It happened. G-fans rejoice! Comic Con 2012 delivered the goods with not only a poster for the upcoming Godzilla reboot by Legendary pictures, but a teaser trailer as well! In honor of this monumental occasion I’ve decided to count down my favorite Godzilla films. Let’s get things started with one of Godzilla’s craziest films…
Godzilla vs. Megalon
I stated above that I preferred the more serious Godzilla films to many of the lighthearted ones that make up the the Showa series of Godzilla films. That being said, Godzilla vs. Megalon was one of my favorites growing up and still is. The plot can basically be boiled down to this, an undersea civilization is mad at surface dwellers so they send their god Megalon, a beetle with drill hands, to deliver vengeance on the surface world and Godzilla has to stop him. To be fair, this film isn’t that great. Poor special effects, a silly story, and a Godzilla costume that looks like crap. How can I possibly enjoy this film then? Three things – Megalon himself, flying-tail kick, and Jet Jaguar. Megalon is a great villain, and is still widly remembered today. With his ability to fly, go under the ground, and use drill hands he is one beetle not to be trifled with. Moving on to Jet Jaguar, I’m not entirely sure what the opinions among G-fans of him are, but I personally enjoy him. Jet Jaguar is essentially Ultraman (but with a much cooler name). He grows to massive size to defend humanity from Megalon and Gigan, getting the crap beat out of him but never giving up or surrendering. Upon Godzilla’s arrival the two team up to deliver the pain to Megalon. After the baddies defeat the two heroes even shake hands. THEY SHAKE HANDS. Finally, even though Godzilla looks like crap in this film, he does perform one of the coolest (and goofiest) Godzilla attack in the franchise’s history – the flying tail kick. As Jet Jaguar holds Megalon still, Godzilla leaps upon his tail and slides with both feet forward into the chest of Megalon, over and over again. Maybe it’s just nostalgia seeping in (most likely), but despite this films poor production values and silliness I can’t help but enjoy it.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Man is this film great, the finest of all Godzilla vs. films in my opinion. The next Godzilla film released after Godzilla vs. Megalon, they share almost nothing in common except for a sidekick monster in the final battle. Great production values, an awesome Godzilla costume, really great battles, a darker more mature storyline, this film shines. Some of my favorite moments in the franchise history all all present in this film, Mechagodzilla in disguise breaking the jaw of Anguirus as blood drips down, Godzilla getting super charged off lightning and preparing for the coming showdown are both incredibley memorable, and the later almost haunting. King Caesar is also a welcome addition to the Godzilla pantheon of monsters, even though he doesn’t get much face time. But by far the best part of this film is the musical score. I can’t even describe it, but it is some of the best and most powerful music in the franchise, rivaling the iconic music found in the original film. If you are looking for a Godzilla vs. film, this should be at the top of your list.
Come on now, did you really expect anything but the historically significant masterpiece that started it all to be anywhere but number one? Plot, pure and simple. Godzilla, a monster made my mankind’s carelessness with the hydrogen bomb, goes on a rampage through Japan and is seemingly unstoppable. To defeat him, a brave scientist reluctantly agrees to use his dangerous new technology to defeat the creature – the oxygen destroyer. Fearing his technology falling into the wrong hands and being used just as irresponsibly as the hydrogen bomb, the final act of the scientist is killing Godzilla, along with himself and his weapon. It’s a story that houses a valuable lesson, one that is important even today. Godzilla doesn’t fight other monsters, isn’t a defender of Earth. Here he is a monument to mankind’s mistakes. Despite this, there is always a chance for redemption. The film that started it all is still the greatest, and not only the best Godzilla films, but one of the best films of all time.
The new reboot looks to draw heavily from the original film, and director Gareth Edwards looks to make a serious film grounded in reality. Let’s hope he delivers, as Godzilla’s long and checkered past deserves a reboot worthy of the title King of the Monsters.
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