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Top 5 Best & Worst Godzilla Monsters - Page 2

King Ghidorah

Often billed as the main antagonist in the Godzilla canon, King Ghidorah has fought Godzilla more times than any other monster. He almost never fights of his own accord--he is usually controlled by aliens or evil humans from the future or something--and it usually takes a lot more than just Godzilla to bring him down. In the battle royale that is Destroy All Monsters, for example, it takes a whopping ten monsters to eventually beat him. It also doesn't hurt that he's so ridiculously cool-looking, with his golden scales, his two tails, his giant wings, and his three palsy-ridden heads that spew lightning bolts. It's an overused cliché to say that Godzilla is a force of nature, but King Ghidorah is even more than that. Typhoons and earthquakes got nothing on this fearsome dragon.


Existing only in the dream world of a bullied young latchkey kid with narcolepsy, Gabara is a literal personification of evil. However, he makes more sense if you think of him as a personification of annoyance. He's tall and goofy looking, has a matt of red hair on his head, looks kind of like a punk with a pig nose, has a ridiculously long neck, and makes an ear-splitting sound that defies description. The guy on the audio commentary for All Monsters Attack takes a stab at it by saying Gabara sounds like a mangy house cat with engine trouble. That's not quite right, though, because that almost makes him sound pleasant.


You know it's getting serious when they bring out Mechagodzilla. Showing up as Godzilla's primary opponent in five different movies, Mechagodzilla is a five-year-old's dream version of Godzilla. He's made of metal, shoots rockets out of his fingers, toes, and chest, shoots lasers from his eyes, can spin his head around to make a shield, and is generally excessive. In his first appearance, he is even wearing a Godzilla suit to fool the masses into thinking that Godzilla--who was all good at this point--had reverted to his evil, Tokyo-stomping ways. This Mechagodzilla was built by aliens (from the fifth planet in the black hole, mind you, and no, there's no explanation for that combination of words anywhere in the movie), and it takes Godzilla two movies and a lot of help from humans to bring him down. In Mechagodzilla's next appearance, he is built by humans to attack Godzilla, and in his final two appearances, he is fashioned from the original Godzilla's bones, has a kind of dormant psychic personality, and is called Rikyu for some reason. I list all five of these movies as among my personal favorites, and it's all because Mechagodzilla is sheer awesomeness in shiny armor, regardless of who builds him.


Just look at that goddamn thing. LOOK AT IT!! Don't you just want to punch that stupid face? Need I say more? I will, because hey, I've got the time. Minilla (or Minya, or Son of Godzilla, or Retarded Godzilla Spawn, or whatever) hatches from an egg and proceeds to get poked by giant mantises until Godzilla comes to save him. He makes whiny, wheezy, squealing noises, looks like a half-melted marshmallow man combined with that awful hybrid monster in Alien: Resurrection, has a tendency to fall on the floor and flail his limbs whenever he doesn't want to do anything, and exists solely as a plot device whenever he appears. He can also apparently grow and shrink at will, both in the aforementioned kid's dream world of All Monsters Attack as well as in Godzilla: Final Wars. However, I distinguish Minilla from the Godzilla offspring featured in the Heisei series (who is named Little Godzilla or Godzilla Junior), because that son of Godzilla isn't nearly as terrible as Minilla. But seriously, just one more time: LOOK AT IT!!


You knew Mothra had to be number one, right? With her island worshippers, twin fairies, phoenix-like life cycle, always-on-the-side-of-the-angels righteousness, and furry, colorful body, Mothra tends to appear in all of Godzilla's greatest adventures. Sure, she treats the people of the Earth like children, but she loves and protects them even though they do things she disapproves of. She is always willing to make sacrifices in the name of her unconditional love, and when she returns in larval form, she still manages to defy appearances and take out monsters as terrifying as Godzilla with her patience, intelligence, and ability to spit huge amounts of silk. She is the only monster to be as iconically Japanese as Godzilla himself, and that's the way it should be.

Jet Jaguar

I didn't know whether Jet Jaguar should be the best or worst, so I list him here as both. Created and designed by a child as part of a Toho-sponsored contest, Jet Jaguar is a human-sized robot with little to no backstory that can apparently grow to monster size and exert self-awareness and free will when he gets "determined." He looks like an Ultraman rip-off, can fly, and fights alongside Godzilla to defeat the evil duo of Megalon and Gigan. He also has his own theme song, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about him:

I don't know if the mysterious "Muto" in Legendary's upcoming Godzilla will belong on either side of this list, but it's definitely a good sign that the newest Godzilla is fighting other monsters right from the start. Don't get me wrong; I love the original Gojira and Return of Godzilla, neither of which features other monsters, but these co-creatures serve an integral part of the basic formula. Though I know Legendary doesn't currently have the rights to any Toho monsters beyond Godzilla, here's hoping that, if the new film is as good as I hope it to be, Toho will lend Legendary the rights to some of these other wonderful beasts for the inevitable sequel.

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-e. magill 4/29/2014


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