Top 20 Craziest Kaiju: Number 1

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from Uchu daikaiju Girara [trans. Giant Space Monster Guilala]
(1967; dir. Kazui Nihonmatsu)
[aka The X from Outer Space (US, 1968)]

Guilala poster

Monsters have rights also!

Guilala is best known and loved (not to mention derided) as the “giant space chicken”? Whatever he is, Guilala definitely takes the prize as the “craziest kaiju ever”. He arrives on earth as an alien spore attached to a space shuttle and quickly grows into one insanely weird-looking monster, before beginning to wreak havoc on the world. The film itself might not be the crowning glory of the Japanese daikaiju eiga genre, but Guilala wins this particular contest of ours hands down. [By the way, he isn’t a giant X, despite the title of the Americanised version of the film — but the “what the hell IS that?” response suggested by the anonymous letter X expresses the feelings of all those who view him…] News that Guilala is finally being given a second film after all this time — in Girara-no Gyakushuu Touyaku Samitto Kiki Ippatsu [lit. Guilala’s Counter Attack: the Touyaku Summit One-Shot Crisis], directed by Minoru Kawasaki and due for release later this year — has provoked the most excitement we’ve had in kaiju fan circles since Godzilla’s swansong in 2004.

X from Outer Space cover

Guilala running after the jeep

Guilala wrecking buildings

Guilala pic 3

Guilala 2008

Below is a remodelling of Guilala created by Angel G. Crespo, who used Paint Shop Pro to turn a model of Zilla by Ulf Lundgren into our chickeny friend (source):

Guilala model

A montage of scenes of Guilalanese rampage:

The Japanese trailer (and yes, it looks better in widescreen):

That’s it! Thanks to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery for compiling the list (which he agonised over, I might add).

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15 Responses to Top 20 Craziest Kaiju: Number 1

  1. Avery says:

    Thanks to Rob for helping the whole way through!! It was one hell of a fun ride!!!!

  2. Ken Hulsey says:

    Great list Avery!

    I did want to throw in my own quick list of monsters that didn’t end up on yours.

    These are in no order:

    Magma – The giant walrus from Gorath
    Guiron – The giant buck knife with legs from Attack of the Monsters
    Barugon – Monster with the worst attack ever, the rainbow ray.
    Gappa – The giant turkey monster who protects an island of natives who look like Japanese people covered in shoe polish – also a Gorgo clone film.
    Yog – The giant squid
    A.P.E – The giant Korean King Kong rip-off
    Reptilicus – Almost as bad a monster as the Giant Claw
    Giant Crabs – Attack of the Crab Monsters
    Giant Slugs – The Monster That Challenged The World
    Giant Rabbits – Night of the Lupus
    Giant Ants – Empire of the Ants
    The Fifty Foot Woman – Start the giant breast jokes now

    Those were just some that popped into my mind. I know if I looked harder in my B-movie collection I could find more.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Backbrain says:

    The possibilities are endless! Some of the weirdest kaiju are from Ultraman — but as a TV series it fell outside Avery’s list. That’s just as well, as they pretty well would have taken over completely!

    Just the other day I stumbled upon one I hadn’t been aware of before, from “Godmonster of Indian Flats” (mid 80s, from memory). This one is a giant mutant sheep!

  4. Avery says:

    I know that one=weird!! It’s kind of like the ‘giant mutant sheep’ in “Black Sheep”,but scarier. That’s a really awesome list Ken!! Love the hilarious descriptions…’giant buck knife with legs’..Lol!!

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  8. Arkelao says:

    It’s a honor for me to see my Guilala’s model in this page.
    But i’m not Ulf Lundgren. I modificate his Godzilla model with Paint Shop Pro to make my Guilala.

    Happy New Year.

  9. Backbrain says:

    Arkelao, if you give me your full name I’ll correct that. I was never sure who did the work!

  10. Arkelao says:

    Thanks Robert, but it doesn’t mind.
    The real artist is mr. Lundgren, I only took his work and modificated it givin’ it a new head and some little details with Paint Shop Pro to transform Zilla in Guilala. The worth is for the creator. I’m just an amateur 😉
    Anyway, my name is Angel G. Crespo, but if you correct it, I beg you please to mention that my work is based on Mr. Lungren’s creation.

    Thank you very much. And thank you for that site.


    P.D: Excuse my bad english

  11. Backbrain says:

    How’s that, Angelo?

    And thanks for getting in touch. Don’t apologise for your English. I’m not sure what your native language is (Italian?) — but whatever it is, your English is way better than my command of your language!

  12. Arkelao says:

    I’m from Madrid (Spain), so spanish is my language 😉

    I love Guilala, is one of my favourite kaijus, don’t ask me why, i have no answer. The original Guilala’s film is very very bad, terribly bad but it has something, i don’t know how to explain it in english, maybe some kind of honestity and innocence, and is very funny (without trying to be) that’s because i love it.

    But one day i though: What happen if someone decide to do a serious film with this guy? What could be the monter’s aspect? That’s why i made that Guilala’s concept.
    But today i know that’s a fantasy. I’ts impossibe to do something serious with the character. Guilala’s Counter Attack is maybe the proof of that.


  13. Backbrain says:

    Everyone I know loves Guilala. He may look silly, but tyhat’s the appeal. I think — in the right context — he could be done “seriously”. It probably won’t happen though.

    Meanwhile here is a VERY cute ad using Guilala that I just put up on the Backbrain’s “sister” site, Undead Brainspasm:

  14. Arkelao says:

    lol, it’s very funny, and very well done. The mini-guilalas are cute, lol.

  15. Tim says:

    The contrast between the updated Gualila and the original one is interesting. I like the older one much more, the new one has no imagination and is deeply uninspired, being scrawny and insectoid just like every monster since Alien. It’s really getting old. I think monsters are scarier when they’re a little fat anyway. Monsters don’t need six packs.

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