Villain Overview

Kong is God on the island, but the Devil lives below us… I call them "Skullcrawlers".
~ Hank explaining the Skullcrawler species.

The Skullcrawlers are the secondary antagonists of the 2017 adventure film Kong: Skull Island, the second installment of the MonsterVerse franchise. They are an invasive species of two-legged reptilian-like Kaiju that seek to kill Kong and eliminate all life on Skull Island. They are also led by Skull Devil, the alpha of their kind.

History

Kong: Skull Island

Knowing the Threat

After the Sky Devils Team incident with Kong, Conrad and the survivors are in an old structure which is under the control of an ancient community. There they meet Marlow who tells them that it is not with whom one should fear but a few creatures called Skullcrawlers, monsters who were responsible for the death of his partner and are looking to feed to square their neverending hunger. This explained why Kong attacked Conrad and co. because the giant ape was aware that their actions will inevitably release surviving Skullcrawlers that he drove away from the island's surface, as his parents have given their lives to stop the monsters from destroying all life on the island. One of Sky Devils' commands by the name of Jack Chapman was killed by one of them while he was distracted by a Spore Mantis.

The Battle in the Death Valley

When Conrad and Skydevils arrive, they encounter one of the Skullcrawlers who murder Randa and several members of Sky Devils. During the battle, it is revealed that this Skullcrawler is the one who killed Chapman, and two members of the survivors are in open areas that made them easily spotted by predators of the island. Conrad runs to save his friends in an attempt to kill them. Weaver with a lighter manages to kill it in a fiery explosion.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

As revealed in the novelization of the film, when King Ghidorah defeated Godzilla and became the ruler of Earth's Kaiju, the Skullcrawlers were among the monsters he summoned to assist in his goals of destroying humanity and all life on earth. However, Kong, who was unable to be controlled by Ghidorah due to his own status as an alpha Kaiju, stayed on Skull Island to control the Skullcrawlers and keep them from escaping to help ravage the planet.

Behavior and Traits

Skullcrawlers are subterranean pack-hunting predators with mostly primal mindset. They are very aggressive as well as incredibly persistent in pursuing their prey. Even so, they are not instinctive monsters for two reasons. One is their intelligence that varies between one and another (with Skull Devil the most smartest of all) and why they constantly hunt and devour creatures they come across: As result of their unusually heightened metabolisms, they suffer insatiable appetite that more than often drove them rabid in feeding frenzy as prolonged hunger would threaten to kill them from the inside, forcing them to constantly devouring unfortunate creatures they come across.

Appearance

Skullcrawlers are large reptilian creatures having two legs, but no arms. Much like crocodiles, they have V-shaped snouts. Their skin is gray, and they have long tails as well, possibly for balance. Skullcrawlers also have large nostrils near the end of their jaws, which can make the nostrils easily mistaken for large black eyes. Their real eyes are behind their jaws.

Notable Skullcrawlers

Skull Devil

Main article: Skull Devil

Powers and Abilities

  • Titan/Skullcrawler Physiology: As both titans and Skullcrawlers, the Skullcrawlers are incredibly powerful; as they possess various physical and supernatural attributes that surpasses that of most other titans and Skullcrawlers.
    • Enhanced Agility and Speed: Skullcrawlers can run extremely fast despite having only two legs, and their speed matches or surpasses that of an adult human, making it very difficult to outrun them. They can also make quick turns as well.
    • Burrowing Skills: Being subterranean in nature, Skullcrawlers are capable of using their limbs to burrow deep into the Earth.
    • Enhanced Durability and Stamina: Skullcrawlers' bodily tissues substantially hard enough to withstand bullets from rifles and the searing heat of a flamethrower. They also have incredible stamina, being able to stay in a full-fledged fight for several minutes even whilst being incredibly injured.
    • Hunting Skills: Skullcrawlers are both solitary and pack hunters. One can kill a Sker Buffalo on its own, and they can cooperate to take down more powerful creatures such as Kong.
    • Enhanced Strength and Combat: As the apex predators of Skull Island, Skullcrawlers are fearsome and deadly in battle, using their jaws full of razor-sharp teeth as their primary weapons along with their large limbs. They can hold their own against opponents like Kong, able to withstand the blows and pummeling of the ape. Their serpent-like tails are used for swatting or for wrapping around an opponent during combat.
    • Prehensile Tail and Tongue: Skullcrawlers have prehensile tongues that they use to grab and quickly devour small prey, or for gripping large prey in combat. The tail is heavily muscled and extremely powerful. As stated before, the tail is also for wrapping around large prey, possibly to latch onto them for balance or to constrict them.

Weaknesses

Unfortunately, in spite of their great strengths, Skullcrawlers still have lethal weaknesses.

  • Starvation: As the result of their extremely enhanced metabolism, Skullcrawlers theoretically had to endure constant hunger and had they not devour at least one prey for too long, their body's metabolism will start feeding on their own bodies, slowly killing them in agonizing pain on the same vein with Reaper Strain. This form of weakness, however, merely implied and left to speculation as it's unclear how long a Skullcrawler had to endure the hunger before its own metabolism began to feed on its body. Although, it's apparent that many Skullcrawlers, especially smaller ones encountered by protagonists were the underfeeding frenzy that made them extremely aggressive due to the hunger. Even so, larger Skullcrawlers like Skull Devil, being the most experienced and oldest, had greater control over his hunger and self-control as it not taking reckless approach against Kong.
  • Tongues: The Skullcrawlers' powerful tongues can also be a lethal weakness. This was shown at the final battle of the film when the Alpha Skullcrawler wrapped his tongue around Kong's arm. Kong used this advantage to rip it out of the latter's innards, killing him.

Trivia

  • Their design is influenced by the two-legged lizard from the original 1933 King Kong movie.
  • Chronologically, Skullcrawlers are the second hostile giant monsters documented by Monarch, the first being the Shinomura.
  • Based on Godzilla: King of the Monsters' ending, it is entirely possible that the Skullcrawlers are now loyal to Godzilla as the new ruler of the Kaiju, though this has yet to be seen or confirmed.

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See Also
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Movies
Godzilla (2014): M.U.T.O.
Kong: Skull Island (2017): Skullcrawlers (Skull Devil†) | Preston Packard† | King Ghidorah† | Rodan
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): King Ghidorah† | Rodan | Alan Jonah | Asher Jonah† | Emma Russell† | M.U.T.O.† | Skullcrawlers

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Shinomura | M.U.T.O. Prime | Walter R. Riccio | Camazotz

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