The octopus looks much akin to a real life cephalopod, and bears beige colored skin.
For the Giant Octopus scene in King Kong vs. Godzilla, four live octopuses were used in filming. They were forced to move among the miniature huts by having hot air blown onto them. After the filming of that scene was finished, three of the four were released. The fourth became special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya's dinner.
Along with the live animals, two rubber octopus props were built, with the larger one being covered with plastic wrap to simulate mucus. Some stop motion tentacles were also created for the scene where the octopus grabs a native and tosses him.
The larger octopus prop would later find a name, Sudar, in an episode of Ultra Q. Stock footage of both Sudar and the Giant Octopus's attacks were then used for Tsuburaya Productions' Fight! Mighty Jack.
While the creature doesn't have a formal roar, it does create sounds, mainly consisting of slimy bodily movement, and seeming growls.
In King Kong vs. Godzilla, the giant octopus crawls ashore on Farou Island and attacks a village hut in an attempt to get the special soma berry juice that the natives store there. The natives, along with members of a pharmaceutical company, attempt to defeat the giant octopus with spears and shotguns, but to no avail.
King Kong then appears behind a giant wooden fence, crumbling it with his bare hands and throwing the pieces at the giant octopus. Kong grabs it, but the octopus holds tightly on to Kong's head. After a short struggle, Kong pulls the monster off and throws it to the ground. He then throws two boulders at the giant octopus' head. The giant octopus flees back to the beach and presumably returned to the sea.
In the alternate ending for the film, after Frankenstein defeats Baragon, a giant octopus comes from the sea and fights Frankenstein. Frankenstein battles fiercely, but can't compete with the giant octopus' numerous and powerful tentacles. It drags Frankenstein into the water, seemingly to his death.
This version of the giant octopus is awakened by the explosion of an experimental torpedo. Godzilla battles the monster before it could destroy the submarine the torpedo came from, and defeats it by tying up its tentacles and sealing it back in its underwater cave. In addition to powerful tentacles this version could also emit ink which the previous versions did not do.
The Giant Octopus has eight tentacles that it uses to not only grapple prey, but could restrain and drag enemies like Frankenstein.
In King Kong vs. Godzilla and Frankenstein Conquers the World, the Giant Octopus is shown to be able to walk on land and find prey.
The giant octopus makes its only known video game appearance in the 1995 game Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!! for the Sega Pico. In this game, the giant octopus appears on the second page, and will spit ink at Godzilla if the player causes a battleship to fire a cannon at a tree, which drops a coconut on the octopus' head. The giant octopus can also initiate a minigame, where the player must solve different puzzles based on the tentacles the giant octopus is holding up.
- Concept art of the Giant Octopus for Godzilla: Final Wars exists, meaning that the creature was originally intended to appear in the film.
- The inclusion of the Giant Octopus in Toho's vast slate of monsters may be the fulfillment of a dream of special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya, who had always wished to make a monster film with a giant octopus.
- The Giant Octopus is one of the four minor Showa era monsters, who include the Giant Lizard, Mystery Bones of Infant Island, the Giant Condor, the Giant Sea Serpent, and the Giant Octopus, to have received one or more official toys.
- According to Ishiro Honda, the alternate ending to Frankenstein Conquers the World featuring the Giant Octopus was included at the behest of the film's American backers, who were impressed by the Giant Octopus scenes from King Kong vs. Godzilla and wanted the creature to appear in the film. Eiji Tsuburaya shot the sequence with the Giant Octopus specifically for inclusion in the American version of the film, but the lead American producer of the film, Henry G. Saperstein, felt it was too abrupt and anticlimactic and asked for it to be excluded. Despite not appearing in any theatrical version of the film, the Giant Octopus sequence was preserved and appeared in Japanese television airings of the film and also as a special feature in Toho's DVD releases of the film.
- The Giant Octopus appeared in an early draft for All Monsters Attack, but was replaced by Ebirah. It is unknown if new scenes would have been filmed with the Giant Octopus or if stock footage would have been utilized as with most of the other monsters in the film.
List of appearances
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (First appearance)
- All Monsters Attack (Planned for, but replaced by Ebirah)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (Scrapped)