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Kaiju Genera 
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Burning Godzilla
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Dr. Kaiju got me thinking about the different general types of kaiju out there, and the relative scarcity of each.

FURRY: I don't especially count the Luck Dragon in Neverending Story as a kaiju, but the gargantuas? Totally. Think for a moment, though, how few of these there are and how few of the furry species extant get transmogrified into kaiju. I can think of a bunch of apes and one dog. Not much else. Isn't it time we saw some Mole Rats the size of delivery vans on the rampage?

REPTILIAN: You can never have too many of these, frankly, but in general, the bigger the monster, the more likely it is to be a reptile. Are there categories of reptile we're lacking?

AQUATIC: Again, this category is overloaded with herps and I can advocate strongly for more fish, cephalopods, crabs...And I for one would love to see some seriously dangerous, outsized cone shells, whelks or box jellyfish stalking the tide pools. And hermit crabs that are big enough to prey on them and use their shells as fashion statements. You can NEVER get enough crab monsters. But let's not stop there. A Nudibranch big enough to eat a submarine would be good for starters. And Prophecy aside, we've never had enough really terrifying freshwater menaces.

SQUIRMY: The genre keeps skating up to the edge of an all-out earthworm, fluke, caterpillar or flatworm attack, but then the furor dies down again, to our eternal loss. When will someone really take this seriously? I say this with the MUTOs in mind. Why are there just 2? Why not so many that they make the plague of locusts in the Old Testament look kind of cute?

FLYERS: The flying kaiju we've had so far have been pretty boss -- Rodan, the Pterosaurs That Ate Coolio, and of course the Giant Claw. But we can use many more of these, honestly. I'm not sure whether to put Dagora here or elsewhere...? If we put him here, why not go farther? Sentient clouds of poison gas would be a start. What if the ozone layer became self-aware and flew away from earth to its mating grounds on Mars, only to die on the trip from eating too many broken satellites? What would we do then, huh? Huh? What about kaiju that look like planes, move like planes...but also EAT planes?

INSECTS: Some of these, like Meganeuras, go under SQUIRMY too, and you have to seriously ask whether those whistling caterpiggles would mature into something far more frightening, maybe with wings, if Rodan didn't eat them. I for one would like to see more insects that, you know, act like insects. A Preying Mantis the size of a school bus that captures a screaming policeman and eats his head off the way you or I might crunch the head off a Tootsie Pop. Two of the specimens from The Black Scorpion working together to draw and quarter someone's nanny and then companionably eating the pieces. A humongous wasp that lands on your head, and when you slap at it, it jabs you in the forehead with a stinger so long it comes out the corner of your eye. What if n army of Meganeuras simply ate every scrap of green growing life in Nebraska, then wrapped downtown Lincoln in a bad-smelling web?

OTHER: Nothing makes my day like some miscellaneous animal, or maybe a totally new animal, that fits into none of the other categories and then gets big enough to eat the Bronx. Is Angilas more of an Ankylosaurus, or just Sonic the Hedgehog on steroids? When do we get to see an immense Echidna do battle with Mr. Stay-Pufft or Jet Jaguar in downtown Melbourne...or Berlin, for that matter? Even just a huge snake with the head of a baboon. And I don't mean the next presidential candidate; I mean a giant snake with the head of a baboon too big to fit inside the Oval Office.

Your thoughts? Suggestions?

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Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:17 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Another category one could list is cyborg kaiju -- something we've seen very little of in film, though it's not rare in SF prose. Of course the base animal that gets cyborged still has to belong to one of the other categories.

We certainly do need more furry kaiju. Why is a giant ape scarier than a giant dog or jaguar or wolverine or wild boar?

We need to bring back giant rats. There was Food Of The Gods, and then pfft. If not that, we should at least have a dark & gritty remake of the Lepus.

I think we also need more boneless kaiju. Like, maybe something that sort of straddles the gap between a flatworm and an outright amoeblob.

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Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:35 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Cliffie wrote:
Dr. Kaiju got me thinking about the different general types of kaiju out there, and the relative scarcity of each.

FURRY: I don't especially count the Luck Dragon in Neverending Story as a kaiju, but the gargantuas? Totally. Think for a moment, though, how few of these there are and how few of the furry species extant get transmogrified into kaiju. I can think of a bunch of apes and one dog. Not much else. Isn't it time we saw some Mole Rats the size of delivery vans on the rampage?

Your thoughts? Suggestions?


I know the ants in Them! are supposed to be insect. But the effects design almost makes them fit the FURRY category, too.

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Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:45 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Bergerjacques wrote:
I know the ants in Them! are supposed to be insect. But the effects design almost makes them fit the FURRY category, too.

A lot of insects (including some ants) are pretty hairy when you get close to them, although Them! gets the scaling wrong between the size of the body and the relative thickness of the individual hairs. As big as they are, their hairs ought to look like automotive radio aerials.

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Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:45 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Yeah -- not hairs so much as whiskers or bristles.

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Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:25 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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supersonic man wrote:
Yeah -- not hairs so much as whiskers or bristles.


Or maybe they SHOULD pick up radio signals, especially if they are ant-borgs.

Plants. I didn't even think of plants. Surely we can do better than Biollante.

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Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:13 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Cliffie wrote:
supersonic man wrote:
Yeah -- not hairs so much as whiskers or bristles.


Or maybe they SHOULD pick up radio signals, especially if they are ant-borgs.

Plants. I didn't even think of plants. Surely we can do better than Biollante.


The evil man-dissolving Rhodendron(?) covering the Mayan Temple in The Ruins?

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Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:09 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Bergerjacques wrote:
Cliffie wrote:
supersonic man wrote:
Yeah -- not hairs so much as whiskers or bristles.


Or maybe they SHOULD pick up radio signals, especially if they are ant-borgs.

Plants. I didn't even think of plants. Surely we can do better than Biollante.


The evil man-dissolving Rhodendron(?) covering the Mayan Temple in The Ruins?


But is it really large enough to qualify? I mean, I'm game if you are.

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Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:06 pm
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Mothra
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I don't think insects have been given their due in horror movies yet.

We have lots of movies with insects in them, even giant ones, but they leave out the best parts of what makes insects so scary! The eating part, for one, is usually left out, and when it is included it's not very insect like. Secondly, their predatory habits... insects don't generally stomp around in broad daylight looking for a fight, it would be neat to have them use their natural hunting abilities against people (trapdoor spider, for instance, or mantid stalking). And with ants, it would be neat to have a film where giant ants farm humans like little fat aphids. So much to be explored still.

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Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:03 pm
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Mothra
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Bergerjacques wrote:
Cliffie wrote:
supersonic man wrote:
Yeah -- not hairs so much as whiskers or bristles.


Or maybe they SHOULD pick up radio signals, especially if they are ant-borgs.

Plants. I didn't even think of plants. Surely we can do better than Biollante.


The evil man-dissolving Rhodendron(?) covering the Mayan Temple in The Ruins?


That will be included shortly at Kaijumatic! I decided it was giant because why not? It covers an entire ruin, and it acts as if it's one creature (the flowers working together with mimicry, vines working in unison). I really enjoyed that movie, a nice little treat.

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Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:04 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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supersonic man wrote:
I think we also need more boneless kaiju. Like, maybe something that sort of straddles the gap between a flatworm and an outright amoeblob.


And the varieties of amoeblob could be truly phantasmagoric in scope all by themselves. Why, oh why, has nobody ever made a movie about rampaging Bandersnatchi -- the immense single-celled animals from the Larry Niven stories with the prehensile probosces and the telepathic ability?

I have to ask, though, if there is ANY movie darker or grittier than the original Lepus. :twisted:

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Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:01 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Doctor Kaiju wrote:
And with ants, it would be neat to have a film where giant ants farm humans like little fat aphids. So much to be explored still.

That's why I like Bert I. Gordon's Empire of the Ants so much more than it really deserves. The giant ants using pheromone-controlled humans as slaves has an obvious real-world analogue in the genus Harpagoxenus, which has no normal worker caste of its own, and instead kidnaps workers of other species to keep the queen fed and the eggs tended.

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Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:55 pm
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El Santo wrote:
Doctor Kaiju wrote:
And with ants, it would be neat to have a film where giant ants farm humans like little fat aphids. So much to be explored still.

That's why I like Bert I. Gordon's Empire of the Ants so much more than it really deserves. The giant ants using pheromone-controlled humans as slaves has an obvious real-world analogue in the genus Harpagoxenus, which has no normal worker caste of its own, and instead kidnaps workers of other species to keep the queen fed and the eggs tended.

That was the first thing I thought of when DK mentioned farming people like aphids.

It was also the first thing I thought of when I first read about Harpagoxenus.

I'm not saying the movie is great, but I have a certain fondness for it that is probably not warranted on its merits. I imagine part of it is a movie actually putting forth an interesting idea that I've not seen before; also, I'm a big fan of Mr. BIG and his movies, so I'm predisposed to be a little forgiving of them.



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Part of it would be people having crappy giant ant puppet heads shoved at them, admittedly.


Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:33 pm
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Mothra
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Yeah Empire of the Ants gets points for exploring that, even a little, but I think we can go a lot further! They could even keep human women in a farm for milk production, boy that would creep people the hell out.

Thank you for your reference to Harpagoxenus, much good reading was had because of it.

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Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:59 pm
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Doctor Kaiju wrote:
Yeah Empire of the Ants gets points for exploring that, even a little, but I think we can go a lot further! They could even keep human women in a farm for milk production, boy that would creep people the hell out.

Thank you for your reference to Harpagoxenus, much good reading was had because of it.


It occurs to me upon re-reading this thread that of the ants were actually raising and breeding humans as slaves, well, milking them would just be the next step, right?

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Sat May 30, 2015 9:48 pm
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