Godzilla: King of the Monsters is coming out on May 31st — Are you excited? Godzilla has been a household name for the monster movie genre for 65 years and is known for his all-out battles. With 28 movies under his belt, he has fought many intense foes. We are going to list ten of our favorite essential enemies.
THE OXYGEN DESTROYER
Godzilla’s first appearance was in post-war Japan. A metaphor for the horrors of war and the nuclear devastation of the bombs dropped on the country by Americans, Godzilla was a creature created by the nuclear radiation and was not able to be killed by depth charges, a hydrogen bomb, or the Japanese military. A weapon called the “Oxygen Destroyer” was what finally managed to fell the beast by destroying the oxygen in the water and rotting all around it. While this isn’t a true enemy he battled, we found that it was important due to the fact it actually killed Godzilla in his first movie.
Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
While Anguirus becomes a friend of Godzilla later on, he is originally a dinosaur that was either created by the H-bomb disturbing it’s remains (in the Japanese version) or a dinosaur that was roused from it’s hibernation by the bomb. The armadillo-ankylosaurus-looking creature has sharp spikes covering most of it’s body, capable of impaling it’s victims easily. He also has a fast-acting regenerative ability that keeps him coming back in battle.
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
One of the most popular Godzilla films, this is the first color film Godzilla appeared in. King Kong is a prehistoric ape originally appearing in his own legendary film in He lives within the thick jungle of the fictional Skull Island, off the coast of Indonesia. With intense feats of strength and the ability to throw a seemingly endless supply of giant boulders, Kong is a tough enemy for the King of Monsters, seemingly destroying Godzilla in their final battle (hint: he turned out fine).
Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)
Mother is easily the most gentle of all of the kaiju. She has no ill will towards humans, simply wanting to lay her eggs in peace and let them flourish… Unfortunately for her, she chooses to do so on Godzilla’s turf. In multiple movies she protects humanity from Godzilla’s rampages. Capable of entrapping her opponents in silk, using the gusts from her wings to blow away other kaiju, and emitting a poisonous powder, she is a mighty foe. In later iterations of Mothra, she is capable of electric attacks and has psychic abilities.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Perhaps Godzilla’s greatest opponent and arch enemy, Ghidorah is a space dragon born from a meteor that crashed into Japan. He is so strong that he cannot be taken down by one monster alone; Godzilla, Mothra, and a third kaiju, Rodan, must team up to defeat him. Capable of enduring lots of damage, flying at Mach 3, shooting ‘gravity beams’, and controlling electricity, he is an overpowered foe that is a constant and formidable enemy in many of the Godzilla films.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Mentioned prior, Rodan is an on-again off-again enemy or friend of Godzilla. He first appeared with a mate in his original movie (Rodan, released 1956), entering the Godzilla franchise with Ghidorah in the latter monster’s titular movie. A Pteranodon that was awoken by a nuclear bomb, he is capable of flying faster than the speed of sound. One of his greatest abilities is his immunity to both Godzilla and King Ghidorah’s beams, making him a difficult foe that has Godzilla resort to hand-to-hand (claw-to-claw?) combat.
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
Easily one of ‘Zilla’s weirdest looking enemies, Gigan is a cyborg with a buzzsaw in his stomach and hooks for hands. A space creature, he comes to Earth with King Ghidorah to fight Godzilla and Anguirus, the two villains ultimately losing and returning to space. He has the ability to grapple with his claws, fly via jetpacks, and shoot lasers from his singular eye. In later versions he can shoot circular buzzsaws (that ultimately kill him).
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
An alien weapon, MechaGodzilla is sent to, of course, raze Earth. Godzilla fells his opponent, but multiple reincarnations of MechaGodzilla appear, created by both human and alien. He has many abilities, ranging from eye beams, to mouth beams, cannons, grenades, and weirdly enough, finger missiles. His arsenal proves him to be a lethal foe to the King of Monsters, nearly ending him multiple times.
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
Destoroyah is a creature that happened to be created by the very thing that killed Godzilla in his original ’54 movie. Mutated by the Oxygen Destroyer, a series of ancient crabs form together to create a demonic-looking monster. Destoroyah is quite possibly one of Godzilla’s greatest foes second to King Ghidorah, even managing to kill Godzilla (Godzilla’s child eventually matures to be the new Godzilla). He is capable of surviving Godzilla’s atomic blasts, can regenerate, and has an intense ray-beam.
One of the newest of Godzilla’s enemies, the MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) are a pair of ancient kaiju that eat nuclear material. The duo nearly take down Godzilla, each with varying abilities. While both are intensely strong and durable, the male MUTO can fly and release an electromagnetic pulse that fries anything electric nearby. The female is capable of hyper-reproducing, laying an uncountable amount of eggs and surrounding herself with an electromagnetic pulse shield that works similarly to the male’s. While Godzilla manages to destroy both of them, they are still considered a great challenge.
Do you have a favorite kaiju that wasn’t listed? Godzilla has had many battles — Tell us your favorite!