Kaiju City Stompby hkakatsakis | created - 27 Nov 2011 | updated - 27 Jan 2012 | Public
This is a list of what I believe to be the best giant monster movies in order. Just because it's a kaiju doesn't mean it needs to be Japanese. As long as there is an enormous monster destroying buildings or fighting other giant monsters, it qualifies, IMO.
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1. King Kong (1933)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
Votes: 69,679 | Gross: $10.00M
Willis O'Brien's masterpiece. It was the movie that started the genre.
2. Gojira (1954)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.
Votes: 21,759 | Gross: $2.42M
The King. Nuff said.
3. Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (1996)
Not Rated | 99 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy
A meteor shower carries hostile insectoid creatures to Japan, where they rapidly reproduce.
The best of the modern Gamera trilogy. The advent of Legion.
4. Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen (1995)
Unrated | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A hibernating species of giant carnivorous bird is awakened on a Japanese island shortly after the Japanese military encounters an unidentified mass moving beneath the water off-shore.
This one started Shûsuke Kaneko's reign as the best kaiju director from the last two decades.
5. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
Approved | 80 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.
Votes: 5,469 | Gross: $5.00M
The first American Kaiju after Kong. One of Harryhausen's first films on his own.
6. Cloverfield (2008)
PG-13 | 85 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.
Votes: 324,146 | Gross: $80.05M
Even with it's shortcomings, Cloverfield is a very well made Kaiju film.
7. Them! (1954)
Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.
The quintessential Atomic age giant monster movie.
Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Three ancient guardian beasts awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla.
Shûsuke Kaneko's take on the Godzilla universe. This time King Ghidora is a good guy.
9. King Kong (2005)
PG-13 | 187 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
Votes: 345,358 | Gross: $218.08M
Too long, but the depth with which Kong is portrayed is awesome.
10. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
Unrated | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.
This movie makes you realize what a bad ass Mothra is.
11. Monsters (2010)
R | 94 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion, a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. border.
Votes: 81,264 | Gross: $0.24M
Kind of slow for a giant monster movie, but well done none the less.
12. Rodan (1956)
Unrated | 74 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.
Votes: 3,390 | Gross: $0.50M
The Meganulon are creepy. And as a follow up to Godzilla it takes the material seriously, even with the shortcomings of the special effects at the time.
13. The Giant Behemoth (1959)
Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Marine atomic tests cause changes in the ocean's ecosystem resulting in dangerous blobs of radiation and the resurrection of a dormant dinosaur that threatens London.
Awesome Willis O'Brien stop motion effects with a really cool monster. Classic Kaiju action, in an American, British collaborative film.
14. Gamera the Brave (2006)
96 min | Action, Adventure, Family
In 1973, Gamera sacrifices his life to rid the world of the Gyaos once and for all. Thirty-three years later, a small boy, whose father witnessed the 1973 event, named Toru finds a ... See full summary »
Really well done Gamera film. It kind of turns the mythology on it's ear, but with 9/11 overtones and a realistic way of dealing with giant monsters, this is a solid kaiju entry.
15. King Kong (1976)
PG | 134 min | Adventure, Horror
A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.
Votes: 25,494 | Gross: $52.61M
A personal favorite. Saw it in the theater at a very early age. The soundtrack is amazing. And it's one of the Dude's early starring roles. I also always thought Rick Baker's make-up effects were super realistic. Best Kong roar on film.
16. Destroy All Monsters (1968)
G | 88 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Female aliens take control of Earth's monsters and begin using them to destroy the human race.
My favorite Godzilla film just cause it has all the monsters in it and it has a kick ass soundtrack.
17. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
G | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.
The coolest of all the Godzilla movies. Cleanest production design and creature effects. The height of the showa era.
18. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
Approved | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.
Votes: 6,214 | Gross: $2.73M
The main event.
19. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)
Not Rated | 108 min | Action, Drama, Family
In a small Japanese village, a young woman discovers the means for her revenge, while Gyaos birds are sighted around the world and humankind debates Gamera's allegiance.
Not as good as the first two, but consistent in quality.
20. Mothra (1961)
Passed | 101 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »
The birth of Toho's second mega star. If you think about it, Mothra is a bit like Jesus Christ. She defends and loves humanity unconditionally, and she dies and is reborn every movie. Just don't mess with the twins.
21. Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)
Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Family, Sci-Fi
After the appearance of a new Gojira (Godzilla), the Japanese government builds a robotic Godzilla from the bones of the original monster that attacked TÃf'kyÃf' in 1954 to stop the beast.
A really cool, well done rebooting of the mechaGodzilla mythos.
PG | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
One year after the fight between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla, the two monsters along with Mothra face off in a conclusive battle royale.
The millenium movies are in general superior in quality, definitely to the Hensei era.
23. 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
Approved | 82 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi
The first U.S. spaceship to Venus crash-lands off the coast of Sicily on its return trip. A dangerous, lizard-like creature comes with it and quickly grows gigantic.
Kind of like the 50s version of Cloverfield. A Harryhausen classic with a very unique monster which has overtones of the cyclops from 7th Voyage.
24. Daimajin (1966)
Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A giant stone statue comes to life to protect the residents of a small town against the depradations of an evil warlord.
The Samurai era Daikaiju. Boy it always took him forever to wake up.
25. The Black Scorpion (1957)
Approved | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Volcanic activity frees giant scorpions from the earth who wreak havoc in the rural countryside and eventually threaten Mexico City.
This is a really cool movie. One of Willis O'Brien's last films. Lots of unique giant insects in this one with awesome stop motion.
26. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Not Rated | 85 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.
The birth of the other King. These first set of Showa films were all quality. The first time Godzilla and Rodan became good guys after a talking to by Mothra.
27. Gorgo (1961)
Unrated | 78 min | Action, Drama, Horror
Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard off the coast of Ireland and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up.
A proper British Godzilla. With a little kid, so it also has aspects of Gamera. Pretty cool scenes of London being destroyed.
28. The Lost World (1925)
Unrated | 106 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.
Votes: 3,742 | Gross: $0.55M
Willis O'Brien's first Hollywood feature was the very first daikaiju when the brontosaurus rampages through the city.
29. Godzilla 2000 (1999)
PG | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Godzilla saves Tokyo from a flying saucer that transforms into the beast Orga.
Votes: 6,098 | Gross: $10.04M
The first of the millenium series. Not as good as some of the others, but still far more creative than it's 90s predecessors.
30. It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Approved | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.
Harryhausen's giant octopus movie. That's a big frickin octopus and as always his stop motion makes even these older films kick ass.
31. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Japan creates an artificial black hole device to trap Godzilla forever, but a test of the device creates new foes for Godzilla, car-sized dragonflies called meganula and their queen, Megaguirus.
Another well done millenium movie. Megaguirus was awesome cause it was different, was a tie in to the original Rodan and it was Godzilla's quickest enemy to date.
32. Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
Unrated | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
During WWII, a human heart taken from a certain lab in Europe (Dr. Frankenstein's) is kept in a Japanese lab, when it gets exposed to the radiation of the bombing of Hiroshima. The heart ... See full summary »
Japanese giant Frankenstein's monster. Way to think outside the box, and the introduction of Baragon on top of that.
33. Gojira tai Hedora (1971)
PG | 85 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
From Earth's pollution a new monster is spawned. Hedorah, the smog monster, destroys Japan and fights Godzilla while spewing his poisonous gas to further the damage.
The one and only real message Godzilla movie. Save the Earth is right. Not the greatest film, but you gotta give it props for groovy visuals and a messed up monster.
34. King Kong Escapes (1967)
G | 96 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.
I always liked the Japanese King Kong. This one was quick and acrobatic. I especially liked how it would just pound things into submission. Also the first use of mecha was not Godzilla, it was Kong.
35. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
PG | 104 min | Action, Drama, Horror
After rising from his volcanic grave, Godzilla is threatened by a mutated rosebush.
I believe the best of a week Hensei era. Biollante the only plant monster Godzilla fought which added a very interesting dynamic.
36. Gojira: Fainaru uôzu (2004)
PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Godzilla's fiftieth Anniversary project, in which Godzilla travels around the world to fight his old foes plus a new, mysterious monster named Monster X.
This was just an orgy for Kaiju fans.
37. The War of the Gargantuas (1966)
G | 92 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
An experimental lab animal called a gargantua escapes from his captors and is suspected to be the creature that is killing people all over the countryside. But when the gargantua from the ... See full summary »
How can anyone resist a diakaiju movie with Russ Tamblyn.
38. Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
Approved | 78 min | Action, Adventure, Family
Godzilla battles an irradiated Ankylosaur and destroys Osaka in the process.
A bit slow and not enough monsters, but Godzilla against Angurus old school.
39. The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)
Approved | 80 min | Sci-Fi
Lt. Col. Glenn Manning is inadvertently exposed to a plutonium bomb blast at Camp Desert Rock. Though burned over 90% of his body, he survives, and begins to grow in size. As he grows, his ... See full summary »
This and the 50 foot woman were the only giant human Kaiju movies. This one took itself seriously. The pathos was real. How lonely would it be to grow that big and become a monster?
40. Uchû daikaijû Dogora (1964)
83 min | Crime, Sci-Fi
The Earth is attacked by a giant jellyfish monster from outer space that, for some reason, has a sweet tooth for diamonds.
Giant space jellyfish. With gangsters. Part of the height of the Kaiju movie era with a trippy twist.
41. Daikaijû kettô: Gamera tai Barugon (1966)
106 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A giant monster that emits a destructive ray from its back attacks Japan and takes on Gamera.
The one and only Showa Gamera without a kid. Betrayal. Intrigue. An opal from a native island that turns into a giant monster. I always liked how Gamera got his ass kicked every movie only to somehow pull it through.
42. Daikyojû Gappa (1967)
Unrated | 90 min | Comedy, Family, Horror
An expedition in the South Pacific lands on a tropical island where the natives worship the mysterious deity Gappa. An earthquake opens up an underground cavern and a baby reptile is ... See full summary »
The interior of the cave was weird. It always made these creatures look a lot smaller, then all the sudden they were 100 feet tall. This one's for the family. The Gappa were pretty bad ass. These were actually released straight to syndicated TV in the US. I remember those weeks when ABC showed kaiju films after school.
43. Dragon Wars: D-War (2007)
PG-13 | 90 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy
Based on the Korean legend, unknown creatures will return and devastate the planet. Reporter Ethan Kendrick is called in to investigate the matter, and he arrives at the conclusion that a ... See full summary »
Votes: 22,146 | Gross: $10.98M
Gotta love LA being destroyed. This definitely had it's short comings, but it did have some pretty cool visuals.
44. Space Amoeba (1970)
G | 84 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
A space probe is infiltrated by alien beings and then crashes on a remote Pacific atoll. A group planning to build a resort hotel land on the island and discover it to be inhabited by giant... See full summary »
A giant turtle, Octopus and crab walk into a bar. I remember seeing this and expecting a monster from space, but got giant sea creatures on a tropical island.
45. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
PG | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Family
A man begins to suspect that something is wrong about his employers; meanwhile, Godzilla and Anguirus are alerted to something strange going on.
Another personal favorite at the end of the Showa era. The 70s Godzillas were decidedly inferior to the 60s, but Gigan is a bad ass and space cockroaches who could bring both Gigan and King Gidorah down on our ass...are also bad ass. AND Angurus plays Robin to Godzilla's Batman. All my favorite creatures in one movie.
46. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
PG | 84 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
Apelike aliens build a robotic Godzilla to destroy Japan, and the true Godzilla may not be powerful enough to destroy it.
Four major creatures. Anything with Angurus is killer. MechaGodzilla has become a mainstay and King Cezar is the only other mammal in the Toho cannon other than Kong.
47. Daikaijû kûchûsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu (1967)
87 min | Action, Adventure, Family
A gigantic bat emerges from a volcano to terrorize Japan and only one thing can stop it...Gamera!
The introduction of Gyaos in the Showa era Gamera. With the kids and the poor quality these Gamera movies are more nostalgic, but hey it's Gamera.
48. The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Approved | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A giant prehistoric praying mantis, recently freed from the Arctic ice, voraciously preys on American military at the DEW Line and works its way south.
Praying Mantises are cool. A 200 foot long praying mantis is extra cool.
49. Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)
G | 80 min | Sci-Fi, Horror
Earthquakes in central Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric gasoline-eating reptile that soon goes on a rampage through Seoul.
Props to the lone Korean Daikaiju on the list.