Today’s selection: Dogora (1964, dir. Ishiro Honda)
Available from: Media Blasters
Quick, what’s the biggest monster in the Godzilla universe? There’s a reason why Space Godzilla has the title of “space monster”, King Ghidorah has the title of “super space monster”, and Dogora is what’s referred to as the “giant space monster”; the flying jellyfish monster grows to a whopping 500 meters in the movie. Granted, that doesn’t mean it does all that much damage, other than sitting in the sky sucking up carbon.
The movie is often overlooked in the kaiju canon because it came between the two Godzilla pictures of that year, but it’s a Honda kaiju work with Tsuburaya effects and Ifukube soundtrack nonetheless, the defining traits of Toho kaiju. The title monster later made appearances in Godzilla Island and a few of the video games, and every once in a while gets toy treatment, yet remains perhaps the most obscure of Honda’s kaiju to ever have a movie named after it. That said, it really does feel like a gangster/heist movie with the complication that there’s a diamond-eating monster on the loose (which is fine! I actually think it’s neat to see how various walks of life would be impacted by occasional kaiju rampages). One of the more out-there looking monsters in the Toho register, I could easily imagine a CGI Dogora making a cameo in a modern film revival.