Kaijū Menagerie

NAME: Dodongo
Dodongo (ドドンゴ)

Ultraman, Episode 12:
Cry of the Mummy

– awkward-as-fuck wing-arms
– easily emptied eye sockets

– failing to protect a Mummy
– blowing up rocks with laser eyes
– having his eyes shot out
– being ridden like a horse by Ultraman
– being tortured by Ultraman
– dying


“The Cry of the Mummy” is an episode of Ultraman I remember well. That has nothing to do with the subject of this article — its featured giant monster, Dodongo. It’s because of this guy:


Yes, “The Cry of the Mummy” centres on a 7000-year-old Mummy named, rather brilliantly, Mummy Man. Mummy Man comes to life after being dug up and zapped with electricity. As a character notes, this is apparently what people looked like 7000 years ago. Like Duckula, I guess? Mummy Man kills a few people then is quickly dispatched by the Science Patrol. How does a giant monster come into this episode? Well, upon Mummy Man’s (second) death, a giant monster awakes. DODONGO!


I guess Dodongo’s role in life was supposed to be protecting Mummy Man. It probably would have helped if this useless monster woke up when Mummy Man’s grave was initially disturbed. Instead, Dodongo awakes after it’s too late. Mummy Man is dead… again. All Dodongo has left is revenge, which he fucks up royally.


Dodongo is up there with the most awkward monsters in Ultra-history. His design is ludicrous and impressively lazy. He’s essentially one of those two-man horse costumes — just as cheap but with a few extra dragon-esque accessories. Dodongo’s costume must have been a nightmare to wear with his ridiculous wing-arms. Every moment looks painful as Dodongo rocks back and forth, shakily making his way through the set. At one point, he destroys a bridge in a scene that makes me laugh hysterically. With his goofy movements, it looks like a total accident.

Dodongo is very, very quickly dispatched. The Science Patrol shoot out both his eyes in a rare moment of competence, laughingly referring to him as “Zatoichi”. The blinded Dodongo wobbles about, terrified and useless, until Ultraman, totally unnecessarily, shows up and utterly annihilates him. The way Ultraman treats Dodongo is genuinely disturbing. It’s like watching a psychotic child torturing an animal. He even rides him at one point, which is both funny and unsettling.

Dodongo dies a horrible death. He collapses and his four legs twitch in a depressing death throe. His death, like his brief existence, is pathetic and worthless. The Science Patrol seem delighted about his weak demise. Kaijū veteran Akihiko Hirata offers Dodongo and Mummy Man a few post-mortem words of sympathy, then its business as usual for the Science Patrol as they find their next giant monster to slaughter.