Asserting dominance and bounding around like a luchador.
By Chuck Francisco
July 11, 2013 Source: Mania.com
Let's be forthright: we're all looking forward to Pacific Rim for its sweet Jaeger on Kaiju fisticuff action. Our admission price will be exchanged for the right to watch massive and powerful beings pummel the snot out of each other in interesting and creative ways. That the cities which form their arenas are smashed around them in visually stunning ways is just the whipped cream delight atop the delicious mocha that is mech and monster action. And so, without further ado, and with no more teasing the title, I present the top five Kaiju Throwdowns!
5. Space Gyaos vs Guiron
From Gamera vs Guiron (1969)
This short fight is absurdly brutal for a Kaiju battle. With each attack, Guiron shears parts of Space Gyaos off wholesale. And as the bride said, they will be things you will miss. The original Gyaos was supposed to be in this film, but given how severely and mortally Guiron serves up the pain, they decided to paint him silver to create Space Gyaos. This is a very unique and vicious battle within the genre, which is doubly strange considering it's part of the kid friendly Gamera series. Very memorable.
4. Godzilla vs Mecha-King Ghidorah
From Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991)
What could be grander than the king of all monsters throwing down against his arch rival? What about Godzilla having to take on a resurrected cyborg version of Ghidorah from the future, piloted by a human? Hot off the high of all things cybernetic in the 80's, this is epic Kaiju action the likes of which should not pass quietly and without adulation. Enjoy the whole thing, from epic entrance through brutal beat downs, right here:
3. Gamera vs Barugon
From Gamera vs Barugon (1966)
Perhaps the most interesting of Gamera's battles, this one plays out like a contest from a Rocky film. Slowly circling each other, each combatant sizing up the other, they repeatedly lay into one another, causing significant (and obvious) damage. Gamera triumphs because, very much like Rocky, he takes all of the punishment Barugon can dish out, then gets back up to strike with several powerful haymakers of his own. This is also the best use of his flying shell attack of all the subsequent Gamera films. Perhaps the dim lighting accentuates the blue flame best?
2. King Caesar and Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla
From Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974)
The stakes are sufficiently high after Mechagodzilla (impersonating the real deal) rips Anguirus' Jaw apart like careless children ruining new toys. Following a triumphant debut, the true Godzilla confronts Mechagodzilla, with the two inflicting serious damage upon each other in Death of Superman fashion. Mechagodzilla is repaired while Big G retreats to monster island for a little lightning therapy. King Caesar is awoken to stand against the tide of this alien menace. He's an energetic demon puppy, bounding around the fight like a Mexican luchador. With the King of all Monsters in his corner, this tag team can't loose as they gang up on the cosmic monster.
1. King Ghidorah vs Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon and Varan
From Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Requiring the combined might of a whose-who of Monster Island qualified this as the most epic of monster throw downs. King Ghidorah once again proves his dominance as a combatant, earning his code name Monster Zero, the first of the giant monsters. Sadly, despite the breadth of YouTube, this fight isn't available unsullied to watch. As a consolation prize, here's the main theme (with still shots) by Akira Ifukube. At once majestic and striking, while also hauntingly memorable, I find it the perfect way to conclude this countdown.
There are so many battles to choose from! One could spend dozens of hours indulging in them on YouTube (as I most assuredly have). I highly recommend surfing them on your phone while waiting in line for Pacific Rim; it's an excellent opportunity to broaden a stranger's horizons. Which is your favorite monster throwdown?
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.
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