Godzilla, a retrospective

Image shows the movie monster Godzilla fighting famous ape, King Kong

Image via: nukethefridge.com

Godzilla has been a part of film for many years, terrorising cities and fighting Kaiju since 1954. The king of monsters is set to be a part of the big screen again with this years remake but, how did Godzilla actually come to be who he is today?

Godzilla (the English translation of Gojira) is the creation of Japenese film director, Ishiro Honda. Inspired by early clay animation dinosaur films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Godzilla was created as a cross between an iguana and a dinosaur. Thankfully, there was no such dinosaur as Godzilla, that we know of.

The first film, Godzillastarted the introduction of the ‘big monster’ film franchise, something that films such as Cloverfield owe themselves to. This film introduced Japanese audiences to the threat of a monster created as a result of atomic testing. Godzilla stresses that atomic testing may result in Kaiju such as the monster itself, lets hope not.

The subsequent sequels delivered on the success of the first film introducing new monsters and threats such as Mothra, a ruddy great big moth of death. These sequels largely saw Godzilla as a hero of the world (Japan in particular) fighting off monsters that threatened humanity.

Typically, the later the franchise went, the weirder and more surreal the Godzilla movies became. The most recent iterations saw the introduction of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla’s mechanised counterpart.The concepts and ideas of these later films are still no match for the Western introduction in 1998.

Godzilla (1998) was directed by Rolan Ememrich, famous for is action packed disaster films. The remake was criticised by fans and critics alike describing the movie as being nothing buit action, with very little story. Godzilla won accolades such as Worst Picture, Worst Remake and Worst Director at the Golden Raspberry Awards that year. It looked like the films just didn’t translate well to Western audiences.

There is a new hope however, in the form of yet another remake. Next month sees the release of Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards of Monsters fame. Looking to cater for Japenese audiences, sticking to the original roots of the monster, the film looks set do very well at the box office. Do you think this is a new era for Godzilla? See for yourself with the trailer below.

About Nathan Spendelow

The Jurassic Park series of films are are the best ever made. Ever since I was a child, this dinosaur theme park was something that intrigued me. Who doesn't want to pet a Triceratops? I'm quite partial to the occasional zombie film too and I worship George A. Romero, that man is a genius.

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