a watch. Because Sharknado has gotten far too much attention and it's long past time the superior silly shark series took center stage. The world needs more Sharktopus. I say that we do one where he gets injected with a growth formula so he can finally be in the big leagues of giant monsters. Someone get Roger Corman on the phone, stat!

He laughs in the face of your anti-smoking laws!
#1, Hedorah

No one, and I mean no one, is going to agree with him taking the top spot. But here's the thing: this is MY favourite giant beasties list, right? Not yours. It's who I like best, not who you like best. And I love Hedorah more than any other monster. He's this great huge slimy sludge monster that spits out noxious fumes like he's stomped his way out of a Truth ad. He's also an alien and is basically a pollution monster, meaning that he's Captain Planet's worst nightmare. He's named after mud too. MUD! That's so blistering hilarious! Now, again, part of my love for him is aesthetic, because he's got all these subtle neon tones that just call out to me, but I legitimately love the idea of him too. The idea that pollution is literally a giant monster looming over us all. Sure, I root for GOdzilla to beat him, but I still dig him all the same. He's odd and gross and largely unappealing to most people...and he's my absolute favourite kaiju of all time.

Maybe they should just hug it out?
So, there you go. My top ten favourite kaiju, presented for you perusal and potential entertainment. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that maybe what I wrote about each one made you decide to go look into them more. Giant monsters are important to me and I love getting to talk about them like this. And hey, if you want to share your own list, feel free to post it in the comments. We can compare and contrast. In the meantime, I've got burgers to go eat and people shooting off fireworks to shake my fist at. Later days, bleeders!

"Ya'll come back now, y'hear?"



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