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Home > Sci-Fi > My Favorite Martians: The Kilaaks (First In A Series)

My Favorite Martians: The Kilaaks (First In A Series)

August 24th, 2009

Okay, let’s get it out of the way. The aliens in this series of blog posts will, more often than not, hail from somewhere other than Mars. “My Favorite Aliens” doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

For an indeterminate yet finite number of days to come, I will be profiling the otherworldly denizens of movies and TV that have beamed themselves into my heart. Will you join me on this journey of cultural diversity?

Let’s meet our first interplanetary ambassadors!

The Kilaaks are the bewitching brains behind the events of Toho Studios’ 1968 film Destroy All Monsters (known as Kaijū Sōshingeki in Japan). While they’re not from Mars, they’re not so very far from the Red Planet. The Kilaaks hail from a small planetoid somewhere in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Now, you might think that living on an airless lump of rock so far from the sun would make the Kilaaks resistant to cold, but then you have not walked a mile in their tinfoil pajamas. As it turns out, the Kilaaks thrive in intense temperatures. Anything less causes them to revert to their original form: weird, metallic worms. (What they want with our temperate planet is anyone’s guess.)

Despite that severe disadvantage, the Kilaaks have several things going for them. First, they’re all women. Second, they’re all brilliant scientists. Third, they’ve perfected mind-control devices which allow them to puppet humans and monsters alike.

Issuing forth from a flying saucer hanger hidden amidst the craters of our moon, they invade Ogasawara Island, aka “Monsterland.” You see, in the far-flung future of 1999, all of the world’s giant monsters–including Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra–have been herded onto an island prison. Pretty soon, alien-controlled beasts are rampaging throughout the cities of the world, distracting the human military and allowing the Kilaaks to set up an advance base near Mt. Fuji.

Eventually some heroic astronauts penetrate the Kilaaks’ secret moon crater, exposing the space women to the cold and forcing them back into hibernation. With the mind-controller in human hands, Godzilla and crew are marched toward the Mt. Fuji complex.

And that’s when the Kilaaks play their trump card: the mighty interstellar dragon King Ghidorah.

ghidorah

You see, Ghidorah (first introduced in 1964’s Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, aka San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen) is also an alien. Born of a fallen meteorite, King Ghidorah is the bad-ass of the Godzilla franchise. During his early appearances, no single monster was capable of defeating him.

One thing you need to understand about my love for this film is that I grew up during an era without VCRs or DVDs. If you wanted to see a movie, you had to go where it was playing or hope that some TV station would choose to air it. As a young Godzilla fan, I only knew about Destroy All Monsters courtesy some black-and-white photos printed in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

And so it was that I had to talk my dad into driving me to Greater Chicagoland to catch a kiddie matinee of this, the ultimate Japanese monster flick. We arrived near the end of the first screening, which meant that I walked into the theater just as King Ghidorah squared off against ten (!) of my favorite monsters. (“My Favorite Monsters,” coming soon to a blog near you.) It was geek kid heaven.

Now, Ghidorah might’ve been able to hold his own against Godilla, Mothra and Rodan, but against those three plus Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Kumonga and Minya (the “son of Godzilla”), the poor guy doesn’t have a chance. Killed once and for all for the time being, the path is clear for Godzilla to crush the Kilaaks’ dome.

The Kilaaks may resemble Japanese actresses costumed as baked potatoes, but as a kid I found them way creepy. Effectively immortal–cold only causes them to hibernate–they’re still out there on their unknown asteroid, wriggling their wormy bodies and plotting our destruction.

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