Yes, I know this was the talk of the psychotronic town a couple of years ago. I was too busy watching other junk to get around to it, and I’ve got a weird (possibly anti-hipster) aversion to popular B-Movies, so that’s another cheap newscycle I missed out on. Anyway, I’m here and I’m sorry I missed the start of the party because, holy heck, this is one fun movie. Continue reading
The classic Japanese monster movie has a pretty set formula: monster exists, monster causes moderate levels of destruction in far off place, mankind looks at it and goes “Shiiitttt!”, the monster moves to a highly-populated area and causes massive amounts of damage, and mankind somehow pulls its arse out of the monster-induced fire. Whilst this is absolutely perfect plot progression, especially if it has municipal destruction that you can really see the behemoth emote through, sometimes you just want something different. Some kind of large-scale annihilation je ne sais pas to spice things up.
It’s hard to come up with anything new and exciting to say about Gōjira (1954), because it’s such a pivotal piece of pop culture that there is very little new ground to tread. It wasn’t the world’s first Monster Movie (that goes to the equally important King Kong in 1933) or the first kaiju film (that’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 1953), but it was the benchmark of the genre of that era and the go-to comparison from there on. Not only did it rake in the cash and start the longest running film franchise in history, but it managed to do so whilst working with a number of contemporary themes. Everyone knows about the allegory of nuclear war, both in the forces unleashed by Gōjira on Japan and the reasons for his rising from the depths. Director Ishirō Honda has gone on record as saying he was a walking nuclear bomb, and that the film mixed messages of a need for peace and the horrors of the weapons usage. It was trauma and catharsis for Japanese viewers, and eventually for the rest of the world.