What the Hell Is a Kaiju? 5 Movies That Can Help Explain Pacific Rim

In Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, humanity creates giant fighting robots (dubbed “Jaegers”) to combat an invasion of gargantuan monsters (known as “Kaiju”) that come from under the sea — a larger-than-life war the Pan’s Labyrinth director constructs from the disparate parts of myriad genre predecessors. From the animal-in-the-city mayhem of King Kong and the eighties monsters-smashing-skyscrapers arcade game Rampage, to the cyborg crime-fighting of Robocop, the robo-punching board game Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and the unholy goliaths of At the Mountains of Madness (the H.P. Lovecraft novella that del Toro has long tried to bring to the screen), the film is a brazen and boisterous summer-spectacular hybrid. Yet more than those aforementioned influences, del Toro’s latest is truly the awesome offspring of the following five source materials, which, in their own distinct ways, can all lay claim to having fathered this monster-and-machine blockbuster.



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