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View Poll Results: What is your favorite Kaiju film/series?

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  • The original Gojira/Godzilla.

    2 14.29%
  • The Showa series of Godzilla sequels.

    0 0%
  • The Heisei series of Godzilla sequels.

    4 28.57%
  • The Millenium series of Godzilla sequels.

    1 7.14%
  • Tri-Star's Godzilla (aka Zilla and Godzilla in Name Only [GINO]).

    4 28.57%
  • Legendary's Godzilla.

    1 7.14%
  • The Showa series of Gamera movies.

    0 0%
  • The Heisei Gamera Trilogy.

    0 0%
  • Gamera the Brave (the only Millenium series Gamera movie).

    0 0%
  • The original Mothra movie.

    1 7.14%
  • The Heisei Rebirth of Mothra Trilogy.

    0 0%
  • Rodan.

    0 0%
  • The War of the Gargantuas.

    0 0%
  • Atragon.

    0 0%
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World.

    0 0%
  • King Kong Escapes.

    0 0%
  • The Mysterians.

    0 0%
  • Space Amoeba.

    0 0%
  • Varan the Unbelievable.

    0 0%
  • Other (see thread).

    1 7.14%
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    I'm a big fan of Godzilla, and I know I'm not the only fan here, so I thought I'd create this topic so we could discuss his movies, as well as Gamera's films and various other (dai)kaiju flicks.

    This thread is meant primarily for Japanese giant monster movies; if you want to discuss Kamen Rider, Ultraman, or other tokusatsu series, there's already a thread for them.

    Here's my (slightly revised and updated) review of Gojira from the early days of the Movies thread to get things started:

    I highly recommend that everyone, daikaiju fan or not, see the original version of "Gojira" (The version without Raymond Burr) in all of its subtitled glory. Unlike the Godzilla movies of the 60's and 70's (and, to a lesser extant, unlike the ones from the 80's on), the original "Gojira" ("Godzilla") has a lot more going for it than the simple amusement of men in rubber suits destroying model cities while wrestling with one another. Akira Ifukube's legendary score is one of the most recognizable soundtracks in film and ranges from the propagandistic Japanese Army theme to the more somber Godzilla theme. "Gojira" is full of references to events of the time, including: the (then recent) tragedy of the Lucky Dragon fishing boat getting accidentally caught in American nuclear tests, the recently demilitarized Japan was also given a situation in which it could have a strong army, and the movie even captures/caricatures the typical attitude of postwar conservatives in the Japanese parliament (deny, deny, deny). The character of Dr. Serizawa struggles to ensure that his discovery, the oxygen destroyer (a weapon far more devastating than nuclear weapons), remains a secret and is never to be used by ANY military, including Japan's; this is in stark contrast to Americans deliberately using nuclear bombs on Japan. The monster, himself (Gojira), is of course a living representation of nuclear weapons, and Director Ishiro Honda's expertly crafted scenes of the survivors of Gojira's devastating attacks could be mistaken for video footage of the survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which had occurred less than a decade prior to the release of the film). Many Japanese theater owners at the time reported widespread crying among theater goers following the conclusion of the film. The film is moving, in a way that no other daikaiju film is. Make no mistake, "Gojira" is one of the all time greats of cinema, regardless of genre. Put simply, it is a cinematic masterpiece.

    The movie did so well subtitled in American Japanese theaters, that it was eventually licensed and brought over after heavy editing (approximately 1/3-1/2 of the original film, mostly the anti-American and deeper content, was cut out and replaced by inferior, American made footage, which turned the film classic "Gojira" into a regular monster b-movie); "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" (the bastardized version of "Gojira" released in America and elsewhere) is a very different movie from "Gojira" in many respects. Nevertheless, the existence of "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" made "Gorjira" into one of the oldest examples of a non-American film (and, quite possibly, THE oldest Japanese film) to find worldwide success. It would take 50 years until the unedited, Raymond Burr-less, original version of "Gojira" was made available to own in North America.

    There have been a total of 28 Toho Godzilla films, one Tri-Star Zilla/GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) movie, and most recently, the 60th anniversary Godzilla film by Legendary, with at least two more Godzilla movies from Legendary on the way. With 29 films (30 counting GINO) and counting under his belt, Godzilla is the longest running film series to date. The later Godzilla/Gojira movies are popcorn flicks for the most part, ranging from truly horrible crap aimed solely at children (*ahem* Godzilla's Revenge) to decent kids' movies ("Son of Godzilla", "Destroy All Monsters") to entertaining sci-fi films appealing to young and old alike (the Heisei series which ran from 1984's "Return of Godzilla" [edited/butchered into "Godzilla 1985" for its American release] to 1995's "Godzilla vs Destroyah") to great movies, which are not quite "Gojira" great (2001's "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah"). Basically, what I'm getting at is that somewhere in Godzilla's vast collection of films is something for everyone. My advice: start with the original "Gojira". I've shown it to people who normally NEVER watch monster movies (or even sci-fi in general), and they've even said that they thought it was a brilliant movie. You will not be disappointed.

    I recommend following Gojira up with the (mostly) excellent Heisei series of Godzilla films, which consists of the following titles:

    -Return of Godzilla (aka Godzilla 1985, reestablishes Godzilla as a force of nature after the Showa series turned him into a hero).
    -Godzilla vs Biollante (another serious movie, it introduces the character of Miki Saegusa, a character who would be in more Godzilla films than any other).
    -Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (a bit of a throwback to the cheesy Showa movies, but still highly entertaining).
    -Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (the highest grossing Godzilla movie, before inflation, until the recent Legendary movie).
    -Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II (cemented MechaGodzilla as Godzilla's deadliest foe, it also features fan favorite Rodan, and introduces Godzilla Junior, the Heisei series' answer to the annoying Minilla/Minya from the Showa films).
    -Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla (the 40th anniversary film and the only bad movie out of the Heisei series).

    And finally, the last but certainly not the least of the Heisei Godzilla films is Godzilla vs. Destoroyah which ends the Heisei series in a glorious, albeit somber fashion: Godzilla dies, and the audience knows that it is coming from the very beginning of the film, and it is truly heartbreaking to watch Godzilla as he dies. Godzilla vs Destoroyah is one of only two Godzilla films than can truly challenge the original for the title of best Godzilla movie of all time. If you call yourself a Godzilla or Kaiju fan, you owe it to yourself to see it.

    All of the Heisei Godzilla films, with the notable exception of 1985 (which is stuck in legal limbo until the American rights can be sorted out), are available on ridiculously affordable blu-ray releases, so buy them already, you will not be disappointed.
    Last edited by Zeta-G; May 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Typos & clarity.
    Sieg Zeon!

  2. #2
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    love me some Godzilla and the Heisei series movies. I actually started my Godzilla fanhood by going to see Godzilla 2000 in theaters. It's my favorite for the nostalgic reason of seeing it when I was 7 years old. I've seen all the movies except for the newest and the Heisei Movies are the best for me. The showa films have there own charm but have some wtf moments (drop kick). I figure you'd like this- http://cinemassacre.com/2014/05/14/r...-zone-fighter/
    After much analysis, consulting, data mining and talk, we have determined that the Gouf is indeed.... No Zaku.

  3. #3
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Don't get me wrong, the Showa films have their moments, and I love most of them, but as you said there are some real wtf moments. Also that damn Zone Fighter killed Showa-era Gigan. Grrr...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I actually have Godzilla Raids Again playing in the background right now. Not the best Godzilla film. Actually it's probably one of the worst.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm watching the 60's Godzilla vs Mothra now; it's so much better than Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong vs Godzilla that it's not even funny.
    Sieg Zeon!

  4. #4
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    I really like the original, but the recent hollywood update was actually really good, much better than I expected and it ranks now in my top 5 of kaiju movies. Rodan is also one of the really good ones. Mothra, Mysterians. however anything with king kong was just silly, but then I just dont like king kong. I have very fond memories of watching Rebirth of Mothra as a child. Loved that movie.

    But i have now embarked upon a quest to watch all the kaiju movies I can get my hands on. Starting with the 1954 godzilla all through to the newest.

  5. #5
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Pacific Rim.
    "It's not a mistake...it's BATTLE DAMAGE!"
    Plamobot's build threadPlamobot's trade thread

  6. #6
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by katamuro View Post
    I really like the original, but the recent hollywood update was actually really good, much better than I expected and it ranks now in my top 5 of kaiju movies. Rodan is also one of the really good ones. Mothra, Mysterians. however anything with king kong was just silly, but then I just dont like king kong. I have very fond memories of watching Rebirth of Mothra as a child. Loved that movie.

    But i have now embarked upon a quest to watch all the kaiju movies I can get my hands on. Starting with the 1954 godzilla all through to the newest.
    Will GINO be among them? Technically it is in canon with GMK after all.
    Sieg Zeon!

  7. #7
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    GMK?

    "Ignorance is the Enemy...Understanding is the Weapon"-Anonymous

    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” -G.K. Chesterton.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    GMK = Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the 25th Godzilla film made by Toho. It was directed by the director of the Heisei Gamera Trilogy, and features an outright malicious version of Godzilla, who is the embodiment of the spirits of Japan's victims during WWII. In the movie Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are guardian monsters called upon to defend Japan from Godzilla. It's one of the top three Godzilla films in my opinion (along with Gojira and Godzilla vs Destoroyah).

    As for GINO being in continuity with it, early in the movie the characters are discussing rumored sightings of Godzilla, and one character makes the snarky remark of "A few years ago a giant monster attacked the east of America at New York City. The Americans claim it was Godzilla, but our experts here have doubts."

    Also what is with people actually voting for GINO? Are you guys simply trolling?
    Sieg Zeon!

  9. #9
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    No that version is not considered by me as a Kaiju movie. Its a monster movie and thats about it. I think I have seen the original godzilla something like 8 times by now. Havent yet seen atragon and some of them more obscure kaiju movies of the late 60's.

  10. #10
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plamobot View Post
    Pacific Rim.
    This I will agree with. The Kaiju in Pacific Rim were practically weaponized, not to mention giant robot vs. giant monster fights are always epic.
    "You see, there's no need to wonder where your god is. Because he's right here! And he's fresh out of mercy!"
    -Kirito (SAO Abridged)

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  11. #11
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Pacific Rim was great. Really the only flaw was that most of the action was at night and/or in the rain which made it unnecessarily difficult to see the action.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just found some of the Showa-era Godzilla movies at my local Barnes & Noble. I now have all of the currently available North American Godzilla blu-rays (with the exception of GINO, which I intend to get eventually). With Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs Megalon getting released in July, it would be nice if the remaining 12 Godzilla movies from Toho received the blu-ray treatment in the near future. I especially want blu-rays of the three remaining MechaGodzilla movies, GMK, and '85. It also wouldn't hurt to see blu-rays for Rodan and other classic Toho Kaiju films.
    Sieg Zeon!

  12. #12
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Here in UK I have no hope of actually seeing them in any good quality. There is a rare dvd or import but they simply dont sell anything like that anymore.

  13. #13
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    I'm honestly surprised that there hasn't been any love for the Heisei Gamera trilogy. Those movies were my introduction to that ridiculous flying turtle monster. The tone of those movies is just perfect for heroic monster movies. Seriously, the Gamera trilogy is a must see set of family friendly Kaiju films.
    Sieg Zeon!

  14. #14
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    Has anyone seen the 2014 re-boot? What are your thoughts? I hear it has a serious tone to it and not campy like the previous one.

  15. #15
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    Re: Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju movies.

    I've seen it, and it was really good. It does give off a more serious tone than other films of the franchise, which I rather enjoyed.
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