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Home > Movies > 31 Monstrous Failures #4: Megalon

31 Monstrous Failures #4: Megalon

October 4th, 2011

I always preferred Toho’s Godzilla films to those of Gamera, the giant flying turtle from rival studio Daiei. The Gamera series looked cheap(er) in comparison. It pandered to its audience by placing kids at the center of the action. And its monster designs were unlikely agglomerations of mismatched parts.

Unfortunately, the success of the terrible terrapin left Toho scrambling to catch up. Children in disturbingly short pants began to cheer on Godzilla. And even the monsters he fought became a jumbled mess.

Such was the cockeyed cockroach known as…

Megalon!

As the god of the underwater Seatopian civilization, one might think that he would be–I don’t know–a fish or something? Instead, he was some manner of napalm-spitting beetle with a lightning-emitting horn and pointy “hands” that clasped together to become a drill.

Godzilla vs. Megalon was arguably the low point of the classic Godzilla film series, yet ironically it may be the one most familiar to American audiences. Not only did it get a big theatrical release–with a poster that aped the ’76¬†King Kong remake by¬†placing the two monsters atop the World Trade Center–it was the only Godzilla movie to play on network TV. John Belushi, dressed in a Godzilla suit, hosted a highly-edited version on NBC. The film subsequently fell into the public domain, making it all-but-inescapable for a time.

Megalon himself fared less well. He was one of the few Godzilla co-stars who never made a second appearance.

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