Those who simply cannot wait for Godzilla vs. Kong later this year have been giving a mockbuster alternative in the form of Raiga: God of the Monsters. This is the latest from director Shinpei Hayashiya, who is something of a DIY legend in the kaiju community, having previously made the fan film Gamera 4: Truth. Now, he’s offered us a new monster-filled romp featuring what can, from a certain point of view, be described as a loving homage to Godzilla.
The trailer opens up with a bit of a slow build before all hell breaks loose. Raiga attacking cities. The military is doing everything they can to stop the gigantic beast. It’s a familiar tale. This looks and feels familiar to anyone who spent time watching old monster movies growing up. Lots of old-school special effects. Lots of explosions. Lots of slightly more modern visual effects done on the cheap. The trailer doesn’t do much in explaining the story that will unfold, but it is mostly just trying to sell the viewer on copious amounts of kaiju action. In that respect, it succeeds.
This is just one of several similar low budget kaiju movies that have been made by Shinpei Hayashiya. Reigo: The Deep Sea Monster vs. The Battleship Yamato and The Monster From The Deep Sea, another Raiga adventure, also serve as recent examples. The difference here is that Raiga: God of the Monsters seems to be mirroring another recent blockbuster much more closely. Specifically, last year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the latest entry in Legendary and Warner Bros.’ MonsterVerse franchise, as directed by Michael Dougherty. So the cynic might view this as a cheap imitation of sorts. Either way, it exists and is available to watch on DVD, courtesy of Walmart.
In Raiga: God of the Monsters, global warming leads to excessive melting of the southern polar ice cap, which massively disrupts Earth’s ecosystem. The receding ice results in long-dormant ancient sea creatures coming back to life, who set their sights on Japan. Among the kaiju is an enormous sea beast the locals know as the legendary Raiga. The monster brings down his wrath on the city of Asakusa, carving a path of death and destruction as he tramples buildings and dismantles the military. Can Raiga be stopped, or will all of Japan be destroyed?
Those interested in checking this one out will have to go the physical media route, at least for now. Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s not getting a digital release. Raiga: God of the Monsters is, at present, available exclusively at Walmart on DVD, with the movie now rolling out in stores across the country. Those who prefer to order it, which is rather understandable given the current situation, can do so by heading on over to Walmart.com. The DVD retails for $9.96 currently. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.