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Top 5 Godzilla Movies to Watch Before the New Godzilla Movie
5. Godzilla vs. Megalon
Hailed by many fans as one of the worst entries in the series, Godzilla Vs. Megalon is a perfect example of the cheesiness and campy-ness of some of the Godzilla films handled by Showa studios under Toho. This Movie was the first appearance of both Megalon and Jet Jaguar, Godzilla's ally in the film. Jet Jaguar is another point of controversy as many fans saw it as a cheap knock-off of Ultraman, another Toho property. However, as far as one-off characters and plot devices in Godzilla movies go, Jet Jaguar is fairly forgivable and has some good fight scenes.
The Film's defining moment, however, is Godzilla's final kick to Megalon. That now infamous scene has become one of the hallmarks of just how ridiculous some earlier Godzilla films could be. Overall, this might be the Black Sheep of the Japan-based Godzilla films, but it still has some great fight scenes and the cheesy and over-the-top effects only add to its charm.
4. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla
This film introduces one of Godzilla's most iconic adversaries, Mechagodzilla, as well as the seldom seen King Caesar. This movie features a more complex plot than other Godzilla movies of the time and has some fantastic fight scenes as well. This movie takes the old "evil robotic version of the hero" trope and applies it to the Godzilla universe with great results.
This movie has become a fan favorite and is the first in the "Mechagodzilla" series of Godzilla films, all of which are hailed as great movies in the franchise and build Mechagodzilla up as one of Godzilla's most fearsome adversaries, with many different iterations and enhancements throughout it's appearances in the films. This film is the start of one of the most iconic series in the Godzilla mythos.
3. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah
While this wasn't King Ghidorah's first appearance, it certainly was his first full color debut and the better of the two King Ghidorah films. This film focuses more on plot than previous films, and the story can get a bit convoluted at times. However the fight scenes are great and this movie does a much better job than its predecessor at establishing King Ghidorah as one of, if not the most iconic villain in the Godzilla universe.
While this film is a bit on the longer side for a Godzilla movie, and some of the more convoluted story sections certainly raise an eyebrow as to Godzilla's origins, it still runs the gamut of what makes a great Kaiju film. A silly story and great monster fights. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah is a film not to be missed by any means.
2. Godzilla: Final Wars
Zilla (Roland Emmerich's Godzilla)
This film was released on the 50th anniversary of the first Godzilla movie, and in honor of that, this movie is all about fan service and lots and lots of monster fights. This movie also features some of the worst CG special effects in any Godzilla movie, but it makes up for it with some great classic rubber suit monster fights. Just about every monster and villain makes an appearance in this movie, and there's even a great gag with the American version of Godzilla (dubbed "Zilla" by fans) who is generally seen as a stain on the franchise, in which their fight lasts about three seconds with Godzilla dispatching Zilla with a single move.
One thing that must be said about the movie, even though the monsters are introduced well and the plot is ridiculous (as it should be) the fact that there are so many monsters in one film means that all of the fights are very short. That doesn't take anything away from the fight themselves though, they're still great, some of the best in the series. Final Wars is a must for any long time Godzilla fan.
1. Godzilla Vs. Destroyah
Possibly one of the strongest entries in the series, this film featured a strong plot, great special effects, and fantastic monster battles. This movie introduced Destroyah,one of Godzilla's greatest and most powerful villains in the entire mythos, and a rapidly maturing Godzilla Jr. previously known as Minilla. The only thing this film suffers from, externally anyway, is that it was the last Toho produced Godzilla movie before it was handed off to Roland Emmerich. Thus, it's strange to see one of the highest points in the franchise followed immediately by the lowest point in the franchise.
Not much can be said about this movie without spoiling the story or the movie's themes overall, suffice to say that this is a must watch movie for any Godzilla fan, and even some that are new to the series or have never seen a single Godzilla movie.
Which of These Films is Your Favorite?
The following films are by no means worse, and are very iconic points in the series as much as the films above, but these films didn't fit with the theme of this list and otherwise belong right up there with these movies.
Godzilla Vs. Mothra:
This film introduced Mothra, one of the most iconic characters in the series, and spawned a series of Mothra movies as well.
The film that started that it all, this movie is a classic and is required viewing for series veterans or fans of classic cinema.
King Kong Vs. Godzilla (Japan and U.S. Versions):
One the most popular films in classic cinema, this film was the classic East meets West story and watching both versions will give you a great appreciation for how both American and Japanese directors handled these films.
If you have any suggestions for other films that belong on this list, leave them in the comments below!
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