Exploring: Lost Kaiju Movies

For all the many, many movies that we’ve talked about in the last few days, there are some that we may never get to see. Here are three — beyond the two King Kong films we already talked about earlier, King Kong Appears in Edo and Wasei King Kong.

Space Monster WangmagwiMade in South Korea in 1967, it’s all about aliens attacking our planet with UFOs who also have a giant monster named Wang Ma Gwi. It was thought lost until the early 2000s and as of now, is still being restored. Either that or the rumor goes that the copyright holder does not want to release this lost kaiju film to home video.

Release the same year as Yonggary, Wangmagwi has a crazy look with claws for hands and a gigantic jewel in his head and plenty of fur. This movie also featured a cast of literally thousands, as 157,000 extras were used for some of the scenes of kaiju destruction.

Speaking of South Korea, the original Yonggary — not the AIP version — has lost half of its original footage while the 1962 Bulgasari, which inspired the 1985 movie Pulgasari has also been lost.

GogolaOther than the script and soundtrack, this 1966 Indian film is also lost. It tells the story of Gogola rising from the sea to eat the tourists on the beaches of Mumbai. Much like Jaws, the authorities refuse to admit that this gigantic creature exists — he’s hard to hide — until he begins flooding the entire city. The military, as always, is called in but they can’t defeat the monster until the very end of this film.

Gorgo looks like the child of Godzilla and Gorgo. His costume took two different men inside it to operate, which is unique.

Tokyo 1960: Released in 1957, this movie was part of a Philippines-created series of atomic monster movies, which also include Tanong Pukik, Tuko sa Madre Kawaw and Anak ng Bulkan.

If you’re any kind of Philippines film geek, you probably wondered, “Does Cirio Santiago have something to do with this?” He sure does, he was the executive producer.

Much like how Godzilla, King of the Monsters! localized the original Japanese movie for American audiences, this does the same, adding in local actors and dialogue.

Due to the high heat and humidity of this country, few of its old films have survived. Tokyo 1960 seems to be one of the many that didn’t make it.

Wolfman vs. BaragonShizuo Nakajima — who would go on to work at Toho — created this short fan film that featured a new kaiju that was just as inspired by Hammer films as Toho’s movies. Basically, the werewolf appears in the trees and starts fighting Baragon, who first appeared in 1965’s Frankenstein vs. Baragon.

Legendary Giant Beast Wolfman vs. Godzilla: During his time as a production assistant at Toho, director Shizuo Nakajima — yes, he’s the same person who came up with the other werewolf film on out list — dreamt up this mash-up of Godzilla with Hammer’s The Curse of the Werewolf (however, the werewolf in the first version is more Oliver Reed than this one). His production team, made up of other past Toho employees, even purchased materials directly from Toho to create the miniature cities and to make a replica of the 1964 Godzilla costume. Shot throughout the 80’s, this was never formally released. It’s also an unauthorized Godzilla film, which Toho would not be happy about. That said, the footage that does exist is incredible!

John Belushi Godzilla vs. Megalon bumpers: A seminal moment of my childhood, NBC aired Godzilla vs. Megalon in prime time in 1977. This was the only time that a major American network played one of the classic Godzilla films in this way and SNL star Belushi — who had already played the big green guy in a sketch where he was interviewed by Barbara Walters as shown above — introduced each segment dressed in the costume before destroying the set. These bumpers were only shown during the original broadcast and have never been seen again.

Gamera 4: TruthAnother fan-made film, this time by Shinpei Hayashiya (who made his own kaiju series starting with Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters), this movie made this list because not only does it look like a real film in the series, it also features Yukijiro Hotaru as Tsutomu Osako and takes place directly after the events of Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, which ended on a cliffhanger that had an injured Gamera being attacked by multiple Gyaos.

Hayashiya told Godzilla Movies that “I wanted to make a continuation of the last film Gamera 3. But since it was not produced, I thought I had to make it myself and requested permission from Daiei, but if there was no money transfer, I replied it was okay.”

When asked what Shusuke Kaneki, the director of the Gamera Trilogy, thought of the film, Hayashi replied, “(he) said that if he were to make Gamera 4, it would have the same beginnings of my Gamera 4.

It has been rarely shown since a series of free screenings in 2003 due to copyright laws.

Know any missing or lost kaiju movies we missed? Let us know! We’ll be happy to add it to this article and give you credit!

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