King Ghidorah (キングギドラ Kingu Gidora) (also known as King Ghidrah, King Ghidora and Monster Zero) is a kaiju, a fictional Japanese monster featured in several of Toho Studios' Godzilla films. Ghidorah appears as an armless, three-headed dragon with large wings and two tails.King Ghidorah is among the most powerful creatures in daikaiju eiga with a reputation that has earned it the title "The King of Terror". He is often considered Godzilla's archenemy. Usually, King Ghidorah is so destructive and powerful, that Godzilla is often required to team-up with another monster, even several monsters, before engaging the three-headed dragon of terror and destruction in battle. One exception to this theme occurred in the 1991 film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, which included an extra powerful Godzilla defeating King Ghidorah, as well as severing King Ghidorah's middle head. Despite this setback, however, King Ghidorah is one of the few daikaiju who is more than a match for Godzilla under most circumstances, though there have been other monsters such as Hedorah, Destoroyah, SpaceGodzilla, and MechaGodzilla 2 who have been equally formidable opponents for Godzilla. King Ghidorah is also one of the monsters that are most often mind controlled; it acts completely autonomously in three movies, in other appearances being controlled for most of its screen time by aliens.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964): The original version of the monster is an alien who travels to Earth in a magnetic meteorite, and devastates Japan until repelled by Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra.
Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965): Ghidorah is now the mind-controlled pawn of aliens from "Planet X", and refer to Ghidorah as "Monster Zero". The "Xians" covet Earth's water resources and also take control of Godzilla and Rodan in an attempt to conquer the planet. When Earth forces free Godzilla and Rodan, the pair drive Ghidorah off into space.
Destroy All Monsters (1968): Set in the future, Ghidorah is controlled by the alien Kilaaks. The monster is eventually killed by Godzilla and several other monsters.
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972): Set in the present day, Ghidorah teams with fellow monster Gigan until both are driven away by Godzilla and Anguirus.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991): Time-travelers from the 23rd century (called "Futurians") travel to the past to release three genetically-engineered bat-like creatures called "Dorats" at the location at which a Godzillasaurus was to be exposed to radiation and become Godzilla. The irradiated Dorats fuse into King Ghidorah, which the Futurians then use to devastate present-day Japan. Godzilla eventually battles and cripples Ghidorah, with the wounded monster falling into the ocean. The Futurians, however, locate Ghidorah in the future, and using advanced technology create the cyborg "Mecha-King Ghidorah". The monster battles Godzilla to a standstill, before both disappear into the ocean.
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001): Godzilla again attacks Japan and is repelled by the combined might of the world guardian monsters (Baragon, Mothra, and Ghidorah) and the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004): Godzilla defeats every monster ever encountered before battling "Monster X", a disguise for a version of "Keizer Ghidorah".
The monster also featured in two films in the Mothra trilogy, both of which involved time-travel and different versions of Ghidorah:
Rebirth of Mothra (1996): A version of Ghidorah, referred to as "Desghidorah" (or Death Ghidorah) appeared as a black, quadrupedal, three-headed extraterrestrial dragon. Freed from imprisonment in a prehistoric cave, the creature battles both an adult and larvae form of Mothra before being entombed once again.
Rebirth of Mothra III (1998): Ghidorah appears in a more traditional form known as "Grand King Ghidorah" and battles Mothra Leo, who undergoes several transformations to match the monster.
King Ghidorah has had a number of changes made to himself over the years, but most of his traditional battle characteristics have remained the same. His different forms in the different movies have their own abilities.
King Ghidorah flies at the speed of Mach 3, is able to fire Lightning Beams, which are called Gravity beams, from his mouths, is able to create hurricane winds from his wings, and uses his necks to constrict an opponent.
Mecha-King Ghidorah (メカキングギドラ, Meka Kingu Gidora) is a mechanically modified Ghidorah that appeared in the 1991 film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. He has a futuristic and mechanical look, with his middle head mechanized as well as his wings, torso and a few other areas. He's considerably more powerful than the purely organic King Ghidorah.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Upon defeating King Ghidorah and sending the brass behemoth to his doom in the depths of the sea, Godzilla began to wreck havoc throughout Japan. Emmy Kano, a Futurian who rebelled against her belligerent crew, was asked if King Ghidorah could be revived in the 23rd century. If possible, he could be brought back to the present and used as an anti-Godzilla weapon to protect Japan. Emmy agreed with this request and ventured into the future using the time machine KIDS.
As Godzilla continued his rampage through the center of Tokyo, he suddenly heard a sound in the sky. King Ghidorah, now the cyborg Mecha-King Ghidorah, materialized in a flash of pulsing energy. Piloted by Emmy and reinforced with several robotic segments, Mecha-King Ghidorah easily outclassed his predecessor. He fired his gravity beams and triple laser beam at his foe. Though Godzilla managed to fire his thermonuclear breath in retaliation, the gray gargantuan was ultimately sent crashing into the surrounding buildings. Godzilla managed to regain his balance and damage both of Mecha-King Ghidorah's wings. It was time for Emmy to reveal the cyclopean cyborg's most powerful technique. Energy-conducting capture cables were fired, as was the machine hand restraint. Mecha-King Ghidorah lifted Godzilla into the sky and over the sea, but both were sent crashing into the waves when Godzilla fired his thermonuclear ray at his captor. Emmy quickly escaped in KIDS, leaving both monsters trapped on the ocean floor.
Meanwhile, beneath the surface of the sea, Godzilla's eyes glowed eerily. He released his thermonuclear ray into the azure abyss, for he would escape from its restraints and return to terrorize the world another day.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
The technology used in Mecha-King Ghidorah was later used to create MechaGodzilla 2 and Moguera.
Daikyojū Gappa (大巨獣ガッパ "Gappa, The Colossal Beast") is a 1967 Kaiju film. This Japanese film was produced by Nikkatsu Corporation, and was their only foray into the giant monster genre. The foreign sales title for the film was Gappa: The Triphibian Monster, and was dubbed into English (considered the "International Version"). The film was picked up by American International Pictures and released directly to television in the US under their American International Television banner, and retitled Monster from a Prehistoric Planet. This version was one of many films syndicated to broadcasters nationwide by AIP-TV, and became a staple for Horror Hosts on television stations from San Francisco to New York City from the late 1960s through early 1980s.
An expedition from Tokyo heads to Obelisk Island, which the greedy Mr. Funazu, president of "Playmate Magazine", wants to turn into a resort. The natives of Obelisk welcome the expedition, but two members, Hiroshi and Itoko, venture into a forbidden area despite the pleas of a native boy named Saki. They enter a cavern blocked by a fallen statue and find a giant egg, out of which hatches a baby monster, a "bird-lizard", referred to as a "Gappa". The natives plead with the skeptical scientists not to take the baby away, lest it anger the baby's parents. Sure enough, they take the baby away, and soon, inside the caverns, its two parents rise from the underground waters beneath the volcano, destroying everything in their path. Saki, the only survivor, is rescued by an American navy fleet and brought back to Japan.
Meanwhile, back in Japan, the baby "bird-lizard" is making world headlines, not to mention being experimented on by scientists. To the shock of the expedition members there is news of two giant flying creatures appearing over Sagami Bay. The Gappa parents ravage cities looking for their offspring, and are impervious to military weapons. Hiroshi, Itoko and Professor Tonooka (a scientist from the expedition) realize that the "Gappas" aren't a legend after all. They, and Saki, try to convince the headstrong Mr. Funazu to let go of the baby and return it to its parents. Will they convince him before the Gappas destroy Japan and perhaps the world?
This film was intended as a lighthearted satire of the daikaiju films of the period. This is one of the reasons the film has come under criticism by many people and kaiju fans. But some of the satire is lost in translated overseas prints.
The film's special effects were provided by Akira Watanabe, who had worked as an art director on many tokusatsu films such as the 1957 Toho sci-fi classic, The Mysterians. Although his work is not up to the standards of his colleague Eiji Tsuburaya, he provides some very interesting visuals, such as:
In the scene where the Gappas rise from the ocean into a city, one of the Gappas was carrying an octopus in its mouth, hoping to bring food to its missing offspring, assuming it was found (this scene was meant to be humorous).
One of the Gappas stomps its feet right into the middle of a kabuki theater, with people inside panicking and running.
In the Japanese version, the opening credits and ending were accompanied by a Rock & Roll theme song, "Gappa, The Colossal Beast" (the first and second verses, respectively), and the touching reunion scene near the end had a ballad called "Keep Trying, Baby Gappa!". In all overseas prints, the opening and ending songs were replaced with standard orchestral music, and "Keep Trying, Baby Gappa!" was instrumental.
There was also an urban legend that Nikkatsu's international English prints originally had a racist line, "The monsters are attacking Tokyo. Fortunately they are attacking the Negro section of town." And that the line was changed to "...attacking the poor section of town". In actuality, the line in the AIP-TV version is "attacking the Nikkō region..." — Nikkō is a city known for its beautiful and ancient shrines in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan (approximately 140 km north of Tokyo).
Home Video Release
Officially, the AIP-TV version of the film was first issued in the US by Orion Home Video (the Home Video arm of Orion Pictures, which had taken over the AIP catalogue) in the late 1980s on VHS, and a subsequent Laserdisc release (the latter was a double feature release with Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster issued by Orion and Image Entertainment). AIP's rights for Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (held by Orion Pictures) eventually lapsed into the Public Domain in the US. In the late 1990s, the Home Video rights to the film was licensed directly from Nikkatsu for VHS and (a bare-bones) DVD release by Media Blasters, under the Tokyo Shock label, including both the International English and Japanese language versions (the latter with English subtitles). The original version of the film has been issued twice on DVD in Japan, in 2000 (in a deluxe set with a figure) and 2004 (as a single disc with special features), respectively.
Space Amoeba, released in Japan as Gezora, Ganime, Kamoeba: Decisive Battle! Giant Monsters of the South Seas (ゲゾラ・ガニメ・カメーバ 決戦! 南海の大怪獣 "Gezora Ganime Kameba Kessen! Nankai no Kaiju"), is a 1970 Kaiju film produced and released by Toho Studios. In the USA, American International Pictures released the film as Yog Monster from Space.
This was one of director Ishirō Honda's last giant monster films, and the first such film made after the passing of special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya. This was also the final Toho film for which Sadamasa Arikawa acted as director of special effects. While some fans deride the film as a last gasp of the Golden Age of Kaiju films, others appreciate the fact that the monsters have been scaled down compared to creatures like Godzilla or Rodan, making their interactions with human characters more compelling.
The Helios 7 space probe is sent on a mission to study the planet Jupiter. While on its outward journey to the gas giant, the probe is overtaken by the Space Amoeba/Yog, a parasitic extraterrestrial. The probe returns to earth and crashes into the South Pacific, where the Amoeba leaves the device and inhabits the body of a cuttlefish, causing it to mutate into what is called "Gezora." The tentacled kaiju begins attacking ships and islands in the area.
A photographer named Kudo and his entourage land on Selga Island for a photoshoot, but their camp is attacked by Gezora. Because of its mutation the creature can create extremely cold temperatures with its body. When the survivors discover that Gezora is vulnerable to high temperatures, Kudo and his friends use a leftover Japanese World War II munitions bunker to set fire to the monster. Severely burned, the creature retreats to the water where it dies.
Later, the Space Amoeba possesses a stone crab, mutating it into "Ganimes" and attacks the surrounding islands. Luckily the humans manage to lour Ganimes into a pit and destroy it with explosives. The Amoeba survies a second time and fleas into the surrounding jungles plotting its revenge.
Space Amoeba decides to control two earth creatures this time. Another Ganimes, and a rock turtle named "Kamoebas." The two monsters raid the human camp. Luckily Kudo realizes the two monsters' weakness: supersonic waves. By releasing a storm of bats, the Amoeba loses control of its creations. Ganimes and Komoebas, no long under control, go beserk and begin to battle as Japanese giant monsters do. The humans, using more explosives, cause the volcano to erupt, engulfing the Space Amoeba and the two monsters.
Gezora (ゲゾラ) Mutated from an alien rogue virus, Gezora quickly established a reign of terror to a small island. The grotesque squid rose from the sea but few times, and murdered several people. Leaving only one to live, but forever scarred with horrible frost burns. It wasn't until its final show of power, was the end of the monster carried out. The natives, along with some members of a Japanese expedition, lured the creature into an open field, doused with gasoline. Then, they cast a torch, turning the ground and animal into a blazing inferno. Gezora's screams were more child than adult, as it fled back into the sea. Unfortunately for it, it was far too late, and the animal was mortally wounded. The ocean took back its flesh and blood, swallowing the dead monster with its watery embrace, but the Amoeba retreated. Casting off its deceased host, in order to find another.
Ganimes (ガニメ) Controlled and powered by the malevolent intelligence of the Amoeba being, a gigantic stone crab, Ganimes, attacked the island. Trying to finish the job that the now dead Gezora left undone, the monstrous animal wadded further inland, before it was met with machine gun fire. However, this does little to detour the creature. Yet the humans once again managed to outsmart the bulbous monster by luring it into a pit, laced with hundreds of sticks of dynamite. The resulting explosion tore his body apart, leaving smoldering bits of flesh. However, the spiritual Amoeba was still alive, and crawled from the open carcass only to assimilate another stone crab.
This duplicate Ganimes was sent to aid another infected animal, this time a jungle turtle named Kamoebas, to eliminate the human threat. Though the partnership was soon dissolved, when a horde of bats besieged the twin giants. The supersonic waves created from their cackling cries broke the hold that the Amoeba possessed, and drove the monsters to fight. Ganimes attacks relentlessly with its pinching claws, and spiting foams of blinding, coalesced seawater, but Kamoebas was able to hold its ground. So caught up were the monsters in their war, that they didn't notice the volcano that they fought on. So, they both proceeded to the lip of the mountain, and toppled inside. Killing themselves and the Amoeba beings that laid within.
Kamoebas (カメーバ) is a rock turtle monster that first appeared in Toho's 1970 film "Space Amoeba", and reappeared as a dead body in "Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S." in 2003.
After Ganimes was destroyed, Yog turned to a rock turtle and made Kamoebas. It also made another Ganimes. But bats fled from a nearby cave and made Yog lose control of the monsters. They battled each other up the mountain in the center of the island and both fell into the volcano, destroying themselves and Yog forever.
The gigantic chelonian Kamoebas, long after his first appearance in the 1970 film Space Amoeba, made a brief appearance in the film Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., to the surprise of many fans.
In the film, news agencies and the JSDF swarmed to a small part of the coast of Japan. A dead Megalo matamata, or Kamoebas, had washed ashore in the night. As it was investigated they noticed large rips in its neck. It had been killed by none other than Godzilla.
Space Amoeba (A.K.A. Yog: Monster From Space) (1970)
Godzilla X Mechagodzilla (2002) - a short cameo via stock footage from Space Amoeba.
Godzilla Final Wars (2004)- brief appearance during the opening credits.
Space Amoeba (A.K.A. Yog: Monster From Space) (1970)
Space Amoeba (A.K.A. Yog: Monster From Space) (1970)
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S (2003)
Gorosaurus (ゴロザウルス Gorozaurusu) is a fictional theropod dinosaur created by Toho Studios. He stands 35 meters (105 feet) tall and weighs 8,000 tons in his first appearance. He was an opponent of King Kong in 1967's King Kong Escapes. He later enjoyed a prominent role in 1968's Destroy All Monsters, in which his size was increased to match Godzilla's 50 meter stature. Gorosaurus is a typical giant dinosaur, having no special powers like beams or energy weapons, relying on his strength and athleticism to fight. Gorosaurus' most identifiable fighting move is a flying kick similar to that of a kangaroo.
In King Kong Escapes, Gorosaurus is an inhabitant of Mondo Island, the film's primary setting. He attacks and attempts to devour the leading female character, Susan Watson. King Kong arrives to save her and fights Gorosaurus. Kong eventually breaks the dinosaur's jaws, defeating Gorosaurus. In All Monsters Attack, Gorosaurus appears in the dreams of a young boy. In Godzilla vs. Gigan, Gorosaurus is seen living on Monster Island.
In Destroy All Monsters, Gorosaurus appears on a new island, Monster Island. It is an artificially created environment for the monsters of Earth. He lives with other monsters including Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Minilla, Baragon and Varan. A race of aliens called the Kilaaks invades Earth, capturing and establishing mind-control over the monsters. They then release them in cities throughout the world, with Gorosaurus being released in Paris, France. (In both the original and the English dubbed version, Gorosaurus is misidentified as Baragon in the Paris attack. Gorosaurus had to substitute for the digging monster Baragon because the Baragon suit was reworked several times for monsters in the Ultraman series and not usable beyond the glimpse at the end of the film. The scene was scripted with Baragon, and the dialogue was never rerecorded.) However, the humans retaliate and find a way to break the mind control.
The Kilaaks then unleash the space dragon King Ghidorah to kill the Earth monsters. Gorosaurus plays a pivotal role in the battle, as he twice brings down Ghidorah (the only monster who is able to), the first by pulling on his necks until it falls, heralding the turn of the tide of battle to the Earth monsters's side, and second when he used his kangaroo kick to slam Ghidorah to the ground as Godzilla and Anguirus attack two of the heads, leaving Ghidorah helpless and vulnerable. After killing Ghidorah, Gorosaurus and the other Earth monsters return to Monster Island to live in peace.
Aside from the usual tooth and claw, Gorosaurus has been noted for using a "kangaroo kick" against foes like King Kong and King Ghidorah. This is Gorosaurus' most popular trait. Also, in the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters, Gorosaurus is shown with the ability to burrow underground. This is the only incident where this ability is shown.
Gorosaurus was strangely shown to be burrowing in Paris in Destroy All Monsters. This role was originally intended for Baragon, however the Baragon suit was on loan to Tsuburaya Productions for use on a television series. Toho instead replaced him with Gorosaurus, having Gorosaurus "borrow" Baragon's burrowing ability. Gorosaurus was even refered to as Baragon.
Gorosaurus' name and appearance is similar to the name of a real dinosaur, Gorgosaurus.
Gorosaurus is one of the three monsters that have "saurus" in their names. The other two are Titanosaurus and Godzillasaurus.
Out of all Toho Monsters, Gorosaurus' roar was originally used by Rodan in one scene of Rodan (1956 film).
Gorosaurus' name is derived from the Japanese word Goro (fifth or approximate) and Greek word Sauros (lizard or reptile), so the name Gorosaurus means "approximate lizard".
King Kong Escapes (1967)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
All Monsters Attack (1969, Stock footage)
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972, Stock Footage)