Monster of the Day #73

If two heads are better than one, then clearly three heads are better still.  And here’s all the proof you need.

Ghidrah (yeah, I’m old school) not only had one of best entrances of any monster, but was so awesome that he was felled by the Galactus Effect.  This stipulates that a perfectly conceived, seemingly unbeatable menace is diminished by subsequent appearances since they then need to be defeated again each time they show up.  Eventually their luster is largely obliterated.  The Borg also fall into this category.

Ghidrah was instantly diminished in Monster X, despite being portrayed as a literal world-destroyer, because it now took two monsters to defeat him as opposed to Toho’s entire Big Three.  After taking a gang thrashing in Destroy All Monsters, Ghidrah was never the same, and basically coasted along on his reputation.  By the Heisei series Godzilla was being portrayed basically as completely unbeatable, so that the now King Ghidorah not only couldn’t take the Big G just by himself in a straight fight, but couldn’t even do it when augmented into Mecha-King Ghirdorah.

I’ll always remember him as he was the first time, though.  Hail to the King.

  • TongoRad

    Well yeah, but I really really like the sequences on Planet X (in Godzilla vs. Monster Zero)- they have just the right amount of cheese actor for my tastes and that happy dance jig thing that Big G does after tossing Ghidrah by the tail is just wonderfully insane.

    I can’t speak to the later stuff but it seems like it is definitely a shame what they did to the poor monster.

  • Gamera

    I can’t argue with Ken on Ghidrah becoming less formidable with each use. Still I love Destroy All Monsters when the Kilaks go on and on about how big and bad Ghidrah is and then he shows up and starts talking trash to the other five Kaiju and they all pile on him. It makes me laugh everytime I see it. Yeah you may be a bad@#@ but lets see how you fare five on one!

    Then Gigan fares even worse in Final Wars where he’s supposed to be the ultimate alien monster and in both fights Big-G walks in and wipes the floor with him in fights so quick that if you blink you’d miss it.

  • BeckoningChasm

    BChasm has always enjoyed the appearances of Galactus, despite his losing of the way. For, is not BChasm also a giant guy with a winged helmet who speaks of himself in the third person? So speaks BChasm!

  • Ah, yes, probably my second favorite Kaiju, after Anguirus.

    Every time there’s a new Godzilla series I cross my fingers that they’ll take him back to his roots and make him the unstoppable world-destroyer he ought to be. Here’s hoping Legendary pictures gets it right.

  • Marsden

    Ghidra is cool. The Borg suck. They didn’t even make up a name for them. Oh, a race of cyBORGs, what should we call them. Duh.

  • Rock Baker

    I read once that Ghidrah’s total screen time in Monster Zero is under a minute. I’ve never timed this, but if its true then at least Ghidrah still had the screen presence to seem like he was on screen much longer than that. (That’s impressive, seeing that his costars included Godzilla, Rodan, Nick Adams, Kumi Mizuno, Akira Takarada, and Akira Kubo.)

    Ghidrah probably didn’t get any lower than Godzilla on Monster Island, where he (they?) was just acting as back-up to the new kid Gigan. (In the old series at least.) Then, Gigan was brought in the next film to act as back-up to MEGALON! That seems to imply that Megalon was a more powerful enemy than Ghidrah! (Boy, do I feel like a big geek right now.)

  • Gamera

    Marsden: Never cared for the borg and don’t understand why some people like them so much. Couldn’t agree more- couldn’t they use a little creativity with a name? It’s like naming the Gorm ‘The Reptiles’…

    Rock: Yeah playing backup to Megalon- a giant cockroach that spits flaming chunks has to be the low point on Ghidrah’s resume.

    Ken: kinda sad to see the number of heads jump to three. I was hoping Zhaphod Beatlebrox would pop up as a MotD while on the two-headed theme…

  • zombiewhacker


    The big deal wasn’t the Borg themselves, it was their ships. Same thing with “War of the Worlds” (either version) or “Independence Day”. Their technology kicked butt and was really the only reason anyone was afraid of them. But when confronted in person, without their ship technology to protect them, the Borg themselves were wussies.

    I would have liked to have seen the Borg try to assimilate the Horta! HA!

  • My main man! After Godzilla and Rodan, of course. God, do I love seeing him!

  • BeckoningChasm

    I liked the Borg, but agree that they were way overused and too blanded up when they reappeared. Their first couple of appearances, though, were great since they were just relentless and, like the Terminator, couldn’t be bargained with, reasoned with, etc. They had a goal and that was all that mattered. As they were used more and more, they just wilted into boringness.

  • sandra

    i wonder how Ghidrah decides which way to fly. What if his left head wants to go to the left and the left one wants to go to the right ? I suppose the one in the middle decides.

  • Rock Baker

    My theory has always been that he has a central brain in his chest cavity that controls his multiple heads, taking in the info from each and dictating back to all three of them. Destroy all Monsters sort of backs me up on this, see each head get dispatched, then his body lurches before fully dying (if I recall what happened correctly, that is).

    The Borg are like locusts or soldier ants. They wash over an area and do what they do. A future plague isn’t any less damaging, so I can see where they were going with this (still, I haven’t seen all of the Next Generation episodes, so I might not have been quite as over-exposed to them on television). What ruined the Borg for me was First Contact, where they tried to up the anty by giving them a queen. Again, I get the idea, but it seemed to me like they were trying too hard to make them even scarier for their big screen premire, and the way they did this was to give them a female face?

  • BeckoningChasm

    I didn’t really like any of the Next Generation movies (or the show, much, after season three). Mr. Plinkett takes all four NG movies down pretty nicely.

  • Gamera

    To keep wandering farther off topic one of the big things that bothered me about the borg is that if they’re so advanced then why steal the technology of less advanced groups? I guess I could see the UFP being more advanced in a few fields but overall it seems odd that they could learn much.
    And then they ended up retconned in almost every episode it seemed to me. When they first appeared Riker finds the borg nursery with the borg baby. Then in Best of Both Worlds we get the idea that the borg assimilate other races to increase their number. The borg babies are never brought up again. And again when we first meet them Q says something along the lines of them being interested in UFP tech but not caring anything about people which of course is re-written entirely when we find out their prime directive is assimilating people. And don’t even bring up the queen, the borg had been used how many times and suddenly they pull the queen out of thin air???
    And don’t even get me started on the Remans. Romulans as villains in four series over thirty years and suddenly the Remans pop up. Sheessshhhhh…
    Sorry, don’t know why I’m making such a big deal about nothing!

  • Rock Baker

    It just comes with the territory. If you like something you notice the little details that the writers obviously hoped you’d overlook. (One big problem there is the background of married couples on sitcoms. I believe Ricky and Lucy, Fred and Wilma, Mr. and Mrs. Howell, etc, all have about six different versions of how they first met. I think the first show that really tried to have a complete backstory was The Dick Van Dyke Show. There, they’d introduce an element of the backstory and then count on viewers to remember it, even making subtle references to them several episodes later.)

  • Rock Baker

    You want to really give yourself a headache, try keeping track of Jeannie’s powers (like not being able to be photographed several episodes after her picture ran in the newspaper -multiple times in fact), or her general backstory, for that matter.

  • BeckoningChasm

    To keep wandering farther off topic one of the big things that bothered me about the borg is that if they’re so advanced then why steal the technology of less advanced groups?

    I think they just wanted to absorb everything, whether they could use it or not. I have a feeling they were less like a civilization and more like, say, rust, which doesn’t care what the metal is used for, it will just deteriorate it anyway.

  • zombiewhacker

    Interesting that the Q continuum wanted to stop Starfleet from exploring the galaxy because human beings represented a dangerous “child race.” Meanwhile the Q were perfectly willing to let the Borg have free reign.

    After all, unlike humans, the Borg were really interested in exploring time paradoxes. /snark off

  • BeckoningChasm

    I imagine that the Q were more concerned about humanity because we were unpredictable, and our entrance into other areas of space could have consequences they could not foresee. The Borg, on the other hand, were predictable to a fault. Maybe that’s what they were thinking.

    I hated what they did to the Q much more than what they did to the Borg, to be honest.

  • zombiewhacker

    You mean that Voyager thing?

  • BeckoningChasm

    The show where the Q are shown as losers hanging around an old gas station? That in particular, yes.

  • Matt B

    Hey! I can tie the disparate conversations together!

    Not being much of a Godzilla fan, to me Ghidorah is the guy who nearly destroyed the entire Star Trek universe, including all of the Borg, in a particularly memorable fanfiction series. Ghidorah was shown in full universe-shaking power in it. The series had other… eccentricities… but it seemed to treat Ghidorah with a lot of respect.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    Man, you Trekkies quit hogging up the kaiju thread! ;)

    King Ghidorah…he’s in my top five for sure, and my favorite evil monster along with Gigan. Which is probably why I’m the world’s biggest fan of Godzilla vs. Gigan–four of my all-time favorite kaiju in it. If they’d crammed Rodan in there I’d have plotzed.

    You’re absolutely right about the Galactus effect though. It continued into the Rebirth of Mothra series, where the poor bastard got beaten by freakin’ Mothra on his own (had to be the low point of his career). Sure, it was the Level Three Super Mothra with Battle Armor, but it was still Mothra. He was a little redeemed in GMK, where he’s first beaten because he’s not totally powered up, and then later manages to take down the by-that-time unstoppable Godzilla.

  • Marsden

    Sorry to keep bitching off topic, but I was reading about some old Cyberman episodes from Dr Who, well, Rip off! I think I’ve just downgraded the Borg from unimaginative to plageristic.

    In the first 2 or so episodes they were in, they weren’t bad but things really went down hill. But now, rip off Cybermen. And the TNG people knew about The Doctor, they used his likenesses in the final episode of the first season, or so I’m told.

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