Monster of the Day #109

He’s not often remembered for this, but here he is, only the second of the Toho monsters following Godzilla.

  • Ericb

    He’s a bit of a palooka but I love this guy.

  • Anguirus is the most blue collar of the Toho monsters, isn’t he? Certainly not the most powerful, but he always goes in there and gives it his best. He’s the Rudy of daikaiju.

  • The Rev.

    Not only Godzilla’s first opponent, but I think it was the first giant monster battle, too. Despite the lack of undercranking, that fight is among the best ever filmed. It’s just two animals trying desperately to kill each other. “Nature red in tooth and claw,” indeed. It shocked me when I first saw it. It was one of the last of the original series I saw, and I was used to wrestling and swinging empty suits by the tail/head and such. (Not that I don’t love that too.)

    I’m glad you went with his original appearance. The later suit had those big goofy cow eyes, and I just wasn’t overly fond of the Final Wars version. He may not have won many fights over the years, but people should see this fight and realize that he didn’t start out a pushover. I always figured it was Godzilla’s respect for the fight Anguirus gave him that led to their later partnerships.

    Still, I do also enjoy that he gets to do some damage in Godzilla vs. Gigan, between biting the hell out of Ghidorah’s neck (before getting dropped on his ass) and slamming into him with his spiked shell later on.

  • John Campbell

    I would like to see Godzilla vs. Mecha-Jabootu.

  • Gamera

    His roar would make a great cell phone ring tone.

    Just beware if he offers you a piggy back ride.

  • Poor Anguirus. So much fan love, so little studio respect.

  • Rock Baker

    And he probably has more variations on his name than any other Toho beast, I’m fond of ‘Angillas’ myself.

    I’m not sure why he’s been so put down around here lately, he’s a scrapper and he looks cool. I’ll have to side with his 60s incarnation, as I thought it looked more like a dinosaur. The Gigantis version was nifty too, but not as natural. Really, the 55 version makes me think of a carving in the walls of some old pagan temple. He was pretty evil looking. I think the somewhat friendlier looking version of the 60s/70s made a more convincing sidekick for the King of Monsters. (That, and he looks a lot like my dog.) Angillas has always been a favorite of mine.

    As for his being the second Toho monster, do you just mean GIANT monsters? Because I think Half Human may’ve hit screens first in Japan. I’ve also heard rumors of an Invisible Man movie Toho produced around the same time (that never made it to our shores, such a pity. I don’t know much about the project, maybe someone here can tell me something?).

  • Rock Baker

    I mean, of course, the film that was eventually turned into Half Human. Oddest American release ever afforded a Toho film, but weirdly charming too. Could the film’s documentary style have influenced the 70s Bigfoot movies? (In a way, yes, since budget limitations were the main reason for the approach in both periods.)

  • David Fullam

    Anyone know the answer to why many publicity photos featured his back spikes curling up and over?

  • maybe because his HEAD frill curves forward so they somehow thought his back spines did too?

  • Rock Baker

    “Anyone know the answer to why many publicity photos featured his back spikes curling up and over?”

    I take it you mean the two halves of his shell being raised like wings or something. The model built for the suit construction team was the wilder-looking version with the shorter snout and the back plates lifted up (I’m not sure why either. The two halves of the shell may’ve been designed to move freely at first, mostly as a means of getting the actor in and out of the suit. Given the design of some Ultra-monsters, an earlier idea may’ve been that the shell halves could flip up during battle as an attack move, but that’s just a guess). It was this maquette that swos up in a lot of publicity photos (such as the one with the two monsters fighting in the background and the masses running toward us at the bottom of the still, or the one with the two monsters facing off with flames in the background. Most of these shots were composed using existing shots from the first Godzilla movie, with the Angillas model added and other elements touched up, like including the human cast. This leads me to believe that the suits were not completed when many of the publicity shots were done and released, but it seems most of the human footage had been completed).

    I guess the split shell must’ve been more cumbersome than helpful, because it was a feature dropped for the second Angillas suit (as well as the middle crown spike being removed). I like to think the first Angillas was a female (most female animals are more complex or colorful than are the males), and the 60s Angillas was a male.

  • You got it backwards Rock. Female animals tend to be less colorful. The male is the brightly lit one. Think of mandrills, cardinals, king salmon, or the artist formerly known as Prince.

  • The Rev.

    Well, Rock said everything I could’ve said about the questions on the appearance of Anguirus, so I guess I don’t have to.

    I don’t hate his ’60s version, I just prefer those beady, evil eyes. Otherwise I like the design just fine.

  • Rock Baker

    Yes, I goofed! I was thinking of size, since some female animals tend to be larger than their males. At least I think that’s right. I believe female fish and birds tend to be larger, but the males are the ones with all the color. I’m not fully sure about reptiles, but I think the females tend to be larger with them too.

  • The Rev.

    You’re pretty much right on the size thing. Fish, reptiles, and amphibians tend to have larger females, as well as arachnids and insects. Birds and mammals, though, tend to have equal gender size or males that are larger.