Pretty good overview:
I was under the impression that many of them monsters Godzilla fought were not from outer space, but rather, from eggs shaken loose by earthquakes and mutated by nuclear irradiation and stuff. Am I wrong about this?
King Kong did better than Godzilla? What kind of crap is that? King Kong is boring as hell. "Oooh, look at me, I'm a giant monkey! Nobody understands me!"
Godzilla + Jet Jaguar, FTW!
A fair number of Godzilla villains came from outer space (i.e. Gigan, various incarnations of Ghidorah) but others just seemed to be hanging out being worshipped (Mothra, Megalon, giant lobster, etc.). There was at least one created as the result of pollution (the Smog Monster) and another resulting from a really weird scientific experiment (Biollante), too, so apparently there were monsters all over the place. In fact, the only monster that I can think of being the result of radiation is Godzilla, most of the rest of the monsters just seeming to naturally exist in one place or another.
I remember underground eggs hatching. I think some of these "hanging around being worshiped" monsters came from underground eggs shaken up by earthquakes after soaking in irradiated groundwater. Its just that the documentar... I mean movies showing this are either not as popular these days or have been repressed, so you young whipper snappers don't know about them.
An oversized buzzard gets the Number 1 spot over KK and Godzilla? What were they smoking when they tabulated the votes? The Giant Claw and Reptilicus are oversized sock puppets who shouldn't even be MENTIONED in the same breath as King Kong (even if he did have lousy taste in women).
The Giant Claw FTW!
When it comes to cheesy giant movie monsters, nothing beats the giant claw.
"Reptilicus - probably the only Danish monster ever" - thus the narrator reveals himself as an uneducated rube who have never read Beowulf.
Let me see... Gigan is a monster from space. Ghidorah is from space. Spacegodzilla is from space. Mechagodzilla (the first two incarnations) were made by aliens. The last one was made by G-Force from the original Godzilla's skeleton!
Mothra is terrestrial. (The egg worshiped by natives was Mothra's egg). Rhodan is native. Megalon is native -- controlled by the people of Sea-topia who are terrestrial. King Kong is native. Biolante is native.
So it seems that Godzilla fought more terrestrial monsters than alien ones. However, he fought Ghidorah on numerous occasions. On the other hand, I'm not including all of the monsters of Monster Island.
The Giant Claw was in ONE movie. King Kong was in a handful -- and most of them terrible. Godzilla was in 28! Granted they were of varying quality, but the last several were very good. Godzilla is the "King of Monsters" and should be number one!
The effects of radiation in producing monsters has been documented in the Cinema. My personal favorite (although I have forgotten the name of the movie) demonstrated the pernicious effects of tissue preservation using gamma radiation (think "food preservation" currently being debated). In this study, a coelacanth (a "living fossil") was preserved using gamma rays. While the paleontologist was out of the lab, a fly flew in an open window, alit on the fish and dined a little bit. When it flew back out the window, it was one of those 2-foot-wingspan dragonflies from the Carboniferous Period. Then a pussycat wandered in and took a bite, then ran out looking like a German Shepherd with huge fangs. Finally, the paleontologist came back in to examine the coelacanth. While his hand was inside its mouth, the jaw dropped, biting the scientist, causing him to morph into a cave man!
Who says Americans can't learn good science?
"My personal favorite (although I have forgotten the name of the movie) demonstrated the pernicious effects of tissue preservation using gamma radiation (think "food preservation" currently being debated)."
Heaven help me, I actually know that one. It was "Monster on the Campus" (1958). It even has a Wikipedia entry.
I liked that list, and the Giant Claw is too funny to ignore. I really need to see that one. I'm a huge Godzilla fan, so I was disappointed that Big G didn't beat out monkey-boy Kong. Gamera, too, should have been higher. The final Gamera "trilogy" (we're not counting Gamera the Brave) were better than most of the Millenium-era Godzilla films, and Revenge of Iris featured an entirely CG aerial battle between the terrapin and his tentacled opponent. The Millenium Godzilla films were pretty hit or miss. 2000, Mechagodzilla 3, and Tokyo SOS were great. Megaguiras was wierd, as was Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. The final Godzilla movie, Final Wars, was just terrible.
I could go into why, but that would take all night.