Monster Spotlight: The Godzilla Gang Pt. 2

Last time, we looked at the various kaiju Toho studios made from the 50’s – 70’s, what Godzilla fans call the Showa era of kaiju flicks.  Now we’re going to look at the kaiju of the 80’s and 90’s, which fans called the Heisei era (despite the first movie included here technically being released during what was still the Showa era of Japan’s history, and despite the fact that all the Godzilla movies released after the “Heisei era” of Godzilla films so far have ALSO been released in the Heisei era of Japan’s history – look, I know it’s confusing, just roll with it).

There was a nine-year break between last Showa film and the start of the Heisei era (of Godzilla movies, not Japanese history), and during that time Toho decided some course correction was in order.  The kid-friendly heroic Godzilla of the later Showa films was now deemed a “mistake,” and the rebooted franchise decided to go back to Godzilla’s villainous roots.  There was also a firm rule about avoiding anthropomorphization – no longer would Godzilla dance, shake hands with friends, or do other friendly, human-like gestures.  This was going to be a new, ferocious Godzilla, and animalistic Godzilla, a badass Godzilla.

That was the intent, anyway.  What was the result?  Well, read on after the cut.

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Monster Spotlight: The Godzilla Gang Pt. 1

I know I’ve mentioned in previous Monster Spotlights how the subjects of this article series are close to my heart, but believe me when I say that none are closer to my heart than the subjects of this one.  These are the monsters that made me a monster fanatic, the towering titans of terror who filled me with fascination and wonder when I was young and, in many ways, shaped me into the person I am today.  That’s right, we’re casting the Monster Spotlight on the kaiju of Toho studios – Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah, and their monstrous friends, foes, and distant relations!

Of course, that’s a LOT of monsters to look at, so we’re going to break this into parts.  In this first installment, we’re looking at the monsters from what fans call the “Showa” era of Godzilla movies (even though some movies in the next era were still in the Showa era of Japanese history – look it’s complicated, let’s keep it simple), i.e. those made from from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.

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Monster Spotlight: (Some of) the Monsters of Resident Evil

Today’s Monster Spotlight tackles a subject almost as near and dear to my heart as Pokemon, and one that similarly left a huge impression on me when it comes to monster design.  It’s also one of the most iconic franchises in horror video game history, which makes it ripe subject matter for discussion here at Horror Flora.  That’s right, we’re shining the Monster Spotlight on the Resident Evil series!

Well, ok, factually speaking we’re really only shining the spotlight on, like, the first three games and a bit of Outbreak, Code Veronica, and RE:0, and even there we’re not looking at the full bestiaries of each.  I know, boo hiss, listen there are other sites you can go to for that.  I’m going to look primarily at the Heavy Hitters here, and I’ll tell you why (other than the fact that there are 52 images in this review and my wordpress account does have a limit to how many photos I can upload): for this article, I busted out my old and worn copy of the Resident Evil Archives, a book that covers the first three Resident Evil Games (and Zero and Code Veronica), and, more importantly, has concept art from them, including cut concepts.  As a kid who never got to play the games but loved the strategy guides showing off their various monster designs, it’s a freakin’ treasure trove, and I’ve never been able to find the concepts on the internet.  As far as I know, they are ONLY in this long-out-of-print book.  And while I was reluctant to put my already worn and now very expensive to replace copy on the scanner multiple times, straining its spine by trying to make it lie as flat as possible, I did it anyway, because I love you.

…and because saving all the coolest images is a good backup plan for when the book finally falls apart.

…also there’s, like, three images I borrowed from the Resident Evil fan wiki, you’ll know ’em when you see ’em.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the monsters!

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Third Year Anniversary

Well dang, three years!  How the time flies!  Horror Flora’s anniversary celebration is going to be a little low-key this year, but I’m hoping that the quality of the posts I have planned will make up for the lack of quantity compared to the last two years.  Stay tuned!

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ATOM Bonus Kaiju File 24: Pamultimate

b24 Pamultimate

Aliases: Dr. Pamela Birkin, Dr. Indomitable

Date Discovered: October 23rd, 1956

Place of Origin: Mojave Desert

Notable Stomping Grounds: Mojave Desert, Echidna Island

Height: 120 feet

Biology:  One of the most brilliant if twisted minds in the Spooks Organization, Pamela Birkin’s eccentric personality and complete lack of morality led her superiors to isolate her from others as much as possible, giving her a facility in the Nevada desert to work on her various projects.  Dr. Birkin was obsessed with figuring out how to help humanity survive a variety of extinction events, from nuclear war to global flooding, and it was this drive to “save” humanity by mutating them into a “better” species that eventually drove her to become a literal monster.

When kaiju become public knowledge, and Pamela realized that the solution she was looking for had been known to the Spook Organziation this whole time – and thus that the organization was using her research for something other than its intended purpose – the scientist snapped and decided to take humanity into a new age herself.  She injected herself with various mutagens before exposing herself and many of her experiments to Yamaneon radiation, creating some of the toughest kaiju to walk the earth with herself as their leader – the Pamultimate.

Pamultimate’s powers include:

  • Super strength, even by kaiju standards
  • An enhanced healing factor
  • Immunity to radiation
  • Right arm and collar can stretch – the former to give her extra reach, the later to protect her head
  • Acidic Spit
  • Haemotoxic venom coated claws

Personality: Though it would be easy to label Dr. Pamela Birkin as a mad scientist, there is a method to her crazed actions.  Her concern for the human race as a whole led her to make many ethical compromises, but it was and is genuine.  Pamela wants to save the world and humanity in particular from extinction, and believes any pain and suffering caused in the process of securing the future of her species is worth it.

As the monster Pamultimate, Dr. Birkin is a manic creature that revels in her physicality.  If given the choice between ending a fight quickly and dragging it out to show off her strength and speed, she will always choose the later, and if it wasn’t for her supreme might her foolhardy actions might land her in hot water.

Pamultimate is a brash and bombastic foe who loves to play heel in a fight, but she has a tenderness as well, regarding her creations and allies with great fondness.  Since her transformation she has grown to view all other kaiju as her kin, perhaps even moreso than humanity, and it is for this reason she was made a guardian on the Echidna Island High Security Kaiju Sanctuary.

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ATOM Bonus Kaiju File 23: Atomic Frankenstein

B23 Atomic Frankenstein

Aliases: Big Frank, The Amazing Colossal Corpse

Date Discovered: October 23rd, 1956

Place of Origin: Mojave Desert

Notable Stomping Grounds: Mojave Desert, Echidna Island

Height: 140 feet

Biology:  Created from human remains, the Atomic Frankenstein began as Dr. Pamela Birkin’s attempt to resuscitate dead tissue and bring it to new life.  While considered only a partial success by her superiors in the Spooks Organization, Pamela nurtured her creation even when ordered to dispose of it, and further strengthened it with various serums and other procedures designed to build a better human.  When she discovered the power of Yamaneon radiation (which she had been purposely kept out of the loop about), she quickly finished some last minute upgrades to the corpse creature before turning it into a giant – and thus the Atomic Frankenstein was born.

The Atomic Frankenstein sports the following powers:

  • Super strength (even by kaiju standards)
  • An enhanced healing factor
  • Immunity to radiation
  • Static Shocks from fingers
  • Glows in the dark

Personality: Though technically a living being, the Atomic Frankenstein’s biochemistry is a chaotic mess of hormones and toxins, many of which were designed to give the creature phenomenal powers that have been rendered slightly less notable now that he has been turned into a kaiju.  While he is theoretically capable of human-level intelligence, his frequent mood swings and short attention span keep him in a stunted child-like state, prone to violent tantrums and other extreme emotional reactions.

His fearsome appearance is somewhat misleading – while the Atomic Frankenstein has enough raw power to manhandle most kaiju with ease, he normally isn’t a very violent creature, and what outbursts he has are usually spurred by the actions of others.  When frightened he may push others out of his way, and when angry he is prone to stamping his feet and screaming, but ultimately the Atomic Frankenstein is a gentle soul who is burdened with more strength than he knows how to handle.

Those who show kindness to the Atomic Frankenstein earn his devotion, and the only times the monster has intentionally caused harm were a result of others hurting those he has decided to care for.  In these situations the full power of this mutant brute is unleashed, and few have survived the wrath that follows.

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ATOM Bonus Kaiju File 22: Gabelgil

B22 Gablegill

Aliases: Pamela Irons’s Fish Man

Date Discovered: October 23rd, 1956

Place of Origin: Mojave Desert

Notable Stomping Grounds: Mojave Desert, Typhon Island

Height: 100 feet

Biology: The last in a long line of experiments to make an amphibious humanoid capable of colonizing the deep sea, the exact nature of Gabelgil’s biology was lost when his creator destroyed her laboratory – and with it, all record of her research.  While Gabelgil appears to be a hybrid of human and fish, whether he is a fish that has been mutated to look like a man, or a human that was mutated to resemble a fish, is unclear, as is whether he is an actual hybrid or merely an extreme mutation.

The question of Gabelgil’s origin may be moot, as in all other respects he is exactly what he looks like: an amphibious humanoid with all the brainpower of a human while being adapted to live on both land and sea.

Gabelgil’s powers include:

  • Super strength
  • An enhanced healing factor
  • Immunity to radiation

Personality: Though incapable of speech, Gabelgil has proven time and again to have the complex emotions and thoughts of a human being, making him one of the most intelligent kaiju on the planet.  An imaginative creature, the fishman often spends his time daydreaming various flights of fancy, and is even something of an artist, often drawing crude images in the dirt with his claws.  Many who have observed Gabelgil find themselves pitying the creature, as he clearly struggles with his inability to properly express his thoughts.

That said, Gabelgil isn’t exactly lonely, as the fishman’s amiable nature and compassion have won him many friends among his fellow kaiju.  One could say he is a romantic in the classic sense of the term, as he values beauty of all forms and is determined to protect all that he finds laudable in the world.  A loyal companion with a kind heart, Gabelgil is trusted by many in the giant monster community, even if most of them can’t understand some of his stranger behaviors.

Gabelgil’s creativity and intelligence serve him well on the battlefield, as the clever fishman can out-think most of his fellow monsters with ease, use the environment to his advantage, and quickly pinpoint his enemy’s weak spots.  The fishman can even create crude weapons to help him fight, and his amphibious form is just as adept fighting in the water as it is on land.  With hard armor and sharp claws to defend himself, Gabelgil is a versatile warrior with the heart of a poet.

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