Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Son of Godzilla, and the films that preceded it had seen a decline in box office return. Toho saw the interest wane for kaiju films, and so they were going to stop producing them. Before that, they were gonna send their monsters out with big celebratory fireworks display. Toho put every suit they had available into this film, and at the time it was the largest number of monsters in single film for the Godzilla franchise. Continue reading “Destroy All Monsters (1968)”

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Son of Godzilla (1967)

As I’ve said, Jun Fukuda’s entries in the Godzilla series were very different than what had come before, and they were definitely more geared towards children. Son of Godzilla is probably the most child friendly of any of them not named All Monsters Attack. Many fans regard this as the lowest point in the series, but I disagree. It’s stupid, it’s weird and silly, but it’s among the most entertaining in the franchise. Continue reading “Son of Godzilla (1967)”

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)

The Showa era was the longest of the three major eras in the Godzilla franchise. I like breaking it down into even smaller sections. The first three films form a decent trilogy where Godzilla appears and dies, a new Godzilla shows up to battle another monster, and finally meets his match in King Kong. I call those films the Origin Trilogy. The previous three films formed the Showa Trilogy, with the most consistent through line and the best examples of the Showa series as a whole. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is the first in what I refer to as the Monster Island Trilogy. It consists of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Son of Godzilla, and Destroy All Monsters, and it’s so named because the events of all three of these films takes place on an island which is another staple of the franchise. Continue reading “Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)”

Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

It’s one small step for man, one giant Godzilla stomp for monsterkind, in Invasion of Astro-Monster, the only film in the series to feature Godzilla in space. It’s the last of what I call the Showa Trilogy, and it’s the kookiest of the bunch so far. I love it. This is my all time favorite Godzilla film. Sure I appreciate the more serious original, as you would gather from my lengthy review of that one. Astro-Monster is what it’s all about for me though, and it’s why I love the series as much as I do. Far afield from the somber seriousness of Godzilla’s debut, this romp in space is the kind of silly entertainment that would become a staple of the franchise for years to come. Continue reading “Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)”

Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

Released later in the same year as Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster is the fifth film to feature Godzilla, and the second film in what I call the Showa Trilogy. Following up on the events from the last film in the canon, Mothra is regarded as a celebrity, and one of the larvae has unfortunately died due to story contrivances. Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi) returns to study an unusual meteorite that turns out to be an egg or cocoon of sorts containing the demonic creature from space, King Ghidorah. Venusians have taken possession of Princess Selina Salno (Akiko Wakabayashi) to warn Earth of it’s impending doom. Hearing the warning, the Shobijin have Mothra attempt to convince monsters, Godzilla and Rodan to help save the Earth. Continue reading “Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964)”

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Mothra vs Godzilla is the second major crossover in the series, and the first with another Toho property. Having made her debut in the 1961 film, Mothra, the titular monster returns to save earth from the menace of Godzilla. This also marks the first in the Showa Trilogy. The entire Showa series of films are loosely connected continuity wise, but Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, and Invasion of Astro Monster are the only films in the Showa series to have a narrative through line. Akira Takarada returns to lead along side Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura, one of the few recurring characters in the franchise besides the monsters. Continue reading “Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)”

King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

King Kong Vs. Godzilla is the first of three major crossovers in which Godzilla battles with another monster not created solely for the Godzilla franchise. What better monster for Godzilla to fight after his 7 years of being on ice (literally, he’s been trapped in ice ever since the ending of Godzilla Raids Again) than the one that was a major inspiration for him, King Kong. The American creation and the Japanese creation duke it out this entertaining and iconic entry in the series. Continue reading “King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)”

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

The Godzilla series is broken up into four major sections. The first of these, the Showa series, refers to all the films from 1954 to 1975. The second film in the Showa era and the second film over all, Godzilla Raids Again, is probably my least favorite of all 31 films in the franchise. It’s not an awful movie, it just isn’t very memorable. Continue reading “Godzilla Raids Again (1955)”

Godzilla (1954)

Warning: Heavy Spoilers Below!

The original Godzilla from 1954 is far more than just a monster movie. It has more to say, and what it has to say is important. This is a somber film, very unlike the more lighthearted and fantastical entries, of which I am a huge fan as well. However, the original film brings more to the table than relentless Kaiju action. Before the series had become viewed as nothing more than silly kids movies, Godzilla was as sobering reminder about the dangers of nuclear proliferation, from a nation that was more familiar with the human cost of these kinds weapons of mass destruction than any other nation in the world. Godzilla was not simply a monster, he was metaphor for the atomic bomb. This was more than a film, it was a political statement spurred on by the events of the time. Continue reading “Godzilla (1954)”

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