While Godzilla is the most well-known kaij in the world, he isn’t featured in any of these other films featuring gigantic monsters from throughout the world.
In addition to Godzilla, there are many other Kaij (Japanese meaning “weird beast”) characters from Toho. Even in Toho’s own kaijverse, there are films starring the “Big G” without him. In 1954, Toho’s flagship Godzilla film appeared, and the company went on to produce a number of additional blockbuster films, including the Godzilla franchise.
They include Mothra, Rodan, and Varan as some of the best Kaij before they were all incorporated into the Godzilla movies.
There were also a number of gigantic monster movies made by other studios. When making this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best Kaij flicks that don’t involve Godzilla.
Scoot Allan added an update on March 6th, 2021: Godzilla vs. Kong is simply the latest in a long line of fan-favorite Legendary MonsterVerse films that feature titans battling it out for supremacy. There are, of course, a number of Kaij films that don’t involve Godzilla for those who want to study the huge monster genre without having to retrace the ground already covered by Godzilla. The best Kaij movies without Godzilla will be examined today, as well as a few current reimaginings of the genre that offer fascinating new ideas on the traditional giant-monster film.
1. Pacific Rim Mixed Kaijū Movies With Giant Mecha Anime in 2013
When del Toro’s 2013 filmPacific Rim introduced the world under siege from a series of progressively dangerouskaij, the monsters were described to be other-dimensional beings invading Earth through an undersea vortex.
Jaegers, huge human-piloted mechas, were Earth’s last defense against the giantkaij. They became celebrities among the surviving humanity. The success of the film led to the release of a sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, in 2018.
2. 1970’s Space Amoeba Featured Earth Animals Transformed By Aliens Into Kaijū
Toho’s Shwa period was filled with aliens in many of their films. The 1970 entryGezora, Ganimes, and Kamoebas: Decisive Battle! is a great illustration of this. South Seas giant monsters. Space Amoeba and Yog: Monster from Space were two more possible titles.
Cuttlefish, a turtle, and a crab are transformed into gigantic monsters by aliens that crash on an island in the Pacific. These enormous creatures will help the aliens take over Earth. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. featured a guest appearance for ThekaijKamoebas.
3. 2008’s Cloverfield Introduced A Mysterious Monster that Launched A Franchise
A group of friends at a farewell party are forced to flee Manhattan following a devastating attack from a mysterious aquatic creature in 2008’sCloverfield, which introduced the “shaky cam” genre to kaijmovie area.
The creature, dubbed “Clover” by fans, ripped through New York City as the military gathered to confront it, putting spectators right in the middle of the action. The Cloverfield series is a loosely connected anthology that has left fans hungry for more.
4. Gorgo Was A Gigantic Aquatic Monster That Debuted In 1961
The Atlantic Ocean is shaken by an undersea volcano, releasing a slew of strange aquatic creatures. Gorgo, a massive, bipedal creature, is also included. Unaware that they’ve captured a newborn, the sailors take the creature.
It was only a matter of time before the infant Gorgo’s mother arrived in London to recover her offspring, causing even more turmoil.
5. The Host Was A South Korean Film From 2006 With A Unique Giant Monster
The 2006 South Korean monster film by Bong Joon-Ho
Gwoemul, a massive monster spawned by environmental pollution at a U.S. military post in South Korea, was presented by the Host.
An infectious disease-carrying monster abducts a young girl and terrorizes the city while the child’s family tries to locate the mutant creature. With the introduction of The Host, we learn more about the U.S. military’s position in South Korea (in a scenario they caused).
6. 1977’s The Legend of Dinosaurs Featured An Epic Duel Between Prehistoric Monsters
Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds is an obscuretokusatsu (special effects) movie by Toei, the makers of the Super Sentai genre. This is simply referred to as “The Legend of Dinosaurs” in the United States.
In the film, a plesiosaur with a thirst for humans attacks a Japanese fishing hamlet. Pterosaurs and plesiosaurs have both hatched from prehistoric eggs, and the pterosaur will fight until only one emerges triumphant.
7. D-War Is An English South Korean Movie From 2007 Starring Rampaging Dragons
D-War(orDragon Wars: D-War) is a South Korean fantasy action film despite the presence of Western performers and a portion of the film being shot in English. Jason Behr (Roswell) and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) feature in the film, directed byShim Hyung-rae.
In Korean mythology, dragons will return to the Earth and wreak havoc. To save humanity, a reporter—a 16th-century warrior-turned-journalist—will have to confront the dragons. However, D-War was a critical and financial failure. Mysteries of the Dragon, an alleged sequel to D-War, is currently under development.
8. 2010’s Monsters Explored An Alien Monster-Infected Quarantine Zone
Godzilla, the first film in the Monsterverse, was directed by Gareth Edwards who started out in 2010 with Monsters, a film about a quarantined zone filled with extraterrestrial monsters that crash-landed on the US/Mexico border after a NASA satellite malfunctioned.
After the premiere of the picture, Edwards not only directed but also developed and created the visual effects that received numerous accolades. Monsters: Dark Continent, a sequel to Monsters: Dark Continent, was released in 2014.
9. Thieves Battle A Giant Underwater Monster In 1998’s Deep Rising
This flop of a movie from 1998 takes place on a luxurious ocean liner named theArgonautica. While both the lone cat burglar and the group with a captive boat crew attempt to steal from the ship, they are soon caught up in the chaos aboard the Argonautica.
To satisfy its appetite for passengers and would-be pirates, the enormous Octalus sea monster swam out from deep sea.
Critics didn’t like Deep Rising, but it has since gained a large following because of its unique sea creature.
10. 1953’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms May Have Inspired Godzilla
When researchers test nuclear devices in the Arctic Circle, they accidentally awaken a slumbering, prehistoric monster who has been on ice for millions of years. Only extreme measures will be able to stop the invulnerable creature as it heads towards New York City.
Following the release of the originalGodzilla in Japan the following year, the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is thought to have served as an inspiration for the monster. For some reason, a fire-breathing dragon appears in this film as well.
11. Marine Researchers Battle A Giant Turtle In 1978’s The Bermuda Depths
For fans of tokusatsu, this 1978 made-for-TV film is a treasure. Director Tom Kotani and producer Rankin/Bass are responsible for the film (The Last Unicorn). Tsuburaya Productions, best known in Japan for the Ultraman franchise, is responsible for the film’s noteworthy special effects.
The spirit of a lovely woman is encountered by a pair of marine explorers in this ethereal film. Also, they face off against a gigantic sea turtle that lives in the Bermuda Triangle.
12. An Interesting Take On The Kaijū Genre Was Explored In 2016’s Colossal
A writer battling with alcoholism finds she can manage an enormous Kaij in 2016’s Colossal, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo.
At a specific time of day, Thekaij.appeared in Seoul, South Korea, yet she quickly discovered that her childhood friend was also able to manifest a massive robot, which is bad news for the inhabitants of Seoul.
13.It’s Adorable Hero Vs. Dangerous Monster in 1972’s Daigoro vs. Goliath
Toho and Tsuburaya Productions cooperated on this under-appreciated 1972 kaij film, which has never been released. Great Monster Battle: Daigoro vs. Goliath naturally appeals to youngsters because of its charming hero and vibrant color palette.
A guy adopts Daigoro after his mother is murdered in a military attack in the film. Other than that, the species is nice to humans. Daigoro will have to protect his comrades from Goliath, a new monster that will soon arrive.
14. The Story Behind 1985’s North Korean Kaijū Movie Pulgasari Deserves Its Own Movie
In the present day, the story of this iconic North Korean film continues to captivate. Kim Jong-il ordered the kidnapping of South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his wife and actress, Choi Eun-hee, from the North Korean regime. Political propaganda video for North Korea was made with the help ofGodzilla special effects directorTeruoshi Nakano. In addition, people from Toho were brought in on the impression that they would be working in China.
Pulgasarii is a fantasy film based on the Korean tale of the iron-eating monster Bulgasari. It is brought to life and aids in the overthrow of the oppressive regime that bears his name. Pulgasari was adapted into a 1996 English-language film titled Galgameth, based on the Pulgasari manga.
15. 1995’s Gamera: Guardian of the Universe Rebooted One Of The Top Kaijū Franchises
The titular turtle-like monster is now a bio-engineered creature tasked with stopping numerous evils that threaten the earth in this dark and serious reimagining of Daiei Films’ long-runningGamera series.
First up in the Gamera Trilogy, Shusuke Kaneko’s Gamera takes on Gyaos, a group of airborne creatures that pose a threat to humanity. Kaijfilm aficionados should not miss out on theGamera franchise, which is nearly as popular as Godzilla’s.