Barugon's Icy Domain
Something I've had in cold storage for a long while (pun intended), which I've only recently finished, and just in time for my Annual Halloween Uploads
Awe, Halloween - the only time of the year where little children have power to vanquish evil spirits through simple joy and laughter, as opposed to the rest of the church-supported calendar, where apparently the Devil is invincible, and there's not a blessed thing we mere mortals can do about it!
Sorry for that cynical bit of satire, but it's kind of true. Anyway, this is my rendition of Barugon, the title antagonist from 1966's "Gamera vs Barugon"
(AKA "War of the Monsters"
Not to be mistaken with Toho Studios' floppy eared burrowing dinosaur BarAgon
(from "Frankenstein Conquers the World"
and "GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack"
(or Balgon in some circles) was the first adversary of the giant fire-breathing turtle, and would set the bar for the enemy monsters to follow in the Gamera franchise.
Insane creatures with very non-humanoid designs, and an even crazier array of almost mechanical, but otherwise organic body weaponry and powers.
The latest addition in a long lineage of jungle dwelling demons, Barugon was a feared evil of a South Seas island, whose native inhabitants have always been able to slay the monsters upon every rare generation. However in modern times, a group of Japanese treasure hunters come to the island, and mistaking the opal-like egg of Barugon for an actual opal, foolishly takes the unborn demon back to civilization.
On the way there, the egg is exposed to the unnatural heat of an infrared lamp, causing the newly hatched Barugon to quickly mutate into a bigger, far more dangerous version of its already terrible species.
The gigantic adult Barugon appears in Kobe Harbor, and proceeds on a nearly endless rampage across Japan. Fatally freezing hundreds of hapless victims with his icy breath, and knocking down tall buildings with its powerful chameleon-like tongue.
And the ability to project a devastating rainbow-beam from his dorsal plates, which fries anything and anyone, unluckily enough to stand within its kill-zone.
, having return from his brief imprisonment in space, has great difficulty in fighting Barugon. And ends up being frozen by the demon for the majority of the movie (it really was a Barugon vehicle after all).
Ultimately, the Japanese military succeeds with a mirror-based method to physically handicap Barugon with its own rainbow beam. And its Barugon's secret weakness to water that finally ends the villain's reign, as the newly freed Gamera sinks his tusks into the demon's neck during their climactic conflict, and drags Barugon to its doom beneath a lake.
Although this was Barugon's only true film appearance, it did return by the magic of stock-footage in the disjointed, possibly non-cannon 1980 film "Super Monster Gamera"
, as the last of evil alien Zanon's monstrous champions (the others also being stock footage of past Gamera foes).
Barugon was than given a modern re-imagining in manga (Japanese comic) form in 2003, retelling the film's original tale by setting it between the events of "Gamera 2: Advent of Legion"
(1996), and "Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris"
And than there was also Zedus
; a gluttonous, if not downright mean-spirited, sea monster from 2005's Gamera the Brave
, who shares a number of similarities with Barugon; most notably a long extending tongue, and crocodilian / lizard shaped body. But beyond this, and for the most part, Zedus is his own original character.
For the majority of my life, my only exposure to "Gamera vs. Barugon"
was the shoddy Sandy Frank version of the film, released by Celebrity Home Video in the early 1990's.
Because of the full-screen pan and scan, among other factors (like the movie itself taking place largely at night), I've always assumed that Barugon was dark Navy Blue in skin color. Only recently, thanks to Shout Factory's recent re-mastered DVD, with the Japanese version intact, do I now know that Barugon's a rather dull Pale Brown instead.
'Screw that' I said to myself, and decided to do a purely nighttime scene, based on the evil Barugon of my childhood, whose brief conquest the city of Osaka was a Winter Wonderland...OF DEATH!
I was going to add the infamous rainbow beam (hence such a wide skyline above), but it clashed with the cool icy colors and related elements of the illustration, so I gladly left it out.
I'm a rather sensitive soul who feels bad for fictional victims in monster movies, but I really want to display the terrible power of giant monsters, and what better way for Barugon than some frozen, sacrificial subjects littering the streets around it. I hope horror fans, even if they're not particularly Kaiju Eiga fans, will get a kick out of this morbid tidbit, along with the rest of you guys.Related Images:"Barugon's Icy Domain"
ended up being my first published submission to the magazine "G-Fan"
. And the following (I hope) will be the second:NEXT UP IN THE HALLOWEEN 2010 UPLOADS:
'Guilty! Guilty! My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!'