There’s only one way to properly ring in the premiere of Pacific Rim this Friday, and that’s by having a daily giant monster movie marathon! Needless to say that many of them are all-time classics, though some are, to put it nicely, ten kinds of crazy. Check out our list of top 5 most bizarre giant monster movies and take in all that glorious insanity!
1) Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
Frankenstein Conquers the World is actually quite faithful to Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, save for some minor liberties taken to make it more compelling for theater audiences. For example, the story takes place in Japan during the mid-1960s and Dr. Frankenstein’s creation ends up saving the country from a rampaging beast called Baragon. Okay, so it isn't at ALL like Shelley's book. But hey, it's got a creepy severed hand!
2) War of the Gargantuas (1966)
Touted as a sequel to Frankenstein Conquers the World, the cellular remains of Frankenstein—in a totally contrived plot element—give birth to two ape-like monsters called Gargantuas (how the Modern Prometheus spawned two furry monkey men is beyond us, but just roll with it). As the film progresses the green and evil Gargantua runs into its brown and benign counterpart, leading to—as implied in the title—a war of the Gargantuas. In the end, the two beasts are blown to smithereens in Tokyo Bay when attacking military copters inadvertently disturb a submarine volcano... with Japan having to suffer through the smell of burnt ape hair for quite some time.
3) Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)
It certainly isn’t the worst of the Godzilla movies out there—that dubious honor goes to 1969’s All Monsters Attack—but Godzilla vs Megalon is known for its own unique brand of notoriety. During the 1970s, the public’s attention began to shift from movies featuring actors in rubber monster suits to shows featuring actors in skintight hero attire (e.g. Ultraman and Kamen Rider). In an overt scheme to cash in on this fad, Toho Co., Ltd.—the Japanese studio behind Godzilla—added the robotic Jet Jaguar to the film's cast: An unabashed ripoff of the immensely popular and aforementioned Ultraman. It goes without saying that the movie was an egregious flop, and the ending’s infamous Jet Jaguar theme song only made matters worse.
4) King Kong Escapes (1967)
To make it clear, Toho’s King Kong has more to do with the ‘60s cartoon series The King Kong Show than it does the 1933 film, as well as possibly being a different King Kong entirely. Confused? It’s natural, but your present bewilderment pales in comparison to what you’ll be feeling after watching King Kong Escapes. In a plot that could have only been penned by a hyperactive six-year-old with a sugar rush, King Kong goes toe-to-toe with a gigantic dinosaur named Gorosaurus and, because why not, Mechani-Kong—of whom is under the control of the evil Dr. Hu (no relation to our favorite Time Lord, thankfully).
5) The Giant Claw (1957)
It’s okay, we can’t say the title of this movie without doing an impression of the Little Green Men from Toy Story either, but we digress. The Giant Claw—the heartwarming story of a giant bird that lays waste to mankind's very existence and all-American values—is essentially everything that’s delightfully awful about science fiction B-movies of the 1950s: dirt poor special effects, mindless destruction, and rampant scientific fallacies. Come to think of it, not much has changed in over 50 years, has it?
Will you be seeing Pacific Rim this Friday?