Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monster Week - Godzilla

Happy Halloween!!

Arggh! It's GODZILLA!!!

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Dad pulled our Ford LTD into the parking slot, careful to get as close to the post as possible without  hitting it.  He rolled the window down and set the speaker from the pole on the window, rolling it back up to hold it in place.  As the scratchy, tinny music played, Mom would pass back the paper bags filled with popcorn and bottles of soda.  My sister and I would lean over the seat as the fanfare started and the words zoomed onto the screen:  Godzilla!

There he is!  Cower in fear, Tokyo!  Gojira!

Movie night at the drive in--the highlight of the week.

These were the smashy arms guys!  Godzilla vs. Magalon.
Ooo!  Mothra gets in a good one!
We loved the Godzilla movies, fakey as they were.  We saw them all:  Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Megalon (a personal favorite).  When we were little, we would be glued to our seats--unless we were leaning over Mom and Dad's shoulder to get a better view.  We saw them on the big screen, then on television.  As we got older, we laughed at the campiness--remember how the monsters (can't remember which movie) communicated by clapping their forearms together?  We'd do it along with them.  Oh, and let's not forget mimicking that fabulous Japanese dubbing!  (mouths moving...moving..moving.  "Look out!"  moving...moving...)  We had Godzilla rubber toys, just as lifelike as the 1950s models.  And I will go to my grave remembering that distinctive "screeeeaaaaa--yaru!" that was Godzilla's roar.

Godzilla has long influenced our culture.  The first movie came out in 1954 and became the defining standard of Japanese monster movies.  To date,

  • Godzilla (1954)
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  • King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962)
  • Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1964)
  • Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  • Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero (1965)
  • Godzilla Vs. the Sea Monster (1966)
  • Son of Godzilla (1967)
  • Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  • Godzilla's Revenge (1969)
  • Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971)
  • Godzilla Vs. Gigan (1972)
  • Godzilla Vs. Megalon (1973)
  • Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
  • Godzilla 1985 (1985)
  • Godzilla Vs. Biollante (1989)
  • Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
  • Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
  • Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  • Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla (1994)
  • Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah (1995)
  • Godzilla (1998)
  • Godzilla 2000: Millennium (2000)
  • Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus (2000)
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
  • Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
  • Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
  • Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
He started out, or so the story goes, as a metaphor for the United States, then for the horrors of nuclear power, but the awkwardly moving monster with the electric back plates and the nuclear firebreath proved a versatile character.  There have also been Godzilla cartoons, comics, books and video games.  He's also been the subject of numerous songs, parodies, and has influenced other monster movies as well. 

If you're interested, there are some of the old movies and series on Netflix.  And, if you're wondering where our favorite radioactive monster has been, he's coming back in 2014.

Drive-ins are pretty much a thing of the past, but this October, pop up some popcorn in a brown paper sack and curl up with Netflix and a good ol' fashioned monster movie.

Monster Week -  Creature from the Black Lagoon - The Mummy - Vampires - The Thing 


  1. Great post! My fave, I loved Mothra, and those little singing girls...:)

  2. That's one big monster. I had no idea that so much was produced on the subject.

  3. Mothra RULES! I pretty much like all the daikaiju, though. Good, wholesome fun. :)