Godzilla is the monster who has it all. There is no doubt in my non-imperfect mind that this giant, nuclear reptile is indeed the king of all kaiju (i.e. city-stomping) monsters. Giant robots can be cool and all, but when they fight Godzilla (even if the robots look like him) they'll always get their metal asses handed to them on a large, silver platter. Giant turtles can fly and swirl around in the sky and shit, but they're always defenders of humanity, and that's just lame. Twin, gargantuan orangutans?... Almost as pathetic as giant moths. Nope, Godzilla is the undisputed King of them all.
Ever since I was a little Rosschild, I remember loving Godzilla. I have bits and pieces of memories from when I was 3 years-old, and my favorite toy was my brother's two-foot tall, plastic Godzilla figure with the "rocket hand" and "flame tongue." The first thing I ever remember drawing at about the same age is "Godzilla Standing on a Hill, Breathing Fire" (it's still on the underside of my parents' old coffee table, and it is still a work of art!). I recall watching Godzilla movies with my older brother on long past Saturdays, and being in total awe of the big, green, man-in-suit monster when he battled King Kong, King Ghidrah/Ghidorah, and Gigan up and down Japan. The Return of Godzilla (I will do my best to avoid talking about the Americanized Godzilla movies as best I can, but yes, I do know the in the States it was released as Godzilla 1985. Suck me.) blew me away, what with its return to the more scary and human-hating monster that he was always meant to be. The 1990s Godzilla flicks totally impressed me with their great continuity, and the creation of the bestest enemy kaiju ever: Destroyah. The big G's early 21st century movies were kind of a mixed bag, but the Ryuhei Kitamura directed finale, Godzilla: Final Wars, ended everything on the highest note possible. I swear, Kitamura is a directing deity. He and Azumi should have super-directing-ninja babies together. Those offspring would rule the fucking planet like the invading aliens in half the Godzilla movies ever made... But I digress. My point is that I grew up with Godzilla, and he's always been a cheezy, model-city-crushing, make-believe friend I could count on.
Where it all began
Godzilla had humble beginnings, just like all superstars who don't suck. It all started back in the 1950s when Toho Entertainment was looking for the next (actually the first) big thing. They wanted to make a movie to show how much they hated nuclear power (after getting their evil Imperial butts charred by two atomic bombs at the end of WWII), but they couldn't figure out how to do it properly without making it seem like they were whining. That's when Gojira (aka Godzilla) Tachimoto showed up. Godzilla auditioned for the part of "Nuclear Scientist Number 4," but he impressed the producers enough that they felt that they could base an entire movie around the guy's rugged, monsterly, good looks. They filmed the big G stomping on countless tiny models of Tokyo, and they let him set things on fire as he saw fit too. Then they wrote a cheese-ball story around his antics, claiming that Atomic Bomb testing created the big lug. But then they eliminated him in a most disturbing manner: by using an Oxygen Destroyer Bomb to eat the flesh off his bones (I love the total irony that they needed another super-bomb to stop something that a previous super-bomb helped create)... The ODB did come back to bite humanity (well, mostly Japan) in the ass in a later installment to the Godzilla Franchise, Godzilla Versus Destroyah, but I'll get to that later.
So in 1954 Toho released the original Godzilla, and it was an immediate success. The only problem was that Toho stupidly killed the big G off at the end of the film... How were they to ever make a sequel? Their way around this little, bitty problem was to say "fuck you," to continuity, and just say that Godzilla must have been one of a race of giant, mutated, atomic-fire breathed, thunder lizards; and thus Godzilla Raids Again was born. Anguilas, Godzilla's four-legged buddy in many of the really lame 70s movies to come, makes his first appearance as the second big G's arch foe in this one. All in all the sequel kinda sucked. The Japanese version wasn't really terrible, but it didn't take anything further than the first one. Godzilla just seemed to sleep his way through the role as well. But the chopped-up and butchered American release of the sequel (known as Gigantis, the Fire Monster) did have one thing going for it -- best line ever: "Oooooh banana juice..." If I remember correctly, it was George Takei that delivered it for the dub. Good job, Mr. Sulu!
After GRA, Godzilla was starting to get a big head. He was all like, "I am the KING, baby! I can kick any monster's butt that you throw at me! I am here to represent!" Well, Toho was kind of getting worried since the big G was their meal ticket, but he was starting to live pretty hard. He was boozin' it up all over town with cheap, Japanese, school-girl hookers, he was riding the dragon whenever he had the cash, and he was arrested for stepping on miniature city models wherever he found them. There was only one thing for Toho to do in order to put him in his place: pit him against King fucking Kong. The following movie that they made with the two famous monsters (the aptly titled King fucking Kong Vs. Godzilla) was everything it was supposed to be. There really was no plot (the start of a trend) other than to see the two kingly titans beat the fecal matter out of themselves and Japan. Yeah, Godzilla gave out quite a bit, but in the end, the South Pacific simian wound up the victor (despite stupid urban legends claiming that the big G won in the original cut). Godzilla was humbled, and ready to play by Toho's rule book. And thus a legend was truly truly born.
Between the years of 1964 and 1975 Toho pooped out 12 original goddamn Godzilla movies! Twelve!.. Well, Godzilla's Revenge might not really count as an official G movie (Godzilla basically only has an extended cameo in it) or a movie at all for that matter (if your definition of "movie" is something that entertains an audience and doesn't make them want to vomit), but that's still a lot. The strain of such a constant filming schedule really took its toll on the big G too. If you watch the movies in order (starting with Godzilla Vs. the Thing [which turned out to just be Mothra *yawn*] and ending with Terror of Mecha Godzilla) you will see how Godzilla's body showed the strain: His mouth started to sag, his eyes got all googly and bulged out like Arnold at the end of Total Recall in the Martian atmosphere, and he started acting all goofy and strange, like a sick and scaly, giant Curly from the Three Stooges... Sometimes I even think I hear him saying "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! Hey Moe!" By the end of his initial film run, Godzilla looked like a giant, green Cookie Monster. This new look cost him greatly in the singles' scene.
By the end of 1975, the big G had had enough of Toho. He'd sworn off fighting any more hilariously embarrassing giant moths, three-headed space dragons, monsters made of human waste, and bionic replications of himself... He was ready for some rest. For close to ten years after Terror, Godzilla was a recluse. He was recuperating and he spent a full 12 months trying to find his inner beastie. See, by the end of the 60s and 70s movies Toho had used Godzilla's fatigued body's strange, new Cookie Monster appearance to write him into the role of humanity's savior, and hero to all the good boys and girls of Japan. This new image was just one more kick to G's oversized, saggy crotch. After mastering yoga though, Godzilla came to terms with his own past, but he decided that it was time to set a new course for the future! Thusly he proudly stomped back into Toho's main offices and demanded that they write a new movie with him as the total bad ass star. And The Return of Godzilla was born.
How it all continued
The Return of Godzilla was just what the doctor ordered for both the big G and his audience. Godzilla was back to his roots, and everybody pretended that the all the previous movies since the '54 original never really happened. G was back to being a walking, burning, natural disaster that humanity could do nothing to stop. The fucked up American release edited in a bigger "Cold War scenario," and brought back Perry Mason (who was in the hacked up American version of the original G movie too) to stand around and look fat and blame the damn ruskies for fucking things up even more than a regular giant monster attack on Tokyo could do. Fucking commies.
Anyway, The Return of Godzilla was almost perfect, and it made the big G feel like a kid again. His eyes stopped bulging, he got his figure back, and his roar never sounded more terrifying. I remember when they did an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in the G's Okinawa pad, and he had an entire ROOM called the "Panty Palace," where he stored the thousands of panties from all the girls he banged after he got his virility back. The man was insatiable!
Soon after his initial filmatic resurrection, Godzilla started work on the new "90s Godzilla series" (named this despite the fact that Godzilla Vs. Biollante was made in 89... but whatever). Biollante wasn't a stellar sequel to Return (I mean Godzilla's nemesis was a large shrubbery), but it did lead to Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah -- one of the best kaiju movies ever. GvsKG was so outrageously trippy it was beautiful. It had time travel, great monster fights, Steven Spielberg's dad, UFOs, and enough paradoxes to confuse even the great Dr. Emmett Brown. But it was fun. Godzilla himself was such a total and complete bad mother fucker in GvsKG. He was back in the game.
Following GvsKG Godzilla began to fight all his old nemesi again: Mothra (seriously, who the fuck thought that a giant, paisley butterfly should be the big G's arch foe?!), Radon, Mecha Godzilla... But then Godzilla got bored with everything again. He had fame and fortune, and a new leisurely pace to film each proceeding movie, but he started to let it all go to his head once more. Though he stayed away from the drugs and the alcohol this time, Godzilla still partied hard. Sometimes he'd miss an entire morning of shooting because one of the floozies he met the previous night unplugged his alarm clock. He never even apologized once for the overtime and extra costs that his whorish behavior was causing. The little midget who played Minya, Godzilla's adopted son, in the 90s features is quoted as saying, "See, Godzilla is so fucking full of himself now! He's all like 'poon tang, poon tang, POON TANG!' and he doesn't care who he steps on to get a little snatch. One time he even called 'cut' himself in the middle of a fucking scene -- and I was ACING my lines that day too, dammit! -- in order to escort the producer's sister off the lot and into some cheesy pirate-themed hourly hotel... With just a little make-up I could so easily play his goddamn part! Why do they put up with that fucker?!" Why indeed...
Well, with Godzilla himself obviously getting sick of the role, and the fact that he fucked all the sisters, mothers and wives of the producers and director and accountants on all his films, everybody at Toho figured it was time to kill the big guy off for good. It was 1995, and Godzilla came face to face with his destiny. The Oxygen Destroying Bomb from the very first movie came back into play as it created the new super-kaiju, Destroyah. Destroyah fucking whooped the big G's hiney every time they met, and throughout the whole movie Godzilla was threatening to go nuclear on the world. The big finale had the original Godzilla melt into a really cool pile of goo just after the humans took Destroyah down (the writers, sick of G's behind the scenes antics, wouldn't even allow him to kill the villain). It was cut-ass rugged.
Then, bad shit happened.
Toho, sick of the shit that their star was pulling, killed him off in their movies, but that wasn't the end of all things "G". By the end of the 90s Godzilla films, Toho was contacted by the Hollywood guys who made Independence Day, and they expressed interest in making an "American" Godzilla feature. Toho pretty much shat their pants in excitement. They were gonna get tons of cash to have somebody else use their property, and they might be able to get Godzilla out of their lives and pocketbooks for years while he filmed in the States... But something was wrong with this plan from the very beginning.
First of all, the Americans were not even planning on using Godzilla in their film at all. And they lied about what it was that they were making (there was nothing even remotely "Godzilla" about the final project!). Instead of a true "Godzilla movie," what the American filmakers gave audiences in 1998 was a "giant iguana running around in the rain, laying eggs" movie. It was terrible. Really really bad. And it made the world start to hate the name "Godzilla." Toho and the real Godzilla then had to regain their respected reputations. Godzilla agreed to go into counseling for his sex and Ding-Dong addictions, and soon production began on a new "official and real" Toho G movie: Godzilla 2000. It was a hit!
True to his word, the big G stayed clear of whores and chocolate cupcakes, and he was able to shoot five more kick ass movies through 2004, culminating in the greatest G-fest feature ever, the 50th anniversary piece, Godzilla: Final Wars! Pretty much every Toho monster ever made had at least a brief cameo in that film, and they all got bitch-slapped (i.e. royally fucked up) by the G-man by the final credit roll. Plus, Haggar from Capcom's Final Fight had a starring role in Final Wars! He was almost as cool as Godzilla! I'm telling you, this is not only Godzilla's greatest movie ever, but it rivals Citizen Kane as greatest thing ever put to film without any hot, naked chicks having sex in it! Yes, it is that fucking sweet!
Hopefully Toho and Godzilla will not make us wait too long for the inevitable Godzilla Resurrection which will undoubtedly make our eyes bleed with kaiju awesomeness. Viva Godzilla! Viva Toho! Viva la Monstah Union!!
Ooooooh yeah, boy! The G-man is the MAIN man! that partyin' reptile has got it goin' and got it flowin'! Yeah, his movies be all fly and shit, but it's his real life livin' that makes me worship this scaly whack-job like the god who's ass I always knew I was meant to kiss. 'Zilla's so fly, that he don't bitch slap you like a normal pimp. No, he fuckin' TAIL bitch slaps you back to Tuesday!
He's 30 stories high! He breathes fire! His head is in the sky! Godzilla! Godzilla! GODZILLA!
Seriously, why do guys like Godzilla so much? Most of his movies are about 85% "stupid Japanese people running around, not knowing what to do to stop the giant, green monster," and only 10 percent are about "Godzilla fighting monsters the exact same way they fought them in the previous film." The remaining 5% are opening and ending credits.
I mean, come on... It's a guy in a rubber suit stepping on cardboard skyscrapers while toy tanks and planes shoot puffs of smoke at him. It's ridiculous! And don't tell me that after 50 years of monster attacks that Japan hasn't just given up and moved, or found a way to actually stop him. 50 years is a long time. Scientists have invented lots of things within that time period. Maybe something in plastics could stop him. That was something they didn't originally have back in the 50s. Did they ever try to use another nuclear bomb on him? Maybe this time it would melt him or something. And I know that my brother talked about it above, but why is Godzilla's biggest enemy a moth? How does a flying insect even beat an angry, nuclear, dinosaur?
Godzilla, football, and the Three Stooges... Why men like them I'll never know. Some things that guys like I can get into too -- like the Little Rascals. They're just so cute and silly. I think that Alfalfa is a bit retarded, but Buckwheat and Spanky are just so darn huggable! (Note from the Rossman: The Little Rascals suck. No man likes them... Well, except for Michael Jackson. I don't know what Jaime's talking about here)