It’s almost Halloween, and that means monsters, monsters, and more monsters! And there aren’t more monsters than in tokusatsu shows. Heck, most of them come up with a new one every episode!
But are toku monsters scary enough for Halloween. Most times, no. They usually get pretty silly. But for every dozen or so lipstick mutants and doughy dinosaurs, there are a few that carry legit spook factor. Here are just a few toku monsters to give you the creeps this Halloween!
Mummy Man – Ultraman
When has bringing a mummy home from a dig EVER been a good idea? Especially when your mummy has a horrible droopy jackal face like this one. This 7,000 year old laser-eyed beastie was excavated by the Science Patrol and promptly went on a killing spree.
Sadly, the Mummy Man was killed by the Science Patrol before he could have a fight with series hero Ultraman. But not before summoning his doofy horse monster Dodongo from his tomb. Despite the rodeo antics of that fight, this episode is best remembered for the super creepy murders of the Mummy Man.
Gaohm – Juukou B-Fighter
Fighting an inter dimensional war against a bunch of bug-armored youngsters? If you’re not doing it dressed like this, you’re not doing it right! Gaohm, leader of the Jamahl and nemesis to Juukou B-Fighter, is creepy in a way that I can’t quite pin down. There’s something about his face that gives me the shivers.
Of course, there’s also the way his giant clawed hand shoots out of storm clouds to grab you and pull you into the Gaohm Zone, his own personal chaos dimension. Not to mention that he later appears as an enormous emaciated torso floating in space like some kind of Lovecraftian leviathan. Man, this dude was way less creepy on Beetleborgs…
Great Leader of Shocker – Kamen Rider
Sometimes, all it takes is one solid moment to make a statement of horror. Case in point, the Great Leader of Shocker from 1971’s Kamen Rider. The Great Leader spent 97 episodes as a faceless voice coming out of an intercom. But when the Riders finally met him in person in episode 98, that three minutes of screen time was absolutely bone-chilling.
There’s no climactic final fight, no heroic victory. There’s not even any music, just deep satanic laughter as the Leader is unmasked. We only get to see his true face for a few seconds before he self-destructs his own base and even then, we never find out just what he was. An alien? A demon? A science experiment gone wrong? Who knows? The Great Leader would return in several different forms (such as a big skeleton, a dragon, and a giant rock man), but none would be as horrific as his first.
Haru – Garo
All the monsters from 2005’s adult toku Garo are pretty scary (they’re literally called Horrors, after all). But none have quite as much creep factor as Haru. She looks pretty scary for a mermaid-like fish monster, but it’s the way that she hunts that makes her so creepy. Since she’s a fish thing, she can’t actually leave her tank to eat humans. So instead, she charms a lonely guy into hunting for her, luring people to their dooms and feeding them to Haru, Little Shop Of Horrors style.
Sure, it’s not as dynamic as how some of the Horrors kill. No syringe tentacles or toothy watches or flying limbs. But having a normal guy corner you in a dark room with a box cutter, all while this gross thing watches hungrily from a big murky tank? That’s true horror.
Dada – Ultraman
I know, I know. Yes, he looks like a big tiki wearing a zebra-print leotard. And yes, he’s doing the Burt Reynolds sexy pose. But looks aren’t everything! Dada is being from a parallel dimension on a hunt for six human test subjects. And if this thing is chasing you, you’d better say some prayers because it’s probably going to catch you. Dada can walk through walls, teleport, and change its size at will.
But Dada’s creepiest ability is that it’s face is constantly transforming. Initially, this was done to trick its prey into thinking there are three of its kind chasing them. Once it gets hurt by Ultraman, though, it starts changing its face every few seconds. There’s something disorienting and disturbing about being chased by something like that. Its awful guttural roar doesn’t help.
Spider Woman – Kamen Rider ZO
No, this isn’t Jessica Drew from Marvel comics. This is much, much worse. The Spider Woman was one of the minions of the Neo Organism from 1993’s Kamen Rider ZO. Appearing as a small spider, she would ensnare her victims by transporting them into an alternate world full of webs and Greek columns. There, she could assume her true form: a skeletal drider with teeth for days.
Designed by the same artist as Garo’s Horrors, the Spider Woman is easily the scariest of the Neo Organism’s pets. And we’re talking about a movie with a bat monster that does the Pale Man’s eyes-in-his-palms gimmick from Pan’s Labyrinth. She was rendered both by animatronics and stop-motion, making her one of the most inhuman and creepy of all tokusatsu monsters.
What was the creepiest creature you ever saw in a toku? Let us know here at Nerdbot in the comments!