I'm currently working on a story treatment for a monster story. The story is sort of a love letter to many different genres and classic tropes employed and made famous by, John Carpenter, Ridley Scott, David Cronenberg, and George Romero. With a heavy dose of Ishiro Honda's early work with Tokusatsu films, such as the original Godzilla.

I'll try to do a quick rundown that will hopefully shed light on the main antagonist of the story, The Magdalene. The creature is a large amphibious monster that can best be described as a 150 foot long Salamander who's body seems to be composed entirely of horrific cancerous tumors, and suffering from a full body bruise, as its skin is sickly and black looking.

The creature started out as a collection of micro organisms made from cancer cells, and originally conceived by a multinational research project in hopes of creating a cure for cancer. How this works is simple...sort of.

  1. First the Magdalene are injected directly into the patients body.

  2. The Magdalene will then congregate on the cancerous region and began to devour the cancerous cells, and then die shortly after.

The problem is Magdalene batch #001 is ineffective in long term treatment, as they tend to die too quickly to successfully kill the cancer, batch #002 was developed to be longer living and more aggressive and was created using the rare mutated cancer cells of the main researchers deceased former colleague, and wife. Her last wish was for her body be used for scientific research that may one day make the world a better place.

This new Magdalene variant was hyper aggressive and was designed with a genetic kill switch that would activate in case the organisms ate more than what was intended. However over time batch #002 evolved and mutated, figuring out a way around the kill switch, leading to them going out of control, multiplying and absorbing bio matter at a ravenous rate.

Now that we know exactly what they are, lets break down their life cycle and how this colony eventually evolves into the larger forms.

  1. The Magdalene begin to multiply and spread the already existing cancer throughout the victims body, causing them to grow large horrific tumors all over their bodies, which the Magdalene will then feed on and grow. Overtime they completely replace the victims cells with the aberration Magdalene cells.

  2. The infected hosts are taken control by a specially evolved Magdalene type that acts in a similar way the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus does with carpenter ants, manipulating the victims bodily functions to use as a platform to which they can use to consume more bio-matter.

  3. After a suitable amount of bio-matter has been consumed and integrated into the hosts, they will eventually converge on each other and merge together on the cellular level, creating a gargantuan gestalt organism that has a Deadpool-esque healing factor based on the fact it's a waking cancer beast.

Several of these gestalt forms are birthed, three to be exact. One that develops in the sea and becomes a 70 foot sea monster, the original locked deep within the original research facility that gave birth to the Magdalene, and one created by infecting the town adjacent the facility. These eventually merge together into the final beast; a 150 foot long salamander-esque monstrosity.

The story and processes behind all this still need s few kinks worked out, and the science is more than likely unsound, but when I originally envisioned the story I wanted to create a type realistic and hard science take on Kaiju and giant monsters, which leads to the main questions.

  1. How sound (or unsound) is the science behind what I'm purposing here?

  2. What exactly can I do add some verisimilitude to the story and concept?


1 Answer 1


There are limits to what speculative biology can deliver. Looking at steps 1 to 3 in your proposed colony development and how it turns into a gigantic form, there are frankly too many things that have to come together and work to create a viable giant monster and do it successfully.

While this is the kind of pseudoscientific nonsense that passes for science in many science fiction movies it doesn't stand scrutiny. It would be better if you went back to first principles and designed a better giant monster. Your approach to create a Kaiju giant monster that was based on realistic science is to be applauded.

Instead of starting with a cancer cure gone wrong, let's use a gimmick from one of the creators you are saluting with this love letter. I refer to John Carpenter. Let's assume that a fragment of an unknown alien organism has been discovered. A research facility is doing work on this sample and when its cells become integrated with other tissues the alien genome activates and creates a range of different horrifying monstrosities. Think the Thing, think Cronenberg's fleshy horrors various films, Romero-like zombies can be spawned when alien cells infuse the bodies of victims killed by other stages of this multi-metamorphic monster, and Ridley Scott's Alien. Finally the alien organism merges with a lizard and this hypertrophies into a Godzilla-type Kaiju monster.

Essentially assume there is an alien metamorphic super-organism capable of taking over the genomes and biology of other organisms which can be everything from tissue cultures, lab animals, research staff, domestic animals and plants, passing lizards or marine creatures, and let's not forget birds (there's no reason why you can't add an Alfred Hitchcock tribute too -- unless you're not a fan of Hitchcock). The original alien organism would be a super-effective shape-changer that is capable of hi-jacking other creatures and transforming them completely into effectively whatever it wants, which usually means some kind of a monster.

You can choose your monsters from the suite of horrors that John Carpenter, Ridley Scott, David Cronenberg, and George Romero have given us. These are only suggestions. best if you use them as a starting point and go from there. Have fun!

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    $\begingroup$ Good answer, but the 150-foot salamander also presents some serious challenges in supporting its own weight and breathing. If the OP reads up on Sauropod dinosaurs that'll show how the largest creatures in history dealt with those problems. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for adding supporting information about sauropod dinosaurs, and the kind words. I had, tacitly, assumed that the alien metamorphic agent would be able to make the necessary changes to cope with those challenges However, the sauropod information will show what they should be. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 12:58

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