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Monday, September 2, 2013

CREATURE FEATURE : Kamacuras


Kamacuras (カマキラス, Kamakirasu) is a giant mantis (sometimes a species of mantis) that first appeared in the film Son of Godzilla.


History
Showa Series
Son of Godzilla
When a United Nations weather control experiment on the Solgell Island accidentally caused a radioactive storm in 1967, the island was doused in a radioactive rainstorm that caused at least three of the island’s already two-meter-long praying mantis' to mutate into 50-meter monsters. After scaring the United Nations crew for a while, the Kamacuras uncovered and attacked Minilla's egg, breaking it open and then proceeding to try and devour the young monster. Godzilla, hearing the cries of Minilla, arrived on the island and quickly killed two of the Kamacuras with his radioactive heat ray, but one managed to escape. Later, Kumonga, the giant spider, killed the third Kamacuras in battle when he entangled the giant mantis in his webbing and jabbed it with his poison stinger.

All Monsters Attack
The monsters also makes a breif appearance in All Monsters Attack, as a small pack of them attack Godzilla, only to be killed quickly and easily by the King of Monsters (along with Kumonga, Ebirah, Giant Condor, and a few fighter jets). Of course, this is all in the mind of young Ichiro.


Godzilla vs. Gigan
Thought to have been wiped out by Kumonga on Solgell Island, a Kamacuras later turned up on Ogasawara Island, living in peace with the other monsters.

Godzilla Island Series
Aside from Kamacuras' big screen appearences, the monster mantis also made an appearence in the 12th Story Arc of the television show Godzilla Island (1997-1998). In the story, Kamacuras arives on the island under false pretenses, claiming to have escaped from an ever growing "100 Monster Army" being assembled by the Xilian alians. However, Kamacuras is already a part of that army (which consists of only two monsters) and has arived to set a trap for Godzilla and recruit the island's heroic monsters into the evil army. Ultimatly, Kamacuras fails and flees the island, never to be heared from again.


Millennium series
Godzilla: Final Wars
In the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars, Kamacuras made an appearance as one of the many controlled monsters of a race of superior extraterrestrial beings known as the Xilians. It attacks Paris and is soon confronted by the indomitable warship known as the Ecalir; the two proceed to have a heart-racing clash against one another, but soon, the giant manits is teleported away by an enormous UFO to make it seem as if the Xilians eliminated every monster. Eventually, it is discovered that the Xiliens were controlling the the monster, who are returned to finish their rampages. The city of Paris is destroyed by the combined forces of the Xilien ships and Kamacuras. Then, Godzilla is released from his subzero prison and he soon eliminates Gigan in Antarctica, Zilla in Sydney and Kumonga in Arizona. Godzilla soon reaches the shores of Kanto, Japan, where the Xiliens place Kamacuras to battle against the nuclear menace. Ready to do battle from a nearby bridge, the structure is, however, destroyed by the tidal waves advancing in front of Godzilla. The giant mantis quickly flies off, and disguises itself by matching the appearance of the hillside. The King of the Monsters is unfazed by the trick, and nukes the hillside to smoke out the large insect. Kamacuras, left with no other choice, leaps forth, just in time to dodge Godzilla's ray, and readies itself to engage its opponent in close combat. However, Godzilla easily throws the giant mantis away, causing the creature to tumble backwards and fall onto an electrical transmission tower. The tower pierces through the creature's exoskeleton, as its eyes begin to dim and death overtakes it. Godzilla then proceeds to walk away in triumph to face his next challenge.


Powers and abilities
As a giant mantis, Kamacuras has all the natural abilities a normal praying mantis would have, such as flight and spiked claws. In the film Godzilla: Final Wars, Kamacuras is shown with a new deadly ability: the power to alter its natural color, thus allowing Kamacuras to camouflage and blend in with its surroundings, waiting to ambush its unwary opponent.


Filmography
Son of Godzilla
All Monsters Attack
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla Island
Godzilla: Final Wars


Video Game Appearances
Kaiju-Oh Godzilla
Godzilla Trading Battle


Trivia
The original Kamacuras created by Teisho Arikawa for Son of Godzilla were marionetts opperated by overhead wires (the same effects were also used for the monsters Kumonga and the infant Minilla).  The effects stand out as some of the best in the Showa series.
A videogame called "War Of The Monsters" has a monster named Preytor who clearly resembles Kamacuras.
Kamacuras was considered for Godzilla: Unleashed, but was dropped due to his similarities to the character Preytor in the game War Of The Monsters.
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