Hello again fellow daikaiju fans! November’s hit list of lesser kaiju is made up of some really delectable critters, perfect for the seafood lover in you! This month’s trio of giant monsters comes straight from one of Toho’s most overlooked (and certainly one of its cheesiest) films, Yog, the Space Amoeba (a.k.a. Yog, Monster From Space). For those unfamiliar with the film, Yog concerns the unsuccessful invasion of a blue, glowing space amoeba that crash lands off the coast of a primitive island filled with superstitious natives. The result? A lot of giant sea critters that have long been forgotten in the annals of monster history. So without further ado, I present Toho’s nearly forgotten (or hitherto unknown) "Monsters of Yog!"
Height: 30 meters
Mass: 20,000 tons
Weapons/Ablities: Tentacles and the ability to turn human beings it ensnares into unconvincing dolls.
First Appearance: Yog, The Space Amoeba (a.k.a. Yog, Monster from Space)
Origin: After a satellite crashes into the sea near a secluded island full of natives, the space "amoeba" that hitched a ride on said satellite was freed! The creature infested a local species of squid and mutated it into a giant amphibious, tentacled monster that was eventually fought off by the natives and scientists on the island.
Gezora is probably the most well known kaiju from Yog (except for Kamoebas) and leads the kaiju rampage in its big screen debut. After combining with the titular alien entity in the film, a squid mutates into Gezora and terrorizes the native inhabitants of the island. Gezora is a fairly cool-looking creature: a giant light-blue squid with one glaring red eye, and it manages to instill fear in the natives. (The monster suit used to portray Gezora in the film is rather cheap though, and you can tell that the actor inside had a hell of time navigating around the miniature island set. This in no way detracts from the film, but rather, adds to its charm.) However, Gezora’s days are numbered once a band of scientists rally the primitives against the icy-tentacled creature. Gezora is lured into a clearing on the island, set aflame, and chased back to the sea where the mighty squid dies. Since its trial by fire, Gezora has only made one more appearance in the Toho universe: In the Godzilla: Monster of Monsters game for the original NES. Gezora is by far the weakest foe in the game and is a total cinch to beat. Just use Godzilla and repeatedly blast the hopping squid with your radioactive breath when possible. While your flame attack is recharging just use your tail-swing against the one-eyed squid (Yikes! That sounds so filthy!), and don’t be worried if Gezora traps you against the side of the screen with its only offensive attack. Just take the tentacle slaps like a man and finish off the oversized calamari!
Height: 25 meters
Mass: 12,000 tons
Weapons/Ablities: Pinching claws and blinding water spray from mouth.
Ganimes’ First and Only Appearance: Yog, The Space Amoeba
Origin: The intelligent amoeba invades the body of a crab after Gezora dies, resulting in this giant crustacean! When will this seafood buffet of death end?!
After the failure of Gezora, the space amoeba exited the remains of the creature underwater and found a new host: A crab! (GASP!) The result of the unholy union was Ganimes, a massive crab with a bad attitude. Machine gun fire proves useless against this colossal crustacean so a plan is hatched to obliterate it with explosives. Ganimes is led to a large pit that’s laced with tons of dynamite and rendered dead by the resulting explosion. Once again, the "Yog" amoeba escapes its dead host and invades yet another crab, thus creating Ganimes II (Electric Kaiju Boogaloo). The second crab creature dies in mortal combat with the film’s third and much more famous kaiju star: Kamoebas! As the two giant monsters grapple, they fall into an erupting volcano, thus ending the "terrifying reign" of "Yog." Though Ganimes has never since been utilized in another monster movie, his spirit would live on in the form of Toho’s other killer crustacean, namely Ebirah! (See last month’s Kaiju One Hit Wonders article for more information.)
Height: 20 meters
Mass: 28,000 tons
Weapons/Ablities: Powerful bite, armored carapace, and patented "slinky neck attack."
Kamoebas’ First Appearance: Yog, The Space Amoeba
Kamoebas’ Complete Filmography: Yog, The Space Amoeba and Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.. (Kamoebas’ corpse has a cameo.)
Origin: Kamoebas is yet another giant mutation caused by an ee-vil space amoeba. This time, the amoeba invaded the body of a sea turtle!
Last but not least on my "Monster of Yog" countdown is Kamoebas. This third kaiju is rarely seen in the film until the climactic ending, and it’s a total shame to see that happen. Kamoebas is a giant sea turtle (no relation to Gamera) with a powerful bite and a long, slender neck that pops in and out of its thick shell. It arrives toward the end of the film and ends up battling against Ganimes once the alien space amoeba lose control of the monsters. (The amoeba’s main weakness is supersonic waves, much like the ones bats emit! And wouldn’t you know it, the island is chock full of "batcaves." Hmmm… I wonder if those winged rats could drive Titanosaurus batty! Ha!) As Kamoebas battles Ganimes in the center of the island, a volcanic eruption suddenly occurs and both monsters fall into the burning liquid magma within. (I bet those natives at for months after the monsters bit the dust!) Kamoebas has since had a cameo in Toho’s Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., where the mighty terrapin plays a corpse! That’s right! Apparently Kamoebas got on Godzilla’s bad side and was murdered by the King of the Monsters! That’s not even close to being a fair fight! (Tabloids report that Godzilla merely stubbed his toe on Kamoebas, which led to an argument, and then murder! However, Toho’s army of lawyers easily had the charges dropped and Godzilla escaped jail time on Ogasawara Island. Jeez, movie stars can get away with anything these days!)
Well that’s it for Volume IV of the Kaiju One Hit Wonders! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Toho’s minor monsters. If I’ve perked your interest in the three kaiju above and you want to see Yog, The Space Amoeba, you can get it on DVD now from Media Blasters’ Tokyo Shock label. The film is in widescreen (and looks beautiful) and has the original Japanese audio track with English subtitles. (I’m not 100% sure but there may also be a dubbed version and some cool extras. Media Blasters always does a great job with their DVD releases!) Well have a great Thanksgiving and tune in next month for another edition of Kaiju One Hit Wonders! What creatures will rise up from the dark depths and invade Rogue Cinema? You’ll just have to wait and see!
Pictures and Kaiju Stats courtesy of Toho Kingdom.