Height: 35 Meters (114 Feet)
Mass: 8,000 Tons
Premiered in: King Kong Escapes (1967)
Admittedly, Gorosaurus did not premiere in the film Destroy All Monsters but of those present in it, he is one of the “youngest” monsters to appear on the silver screen, and one of the decidedly odder choices for many reasons. The first and foremost reason of them all though is that, much like the kaiju Anguirus prior to his update in Godzilla Final Wars, Gorosaurus is, relatively speaking, a normal if incredibly oversized dinosaur. He possesses no powers or abilities that make him distinct from any other dinosaurian save for a distinctive attack unique either to himself as an individual or as a species.
This attack being of course the infamous “kangaroo kick,” which is exactly as it sounds. Gorosaurus falls back onto his tail and slams both feet forward in a devastating kick to his opponent, which in the case of King Ghidorah, sent the three-headed monster flat onto all of his faces. Of course, against his sworn enemy King Kong, it made the ape more angry than injured and resulted in Gorosaurus having his jaw broken as a result of earning the Eighth Wonder’s ire.
Of course, back at the time, both Gorosaurus and King Kong were of a much smaller stature than what they eventually grew into when they encountered the King of Monsters. In point of fact, given the slight variation in Gorosaurus’ vocalization between his premiere film and Destroy All Monsters, it is quite likely that he and Kong both were mere adolescents at the time and that his full stature of 35 meters is his maximum height.
Also, to put an end to a surprisingly popular misconception, Gorosaurus cannot burrow underground. The scene that depicts him doing as such in Paris was an unintentional scene as, originally, Baragon was intended to be the one attack the Arc de Triumph but the film crew realized too late that the original suit was too badly damaged to be used and still depict the character properly. As such, Gorosaurus was stuck in and the “flubbed” line of Baragon was utilized in the dub version to further insist the fact that not one but two kaiju were attacking France.
Moving on towards the origins of Gorosaurus let me first speak of his name and the reasoning behind it. To put it simply, there is none, at least not on any official record. Debate amongst the fans differ but the most common idea is that Gorosaurus was derived from the Japanese word gorogoro which translates to “thunder” thus making his name, in essence, “Thunder Lizard.”
The other is that it is an intentional misspelling of the name Gorgosaurus, a species of dinosaur that likely helped originate the concept of Gorosaurus as early skeletal renditions were of the atypical, and incredibly incorrect, upright posture that many theropods dinosaurs were known for back in the day.
As to the actual origin behind Gorosaurus in the films, not much is said of it beyond the idea that Gorosaurus, much like Anguirus, is likely a species of evolved dinosaur that managed to survive the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Like Anguirus is similar to species of ankylosaur, Gorosaurus bears a strong resemblance to the allosaurid family and may even be a direct descendent of the Allosaurus species.
Character wise, there’s not much to say of Gorosaurus. He is a predator, of that there can be no doubt or question, and has shown a penchant for preferring weaker prey via his attempt at eating humans prior to Kong’s intervention. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Gorosaurus is a coward or a weakling by any means.
He has gone toe to claw with the likes of King freaking Kong, arguably the first true kaiju that the world has ever seen, and had even combatted, and won, against the likes of King Ghidorah. Sure, he had help from a lot of other monsters, mostly Godzilla and Anguirus, but he actually managed to knock King Ghidorah off his feet, a feat no other kaiju had succeeded in with the same ease as Gorosaurus did.
Of course, rather than facing King Ghidorah directly as Anguirus and Godzilla did, Gorosaurus opted to biting down upon one of King Ghidorah’s two tails but still, to his credit, a pain in the tail seems to be an inherent weakness in all kaiju as Godzilla himself has demonstrated more than once in several incarnations.
If such a creature as Gorosaurus were to appear in our world, I have little to no doubt that he would easily be killed, if not hopefully corralled. He is an animal but one that, for reasons that I really can’t explain, I like amongst the many “lesser known” kaiju of the Showa era of Godzilla films.
Maybe it’s his distinctive design that tickles at my childhood memory of dinosaurs, wrong posture and all. Perhaps it’s just how he has been portrayed more recently in the brilliant works of Matt Frank and IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth comic series. Either way, I can’t help but like the big lug and I hope, sincerely and truly, that there is a chance of further inclusion with him in any future Godzilla media.