Know Your Kaiju: Preparing For The 'Pacific Rim' Giant Monster Invasion

Note: This post was previously published in December 2012.

We're all pretty excited about what Guillermo Del Toro's cooking up with next July's "Pacific Rim," particularly when it comes to the giant beasts he'll be throwing at Idris Elba's crew of armored heroes.

With that in mind, we thought we'd run down a list of the types of building-sized terrors that you might expect to see in the film (along with a few you definitely won't).

The allegorical horror

As seen in: "The Host," "Godzilla," "King Kong," "Mighty Joe Young," "Monsters"

Born in a blast of nuclear energy, or simply risen from a sludge of toxic waste, or maybe they're just like us and trying to find love in the world. These are the creatures that stomp, smash, and destroy not just because of us, but because in some way, they are us.

What if the giant, trans-dimensional beasties in "Pacific Rim" are somehow the result of our environmental overreach? Maybe some undersea nuclear testing cracked something open? Maybe they're not fighting our robots--maybe they just want a hug.

The friend to humanity

As seen in: "Gamera" Trilogy, "Rebirth of Mothra"

Okay, I can't see any of these city smashers teaming up with a Japanese kid in short shorts to save us all, but who knows? These gentle (well, so much gentle as "not malevolent") giants crush and destroy for good. Usually, they'll make a habit of befriend someone much tinier for a little emotional guidance.

The only downside is that you have to get over the initial misunderstandings where no one believes the monster just wants to be our friend, but maybe a combination of psychic intervention or simply looking into their big, sweet eyes will make us see that they're on our side.

The mechanical horror

As seen in: "Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla," "Karate Robo Zaborgar"

In "Pacific Rim," the machines are on our side, but occasionally, these multi-story machines are flung from outer space (or points beyond) to wreck our stuff. Then there are monster-machine robeast-types who bring the might of super-science and the pure rage of not being able to find shoes in your size.

The melding of monster and machine make these kaiju harder to take down, but if they're being remote controlled, then there's a chance you might be able to steer them back at their masters.

The overgrown neurotic

As seen in: "Big Man Japan," Attack of the 50ft. Woman," "Karate Robo Zaborgar," anything with Apache Chief

Far less likely is that the "Pacific Rim" monsters will be giant people with some emotional problems. You know, maybe a frustrated lady put down by the men in her life or a put-upon monster fighter who can't get any respect from his country and peers.

Their greatest weakness: understanding and compassion.

The... what is that?

As seen in: "Godzilla vs. Biollante," "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," "Food of the Gods," "Big Man Japan," "The Host," "Monsters"

Lovecraftian terrors from beyond, masses of tentacles, plant beasts, or lizard... things? Del Toro toiled away for a while to get "At The Mountains of Madness" made, so maybe "Pacific Rim" will be his chance to grace the big screen with inscrutable, indescribable horrors (again, he gave us a glimpse of something similar in the first "Hellboy" movie).