31 (Japanese) Monsters #19: Barugon
One sure way to identify a Japanese monster geek is to ask “Baragon, or Barugon?” If they don’t appear absolutely puzzled, you’re likely looking at a geek. If they express an opinion, there can be no doubt.
Baragon, who has been cited several times over the course of this month, is the nose-horned, reptilian quadruped who tussled with Frankenstein in Toho’s Frankenstein Conquers the World*. This is Baragon.
A year later, rival studio Daiei released their second film featuring the giant turtle Gamera. His co-star was a nose-horned, reptilian quadruped. To this day, no one seems quite sure whether it was intentional, but it’s curious that Daiei named their newest beastie…
|Monster Island Nickname||Not Baragon|
|Hails From||Rainbow Valley|
|Movies Appeared In
(not counting stock footage)
|Hobbies||Searching for That Pot of Gold|
As I’ve mentioned before, Gamera’s foes tend to be weird. And it all starts with Barugon.
A group of treasure hunters journey to New Guinea’s Rainbow Valley in search of a giant opal. Of course, it’s not an opal at all, but rather an egg. And it should be no surprise at all that during the boat ride home the damned thing is accidentally left under a heat lamp. Pretty soon there’s a great, big reptile crawling around Osaka, blasting everything with its freeze tongue.
Oh, had I forgotten to mention the freeze tongue? It’s a chameleon-like protuberance. Which shoots a freezing mist. As lizard tongues do.
The Japanese military, being understandably cautious, decides to lob long-range missiles at Barugon. Well, there’s nothing else for a monster to do than to fire its rainbow ray at them.
Yes, I said “rainbow ray.” The spines along Barugon’s back glow and emit a multicolored energy beam that looks and behaves exactly like a rainbow. A rainbow that makes things explode.
Fortunately for leprechauns everywhere, Barugon is weakened by rain. Because…hell, I give up. Gamera drags him into a lake and he dies. The end.
*I’m beginning to think that Frankenstein Conquers the World is some sort of nexus point for Japanese monster flicks. All roads lead to Frankenstein.