They call Godzilla “The King of Monsters” for a very good reason. Over the last 60 years, the oversized lizard with the atomic breath has battled countless monsters of various sizes, shapes and conspicuous martial arts abilities – and regrettably, I've spent far too many hours of my life watching rubber-suited actors perform half-assed judo on each other amid a miniature model of Japan's capital city.
Okay, that last part was a lie – I don't regret any of it.
I've been excited about Godzilla's return to the big screen courtesy of director Gareth Edwards (whose 2010 film Monsters was one of my favorite movies of the year) for awhile now, but the relatively recent confirmation that the massive lizard will be battling a host of other gigantic creatures (instead of simply wrecking the city) has me practically giddy. Just the idea of it takes me back to a time before the term “licensing” was in my vocabulary, when I'd imagine scenarios in which Godzilla saw fit to throw down with all manner of Hollywood hero and villain for reasons that fell far secondary to the battles themselves.
That's why this week's column is an exercise in nostalgia that (I hope) we can have a little fun with ahead of Godzilla's return.
Keeping that in mind, here are 10 movie monsters I'd love to see Godzilla battle:
The Cloverfield Monster
The monster at the heart of Matt Reeves' 2008 found-footage horror film Cloverfield remained hidden for much of the story (as is the tradition for most of the good giant-monster movies), but when it finally stood revealed in all its fanged, gangly limbed glory, it was something to behold... and run like heck away from. Producer J.J. Abrams subsequently described the creature as an “immature” version of whatever species it is, so it's reasonable to think a fully grown Cloverfield monster could stand snout-to-snout with Godzilla. The fact that Cloverfield was essentially a modern-day version of Godzilla makes this match-up even more intriguing. It's old school versus new blood (or whatever comes out of the Cloverfield monster, in this case).
The Setup: A grown-up version of the immature alien creature that terrorized Manhattan crash-lands off the coast of Tokyo. When it comes ashore and begins wreaking havoc, guess who shows up to remind everyone who gets first dibs at destroying the city?
A mash-up of the title creatures in popular B-movie horror Sharknado and Roger Corman's Syfy original movie Sharktopus, this would take the entire low-budget, “so bad it's good” genre to the next level by pitting Godzilla against a tornado filled with half-shark, half-octopus predators. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Just wrap your head around that for a second. Go ahead, I'll wait.
The Setup: Before the monstrous, genetically engineered shark-octopus hybrid was killed at the end of Sharktopus, it mated with another shark, producing a litter of brand new, tentacled sharks hungry to sink their teeth into prey. They get their chance when a deep-sea bomb test stirs up a superstorm that carries the heirs of Sharktopus (the sharktopi?) through the air toward the nearby coastal city. The only catch? The explosion also awakened Godzilla. Dun-dun-DUNNNNNNN...
The alien hunters from the Predator franchise are no stranger to Earth, and though we've seen them fight all sorts of aliens and Arnold Schwarzenegger, we have yet to see them take on a threat that forced them to abandon their solo hunting strategy and team up for the big kill. Sure, there's a size mismatch here, but why wouldn't the greatest hunters in the universe go after the most dangerous prey they can find? Think about the trophy that Godzilla's skull would make!
The Setup: Something prompts another Godzilla rampage, but wait, what's that? An alien spacecraft filled with creatures who think they're the universe's version of apex predators? I smell a David-vs.-Goliath showdown, but in this case, David is one ugly mother... You get the idea.
If 2010's Trollhunter taught us anything, it's that trolls come in all sizes and shapes – including a few that more than measure up to Godzilla. If nothing else, this would be a great opportunity to bring back Norwegian actor Otto Jespersen as the titular Trollhunter, only this time he'd finally get the recognition he deserves as the badass, behind-the-scenes wrangler of these fearsome creatures. (Did I mention how much I loved Trollhunter?)
The Setup: Godzilla is rampaging again, so what's the world to do? Never fear, the Trollhunter is here, and he's brought along a few supersized friends – or in this case, a few angry mountain trolls. It's trolls versus lizard in this titanic battle. Here's hoping the trolls don't give Godzilla rabies.
Whether it's the 1981 version of this creature from Clash of The Titans or the version from the 2010 remake (but we all know the 1981 version is better), there's no arguing with the tale of the tape here: Poseidon's favorite pet would make a heck of an opponent for Godzilla. He might not have atomic breath, but he's got more arms – and tentacles – than the ol' King of all Monsters, and would certainly test Godzilla's claim to that title.
The Setup: In his rush to stomp the nearest city, Godzilla tramples one of Poseidon's waterfront temples, inciting the wrath of the oceanic deity. Before you can say “chicken of the sea,” Poseidon hikes up his robes and decides to... wait for it... wait for it... UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!
Sure, they're barely human-sized, but the deadly creatures of the Alien franchise have numbers on their side. With their ability to turn victims into breeding stock, bleed acid and multiply like rabbits on Viagra, it stands to reason that Godzilla might have trouble with these pesky buggers. There's only so much that the sweep of a tail and a blast of atomic breath can do. Heck, in most cases, the only hope is to nuke 'em from orbit.
The Setup: After a xenomorph infestation threatens to eradicate humanity from the planet, the remaining humans' best chance for survival lies in doing the unthinkable: waking up Godzilla and setting him loose on the alien invaders.
Both the visual design of Godzilla and his atomic origin were based on the creature that wreaked havoc in 1953's The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which is widely regarded as the film that started the giant-monster craze. So why not put Godzilla – the creature that subsequently carried the giant-monster torch – up against the beast that started it all? They're both born of nuclear experiments gone wrong, and both creatures are inclined to find the nearest city and smash it to bits, so the story practically writes itself here.
The Setup: Somebody tests a nuclear bomb where they shouldn't, and now there are two massive monsters fighting to decide who gets to turn a thriving metropolis into a heap of rubble. Won't we ever learn?
Well, if anyone's going to give one of the Ancient Ones a fight, the King of the Monsters probably has the best odds. And hey, since lizards generally have pretty small brains, the threat of Godzilla succumbing to madness probably isn't a real danger in this case. Cthulhu has been teased, depicted or otherwise represented in countless films over the years so feel free to take your pick of the version representing H.P. Lovecraft's famous creation.
The Setup: When a doomsday cult manages to call forth the ultimate evil, the only thing that challenges Cthulhu's ascension in this dimension is Godzilla, who must push the old god back whence he came and seal the portal. It's a messy job, but somebody's got to do it.
The Arrakis Sandworm (Shai-Hulud)
This one might be a little tricky to arrange, but who wouldn't want to see a bunch of blue-eyed Fremen from Frank Herbert's Dune riding sandworms into battle against Godzilla? With some sandworms growing to over 1.5 miles long, they certainly have the size to take on Godzilla, but it would be a pretty boring fight without the worm-riding warrior people of Arrakis leading them into the fray.
The Setup: In an effort to get rid of the rebel Fremen that are frequently interrupting the spice-harvesting operation on planet Arrakis, the noble houses and the Padishah Emperor agree to bring in some outside help in the form of a giant, mutated lizard that hails from a planet far, far away. At first, the lizard makes easy meals of the sandworms that respond to his heavy footfalls, but when the Fremen eventually summon one of the great worms, Godzilla may find himself having some serious trouble far from home.
In 2004's Godzilla: Finals Wars, Godzilla takes on a long list of foes from his past, as well as a creature that looks quite a bit like the supersized reptile that menaced Manhattan in Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla movie. Nothing says “pretender to the throne” than getting smacked around by the real King of Monsters, so I can't help but hope to see Gareth Edwards' version of Godzilla dismiss his 1998 predecessor at some point down the road. It's the wink-and-nod scene that fans demand.
The Setup: This barely needs a setup, but let's just say that among the other monsters released in whatever event wakes Godzilla is a certain lizard of impressive size that nips at the heels of the King of Monsters until eventually being stepped on and flattened. Game over, man. Game over.
Question of the Week: What movie monster would you like to see fight Godzilla?
Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at Movies.com, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, IFC.com, Newsarama, and various other online, print, and on-air news outlets. He's been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV, and his personal blog can be found at MindPollution.org. You can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.
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