Ah, the endless struggle between pacific rim robot and monster. We’ve learned a lot in our series on this conflict so far (refer to our first and second installations of monster vs. robot recommendations). Here to school us further is Brandon Zuern, Pacific Rim fan and manager of Austin Books and Comics, consistenly named one of the best comic book stores in the nation, and Guzu Gallery, an Austin gem where low art, haute toys, and music collide.
Pacific Rim comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today. While you’re picking it up, look for these five other classics on Brandon’s list:
1. Godzilla vs. Megalon
I’m not going to say Godzilla vs. Megalon is a great movie. But it’s the perfect kind of ridiculous. A human-created mindless robot with an eerie grin named Jet Jaguar is used by an undersea civilization to begin a war with surface-dwellers. The humans eventually regain control of Jet Jaguar and solicit Godzilla to battle against buggy zapper Megalon and buzzsaw-bellied monster Gigan. It’s not exactly a Godzilla highlight, but it is proof that robots and monsters can be allies as well as enemies.
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2. Robot Jox
I’m surprised more people haven’t talked about Robot Jox, the 1990 film about human-piloted robot gladiators used to settle international conflict in a post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s a bit of a cult film, but I suspect it will be completely forgotten now that Pacific Rim exists. But I’ll always fist-bump with the other five Robot Jox fans.
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3. Transformers: The Movie
At eight years old, I watched heroes and legends die in a brutal battle not 15 minutes into Transformers: The Movie. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so shocked since watching Optimus Prime gray out. The animated feature is the only Transformers movie, by the way. Michael Bay can use the names, but that’s the only resemblance.
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4. The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy
Lest we mistakenly assume automatons against monsters is a purely Japanese concept, The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy is a Mexican-made film from the 1950s. It’s pretty dull—unless you watch the version that aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000. If so, you get a more subtle battle of wits with robots against a monster that has plagued us throughout film history: bad movies.
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5. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
“Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is a much better example, and one of my favorites, of the King of Monsters’ long history. You’ve got an imposter Godzilla, which is quickly revealed to be a robotic version—it’s Mechagodzilla’s introduction. You’ve got a protector monster based on the legend of the Shisa, a cameo from overgrown Ankylosaurus Anguirus, and an alien race of cigar-chomping apeman shapeshifters with ape belt buckles. What’s not to love?”
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