Friday Favorites: GODZILLA

I’m sure everyone has either seen the trailer for the new Godzilla vs Kong movie, or at least know it is out there and have been avoiding it, either because of spoilers or you’re just not interested. So I figured it would be the perfect time to discuss some of Big G’s films. Once again, let us remember that since Godzilla has been around for over half a century, there can be many reasons why a particular time frame is your favorite. Doesn’t mean its a better film to everyone, but holds something special to you. This is where a lot of film criticism and fandom can get a bit dicey because we tend to think if some doesn’t agree with you, they just don’t get it. I know I’ve jokingly said that many times, but I’ve also said and truly believe that you can’t have a wrong opinion.

Now my personal favorite, which I’ll point out right here (which you can respond in the comments below) is the 1973 epic Godzilla vs Megalon. I won’t argue with you that it is cheesy as hell. But I got to see this in the theater as a kid, and was already a fan after seeing many of Godzilla flicks on TV and just loving them. So yeah, goofy, silly, and even hilariously bad, but all still combined to deliver damn fun entertainment as much as Godzilla’s flying drop kick. Sure, the even the ones in the ’90s had some amazing special effects (Hello Biollante?!?!) and I did enjoy them as well. But the ones from the ’60s and ’70s bring back a part of my childhood and always make me smile.

These Friday Favorites is all about YOUR opinion. If you’re a big fan of the American Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), then that’s fine. If you’re a fan of the very first one, back in 1954 (which would be my second favorite), that’s awesome as well. Let’s hear not only your favorite entry, but why. Is it the special effects of the modern ones? The powerful message from the original that started it all? What say you?

14 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: GODZILLA

  1. Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster takes the top spot!!! I was hooked on the Big G, after the first time that I saw the original on tv when I was a kid. But when dad brought home the pre-record VHS with the slightly adjusted GHIDRAH title, I was introduced to the giant monster that would eventually supplant even Godzilla, himself for the top spot on my fave list! A winged golden three-headed dragon hydra creature that shoots energy (or gravity) beams out of the mouth of his heads. He can cause extreme destructive winds and lightning strikes with his wings. The sounds that he makes are awesome! I even have one of them as a notification on my phone! Lol! KG is just so bad ass plain and simple! Haha! The film also has another of my favorites in Rodan as well. It was definitely a game changer for me! Lol! The original film and Godzilla VS Hedorah aka The Smog Monster flip flop for the second and third spots on my list.
    A cool Megalon anecdote that I can also share is that when dad bought the pre-record vhs of that one, it came in a box that looked like an old red and white striped popcorn box that you could get at the cinema. I thought that was pretty cool as a kid!
    When it comes to the legacy of the Big G, the Showa Era will always be my favorite period of his films. But I do enjoy many of the films that came in the eras that followed as well. I know that it’s not “cool” to like the last couple of “American” films, but I do enjoy them for what they are. I think that it’s great that the longest running film franchise is still going strong and introducing new generations to one of the greatest cinematic icons in the history of the medium! I can’t wait to sit down with Jen and the boys with a monster sized bucket of popcorn and watch Kong and Godzilla duke it out again in March!!!

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  2. My favorite is “Destroy All Monsters.” The original Godzilla is a close second. I also have a soft spot for the version of Godzilla with Matthew Broderick. I’m easily amused, I guess, but Jean Reno’s Elvis imitation tickles my funnybone.

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  3. I agree with you on just how much of a badass Ghidorah is. Always thought he was super cool. I also remember just how messed up Godzilla vs the Smog Monster was my first time. Like what the hell? But another great and unique looking monster.

    But outside of Godzilla, I also fondly remember Gamera vs Guiron (though I probably saw it under the Attack of the Monsters title). When they reveal that these two aliens are going to eat the brains of these two little kids…WTF?

    So yeah, Kaiju movies were really part of my childhood and those same titles are what still brings the smiles.

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    • I loved the first Gamera film when I saw it as a kid! I saw the first sequel as well, but don’t really rember it, and have still never got around to watching any of the other films. I’ve always heard good things though! All of that is about to change as we were able to score the Complete Gamera Collection box that Arrow released! Jen and Gabe are fans and I’m looking forward to revisiting the original and seeing the rest!

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  4. Gosh, I’ll be honest and say I haven’t seen a Godzilla film since I was a wee lad (maybe it’s time to revisit the movies). But I do have a fond memory of viewing “Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster” on the big screen at the tender age of ten in Wexford, Pennsylvania. I became an immediate fan and recall watching many Godzilla films on TV (those were the days, as they say). I fondly remember “Mothra”, but I would have to agree with Maureen’s choice of “Destroy all Monsters” as my fave!

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    • For some reason, I have never been a fan of Mothra. Not sure why, but just never got it. Sure, the moth stage is pretty awesome looking, especially in the newer films, but just didn’t see the appeal.

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      • Right there with ya on that Jon, I’ve never been a fan of Mothra either! There’s so many other way cooler kaiju, I’ve never understood the appeal either. Lol! That said, I have always liked the Shobijin, and thought that they were the coolest part of the Mothra character.

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  5. I was never a big Godzilla guy but as a kid I really saw a lot of the Gamera movies on Sat afternoon TV. Loved Gamera vs. Guiron the most! The kids getting shaved to have their brains eaten really freaked me out. Only mentioned that because you brought it up Jon.

    Getting back to Godzilla, I did see the origianl Godzilla about 10 years ago and was really amazed how good it was. After seeing all the cheesy “Godzilla vs.” movies as a kid and not caring for them, didn’t expect the original to be so serious in tone.

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    • No worries, Chris. I would rate the Gamera films right up there with Godzilla. The early ones are cheesy but still a lot of fun. And then ones from the ’90s really up the production value and were really strong films, especially Attack of the Legion.

      It is kind of surprising how dark in tone the original Godzilla film is that most people don’t realize. They keep thinking of the cheesy ones, but that first one packs quite a punch, even today. Back in 2004, the Music Box Theatre in Chicago screened the original version for the 50th anniversary, so it was just amazing to see that on the big screen, even more so with my son!

      My son is probably a bigger Kaiju fan than even me, at least when he was younger. I can remember coming home one day, coming down stairs to him watching a Godzilla movie, in the original Japanese language, with no sub-titles, and entertained as hell. I knew at that point, I raised him right!

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  6. Did someone say… Godzilla?

    My first exposure to the Big G was Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (aka Hedorah) on late night creature features, and it was only later that I realized just how INSANE that movie really is. I mean, that cat in the sludge on on the steps of the discotech is 100 proof nightmare fuel, amirite? Plus you’ve got a shapeshifting nemesis (why? how?), Godzilla flying backwards (why? how?), and a rockin’ “Save the Earth” theme song… what’s not to like?

    For sure, Godzilla vs. Megalon was always a formative classic for this monster kid as well, which I saw in a double feature with The Giant Spider Invasion. I mean, COME ON. I confess that it’s lost a little of its charm for the adult version of me, due to its shoddy production values, recycled footage, and supremely juvenile plot, but I’ll always be just a little in love with it for all of the same reasons.

    Yes, of course, the 1954 original is the top of the heap in terms of true filmmaking, but as far as my favorites from the Showa films, I’d probably have to go with sentimental faves King Kong vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in addition to the two I mentioned above. (I also kind of like Godzilla Raids Again, due to the sped-up monster battles.)

    I avoided all of the post-70s Godzilla flicks until much later in life (outside of Godzilla 1985, and let’s say no more about that), thinking that they “weren’t the real thing,” but the fact of the matter is that I actually enjoy them quite a bit now. The production quality is quite stellar for the most part, and the scripts are better, as are the effects. Highlights from the Hesei period include Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. The Millennium series also yielded its share of winners, including Godzilla 2000 and wildly verbose title Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.

    (pause)

    Hey, where’d everyone go?

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    • I was wondering how long it was going to take to get a response from you, Since Big G is completely responsible for our original meeting, I was hoping to hear some input on you. A few years ago, I started through the series again, revisiting them, but stopped somewhere around Godzilla vs Hedora. I really need to get back and finish those because, like you mentioned, I really want to see how the later day films hold up for me. Maybe someday when things get back to normal, we’ll have to have our own little G-marathon.

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      • That would be great fun. I haven’t gone back through the series since prepping for the HH article back in 2014 in the wake of the new American version, although I did pop in GMK: All Monsters Attack last October just as a bit of non-review comfort food during the Scare-a-Thon. I forget, did you pick up the Criterion collection of the Showa flicks?

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