James Halcomb shares his Top Five Movies on the ‘Godzilla’s’ 60th Anniversary.
There was no way that I was going to let the 60th anniversary of the first ‘Godzilla’ movie this week pass without some sort of recognition. The Toho film series was always a childhood treat to catch on Sunday afternoons and later at midnight movies in the theater. These films introduced me to the craziness that was the film industry in Japan in the sixties and seventies and were humorously where I learned to appreciate subtitles, due to the often horrible dubbing used in the film series.
So I give you my top five favorite Godzilla movies:
The much maligned first attempt by a US studio to bring the film franchise to America, I continue to find the film quotable, “Boy, that’s a lot of fish.” And a hoot to watch with a like-minded audience who enjoy a “its so good its bad” movie experience. It also makes a great drinking game: every time you see a Josta Cola ad, you take a shot. This game is not for the weak of stamina.
The film was from 1971, is a trippy flick that makes very little sense plot wise. However, it has some stellar and bizarre animation sequences, a great monster fight and is probably one of the best to introduce your kids to. The film is kind of the ‘Teletubbies’ version of a Godzilla movie.
From 1954, is just a bizarrely dark film. The version released in North America is interspersed with scenes of American Icon in his own right, Perry Mason himself, Raymond Burr. I always preferred the original with subtitles, it is a serious film that feels as almost real world as a movie like this can be. There is heft to the chaos and the destruction with real consequences. It is a matter of taste but if you are looking to really get into the films, I do suggest watching them both.
The latest American stab at creating a franchise here, was a commercial and critical success from this past summer. The tone was serious, while the action and affects gave the film an awesome scale. The movie was never slow and always had a sense of purpose. I gave it a glowing review and I stand by it in retrospect. Itís a good time.
From 1964, is still my favorite. It is the perfect blend of plot (the film often feels very super-spy like at times), trippy Shobijin twins and there songs make for some serious laughter and there are multiple monster (or kaiju as they are referred to as in Japan) battles to satisfy any fan.
The ‘Godzilla’ series has transcended the decades in multiple versions. Often the series changed with little thought or effort to strong continuity. They often just used the original film as a springboard and went from there. What was never missing? An idea to entertain a mass audience around the globe. Whether ‘Godzilla’ has been a man in a rubber suit or a CGI effect, the monster has done just that.