Weapons/Ablities: This creature can fly, swim, and walk on dry land! Aside from Varan, this kaiju from the East is the only other true "tri-phibian" monster! Gappa can also deliver a powerful flame/beam attack from its mouth.
First and Last Appearance: Gappa The Triphibian Monster (a.k.a. Monster From a Prehistoric Planet)
Origin: Gappa hails from the South Pacific isle known as Obelisk Island, where the creature is worshipped as a deity. (According to some scientific records, the creatures only come from that one particular island and have been living there for generations.) After the Gappas’ offspring is captured by a greedy magazine tycoon, the two mammoth beasts fly, swim, and stomp their way to Tokyo in order to save their baby.
While Godzilla has been in the spotlight ever since it was discovered he had a "son" (for sake of a better word), other giant monsters have been parenting for far longer. That’s why I’m focusing this article on several parents that you’ll never want to cross. First up, is Gappa, the Triphibian Monster (named so because this creature can fly, swim, and walk on land). It was first seen back in 1967’s Gappa, The Triphibian Monster, where the creature’s offspring was discovered in a cave on Obelisk Island in the South Pacific. Once news got out about the baby monster, the greedy owner of "Playmate" magazine decided to give the mini-monster a new home in a newly constructed theme park. Unfortunately, no one asked momma and papa Gappa if their child could be borrowed and exploited, and soon Japan is sending an array of jets, tanks, and other military vehicles to be destroyed by the mini-Gappa’s raging parents. The destruction was finally halted once the Gappas are reunited with their child; then all three swam out to sea toward their island home. While the Japanese have since been wary of any monster’s progeny, history has repeated itself elsewhere in the world.
Height: Approximately 200 feet.
Weapons/Ablities: Gorgo is amphibious and spends most of its time in the water. Its thick, scaly hide makes most modern weapons ineffectual.
First and Last Appearance: Gorgo.
Origin: Gorgo’s origins are unclear, but it is widely accepted that the creature is merely a prehistoric creature that has survived into our modern age. Gorgo was apparently only forced to the surface after its offspring was captured.
In 1961, the British made a huge mistake (not unlike the Japanese did six years later) by capturing a large amphibious reptile named Gorgo. Brought to the surface after an underwater earthquake and volcanic eruption, the large 65-foot creature was soon captured and brought to London, England where it was put on display at Dorkins Circus, and fully exploited on a daily basis. Locked in an electrified pen with a minute amount of water and probably not enough food to sustain such a large creature, its no wonder that out of the depths came the youth’s 200-foot and extremely pissed off mother! Momma Gorgo made a beeline from the Irish coast, straight to London, England. All attempts be England’s superior navy and air force to stop the rampaging parent failed and soon landmarks like Big Ben, London Bridge, and Piccadilly Circus all lay in ruin. Once the larger monster finally found its infant, the two of them headed immediately for water and they disappeared without a trace while parts of London still burned. Once again, humanity’s greed and nature’s fury combined to make a massive catastrophe that could have been avoided if a small "sea monster" was left alone.
ZILLA (A.K.A. GODZILLA, A.K.A. G.I.N.O – Godzilla In Name Only)
Height: 90 meters
Weapons/Ablities: Super-heated halitosis breath, can burrow underground, and can swim at high speeds.
Zilla’s Complete Filmography: Godzilla (1998) and Godzilla: Final Wars (Cameo Appearance.)
Origin: After Bikini Atoll was nuked during a French H-Bomb test, an irradiated iguana egg hatched and Zilla was born! Though this "pretender to the throne" was killed by the United States military, one of its offspring must have hatched and survived because Zilla was unleashed by alien beings upon Sydney Australia nearly six years after its appearance in Manhattan.
Probably one of the most reviled kaiju on the planet, Zilla (mistaken for Godzilla by the American military) came burrowing up from the depths in 1998. This mutated marine iguana traveled across the world and ended up burrowing deep into Manhattan Island, where it proceeded to confound the U.S. military (who by the way, caused more damaged than the creature they were hunting). Zilla as it turns out, was asexual and secretly built a nest in Madison Square Garden. Secret agents from the French government attempted to wipe out this nest in order to cover up their nation’s dirty little secret. (Apparently the French are to blame for this abomination because of their nuclear weapons tests in Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.) In any case, the nest was destroyed and the extremely angry Zilla was killed, but not before it rampaged in the city streets in retaliation for its murdered young. However, it is believed that at least one egg survived because another six years later (in 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars), Zilla (under alien control) emerged from an underground tunnel and attacked Sydney, Australia. Had it not been for the might of the King of the Monsters himself, this "pretender of the throne" may have wreaked more havoc in the Land Down Under. Godzilla may have destroyed this pesky daikaiju, but who knows if other Zilla eggs exist in the world? Only time will tell. (You can also see Zilla in the animated "Godzilla: The Series" which is now available on DVD.)
Well that’s it for this edition of kaiju one hit wonders. The list of lesser kaiju is beginning to run a little thin, so I’m thinking of doing some articles about some of the bigger names in kaiju history which include Mothra, Rodan, and Gamera in the near future. Tune in next month to see what monster(s) make the cut, and remember… don’t mess with any baby monsters. If you do, you may just incite the wrath of its bigger and meaner mom or dad! And this advice isn’t just for your own personal safety, it’s for the safety of the entire human race!
Zilla photo courtesy of Toho Kingdom.