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Meet the King of the Monsters
He was indisputably, Lord of Monster Island and the terror of millions of Japanese citizens when invading their land and thrashing about on the shores of the Pacific. Not surprisingly, his target was Tokyo 99% of the time.
But did you know this creature took a vacation in New York in 1998? Were you aware of his 1962 battle against the Mighty King Kong? .
Just in case you're not sure whose magnificent clawprint that is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, that's Godzilla, sometimes referred to as Gojira; a Japanese Monster who stood at least ten stories high.
Once this behemoth walked onto the movie screen, there was no stopping him. His career spanned approximately 30 movies, an animated cartoon series, posters, toys, comics, and the relentless potential that he will be back for more!
So prepare for the worst! I'm a Godzillalogist, well-versed in all the savage destruction this phenomenal beast has brought to the world and the movie screens. Herein, you will encounter just about everything you need to know to keep you safe; if Mothra attacks, or if aliens summon Mechagodzilla to take over the world, you can thank me later!
Disclaimer: No Japanese monsters were harmed in the making of this lens.
Godzilla For President!
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The Godzilla Timeline - What every fanatic knows about the monster.
1954-1975 (Showa series Godzilla): Spanning 15 films, Godzilla starts as a monster, but turns into Japan's protector, battling other monsters for it's defense. Films: Gohira (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack (1969), Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).
1964-1983: Godzilla goes on vacation, rumors has it he's in contract disputes with Sony Records, Inc. for record rights vs. Blue Oyster Cult.
1984-1995 (Heisei series Godzilla): Totaling 7 films, Godzilla loses his heroic status and is portrayed as a creature of form of biological and nuclear hazard. Sometimes Godzilla would indirectly help Japan, but it was never his intention. Films:The Return of Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995).
1996-1997: Godzilla goes into drug rehab after a terrible public divorce with actress Cher.
1998-Present (Millennium Series Godzilla): Our current series, Godzilla is portrayed in various manners, but usually remains a hazard and less of a hero. The main difference is that different directors have taken their own discretion on the portrayal of the creature. Films: Godzilla (1998), Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999), Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).
What Series of Godzilla do you prefer?
Gohira (1954) - A.K.A. Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
Born out of Toho Productions, Ltd., and director Ishiro Honda, this movie was released in 1954 and spawned what would later be known as "Japanese Monster Mania". In it's release, this mutated dinosaur managed to capture the heart of the Japan, receiving the 8th best sales for the year, even though the special effects team decided to go with a "man in a suit" concept over stop-motion.
This is the movie that spawned the Godzilla's career. In it, he is a creature born of a nuclear blast, and arrives on the shores of a Japanese village to wreck havoc. For the most part, the character invokes myth and fable, until finally being revealed on the screen.
This Godzilla was no hero, but a true monster that walked destruction wherever it went.
What is a Kaiju?
A Kaiju is the Japanese term for a "strange beast", of which Godzilla, certainly, qualifies.
Godzilla Raids Again (1955) - A.K.A. Gigantis, The Fire Monster
Sequel to the movie Gojira, this 1955 release received the 3rd highest ticket sales in Japan during that time, even though it received poor criticism and ratings by the experts. Another potential title for the movie could have been Godzilla vs. Anguirus, for throughout the movie, these two monsters show their enmity towards one another, battling it out.
One again, Godzilla is a threat to the Japanese nation, but this time he gets to duke it out with another beast his own size while taking on their army.
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) - The King of the Jungle Faces the Lord of the Monsters
Above: Godzilla and King Kong constantly bickering over bananas as Director Ishiro Honda breaks it up.
Through the anger and suffering of the world's largest primate, a gigantic monkey came to the screen of Universal Studios in King Kong (1933), but that just wasn't enough for Toho Productions, Ltd.; from across the Pacific Ocean, a challenge was raised. Godzilla had to be tested against the beast from the United States, ending up with this clash of humongous proportions.
This movie features all the greats of the 60's behemoths; and yes, Godzilla uses Karate on Kong just to show him how it's done!
If you're a fan of Godzilla, and want to see what happens when East meets West, look no further than the movie; you can purchase King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) - Don't ever clone Godzilla; he doesn't like that.
This fantastic movie was also released as Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster and Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster. The plot involves an arrival of aliens on our planet, trying to take over the world (or at least, Japan). Their plans center around using a cloned, mechanical version of Godzilla, but the King of the Monsters will have none of that!
Godzilla (1998) - A.K.A. Godzilla vs. New York
Starring: Matthew Broderick (Actor), Jean Reno (Actor), Director: Roland Emmerich
Rated: PG-13 Format: DVD
This is an origin movie, wherein the monster is created from nuclear tests off the of the shores of the French-Polynesian islands, and makes its way towards the United States. Why the U.S.? Because there's a nice place there with huge skyscrapers called New York City! perfect for a nesting and the laying of eggs.
Reviews were mixed for this film, but overall, it was a good show, with great special effects. It's recommended for purchase because it sells fairly cheap.
See anything missing from this Godzilla lens? I'd really like to hear your opinions or comments, any feedback is welcome.