Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

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Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby tbeasley » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:40 pm

Inspired by this underwhelming article on the main site - ... -watching/

I thought we could do better here and recommend must-see kaiju films that might be overlooked when compared to big names like Godzilla or even Gamera.

I'll start out with -
Daimajin | Return of Daimajin | Daimajin Strikes Again (1966)
The Magic Serpent (1966) - I'd love to see a proper release of this one
Gappa, the Triphibian Monster (1967)
The X from Outer Space (1967)
Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) - Looking forward to Kino's release
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby lhb412 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:07 pm

Yeah, is this Sci-Fi Japan trying to branch out with more general articles and not just reporting press releases and other official news? If so, well, it's not a very good one. It's brief and doesn't really have a unifying focus.

If the intention was to target people who just know Godzilla and want to be introduced the wider world of kaiju a lineup something like this would be pretty good:

Mothra (1960) establishes Toho's style and the most popular Toho monster besides Godzilla
War of the Gargantuas (1966) for a second Toho film. Maybe their most iconic monster film unrelated to the Godzilla series.
Daimajin (1966) for it's novelty, quality, and to show one side of Daiei, the second most important studio for kaiju movies.
The X From Outer Space (1967) for a bizzare curio from the 'Monster Boom'
... and you could choose from either classic or modern eras with Gamera, the Giant Monster (1965) or Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) for Godzilla's main corporate rival.

That article also has two movies that aren't Japanese, which threw me off. If you're doing a piece of films not from Japan that capture something of the kaiju feel then a good list would be:

Pacific Rim (2013) from the United States (but filmed and Canada with a Mexican immigrant director!)
The Host (2006) from South Korea
Yongary (1967) also from South Korea
Reptilicus (1961) from Denmark
Gorgo (1961) from Britain
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:53 pm

What a strange article.

Assuming this is meant as recommendations for kaiju/giant monster newbies, I second Mothra, Gorgo, War of the Gargantuas, The X From Outer Space, and the Daimajin films for a good sampling of the classics, and Pacific Rim and The Host are two of the best modern examples. I'd also throw in:

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) - The first giant monster movie from director Eugene Laurie and one of the inspirations for Godzilla.
Rodan (1956) - Toho's first kaiju flick to be shot in color, a timeless monsters-on-the-loose tale.
Dogora (1964) - An often-overlooked heist caper featuring giant jellyfish from space.
Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965, a.k.a. Frankenstein Conquers the World) - One of Ishiro Honda's finest.
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:57 am

I'd add Kaneko's Gamera films as ones not mentioned yet. Probably the height of what the genre is capable of in term of effects and cohesion, whether or not it's to one's own personal tastes.

Also King Kong Escapes as a bright, colorful, campy romp that most average people probably aren't super familiar with.

It's a really poor article though. I don't think I'd ever start someone with the original Gamera movie. It's really one of the most boring ones. Pacific Rim feels like a fairly known quantity to John Q Public right now, and is obviously known by every kaiju fan. That pretty much leaves The Host as the lone recommendation that might be new to people, and it's really on the brink of what I'd consider "kaiju". If you're gonna tell people to check out the "kaiju" film The Host, then I think you have to leave yourself open to tell people about movies like Tremors, Grabbers, Them! The Relic and others where the "kaiju" is about as big as an elephant.

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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby Magic Dragon » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:35 pm

Some Chinese Kaiju films include:
A good number of these film are like the Daimajin movies in that they are period fantasy films. A lot of the special effects teams for these flicks came from Japan. So check some of them out:

The Mighty Peking Man

The God of War

Tsu Hong Wu (with Japanese special effects):

Saviour Monk

The beheaded 1000

Three Headed Monster (a different three headed monster who runs a ancient kingdom.

The Fairy and the Devil

Na Cha and the Seven Devils

The Boy and the Magic Box:
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby swfreakjpb » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:01 am

jellydonut25 wrote: The Relic and others where the "kaiju" is about as big as an elephant.

HA HA the Relic. I completely forgot about that movie. i am pretty sure I saw it in the theater. Had to look it up.
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby Mauserpuppy » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:56 am

Gorgo and Reptilicus are more than worthy.
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Re: Non-Godzilla Kaiju Films That Are Worth Watching

Postby klen7 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:05 am

Benjamin Haines wrote:What a strange article.
This article seems to exist just to provide a link to a bingo site?
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