Godzilla’s first film was released in Japan November 3rd, 1954. Throughout the 60 years that followed, we got to see many different iterations of Godzilla – he went from being the villain, to playing the part of the superhero, and finally settling into the role of the reluctant anti-hero. I like all versions of the monster, but I like Godzilla as the grumpy anti-hero the most.
Over those 60 years we saw some classic films… and some lame ones, too. The series started with a dark, brooding masterpiece of sci-fi horror, but by its second sequel the series was getting goofy. And while I may not totally understand the shift in tone, I like it just the same, because the sense of fun is what allowed the series to survive this long.
This year we saw the release of the second American take on Godzilla. Thankfully it was much better than Roland Emmerich’s film. And while the Gareth Edwards film is far from perfect, I really kind of love it. Sure, I would’ve liked to have seen more of Godzilla and a little less of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but it was a good movie with some excellent cinematography.
In a couple years we are going to get a sequel to the Edwards film… and there are rumblings that Toho is considering making new Godzilla movies of their own.
The world (and film) has changed so much in those long 60 years, but Godzilla’s here to stay. Whether the monster is a man in suit or the work of CGI, whether he’s mean or friendly, whether he’s made by Japanese or Americans… Godzilla, like the heroes of comic books or the horror monsters Dracula and Frankenstein, feels like an immortal part of pop culture.
And that’s just fine by me.
I’ve been a Godzilla fan since I was a little kid. I would go to Blockbuster (RIP) and pick out a random monster/dinosaur movie on VHS. Eventually I found my way to the Godzilla series—I think my first was the original Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, then titled Cosmic Monster or something—and I was hooked ever since.
It was my wish to release my kaiju novel In the Shadow of Extinction this week to honor Godzilla and those who created him. For without Godzilla, I would never have written this book… But I didn’t get my wish. The book is over 600 pages and the editing will take a long time. It’s just not ready for the public eye yet. I had a choice: release the book now and capitalize on a historical release date… or release the book when it’s actually ready to be read. It was an easy choice, really. Hell, I don’t even know if it’ll be available before the end of the year. I’ll give updates when I can.
I feel like Godzilla’s been with me my whole life. A giant radioactive reptile is a part of me. Which is weird. And awesome.
Happy 60th Birthday, big guy.
Now excuse me, I’ve had King Kong vs. Godzilla on pause while I wrote this and Mr. Tako looks pissed. Gotta go.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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