Friday, July 12, 2013

Who's the Best...Giant Monster?

Karen: Since the film "Pacific Rim" is coming out today (I can't wait!) featuring giant robots fighting giant monsters, I thought I'd turn today into a free-for-all where everyone's favorite king-size critters go at it. Try to turn your brain back to age ten and recall how awesome it was to see those gigantic creatures tearing up cities while they battled each other, and then answer today's question!

 


 
































26 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

KONG! KONG! KONG!

There's no doubt in this fanboy's fevered brain that Kong is truly the "King of Monsters". His film was revolutionary in its time and for all practical purposes created the genre, and it remains a thoroughly entertaining flick even after all these decades.

Godzilla seen in the original is a truly frightening creation. But for all his radioactive might, he falls short of the impression made by Kong.

When it comes to comic books, I love the Konga and Gorgo and Reptilicus stuff from Charlton, and the movies themselves are campy feasts.

My favorite giant comic book monster though is IT! The Living Colossus. That stone giant made a big impression on me during his short run in Astonishing Tales with art by Dick Ayers and scripts by Tony Isabella. Marvelous!

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

I remember as a small child seeing the trailer for King Kong vs. Godzilla at the drive-in with my family. At the time I assumed that King Kong was a real gorilla and that they were all gigantic, and for a long while after that I worried what would happen if a gorilla somehow made it over here from Africa ;)

steve

Humanbelly said...

When HBSon was about 3 to 5 years old, he went through a HUGE Godzilla fixation, and we picked up, like, a dozen or more Godzilla (and related) films-- including both versions of the first one. Man, those productions were just all over the map, quality-wise. And while I readily yield to Rip that the original Kong film has pretty much everything else beat as a great piece of cinema, I'd still have to give the "Best" crown over to the big city-pummeling lizard, simply because of his longevity and undeniable global popularity.

That being said, he's not my personal favorite. That distinction belongs to the "Friend to All Children"-- GAMERA. And no picture of him, I see! Goodness, where's the love for the Atomic Snaggletooth Turtle???

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

For me there can be no other than Godzilla. I totally loved him as a kid (and really hated that one feature in which he dukes it out with King Kong and the big monkey wins - no way!).
I'm glad HB mentioned Gamera, though, as he comes in a really close second for me - I especially love the way he flies.

david_b said...

Who can top Monthra..? He's been honored with his very own music video/theme song...:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-oRf_BP8M4

Typically I go more Godzilla than Kong. The wonderful production style of those Japanese films can't be beat.

If you're just talking cinematic creatures, I'll stick with my mentions above; else I've GOT to go with everone's favorite Planet X delegates, GOOM and his 'eager-to-grow-up-just-like-dad' son GOOGAM..:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TOS-17.jpg

I always imagined father and son fishin' trips but I've read in some places that Googam's a bit introverted because his dad was away alot attacking civilizations when he was very young. He apparently had a rough time at school as well. Poor kid.

("Cue in 'Cats in the Cradle'..")

J.A. Morris said...

I'd say the original Kong movie is the best, but I'd lean towards "The Big G" as my all-time favorite. I'm glad I was fortunate enough to see the first Godzilla movie before I saw any of the other (mostly) lackluster entries. Plus, I had the Godzilla Shogun Warrior toy as a kid, I still have it somewhere:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3OuGMcTVeA

Speaking of toys based on giant monsters, does anyone remember this Kong toy that featured the World Trade Center? I had it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m1s4XeOnco

I also think Ghidora or Ghidra, the 3-headed monster is also one of the best kaigu designs of all time, someday I'll break down & get an action figure based on him.

As for comics, I was a big fan of the Marvel Godzilla series, where he's pursued by Dum Dum Dugan & Gabe Jones. Too bad rights issues prevent that from getting reprinted.

As for Gamera, I only saw one of his movies, but you gotta love his theme song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-UACM_8q_Q

Anonymous said...

Jormundgandr: The Midgard Serpent from Norse mythology. I mean, c'mon, a giant sea serpent that can encircle the entire Earth? Now that's awesome!

David from Wisconsin

Karen said...

Dagnabit,I meant to put a Gamera pic in there but I guess I just forgot it before I closed the post! Sorry about that guys. Yes, much love to the flying turtle.

I think my number one will always be Kong. Despite a paucity of films, he is the grand-daddy of them all and his strong personality (I'm talking the original here) still reaches across the decades.

But there's no denying Big G's impact either. I think the two of them stand on a different level than all the rest.

I really like the Gargantua brothers -that movie had two giant monsters and a pretty cool story -I mean, when you connect the creatures' origin to Frankenstein, you know it's gotta be good! The shot of the green gargantua under the water, looking up at the fishing boat, was actually frightening -a rarity in Toho films.

Another favorite of mine is the series of Giant Majin films. All three have essentially the same plot, but I love the look of the Majin god/demon.

And Steve -I love that story!

Steve Does Comics said...

I love every giant monster there's ever been but there's only one Godzilla.

Aren't there two different versions of King Kong vs Godzilla? One released in America where King Kong wins and one released in Japan where Godzilla wins? Or is that an urban myth? Or am I just going mad?

Karen said...

Urban myth, Steve. But one that most of us believed for a long time.

http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/godzilla.asp

themiddlespaces said...

I too love every giant monster there is from Kong to Cloverfield, but my favorite is Gamera. A flying space turtle that spins and shoots fire? C'mon, how can anything else even compare?

As a kid though, my favorite Kaiju movie was Godzilla vs. Megalon b/c I loved Jet Jaguar.

Pat Henry said...

Gormuu!

http://ctrla.lt/comiclash/images/Fantastic-Four_271_Vol1961_Marvel__ComiClash.jpg

Pat Henry said...

A titanic battle would be a cross-book mashup between Fing Fang Foom and Egg Fu!

Karen said...

Completely off-topic, but I just received an email from Tales of Wonder -they have Marvel Masterworks at 55% off right now! http://talesofwonder.com/category-exec/category_id/147/sc/5/cn/55%25+off+Masterworks!

William said...

When I was a kid, I liked Godzilla movies even more than I did comic books. My favorite was "Destroy All Monsters" where Godzilla, Rodan, Mohtra, and others formed a giant monsters Justice League and battled King Ghidorah in a no-holds barred throw down on Monster Island. To my fevered kid brain, it was the most awesome thing I'd ever seen.

As for Godzilla vs. King Kong (the real 50 foot tall King Kong), I'm afraid that the 400 ft. tall Godzilla could probably just step on his monkey ass and then char broil him with a shot of radioactive fire breath-- end of battle. Now, who wants some barbecued gorilla?? :)

Redartz said...

Count me as a Kong kadet! I saw the original film as a special showing on local tv one Thanksgiving; it blew my 9 year old mind. But what really put me in Kong's Kamp was the Saturday morning cartoon from 1967. "...you know the fame of King Kong; 10 times as big as a man..."

Anonymous said...

I'm firmly in the Kong kamp too...apes rule!

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the Kong fans (I'm one too by the way) my all time favourite has to be ol' radioactive breath himself - Godzilla, or Gojira as the Japanese call him. Kong was the creature monarch of Skull Island before being captured and then killed for a girl; Godzilla was a force of nature, an engine of destruction ironically unleashed (created?) by mankind and mirroring the fears of the Atomic Age when he came out in his first film.

Like JA Morris, I was a fan of the 70s Marvel comics series with writer Doug Moench and artist Herb Trimpe. I think I still have some old issues under my bed somewhere.I felt it was a very underrated series; ol' 'Zilla got to tangle with some other gigantic monsters (Batragon, Yetrigar, and many others) all the while being pursued by SHIELD agents Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones. I think Moench did a credible job; after all,it must be a challenge to write compelling stories about a giant green dinosaur-like monster.

By the way, that version of Kong in King Kong vs Godzilla has to be the absolutely WORST design of Kong I've ever seen! Willis O'Brien's 1933 stop-motion version looks better than that God awful costume in the Godzilla battle!



- Mike 'destroy all monsters!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to see Smaug from the next Hobbit movie. I know I'll probably have sit through two hours of dwarves arguing, but I'm hoping it's worth it.
Speaking of ol' Smaug, remember that classic scene in the animated Hobbit from the 70's?

Karen said...

We've been seeing Mike from T&T during the daytime hours a lot lately - what can possibly be going on? It's quite the mystery...

But I agree -that Toho Kong is terrible. Both versions of him. The one in KK vs. G looks like he suffered severe burns, while the King Kong Escapes version looks like his half-wit, inbred cousin. I just can't understand why the otherwise talented artists at Toho couldn't make a decent looking Kong. I've heard many reasons tossed around - they wanted Kong to look crappy next to Godzilla, they wanted a goofy-looking Kong, etc. But you'd think they would have more pride than that. And you know they could do a great job: the ape/yeti in Half-Human looked great, as did the ape-like gargantuas.

However, Mecha-Kong was awesome!!

Marionette said...

Make Mine Mothra! Apart from being the only female daikaiju, she's also the only one who is a goodie all the time. And the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy is great.

BTW the Marvel Godzilla comics are all available in an Essentials edition, which shouldn't be too hard to track down. In fact 5 seconds research finds it on Amazon for £14.

Anonymous said...

Karen - no mystery there as to why you guys are seeing me so early these days - I'm on vacation!!


Mike 'tons of housework to do but reading comics' from Trinidad & Tobago.


Fred W. Hill said...

It was a Saturday night in 1972, when my family lived in Salt Lake City, and my parents were out nightclubbing. I was 9 or 10, in charge of my two younger siblings. After they went to bed, I stayed up ... way later than I recall staying up before and next thing I know it's 11:30 pm and I'm watching the Creature Features program for the first time, with a presentation of a movie I'd never even heard of before, Godzilla! (Ironically, I'd lived in Japan just a few years earlier, but, yeah, I was a little kid then.) The parental units came home just as the movie was ending at 1 a.m. and fortunately they weren't all that upset that I'd stayed waaaay past my regular bedtime. After that, in fact, my whole family reguarly camped out on the sofa-bed every Saturday night for the Creature Features. For that nostalgic bit alone, I've gotta give the nod to Godzilla. Of course, I'd seen giant monster films before, notably in my memory Them and Tarantula (about giant ants and a spider), but they just didn't seem all that really scary; I can't remember when I first saw King Kong and whether I saw it before Godzilla, but seeing Godzilla for the first time did stick in my mind.
The most horrific giant monster film in my memory, tho', is The War of the Gargantuas. That scene where the bad gargantua from the sea grabs a young woman, gobbles her up and then spits out her clothes (and presumably bones) was etched on my young mind. Also it perhaps resonated with me that the movie was essentially a fight between brothers and it didn't end well for either of them.

Anonymous said...

Remember that scene from The Beast From 20,00 Fathoms, where the monster eats that cop? I'd like to let him loose in my home town.

humanbelly said...

Ooh, some random late-thread thoughts, if I may still contribute? (Just catching back up this morning. . . been kinda busy. . . ).

Mike From TnT: Oh, you lazy soul! I sense a wife wielding a frying pan in your future! ("You've been reading COMIC BOOKS all day??? Take THAT, you worm!!!" SPTONNGGG--)

The Gojira/Godzilla pronunciation thingy? I've always wondered if it was attributable to rather ugly assumed accent/diction stereotypes on the part of impatient American producers. They hear "Gojira", and apply the inane, cartoony asian (Chinese/Japanese) accent (as generally done by American actors), and it clearly becomes "Godzilla". Ugh. That's my half-baked theory, anyhoo.

Am I correct in noticing that at least a few of the Kong close-ups in G vs KK were undeniably some sort of big hand-puppet??

Holy cats-- have you guys ever done a heading on late-night Creature Features?? That. . . THAT. . . could be one heck of a ripe, rich topic for this crowd! Geeze, I could probably fill out an Atlantic Monthly essay on it all by my lonesome. . . (but mercifully, will not. . . )

HB

Karen said...

Aw, Mike, you're just on vacation? I was hoping for something more fanciful, like you were working as pat of an international spy ring! Well, enjoy your vacation dude!

HB, we did run a post back in March 2011 about everyone's favorite horror movie hosts (see it here: http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2011/03/remembering-our-favorite-horror-hosts.html). But perhaps it's time to revisit it, with the twist of memorable late night TV memories or some such? We do have some open slots the next few weeks...

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