By Chuck Francisco
Let's be forthright: we're all looking forward to Pacific Rim: Uprising 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. 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. Quite 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 beatdowns, 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 who's-who of Monster Island qualified this as the most epic of monster throwdowns. King Ghidorah once again proves his dominance as a combatant, earning his code name Monster Zero, the first of the giant monsters.
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: Uprising; it's an excellent opportunity to broaden a stranger's horizons. Which is your favorite monster throwdown?
Chuck Francisco has written for Mania, Exploitation Retrospect, Cinadelphia, Pop Kernal, and The Midnight Cheese. He is a performer and committee member for Blobfest, the annual celebration of 1958's The Blob. He's also a swing dancer, cocktail enthusiast, and right dapper gent. Follow him on Instagram because why not?