Kaijū Menagerie

NAME: Spider Monster
Spider Monster (蜘蛛怪)

The Super Inframan, 1975

– three spider-eyes
– awesome facial and body hair
– wobbly useless arms
– a bargain bin aesthetic

– web-bombing motherfuckers
– growing big
– martial arts
– getting squished


I’m not going to lie to you. This article is an excuse to tell you to watch The Super Inframan (or, as its Chinese title literally translates, Chinese Superman). The Super Inframan is a Shaw Brothers cash-in on tokusatsu shows like Ultraman and Kamen Rider, and it is glorious. Out of the menagerie of silly monsters it presents, I’d prefer to be talking about Mutant Drill rather than the subject of this article (sorry, Spider Monster). Mutant Drill cackles and postures his way through the film. At one point he hangs out in a speedboat, which leads to what could be my all time favourite shot in any film ever:

Spider Monster

Sadly, Mutant Drill doesn’t turn into a giant monster and I don’t want to break with the dai-size traditions of this recurring article. Instead, I’m discussing the inventively titled Spider Monster. Spider Monster, though not as entertaining as some of his antagonistic rubbery pals, is still pretty great. He an pudgy buffoon who frantically zooms through sets shooting off web-bombs, encasing the film’s heroes in sticky web, and martial-art-chopping everyone in sight.

Spider Monster

In a final bid for domination and survival, he grows to giant size. His size is matched by the film’s titular hero, Super Inframan aka Chinese Superman, and a battle ensues. The giant-sized fight is very much short-lived (not to mention the only giant-sized fight the film offers), and Spider Monster finds himself meeting an ironic and humiliating end as he is squashed like the piece of shit insect he is. Spider Monster spends all of a minute and a half as a daikaijū.

The Super Inframan is an absolute must-see for both kaijū and Shaw Brothers fans. It joyfully apes Japanese tokusatsu television throwing in some outrageous Hong Kong martial arts fun for good measure. It manages to muster the energy of the fight scenes in an episode of Kikaida and holds onto that madcap lunacy for its entire feature length running time. Spider Monster included, The Super Inframan is bursting at the seams with silly monster suits. Throw in insane sets, fiery pits, lasers, robots and back flips, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a good time. See this!