Monster of the Day #68

Here’s a close up of the original Speiga, aka Kumonga:

Actually, this is my favorite giant spider, although I prefer the original version, unsurprisingly. Aside from Ghidrah, he was the first monster to really seem like he could take Godzilla. Man, I love this movie. (It looked WONDERFUL up on a big screen at G-Fest last week.)

  • The Rev. D.D.

    I loved the puppetry work they did for Kumonga. Kumonga and the Kimakiras are one of the main reasons I’ll defend Son of Godzilla. Just great critters, all of them, and as you mentioned, it was a surprisingly tough opponent.

    The Final Wars update…I really liked the design and the presentation of it, but I really hated seeing him get punked out so easily. I realize it happened to just about every monster in that movie, but let’s face it: It’s one thing to see the American Godzilla, perennial underdog Anguirus, or King Seesar (although I have a fondness for him) get knocked around. It’s another to see it happen to Kumonga or Radon (or Gaigan, twice no less…I mean, cutting off his own head?? Really!?! MAN that pissed me off.)

  • The Rev. D.D.

    Gah, I wish I could edit. I meant to refer to Kumonga as an “it,” and slipped on the last pronoun there. Same with the other monsters.

    I mean, I suppose King Seesar could be considered male, but Gaigan’s a cyborg, and if anything Kumonga’s probably a she…

  • Tork_110

    I hope you have a Jabootu-brand nightlight to go with all these spider monsters you’ve posted lately.

    For a friend, of course.

  • John Campbell

    This and Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster were my two favorites growing up!

    This critter definitely gave the mighty G a run for his money.

    Are the “modern” godzilla movies as good as the old ones?

    Sadly I must admit to having never seen any of the more “modern” films. (read that as 80’s onward)

  • Gamera

    My two cents for what little it’s worth is that I liked most of the original series films but thought all the Heisei second generation films were pretty so-so. The first few Millinium third generation films I didn’t really like much either but I loved ‘Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: All Monsters Attack’ and ‘Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla’. ‘Tokyo S.O.S.’ was pretty good and I had high hopes for ‘Final Wars’. I wish they’d just named the thing ‘Wire-Fu: Final Wars’ since I think it would have been a better title. The monster action was great but if you’re going to call the film ‘Godzilla’ I would have liked to have seen more of it.

  • Not-So-Great Cthulhu

    “Son of Godzilla” was always one of my favorites growing up, despite the goofy baby Godzilla, mainly for the reasons Rev already stated. Just great puppetry work.

    John — To me, the Heisei Godzilla films (the ’84 Gojira through Godzilla vs Destoroyah) are sort of a mixed bag. I didn’t find any of them to be bad, although they ranged from good to mediocre (and sometimes just campy). Generally, I found that they all had good kaiju battle scenes and were, for the most part, fun.

    I mainly agree with Gamera on the Millenium series. The first few were rather weak, and I somehow still haven’t seen “GMK: All Monsters Attack”, but the next two (which I think are the only two that are actually connected) were good. As for Final Wars… well, I’m with Rev and Gamera both on this one. For a movie that runs over 2 hours and is called “Godzilla: Final Wars”, one would hope to see a lot more of Godzilla and kaiju battles that last more than 15 seconds and less time spent on watching the… er… Dragonball Z-ish part of the plot.

  • Rock Baker

    Speiga really impressed me, mostly for that scene where he rears up and is actually BIGGER than Godzilla! Add the detail-enhancing (and artistically cool) snowstorm on the tropical island and that scene is just great!

  • The Rev. D.D.

    Yeah, I too was blown away with Kumonga’s size there.

    John Campbell: I would suggest seeing Godzilla vs. Biollante, vs. Mechagodzilla II, vs. Destroyah, GMK, and GxM: Tokyo SOS. vs. King Ghidorah, vs. Mothra, and G 2000 are decent. vs. Spacegodzilla, vs. Megaguirus, and Final Wars are a bit of a slog. G 1985 isn’t too good, but the original version might be better (haven’t seen it). G x MG is probably my least favorite, which led to much surprise when I rather enjoyed its direct sequal (Tokyo SOS).

  • Rock Baker

    I may as well throw in my two cents on this issue (hope no one minds). I think I can argue in favor of Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla vs Biollante. The rest of the films had some nice effects work and music, but were a mixed bag. Godzilla and Mothra: the Battle for Earth was, again, visually impressive but is pretty hard to take unless you’re gung-ho on environmental issues (it makes Godzilla vs the Smog Monster look like an industrial training film). Mechagodzilla wasn’t bad. Everyone seems to agree that Space Godzilla was a huge misfire, but the last in the cycle, Godzilla vs Destroyah, is considered one of the best of that era (in spite of the goofy title). The films that followed were so so, but not tremendous. Godzilla X Mechagodzilla was much better (sorry, Rev) and Tokyo SOS is probably the best film since the good old days (at least since 89). GMK has some fans, but I can’t call myself one of them. Final Wars was fun, but to be quite frank, it was also a mess. It wears pretty thin by the end too, and as has been much lamented, the cooler monster stuff is woefully short.

  • I’m going to echo the love for Speiga and Son of Godzilla. One of my favorite Godzilla movies as a kid and as an adult.