Kaijū Menagerie

NAME: Jiger
Jiger (ジャイガ Jaigā)

Gamera vs. Jiger, 1970

– triceratops-inspired design
– bulbous head
– a stoned facial expression

– impregnating Gamera
– flight
– firing inner-body darts
– molecule shattering death ray
– serious issues with specific audio wavelengths


You know from the moment Jiger dredges her fucked up body from the earth that she is going to be a creep. Jiger even gives Dada a run for his money as biggest creep in the Kaijū Menagerie. In Gamera vs. Jiger, Jiger does something to Gamera that is the worst thing I’ve ever seen a giant monster do to another giant monster. That includes the time Mechagodzilla abused Anguirus’s jaw.

I’ll come back to Jiger’s questionable behaviour. First, let’s talk about her design and abilities as a monster — on both accounts, Jiger is a mess. Her face is rather terrifying when she first appears from underground, but once we see her body in its entirety she looks like a goofy triceratops with a bulbous head. She can fly through projectile jets on the back of her head and she shoots deadly projectile quills from her body. She also has a death ray that turns people into skeletons.

But it’s Jiger’s disturbing reproductive abilities that had me gawping like a loon. In the middle of a monster battle, with Gamera balancing on top of his foe, a needle-like stinger appears from Jiger’s tail. She sinks her stinger into Gamera’s spongy flesh. Gamera is rendered unconscious and we learn that Jiger has implanted her offspring inside Gamera! The film’s scientists explain this rather simple concept through repulsive archival footage featuring parasitic worms spilling from a spliced open and infected trunk of an elephant. Uh, what the fuck, Gamera vs. Jiger? This is a movie for children, right?

Later in the film, the two heroic kids navigate a submarine into Gamera’s body (yep), walk around for a bit, and come across a baby Jiger (clearly just regular Jiger without help from miniatures). Baby Jiger shoots a sticky jizz-like substance. In retaliation, the kids murder Jiger’s parasitic spawn using a walkie talkie.

Gamera dispatches Jiger in an unceremonious manner — her head is impaled with a statue — and Jiger is no more and would never been seen again. It’s probably for the best. Like most Gamera monsters and even the likes of King Caesar and Hedorah who only made minor returns in later Godzilla films, part of Jiger’s appeal is her bizarre, singular screen appearance. Did I mention she is also a creep?