FIRST APPEARS IN:
Space Amoeba, 1970
– he’s a giant cuttlefish
– yeah… that’s kind of it
SKILLS AND QUIRKS:
– destruction via tentacles
– spreading his alien seed across the ocean
– strangling divers
– terrifying innocent villagers
– essentially all the skills and quirks of a cuttlefish on a larger scale
Ishirō Honda’s Space Amoeba is quite the underrated bit of monster trash. It features a whopping three giant monsters — all introduced in an exceptionally silly title sequence. Though not my favourite of the monster trio, Gezora is generally the monster featured most prominently in poster art. His design is complex, but he is very simple to describe. He is, quite literally, a giant cuttlefish.
Yep. That’s it. He’s a fucking cuttlefish blown up to ludicrous proportions thanks to a mysterious alien… uh… thing that makes some other stuff big too. But Gezora is the first giant thing of Space Amoeba, and it gets the biggest slab of screen time.
Perhaps I’m too easily impressed (I don’t have much trouble ignoring obvious strings and wires), but the I thought Gezora’s design was among the most impressive in the Toho canon. With big wobbly legs, protruding, equally wobbly eyes, and a heck of a lot of action-packed scenes of destruction, I’d imagine Gezora was something of a logistical nightmare. It was, however, worth the effort. Gezora is the lovely blend of cartoonish charm and surprising detail. The movement of his many legs is fluid, and, despite his general goofiness, he doesn’t come across as stiff and awkward as many Toho monsters of the era do.
Gezora joins monsters like Titanosaurous as something of a tragic figure. I’m assuming cuttlefish aren’t particularly aggressive creatures, so it’s safe to say Gezora isn’t getting much joy out of his alien-controlled destruction. Gezora tears the shit through a village, tentacles swatting and squishing everything in sight. His efforts are admirable, and it’s a shame to see him float dead to the bottom of the sea at the film’s halfway point.
Happily, the void left by Gezora is quickly filled by two more excellent monsters, but I’m going to reserve my discussion of them for another post. Space Amoeba is not a well-liked film among kaijū fanatics. I’m not entirely sure why. It’s got a heap of monster action. It’s fast paced and never outstays its welcome. Sure, it’s far from Honda’s best, but I’d take this over several of his more talked about films any day. Check it out, giant monster lovers.