With Godzilla Vs. Kong successfully reigniting a classic rivalry and rejuvenating the mythic Godzilla, it only seems appropriate to retrace our collective steps and remember how we got here: The original 1950s Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Godzilla’s giant form, footprint, and might shadow has come to symbolize, if not subsume, the legendary film monster concept itself, even if King Kong (and also The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) technically arrived first. As an example of Godzilla’s greatness, Steven Spielberg cited Godzilla as an inspiration for his own substantial (and quite valid) franchise, Jurassic Park.

It should also be remembered that, unlike many zanier Godzilla films, 聽Ishir么 Honda‘s Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was quite serious, and basically the closest the Kaiju has been to a true horror movie. How does one gather this? Well, aside from watching the film and drawing that conclusion directly, go ahead and tell those in the know that “Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is more horror than the followups. You probably won’t hear many people scoff at your statement as Godzilla truly is a walking, fire-breathing disaster in the original, “Americanized” film. It does not shy away from showing the actual aftermath of Godzilla’s gentle frolics into terror and mayhem.

“Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” Was Built To Last

Directed by Terry O. Morse and Ishir艒 Honda, the original film helped Toho Co., Ltd. become even more of a major company. Part of the reason is that Godzilla movies often (even to this day) tap into some real issues, even though some will shrug these off as silly giant monster stories. Often linked to nuclear issues, Godzilla storylines often explore how humans exploit the natural world while emphasizing the interplay between industry and the natural world.

More generally, the word “Godzilla” is often used to suggest something impressively massive, such as this hydrothermal vent called “Godzilla.” There’s also the Godzilla Mullion, between Japan and the Philippines, which is the largest known ocean core complex in the world. More recently, in 2020, a Saharan dust cloud was so large that it was called “Godzilla.”

Let’s also remember that Godzilla itself is still considered a living creature, with the 1998 film notoriously dealing with the monster’s eggs (one can easily imagine some Jurassic Park-esque factory farm wanting to get its clutches on those babies!). In other words, Godzilla isn’t just some mindless wrecking ball or impenetrable barrier, but a sentient (even if not very intelligent) being. In that sense, Godzilla movies (even all the dumber ones) still have something smart about them.

Final Thoughts on “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”

I’m glad not every Godzilla movie is serious. For example, I actually kind of like Minya (or Minilla) from Son of Godzilla, precisely because it’s a cheesy character. I don’t always need drama, such as worrying about Mothra’s eggs or whether Godzilla’s own egg specimens are stillborn. However, if I ever wish to see Godzilla at its most devastating, I could do worse than watch the original, horror-tinged sci-fi drama, which truly tried to show the terror of Tokyo in ruins. In fact, I could imagine someone jumping off the roof to commit suicide rather than burn alive in some Godzilla-ravaged building. That’s a serious image!

Although Godzilla’s “birthday” is far away as I write this (November 3, apparently), there’s a sense that Godzilla is immortal, or constantly ready to be reborn. I also don’t think the monster is supposed to appear in Tokyo more than anywhere else. The creature doesn’t care about borders or distances between continents. It’ll go where it damn well pleases and, if it’s in such a mood, wreck your residence whether you’re poor, wealthy, man, woman, or child. If you’re an intrepid reporter, you’ll want to take pictures of Godzilla for the newspaper, just as a storm chaser wants to get perfect footage of a twister. On that note, Godzilla’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is just a little bit heartwarming.

What are your thoughts on Godzilla, King of the Monsters!‘? Roar at us in the comments, then stomp and swat at us, then hit us with your atomic breath!

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Wade Wanio is an author.

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