1st. — Gojira (1954)
Alright, this is my first entry to my pet project, and one thing you’ll learn about me is that I love Japanese culture, and giant monsters and robots. Those two might or might not be correlated. I probably watched a giant robot cartoon/anime when I was a kid and, it just so happens Japan does a bunch of these. There are usually giant monsters, and they fight each other. Or it’s just giant robots. Or just giant monsters. Anyway. It’s dope.
Let’s talk Gojira. This movie’s from 1954. That’s like 63 years ago. Mind you; this was not even ten years after Hiroshima, which you know, was attacked with a nuclear bomb. The premise of the movie? A giant animal presumed long extinct was alive and surprise, it absorbed shittons of nuclear energy. Talk about coping mechanism.
That said, the way the movie goes about telling the story of this giant monster is super entertaining. Science is somewhat relevant. They sprout dates and sciency-therms without any regard for accuracy, but everything happens seriously. And that’s what I loved about this. It takes itself extremely seriously. The actors and the characters themselves pass this sense of urgency and feeling that — HOLY SHIT, THERE’S A GIANT DINOSAUR LOOK-A-LIKE DESTROYING OUR CITY — feeling. People die, sacrifices are made. It’s super interesting.
The special effects are also pretty neat(remember, 1954), everything is done using giant dioramas. Floods, Goji stomping cities, planes shooting missiles, cars flipping, explosions, giant city-wide fires. It’s neat. The music really adds up here as well, even hearing it for the first time, it’s very clear when you’re supposed to feel how dire the situation is when there’s wreaking havoc happening.
I may have talked a lot about the surroundings of Gojira, so to wrap this up, let’s speak of the monster itself. The movie does an excellent build up for the monster first appearance. There’s a very intense moment and suspense of “waah, is this real? When will the monster appear? Are we screwed?”, And whenever he shows up, oh boy oh boy he’s pissed. He’ll destroy anything on his way. He’s merciless, and he’s bestial, primal. He feels threatened, he fights back. He’s not affected by what the world has prepared in terms of weaponry. It’s intense. You have to watch it to feel it.
All in all, I loved how the world around Gojira is built, and I’ll keep watching its movies. After all, monsters beating the shit out of stuff is always fun.