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To celebrate Thanksgiving, the Toho Kingdom team has put together some of the things they are really thankful for in kaiju fandom to share the holiday cheer—and we think there is a lot to be thankful for recently! So grab a monster-sized turkey leg and an extra helping of radioactive cranberry sauce and a slice of pumpkin pie (made from leftover jack-o-lanterns perhaps) and gather around for the celebration! Also, if you have something that you’re thankful for, be sure to share it in the comments!
There are so many things to be thankful for it’s hard to know where to start! Let me share three things that make me really grateful.
1. Godzilla movies being made in BOTH the USA and in Japan! Okay, so the Japan films are completed now, and while I am not the biggest fan of the anime trilogy, it is still exciting to have the opportunity to see a new take on Godzilla and (for me at least) go to see them in a movie theater. And we have not one, but TWO Monsterverse movies being made now, and the trailers for the first of those two films I still think is surprisingly beautiful! We really do have a Godzilla resurgence going on, and I am looking forward to seeing what will happen next!
2. I really enjoyed the Godzilla DVD Collectors sets, which I think finally concluded recently. My main reason for enjoying them has been the reprinted manga! While the manga itself is often printed on depressingly cheap paper, just the chance to read some of these classic monster manga is a dream come true. It’s so fun to see some of the bizarre liberties some of the manga have taken with the source material, and after reviewing the manga version of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, I even had the chance to meet and interview Daiji Kazumine! I just feel incredibly lucky!
3. And perhaps for me I feel most lucky just to be in Japan, and close to Tokyo. Because I am here, I can easily attend a lot of events I normally would not have the chance to. Yes, I can go see the new Godzilla movies in theaters, but that’s almost the least of it. As mentioned above, I could meet Daiji Kazumine, but I also got to see the original Godzilla (1954) with a live orchestra playing the music last year. I attended the Godzilla Festival last year and this year. I have gone to multiple exhibitions, played a Godzilla AR game, saw Godzilla the Real in Universal Studios, and attempted the Tokyo Mystery Circus Godzilla escape room experience with a friend (though we ultimately failed). And my Japanese has gotten a lot better as well! Honestly, I just feel very, very thankful for so many things in my life. And with that, I just want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving as well! I hope everything is the best it can be with you.
This truly is a great time to be G-Fan huh? Back around 2004 or 2005 I really thought we’d seen the end of the series for a long time and even then I only figured it would be a single film. I still can’t quite grasp the fact that we’ve had a new American made Godzilla film, a new Japanese Godzilla film, and an animated trilogy of Godzilla films. That’s also not even counting Godzilla King of the Monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong, and a whole new series from Toho! I truly feel blessed and thankful to be alive and a Godzilla fan right now. But my thankfulness goes beyond getting new Godzilla films. I never would have believed as a kid that my passion for Godzilla would lead to me getting to write for the biggest Godzilla website ever, getting to meet and film a professional interview with a director of a Godzilla film, and even getting to meet Godzilla (Haruo Nakajima, Kenpachiro Satsuma, and Tsutomu Kitagawa) himself in person. Finally I am also thankful for all the friends I have made who share my passion for Godzilla many of whom I meet on this very site. For all of this and more I am well and truly Thankful.
Being a Godzilla fan has always been an interesting proposition. It’s far different from being a Star Wars fan, a Marvel fan, a Nintendo fan or any other prominent franchise where you could reasonably expect to walk down to a Target or Walmart and find at least some toys or shirts to represent it.
Godzilla fans have always been the type who are on the cusp of mainstream, which might be part of the allure for some. I don’t expect that to change, but I’m thankful for the degree of spotlight the nuclear leviathan has gotten of late. While I was majorly indifferent to the Anime Godzilla films, it’s an exciting time for me, with a constant news cycle around the upcoming two Godzilla films from Legendary Pictures.
So what am I thankful for? I considered something more overarching, but I’d rather focus on something hyper focused, timely and on the near horizon: I’m thankful for Rodan in Godzilla King of the Monsters.
It might seem like a small aspect, but I’m a huge Rodan fan for a very distinct reason. That reason being that there are arguably three films that made me a life long Godzilla fan:
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) – for being the film that got a young Anthony to actually become fascinated with the character and the hints at this larger monster world.
Rodan (1956) – for not just introducing the idea that this universe extended beyond Godzilla for me, but for the personal attachment as I watched it on VHS with my father who recounted seeing the movie as a kid in theaters.
Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) – for quickly becoming my favorite film, and hitting just that right level of “maturity” to appeal to a teenager wanting something more “adult” (this was the exxxxtreme 1990’s, when everything felt ramped to 11 to try to appeal to this notion).
So I’ve long been a Rodan fan, who has been an important pillar to my fascination with the Godzilla franchise. However, the character really hasn’t gotten a great role since Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965). Destroy All Monsters (1968) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) were okay from an assemble sense, and certainly he got a better role than others like Varan or Hedorah respectively. The character did have a meaty presence in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), although at the same time the flying kaiju had somewhat been reduced to showing off how strong both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla were in contrast.
I’m hopeful that next year will see the winged monster’s return to glory. Heck, even if the best moments for Rodan were in the first trailer, I’d argue it would be a more impressive role than the character has gotten since 1993. So I’m thankful for where the franchise is headed, and that the spotlight is expanding to focus on characters outside of Godzilla in the West.
Thanksgiving being a time for gratefulness and reflection, you’ll often hear it used for reminiscing with friends and family. While that is true, it’s also a good time for remembering how grateful we are for Godzilla! For the past few years, Thanksgiving has brought with it the opportunity to partake in some fine Godzilla movie marathons like the days of old. Families can gather around the table/couch/radioactive spring and bond over one of the many enjoyable movies being broadcast that day; a perfect companion for your holiday meal of choice! And then, if that’s not enough kaiju goodness to whet your whistle, there’s plenty of great collectibles to be purchased come the deals to follow the holiday! Honestly, the ease of buying X-Plus figures in the US is something that I’m pretty thankful for as my burgeoning collection slowly grows.
Of course, I’m most grateful for is the continuation of the Godzilla series at large. I’m certain that I’m not alone in my excitement for Legendary’s MonsterVerse movies. Both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong are setting up to be something special if the world building that’s slowly happening in the background is any indication. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited just to see what’s happening on the Godzilla radar that MONARCH has set up. The thought that he’s out there, peacefully swimming the oceans is rather pleasing to me. 🙂 But it’s not just Legendary’s movies that have my heart aflutter, it’s Toho’s own. From the anime series to the planned Godzilla films after 2020, it’s a pretty exciting time for the house that made Godzilla, if still somewhat on the horizon.
Then there’s all of you out there! My personal life is pretty crazy; I’m taking nursing classes, working, and making the rest of life come together as well. But with all that, when I’m feeling like I need to see what’s going on in the land of kaiju, there’s still a place for me to stop back in and talk to someone about giant monsters. It might not always seem like the friendliest place (depending on where you’re looking around the web), but there’s a lot of good people around these parts. And that is a far cry from the lonely playgrounds I was on as a kid with my Trendmaster figures in hand. So thank you all for keeping those radioactive flames burning!! I hope we can all manage to have a happy and safe holiday this week!
With giant monsters rising to dominate modern day media, there is plenty to be thankful for. Whether it be the latest American version of Godzilla, the revival of Gridman in animation, or the ever-expanding library of physical and digital novels revolving around kaiju, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Despite how long monsters have been present in the world of fiction, the kaiju fandom still has some growing to do, and there is fortunately plenty of room for newcomers. I’ve always been appreciative of how accessible the fandom can be, and I find myself constantly amazed by just how creative fans are with their artwork and writing. The devotion others have when it comes to sharing their discoveries from Japanese sources is something I also greatly admire. There are small communities dedicated to breaking the language barrier and providing information for the sole purpose of informing others. Some even go so far as to hire professional translators to subtitle television shows, such as Toho’s own Zone Fighter.
Yes, I am extremely grateful to be part of a community of such talented and committed individuals, and I sincerely look forward to seeing the growth of the next generation of fans. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
So what are you thankful for in the Godzilla Fandom? Sound off in the comments.General // November 22, 2018
The staff of Toho Kingdom makes some Toho film recommendations for the Halloween season. This covers creepy, atmospheric and horror movies produced or released by Toho that are perfect for the month of October. Recommendations run the gamut, dating from the 1950’s all the way to films released a few years ago. If you are looking for even more horror productions from Japan, also be sure to check the Horror Movie Listing.
Hi gang! For me, I do rather like a good horror flick or creepy movie, though I have to admit I have not seen a great many of the Japanese horror classics—I am still catching up! The following is just a list of some horror and monster flicks outside of the usual kaiju canon that I enjoyed and would like to recommend to Toho fans out looking to try out something new! Thus, with no further ado, here we go!
1. Invisible Man (1954)
As a fan of old monster films, and as someone who enjoyed the Universal Invisible Man franchise much more than I anticipated when I visited them recently, I was looking forward to seeing what an Invisible Man film would be like in the hands of eventual Godzilla Raids Again (1955) director Motoyoshi Oda (who had that same year directed Ghost Man, an exploitative detective film with a villain boasting a mask of bandages much more akin to traditional depictions of the Invisible Man!). I found the answer to be—quite entertaining! While perhaps the plot may be a bit predictable, but boy howdy does it have a memorable opening scene of an invisible-man suicide, and I later found myself quickly growing attached to the central clown character Nanjo and his relationship with a little blind girl. The eventual reveal of the identity of the invisible man was, in my opinion, quite well-done. As for scares, well, this movie is light on them, but lots of fans of old monster films don’t really watch them to be scared anyway, and this is also a great way to get into the surprisingly robust “invisible man” genre of Japanese cinema, which also includes at least FOUR MORE films from rival Daiei films, including TWO which are (invisible) samurai films.
2. Haunted School (1995)
Given the very low score my colleague Anthony Romero gave this film, it may be a surprise to see that I am here recommending the flick. And to be honest, I find the film to be a vigorously mixed bag. Nevertheless, as far as monster movies for younger viewers go, I found a lot to enjoy in this story of a bunch of kids who end up trapped in a ghost-infested old school. A lot of the ghost effects reminded me of Ghostbusters, including a sort of mascot-like furry guy who shows up multiple times to harass various victims, and I really enjoyed several scenes of major ghost mayhem in the school itself. For me, I also really got a big kick out of a huge cockroach-like beasty that menaces our heroes late in the story. While by no means a high quality movie, this one nevertheless really appealed to me, and for lovers of practical effects looking for mild thrills, I found it fun.
These gory sci-fi horror movies based on the influential Hitoshi Iwaaki manga and anime of the same name (and both of which I reviewed a few years ago) are in my opinion highly entertaining monster flicks with memorable and impressive effects and a likable lead performance by Shota Sometani. While the second film is arguably a pretty big step-down from the first, I found them both to be rather thoughtful, sometimes shocking, and very engaging monster-fests. The plot, in which alien worms from outer space attack earth by taking over the bodies of human beings and transforming them into flesh-munching monsters, shows a lot of influence from body-horror greats like The Thing (1982), and our hero—infected with an alien parasite in his hand, but not taken over entirely—has to struggle with his new identity, like in many half-monster stories such as Blade or Tokyo Ghoul. Gore hounds will appreciate the abundant flow of blood and gore, though the aforementioned infected hand (named Migi) looks pretty absurd in live action. Still, for creepy, slimy, monster-action thrills, this duology is a fine choice.
4. Vampire Doll (1970)
Sometimes I just get in the mood for a decent vampire flick—after all, I have written two as-yet-unpublished vampire novels. So I was kind of excited to check out Toho’s take on the old bloodsucking mythos, and while Vampire Doll does not feature traditional nosferatu as such, the menacing Yuko and her seemingly supernatural powers fit the bill. The story is a little bit convoluted, dealing with missing people, hypnotism, unrequited love, and creepy butlers, but all the dark shenanigans build up into a movie overflowing with classic horror atmosphere, and the local haunted mansion where much of the film takes place gives an appropriately creepy backdrop to an already spine-tingling story. I greatly enjoyed this film, far more than either of its spiritual sequels, and heartily recommend it to lovers of gothic monster mayhem.
5. Ring (1998) and The Ring (2002)
Ringu is probably the most influential film on this list, and if you are at all interested in the genre of J-horror, this now-classic movie was basically the film that kicked off a worldwide phenomenon of creeping long-haired soaked ghost women stalking folks and scaring moviegoers. The first film honestly didn’t scare me very much, but the story itself is suitably weird and pretty enthralling. The story is about a cursed video tape that, once watched, triggers a mysterious phone call and a death sentence—after one week, SOMETHING will kill you. (Yes, that something is the aforementioned ghost woman, and her eventual emergence has become one of THE iconic horror sequences in movie history.) The mystery behind the cursed tape (and more specifically the ghostly Sadako) adds a great deal of interest and suspense to the movie, especially as the main character, Reiko… well, let’s just say she finds some very deep motivating factors to discovering the truth behind the video. For me, the American remake was even scarier than the original, despite a silly CG horse dashing about on a boat at one point in the film. While Ringu may be an overly obvious choice for a list like this, seriously, if you haven’t seen it and you are interested in Japanese horror films, this is a good place to start.
Time to kick off my list of recommendations, and like Nicholas I don’t really associate the kaiju movies with Halloween. I think it’s because I’m such a Godzilla fan that the movies appeal to me year around so to speak, and they usually don’t dwell to much on the horror element but rather city destruction… save perhaps Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). Anyway, here is a list of five recommendations for Halloween.
1. Ring (1998)
Well we have a repeat across the two lists here, and I’m starting with the movie that arguably defined the Japanese horror industry for decades. In addition, this is the only movie on this list that I would qualify as being truly scary. While I actually prefer the American remake, the original Ring had a stellar concept: a tape that doomed you after watching it. It was a simple premise, but introduced the deadly stakes early in the movie while it kept your interest through learning more about the mysterious elements surrounding the curse. The countdown aspect helped tremendously too, while the climax with Sadako is downright chilling. Like a lot of successful horror movies, this had a load of sequels and imitators after it, but none captured the same level of atmosphere and dread as the original Ring.
2. The “Bloodthirsty” Trilogy
I’m going to cheat and recommend three in one stroke. This unconnected series of vampire films shifts from the more original Vampire Doll (1970), far and away the best of the three, to the stereotypical with Lake of Dracula (1971). All three deal with topics ripe for the Halloween season, though. From creepy, isolated mansions to your standard vampire fare. While quality might vary, I’ve found myself revisiting them all quite frequently. Faults aside, they have good special effects for the time, save the bat props that were also used in Space Amoeba (1970), and the latter two, while lacking in quality compared to the first, are vibrant with colorful sequences and good to okay pacing.
3. House (1977)
This psychedelic horror movie is slightly self-aware, crafting a bizarre movie that strikes just the right balance to offset the cruelty being played on the movie’s characters due to the tone it strikes. While it doesn’t always click with the viewer, the movie is well regarded for its experimental style. This results in some lacking special effects, as it feels like the movie was more focused on vision than realization. Regardless, the movie has stood the test of time because of these risks, as it comes across as a rather crazy horror movie that, at the minimum, features a number of creative deaths against the backdrop of a haunted house. For those looking for something darker and crueler, and with a stomach for strong gore, Sweet Home (1989) could be seen as in a similar vein.
4. H-Man (1958)
When director Ishiro Honda took on the mutant and crime genre at the same time he struck gold, creating a movie that is both lively and creepy. The flashback attack on boat by the liquid people is down right chilling as well, even today, and do a good job at portraying the threat and keeping the stakes high throughout the rest of the movie. Also, the 1950’s club setting, while contemporary at the time, feels a bit more unique in retrospect now and helps the film stand out. As a side note to Honda, I was also going to include Matango (1963) on this list, my favorite horror film. However, I just never saw it as a Halloween film due to the tropical setting, even though the atmospheric night sequences fit right in with this time of year.
5. One Missed Call (2004)
The early millennium was stuffed with “J-horror” pictures looking to capitalize on the success of Ring (1998). In fact, this took a fascinating turn where they eventually started to create movies with the hopes they would be picked up to be remade in the US… an odd turn, but enough of them were successful like Pulse (2001) and Dark Water (2002) that the Japanese industry doubled down on this strategy. One film to arise from this odd trend was One Missed Call, from Takashi Miike. The result is entertaining fluff, but enough to stand the test of time to make it recommended viewing. It’s got a creepy atmosphere at times, and doesn’t even try to hide that it’s swapping Ring’s VHS tape concept for a cellphone call… all the same, that death bringing ring tone is truly iconic after seeing the movie and this is one of the few horror movies of this period that I would be willing to watch again and again.
Hey everyone! How’s it going? Well, since all the cool kids are doing it, here’s my list of Halloween recommendations! Unlike my peers however, I will include a few Kaiju flicks in mine, as there are a few that I find seasonally appropriate. Also given the nature of our site’s user base, I think mentioning these pieces would be appreciated. So without further ado, here’s my list in order of least recommended to most recommended
1. House (1977)
This will no doubt be sacrilegious to some, but I must confess that I don’t particularly care for this film. I found it lacking in substance, and the psychedelic aspect to more be a mask for poor filmmaking that didn’t particularly add anything to the film. Also, while I won’t be going into spoilers for any entries on this list, I will say that I found the ending too cliché, which knocks it down a few pegs for me. Nonetheless, I do think this film is worth a watch. It is simply dripping in memorable imagery, and it does feature a few sequences that are nothing short of bat… erm, “guano” crazy. The soundtrack isn’t half bad, and Godzilla fans familiar with “A Space Godzilla” will no doubt be interested to see what the would be filmmakers have also created. Also, this film does have a massive cult fanbase, so who knows. Maybe you’ll see something in it that I don’t.
2. Frankenstein vs Baragon (1965)
What’s Halloween without a Frankenstein movie? Even better, a Frankenstein KAIJU movie! Yep, Toho went all out for Mary Shelly’s classic tale of a man who plays god and faces the consequences, and took it to the next logical step of having the monster fight a giant dinosaur! While the premise may sound laughable, I actually really enjoy this film. It’s notable for several reasons, including the first appearance of Baragon, the second appearance of the Giant Octopus (sort of), and being the direct precursor to The War of the Gargantuas (1966). The film itself, while being squarely in the kaiju genre, does an excellent job staying true to its horror roots. Throughout the whole film, there’s this vaguely disturbing undertone… Particularly in regards to death and mutilation. There are some dead animals, questions of cutting off the monster’s limbs… and let’s just say Baragon wasn’t too friendly in his first romp. Frankenstein vs. Baragon is one ride that will have you on the edge of your seat to the end, and a definite must watch for any kaiju, OR Franky fans.
3. Varan (1958)
When Nicholas initially suggested I make my own list of recommendations, I was hesitant, as I wasn’t sure if I could come up with five like he did… but then I remembered Varan. I will fully admit that Varan isn’t the best made kaiju movie ever, but it’s always been something of a favorite of mine. You see, while Varan may not have the best acting or highest budget, it has something that almost makes up for it, and makes it perfect for the Halloween season: Atmosphere. Everything about this movie feels so memorable to me, from the chilling statues of Baradagi, to the foreboding exploration of the jungle, to the mysterious natives. It all oozes an atmosphere that makes you feel the location, the setting, and the danger. All of it scored by Akira Ifukube at his finest. I don’t care whether you like the movie or not, I think this soundtrack belongs in the maestro’s top five greatest! Atmosphere is one of the most difficult things to describe in cinema, so you’ll forgive me if that’s a little vague. Suffice to say, I think Varan is a film that makes you FEEL what’s on screen which is where its true strength lies.
4. “Haunted School” Series aka Gakkou no Kaidan
Alright… This one is a bit of a cheat. But if Nick can recommend the Western version of Ring and Anthony the The “Bloodthirsty” Trilogy, I’d like to mention the “Haunted School” series, although in particular the Gakkou no Kaidan anime, which is based on the same book series as the film. The series is best known for its strange English localization, which opted to turn the series into a raunchy adult comedy. Legend has it that since the series performed poorly in Japan, the English localization team were told to do whatever they thought would make the series sell better. Due to this, I often see anime critics call it a “bad anime saved by the dub” which I feel is a bit unfair. I genuinely like the how the series portrays the monsters, which are always depicted as very real threats (even in the dub). Furthermore, all of the monsters have excellent designs that, along with the appealing set pieces, let the show keep a great creepy feeling. And just to cover my basis… I’ll also recommend the first Toho film.
5. Sweet Home (1989)
And here we have it. My all-time favorite horror movie, the criminally underrated Sweet Home! This film is probably best known for the video game tie in by Capcom, which was a massive influence on the Biohazard (or Resident Evil) franchise. What many people don’t realize however is that the film had a great influence on the iconic survival horror game as well! If you’re a huge fan of the original game like me, more than a few things might look familiar to you However, the film is great in its own right as well. We are given a tight plot, likable characters, appealing special effects, and great setting. Unfortunately, this film is pretty hard to come by. It has yet to receive any disc release, in any region and Japanese VHS tapes go for upwards of 300 dollars. Overall, Toho should just give a Blu-Ray or DVD release already! (Maybe Shout Factory could do something over here?) Regardless, if you see this one don’t hesitate! It’s a great film that is well worth your time.
This article was first published on October 27th, 2018.General // October 31, 2018
Excited about the latest Godzilla trailer? Maybe curious how the staff of Toho Kingdom felt as well? If so, read on for the staff’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer reactions, both from those at Comic Con where it was unveiled and those of us who saw it for the first time at home.
Also, be sure to leave your own reactions to the trailer in the comments section.
On July 21st, I was fortunate to be invited to Warner Bros. Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con with the goal of covering the panel and checking out the new trailer. When the time came and the lights went low, the energy in the room went up and the room was filled with cheers and applause (the guy next to me was going crazy with every reveal) and when the trailer finished, it left everyone in the room hyped up for the film.
The trailer for me was more of a slow burn for me. I had to watch it a few times later to really appreciate how great it was. My initial reaction to Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune was one of a small groan-not because there’s anything wrong with the piece, it’s just that it’s the “save game” music from games “Evil Within” parts 1 and 2. I heard that music so much when I played the games (which was a lot) that it would just pop into my head at random times when I wasn’t playing.
What I did really enjoy is how the music goes off into majestic epicness which really gets the goosebumps going. It’s pretty cool.
Incidentally, this is NOT the first time the piece has been used in an official capacity. It was also used in a café scene in Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975). Skip to 41:14 to hear it in the film. Here it is by itself (Thank you Spacehunter M!)
I don’t think it was intentional on the part of the marketing dept. Just a happy accident.
Further impressions of the trailer show the movie to be very colorful. Quite a bit of blue in this one and it looks great cinematography wise. Outside of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are mostly shown either obscured by water/shadows or in quick flashes to great effect. The film seems to be aimed at the younger fans while keeping a more epic visual style that both current Godzilla fans and future Godzilla fans will greatly enjoy which I feel is the way for this film to go. For any franchise to continue its life, it’s always the younger fan that gets the torch passed to them to carry on and to pass down to future generations.
If there’s one nitpick for the trailer, it’s this mysterious guy with glasses at 1:21 and upon a glance, would look like he was smiling. But, it’s not a “smile” that a living person can do. He even moves a little weird and it’s a little distracting once you notice him. He almost seems like he’s placed in there as an Easter Egg or something. Hopefully I’ll get my answer in the film.
All in all, it’s a great trailer and I’ve seen quite a bit of positiveness and excitement about the film. Awesome job to everyone at Legendary and Warner Bros. and I can’t wait to see the final film!
For me, this trailer couldn’t have come at a better time. Off the heels of the newly released Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018) via Netflix, which I had an initially strong mixed reaction on, this SDCC trailer felt like a much needed adrenaline shot in the arm. A reminder that we may have potentially some of the best Godzilla material waiting for us after the release of the last anime movie and that there will be a healthy and diverse future for the King of the Monsters. Needless to say, I’m psyched. The trailer shows just enough, but also leaves a lot open as what exactly will happen, as any good trailer should. The footage shown, the dialogue choice, the music piece… All finely brewed into what I personally consider to be the best (Godzilla) trailer ever made. It’ll be a very interesting beast once it’s released in theaters, and hoping the story is more fleshed out compared to (rumored) initial screenings. I recall hearing back when Legendary had acquired the rights for Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah… I had my worries that putting those three into one movie would be too much of a gamble or too stuffed with plotlines only serving as a means of setting up future entries in the MonsterVerse (worst case examples I can think off of the top of my head are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the infamous 2017 reboot of The Mummy). But after seeing the trailer, many of those qualms have been put to rest. I now personally have faith in Dougherty that he and his crew will be able to create a balanced movie that offers both the explosive monster action and emotional human drama that ties things together. It’s ambitious, daring even. It’s no easy feat to pull something like that off, so we’ll see what the results will yield come 2019.
Naturally, with the trailers comes what’s shown; and that obviously means monster talk. Already satisfied with the design seen in Godzilla (2014), I was happy to see that most of Godzilla’s base characteristics remained relatively untouched (and any alterations helped improve the design, even if minuscule). I will say, the elongated dorsal spikes really help evoke something seen in a classic Godzilla while still maintaining a fresh look at the same time. The additional blue light around his neck and eyes when charging / firing his atomic breath are also very much welcomed changes.
Rodan, from what can be seen, almost reminds me of his Heisei-era counterpart in a lot of ways, all while being nowhere nearly as stiff and a lot more fleshed out in terms of mobility and ferocity. The glowing embers tattered across his wings are also a superb touch that harks to the volcanic-dwelling nature from the original Showa-era Rodan (maybe even a call-back to Fire Rodan?). But from what’s demonstrated in the trailer, we’re easily looking at a Rodan with the same sense of fear-instilling dread that’s gone unseen since the original Rodan (1956), so it’s incredibly exciting to see Rodan come back, full force in a way that hasn’t been quite seen in any of the Godzilla movies.
Mothra and Ghidorah, admittedly, are harder to comment on in terms of design (as most of their shots have them obscured by a waterfall, mist, or storm clouds), but the silhouettes very much promise a faithful yet Americanized interpretation of these two. Even so, the trailer promises the two are going to see a nice bit of action; for me personally, I’m really curious to see how well Mothra competes with the other three and see if the Larva (seen in the bit where Millie Bobbie Brown’s character, Madison, is about to touch her) gets any significant screen time or not (I personally have doubts, but one can never know for sure).The rest… I already said it. The song choice of Claire de Lune fits perfectly (and an interesting continuation of using classical pieces for the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies, much like how 2014 used Requiem for Soprano famously used in 1968 space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey), the actors are stellar, the imagery is both beautiful and apocalyptic… I’ve already sung my praises for this trailer enough already. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to watch the trailer until the next anime movie comes along!
My initial viewing of the new Godzilla King of the Monsters trailer was actually negative. I was not a big fan of the 2014 Godzilla and given that the new film will be written by the same screenwriter, I immediately felt skeptical when I heard the lines about “rightful rulers” and humans as an infection and so on. Vera Farmiga’s speech just didn’t make any sense. So humans are an infection, and the world has a defense system, and that defense system is the Titans, so we have to wake up the Titans to save everyone? Didn’t you just say that the Titans were going to KILL everyone? Listening to her rant, I was getting flashbacks to the equally nonsensical stuff about Godzilla trying to establish balance in the first movie, and the terrible writing in the Godzilla Awakening graphic novel.
Still, I think it is dangerous to judge the story too hastily from a teaser trailer. Furthermore, as some have pointed out, Vera Farmiga’s character seems to be given a villainous depiction. Perhaps she even wants to destroy all of humankind. I frankly don’t want to guess too much–I would prefer to watch the final film and judge from that.
Perhaps more important than narrative nuggets are the appearances of the monsters. I thought the monster scenes were surprisingly gorgeous. Not just impressive special effects, but truly gorgeous in composition and lighting and angle. The ghostly hues, shimmering lights, sweeping wings, and bursting blasts of energy are fantastic! I remember being impressed by Rodan’s stylish entrance in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), but this new burning Rodan takes the style and ratchets it up with his stunning shot astride an active volcano. Each of the shots of Rodan as well seem to be referencing the classics, from the jet fight to the volcano home. Mothra’s entrance, if anything, seems even more beautiful, and King Ghidorah remains mostly shrouded in shadow and mystery–as he should be this early in the game.
Based on the trailer, Godzilla and Mothra seem to be situated as the hero monsters, with King Ghidorah and Rodan situated as the evil ones (just from the color-coded scenes alone these alliances seem apparent). Personally, I am happy to see Godzilla taking a more direct hero role, and if he is actually using something like Morse code with his backfins–hey, I approve. I love that stuff.
The human characters seem a bit cliched still, as Millie Bobby Brown seems to be playing a special girl who can maybe communicate with Mothra hedging her a bit close to Eleven territory again. I really like Kyle Chandler, but I sure hope his character is more interesting than the one he played in King Kong (2005). I’ve been a minor fan of Chandler’s ever since Early Edition, and while I don’t expect he will be receiving any magical newspapers in this movie (though I would love to see that), I hope to see some likable heroics from him. And I do hope Zhang Ziyi has more than just a glorified cameo and a few awkward scenes to bring in the Chinese audience.
As for the music, at first I hated it. It seemed to contrast too much with the action going on and I just wanted to roll my eyes. Now I can kind of appreciate the music a bit more as it underscores the sense of wonder the monsters create, but the song is not very memorable. The final score, which I hear will incorporate some Ifukube, I trust will be much better..
So far, so good. I can see that Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are all three really appearing in the movie, which is more than I can say for a particular monster film I won’t name here. I am still worried about the story, but the movie looks really beautiful, and I am hoping for the best. The trailer, I think, puts a pretty good food forward.
Though… am I the only one who kind of wishes the main character from the first movie should make some kind of reappearance here? Ford may have been kind of bland in the first film, but having a bit of human continuity would add interest to the movie I think. Maybe Milly Bobby Brown can add that if she becomes the new Miki Saegusa or something!
Overall, positive, but with my usual set of caveats!
During the build-up to this trailer’s release, there was a lot speculation and rumor. Probably the most interesting information that was found during this time was when people began looking into the official website for Godzilla King of the Monsters, and found a thumbnail for a “redband trailer.” This idea, to me, didn’t seem too far fetched, given Michael Dougherty’s history in the horror genre, and the possibilities of a new R-rated Godzilla had me excited.
Suffice to say though, that isn’t what we got. In fact, I’d say we got the opposite…
This trailer sucks. It opens upon weirdly apocalyptic imagery as a woman rants about how the “Titans” are earth’s rightful rulers. Personally, I find this very tonally clashing, as I felt Godzilla 2014 and Kong Skull Island did a very good job establishing a mysterious, conspiratory tone for the monsters in the Monsterverse. For me personally, that tone was one of the things I liked in those movies.
But hey, this is a different movie that needs to stand on it’s own, right? Right, however any hopes that this film could be interesting are soon thrown out the window with the rest of the trailer… in particular when the little girl says presumably to Vera Farmiga’s character, “you’re a monster!” Implying that the humans were the real monsters all along. Not like we’ve been hearing that moral since the early 1900’s!
One thing that particularly stands out to me is the god awful color palette. Say what you will about Godzilla 2014’s awful DVD transfer, but one of the things that movie did well was its color palette. As I stated above, the film presents the monsters in a very cryptozoological way, and the palette reflects this. Most of the time, we see the monsters at night with a lot of black, and day sequences are usually gray, and very rainy. In addition to being associated with mystery or intrigue, these are very neutral colors that don’t distract from something colorful happening on screen like guns or flares being fired. This film on the other hand? When Godzilla’s on screen EVERYTHING’S BLUE. When Rodan is on screen, EVERYTHING’S RED. Any of the monster shots are monotone, because GODZILLA’S COLOR IS BLUE, DO YOU GET IT? It looks stupid, and actively distracts from something like Godzilla’s atomic ray, which simply blends in with its surroundings. Personally, I think one of the things that makes Godzilla’s ray so cool is how visually exciting it is. It’s sudden burst of neon blue against a mundane city or forestscape. Heck, seeing the tracking shot of blue rising through the darkness as Godzilla unleashed it was what made it so exciting in Godzilla 2014!
I suppose that leads us to the monsters themselves. As far as special effects are concerned, I feel the CGI is average. Nothing bad, but nothing good either. It will probably look dated in a few years. In terms of designs, I can’t say I’m a fan of Godzilla’s beer belly. Mothra looks fine, though I don’t think we see enough of her to judge too concretely. Rodan looks like the Fire Bird from Hanna-Barbera’s which I’m okay with, as I think the Fire Bird is easily the coolest monster from that series.
The music is probably my least favorite thing about the trailer. The trailer is all about how humanity’s at the brink of extinction, and monsters being earth’s rightful rulers, but the music sounds like it’s about the wonder of discovering something bigger than you. To say it clashes is an understatement! Even if taken completely out of context from the film, it just sounds like a sappy soundtrack trying way too hard to be John Williams. It’s composition is uninteresting, and the chorus doesn’t even sound real. Very sad, as I felt Alexandre Desplat’s score was easily a highlight of Godzilla (2014), with an excellent main theme, and eerie foreboding chorus work.
Also, gotta love the Marvel-esque one liner of “Long live the king,” in case you forgot those movies were successful. Shame too, as with better execution that could be an excellent line in a Godzilla film.
Overall, this is just a trailer which doesn’t always represent the final film, and I will not judge the film until I see it. However, as a trailer it has dumb dialogue, awful music, and overall looks far less professional than Godzilla 2014. Couple this with an editing error in a teaser released on twitter where a camera was visible in the background of one shot, and my expectations for this film have plummeted immensely.
After months of anticipation, the trailer for the next Godzilla movie has arrived – and it delivered a visual feast I’ve found myself indulging in over and over again. The haunting tune in the background sets the mood wonderfully as I find myself becoming wholly engrossed in this brief but very effective preview. Seeing familiar actors and actresses alongside their monstrous co-stars put a smile on my face, particularly Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe, but the monsters themselves easily steal the show. From Godzilla firing his atomic ray skyward, to Mothra spreading her vivid wings, to the giant silhouette of King Ghidorah – I just can’t get enough of it all. Rodan easily stood out among the crowd for me, its fiery wings and teased aerial battles with the military mesmerizing me every time. I feel like I spot something new with every rewatch of this trailer, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what Mike Dougherty and company have in store!
I thought Godzilla (2014) was excellent and I liked Kong: Skull Island (2017) even more. So, when I heard the news that Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus) signed on to direct the next installment in the cinematic MonsterVerse, I thought Godzilla was in good hands. I was spending time with my family when this monster-of-a-trailer hit the internet and, no joke, I kept my cool. Seriously. I was perfectly calm and subdued the whole time. I mean, it’s just Godzilla. No big deal, right?
OK, so I made loud, chaotic noises that sounded like one of King Ghidorah’s mad cackles. I have no regrets because what I saw was fantastic.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the implementation of Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune. It single-handedly elevated the trailer for me. It’s one of those melodies that you never thought would describe the kaiju eiga, yet it does and it’s beautiful. It showed mainstream audiences that there’s more to these giant creatures than being instruments of mindless destruction; it artfully demonstrated that they, like their human counterparts, are important characters, too.
Speaking of Godzilla, he looks fantastic. That part where he lit up the sky with his signature Atomic Breath? Epic. I’m looking forward to seeing my childhood hero show the world what we’ve known most of our lives: Godzilla is awesome.
But he isn’t alone! Godzilla brought friends (and an arch-nemesis). Rodan and Mothra might have stolen the show for me; Rodan, having been described by the film’s director as a “winged A-bomb,” might prove to be more destructive than the King of the Monsters himself. Having been treated to only a few quick cuts of the giant pterodactyl, I have a good feeling about this Rodan. As for Mothra, who has the distinction of being a divine monster, she is treated very well here. Like Rodan, we don’t see as much of her as we’d like, but there’s no question that Mothra will play a unique role in this film.
Then there’s King Ghidorah. His obscured appearance deliberately invoked a feeling of wonder and dread. Though we didn’t see much of him, we could most certainly see the apocalyptic effect he was having on the world.
I’m excited to see the monsters in all their glory; they are the main reason why I’ll be in theaters opening night (and every night, I imagine). But you know what? The human characters are a vital component to the storytelling process. We need them to be play a vital role and, as far as I can tell, they won’t disappoint. I’m thankful to have such a talented group of people share the screen with the King of the Monsters.
As a dinosaur loving child (and later adult), I often searched long and hard for movies about them and their prehistoric ilk. There was just something entrancing about that lost world; there was something new and mysterious to discover each time, some new wonder to bear witness to. And that is what the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters fills me with: Wonder. The very premise fills me with it! The world has changed, the titans have risen up from the depths and the world is put in danger. Ancient ruins are uncovered, revealing remnants of prehistoric civilizations that worshiped these massive beasts. Worse yet, there are others who are awakening. Fantastical kaiju like Mothra, Rodan, and dreaded Monster Zero… Before this announcement of Kong and Godzilla having a rematch in 2020, this would have been my pick for the culmination of Legendary’s MonsterVerse. Scenes of apocalyptic destruction abound, showing a world reeling from the attacks of Rodan and King Ghidorah, a powerful looking Godzilla advancing into battle followed by human forces.I found it visually stunning, especially thanks to what will surely soon be iconic images (Godzilla firing his atomic breath skyward, Mothra behind the waterfall, etc). I was speechless and teary eyed following the trailer, even after multiple viewings.
In short, the trailer was breathtaking. It cultivated a sense of mystery with its various teases and the spectacular choice of music, feeding into the expanding scope of the MonsterVerse. I am again filled with that same sense of childlike wonder the first Godzilla gave me so long ago. I can’t wait to see where it all goes from here!
After a middling reaction to the latest Anime features with the character, I was ready to get excited for something Godzilla related again… and the trailer delivered. While I wasn’t overly thrilled with the human component, this trailer played to what many stated as a weakness with the 2014 movie by doubling down on the monster action. …and boy did we get monsters. One of my fears is that, with four Toho heavyweights in the same film, some would get treated as minor characters. While that still could be the case, the trailer gave no impression of that. Mothra, King Ghidorah, Godzilla and, most pleasantly for me, Rodan were all highlighted well.
I make it no secret that I love Rodan, one of my all time favorite characters and one who hasn’t been in the limelight in a truly great role since the 1960’s. That’s perhaps what made the trailer all the more memorable, as he got amble screen time here, while it was also great to see his shockwave brought to life in the manner it was.
While there are certain things I didn’t care for, the use of color filters gave me flashbacks to Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), I can say I’m the most excited I have been for something Godzilla related in a long, long time… and that’s a very welcome feeling.
As a member of Tohokingdom, I couldn’t help but take notice of the rumors swirling around a possible Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer. Speculation on what may be teased passed from member to member, but I felt a sense of worry abound as Comic Con neared. Would this movie ruin the classic designs of Ghidorah, Mothra & Rodan? Could the story be compelling? And my biggest fear probably to the shock of many, what overblown action score would surely accompany the trailer? I felt all these worries and more vanish as I watched the trailer.
The biggest take away from this trailer, compared to others, is the sense of beauty and scale associated with every new monster to the Legendary franchise. Each has its own element, figuratively and literally, with a dazzling color scheme to match. Mothra’s mystifying blues contrast the sharp golden flashes of Ghidorah or the fierce fires that linger off of Rodan’s form. While not fully revealing every monster, these flashes help establish the essence of each creature and showcase a relatively new but satisfying modern design. While Ghidorah, Mothra & Rodan steal the show in their own respect, I felt Godzilla was lacking his own unique element. His larger spines and more powerful breath did make me form a grin, but I will admit my excitement for the new trio do far exceed the King of the Monsters himself.
While the monsters and the shots used were overall fantastic, there were plenty of other great aspects across the trailer. The piano, choir and drums used to uplift the action was far from what I expected in regards to score, but in my mind were used fantastically. The suspected plot, one of worshiping the monsters and of the results that follow, looks interesting and the minor dialogue of the characters displayed sounded solid though definitely below Bryan Cranston’s “Stone Age” speech of the first trailer.
Overall, I watched the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer with major reservations and while my expectations were dashed, I can definitely saw I was surprised and excited by the final result. Compared to the animated Godzilla trilogy we’ve been receiving or Shin Godzilla, I’ve overall felt disappointed with the recent fare of Godzilla media. After watching this trailer, I felt an excitement I haven’t felt in a while, so I can do nothing but look with positive anticipation for when the King of the Monsters returns in May 2019.
Bonus: Jason Liles
Jason Liles, with other credits including a performance as George from 2018’s Rampage, did motion capture work for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In fact, he did performances for both Rodan and King Ghidorah’s central head. To make this article a little unique, below are his thoughts and reactions to the trailer based on the film he himself worked on.
Saturday, July 21st, I was walking down the street to meet up with my publicist when I got a text from Alan Maxson and Richard Dorton, the other two King Ghidorah heads. The trailer was online and Hall H had just exploded from seeing it. The only way I’d be able to watch the trailer until I got home to our TV the following night was going to be on my iPhone with earbuds. It would have to do as there was no way I was waiting to watch this. I had no idea how blown away I was about to be.
I literally had tears in my eyes after seeing it. It was so moving, so beautiful, so epic. I had to watch it again. I was floored. I saw director Mike Dougherty later that night at the EW party. He lovingly gave me crap, “You watched it on your phone?!” But like I said, I wasn’t about to wait 24-48 hours to watch it. I knew once home that I’d watch it dozens of times.
As soon as my girlfriend Allie and I got home to Glendale, we spent a couple hours watching reaction videos on YouTube. We couldn’t get enough of it. It sent chills down my entire body every single time. It’s an emotional, visual, and musical roller coaster edited together perfectly. We wanted to hop back on and ride it just one more time, again and again. It’s like that one song you love that doesn’t ever get old. And to see fans responding so incredibly well to it through these videos? That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of making a film for me, outside of the process of actually being on set making it. To see fans flip out like we were was just amazing. Allie and I have watched reaction videos to it every single day the last week since we got back home. We’ve probably watched about 50 of them. Basically, if you made a reaction to it and put it on YouTube, there’s a great chance that Allie and I have watched it. Or will soon.
It’s rare that I get taken by a trailer in such a way how this trailer has taken me. To see fan polls and articles unanimously agreeing that it’s the best trailer to come out of SDCC 2018 is just surreal. To see the excitement fans have to see these creatures that I was lucky enough to help bring to life return to the big screen is a literal dream come true. This is the kind of project that I dreamt of being a part of when I was a kid. I couldn’t be more proud and more honored to be a part of it all. I’m so so thankful to my fried Mike Dougherty for bringing me on and giving me the chance to play such iconic characters in film history. It’s been at least several years since I’ve been this damn excited for a big summer release and we get to all anticipate it and enjoy the hype together. I’ll be there hiding in plain sight with all my fellow fans on opening night next May and probably at least half a dozen times the following week or two. Can’t wait to scream and cheer on this wild ride in the movie theater with you all!
In case you missed it, you can also check out the highest quality version of the trailer that can be found online below:General // August 2, 2018
Toho choose a poster to unveil their new look for Godzilla, in the upcoming film Godzilla Resurgence or known as “シン・ゴジラ” aka Shin Godzilla in Japan. The internet, as it often does, has erupted into opinions on Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi‘s new look for the creature.
Being hardcore Godzilla fans, the staff of Toho Kingdom weighs in as well with our own reactions to the look of Godzilla 2016. Our thoughts are presented in order of seniority on the site, although the founder’s is included at the end as a summary. Staff weighs in solely on what is available, which in this case is a shoulder-up view of the new Godzilla as shown on the poster.
In Rotten Tomatoes fashion, the thoughts are consolidated into a Positive, Mixed or Negative reaction based on an interpretation by the owner.
The new Shin-Godzilla design is terrifying. It’s like seeing a lifelong friend damaged by a traumatic experience. That defeated look in their eye confirms they will never be the same. Which is ironic, considering the meaning of Shin-Godzilla translates to True Godzilla. This new design tells us exactly what direction the filmmakers are taking. Throughout the decades, Godzilla has changed with the times. Godzilla has played the part of the majestic hero, the mighty protector, the insidious villain, etc. But what is Godzilla really? What does the King of the Monsters truly represent?
What truly makes Godzilla an iconic character is how he represents so many fundamental messages at once. But at the core of Godzilla’s character, he is and always will be a metaphor of humankind’s hubris. Before nuclear weapons, humankind never posed a threat to all life on Earth. After the inception of nuclear weapons, humankind now has the ability to transform the planet into a lifeless, radioactive husk. Godzilla’s presentation in the original 1954 classic was meant as a warning to humanity, to inspire us to curb our destructive ambitions and desires. And that is what I think makes this new Godzilla so terrifying. It not only looks like we ignored the message, but we are now destined (or damned) to bear witness to what Godzilla truly is. My fear is Godzilla, at his core, has no meaning, no purpose. Godzilla is not here to maintain balance, or help humanity discover its place in the world. When I look into his eyes, I don’t see the Godzilla we once knew. I don’t see the dark side of humanity made manifest; I don’t see the personification of nature’s retribution.
When I look into Shin-Godzilla’s eyes, I don’t see a damaged victim. I see an uncaring, cancerous god staring right back at me.
And I’m totally digging it!
I believe both the strength and the weakness of the new Godzilla design, based on what little we have seen of it, is that the beast evokes a kind of speechless and wild horror. It creates this effect by focusing the design on mutation and the grotesque. One can see this in perhaps the most controversial aspect of the new design—the uncomfortably tiny staring eye. That eye appears all outside of proportion to the rest of the grossly bloated and misshapen head, as if, through the mutation process, the eye did not grow at the same rate as the tumorous flesh about the skull. Even the new Godzilla appears to be surprised at the form he has found himself in—or perhaps in this new form Godzilla has no eyelids, perhaps they were scorched off in the heat of the radiation so that now he has no choice but to stare in wild rage. It’s really too early to say, but the initial image is evocative and hideous.
That hideousness, that sense of mutated deformity extends to just about everything we see in this new design. His mouth, too, appears to have been torn and twisted in the radioactive fires—any cheek or lip tissue scorched away, and the teeth (which perhaps normally would have stood in regulated rows for effective clutching and crushing power) are now more like spines or spikes, emerging at random angles, growing in abundance like thorns piercing his maw. In this picture, too, his nose looks somewhat indistinct, emerging from irregular, lumpy, scarred skin that hearkens back to the design of the original Godzilla and its keloid-inspired texture. The ears, meanwhile, seem to have been swallowed up in bulging, tortured flesh. Even the back plates appear to have received some mutation. Usually, in previous incarnations, the spines were largely maple-leaf designed, with the protuberances poking out along the edges, but more or less “flat.” That is to say, the bony spines of the back plates only jutted out along one plane like a throwing star or a leaf. Here, the spines appear to be poking out more unevenly in several directions like a spiked mace.
What gives me pause about this design is that, while the monster looks ferocious and horrific, the design does not lend itself to personality. With no lips, Godzilla can’t even snarl—his expression is fixed into that one mutated gawping expression. The first American Godzilla had a similar problem—she had no lips, either. Just enormous teeth that jutted out. She could not snarl or convey much emotion with her face, but at least she had large eyes that could show her sorrow and rage. The new Godzilla’s eyes look largely emotionless in this picture, although the looming eyebrow may be used to show more emotion. Perhaps it sounds strange to complain about a rigid face design given that Godzilla through the years has often had very little in the way of facial expressions, but the best Godzilla designs (in my opinion) show personality in the suit designs. I love the King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) suit for its kind of playful demeanor, or the stern and powerful look of the Heisei Godzilla design. To me, just based off of the first picture, this Godzilla looks less like a main character as it does kind of a soulless background beast that shows up to scare everyone, but doesn’t have the stage presence to carry the show. It’s way too early to say, really, and I admire the commitment to trying something new and horrifying. I just hope the “Shin Godzilla” also is just… interesting.
The new Godzilla from Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s upcoming Godzilla: Resurgence (2016), to me immediately evokes the original classic 1954 design. The dead eyes are evocative of the iconic image of Shodai-Goji, and also evoke his design from The Return of Godzilla (1984), particularly the famous Cybot Godzilla. The jaw is nice and wide and almost hinged. The ridge up his back also evokes several Showa designs including the iconic Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) reptilian look and I also like how pronounced the trademark charcoal grey skin tone is. The charred skin design evokes Bio-Goji, as well as Powered Red King from Ultraman Powered, and seems to be bringing back the “burn victim” inherent in the original’s design. Although in my humble opinion, the eyes need to be a tad bigger and more emphasized, but overall very nightmarish and fitting for Higuchi and Anno’s vision of revisiting the roots of the franchise. Can’t wait to see it in action.
Overall I’m very positive about the new design and enthusiastic that Higuchi and his team will bring it to life in the best way possible!
As far as first impressions are concerned, I’m mixed. On the one hand, I do like that Anno and Higuchi are harking back to the cold, fearsome design of the original 1954 Godzilla—particularly with the nice touch of the eye gazing down, probably upon hapless victims. And based on what little we can see of them in this poster, Godzilla will be brandishing those classic maple leaf spines once more. And I’m curious to see in what manner these spines will glow when the King’s preparing to unleash his atomic breath! I also like the thorn-like teeth. On the negative side of things, though, I must admit I’m not especially enthusiastic about the shape of the head. The backwards sloping brow, the blocky knob at the base of the skull, the way the snout transitions into the forehead—I just don’t feel the sheer sense of menace the filmmakers are aiming for. Also: not really a fan of the way Godzilla’s throat seems to fuse into the center of his mandible. Perhaps this is one of those designs that will grow on me with age. Perhaps it will look much better in the context of a full-body shot.
But here’s a hypothetical worst-case scenario: a film like Son of Godzilla (1967) or Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II (1993), where I don’t care for Godzilla’s physical appearance but still find plenty to like about his character and the movie around him.
When I look to the near future and think of Godzilla 2016, I hold child like anticipation of one of my favorite franchises returning, but still plenty of skepticism due to the previous entry in 2004. These thoughts however altered slightly as the new poster for the film was revealed.
The original Gojira is not one of my favorite films, but I recognize its importance to the franchise, and with this note I feel slightly disappointed by the design of “Shin Godzilla.” From what I can see the monster is well detailed, focuses on the burns and mutations that came with its creation, and is far more… creepier in execution. Horror is definitely the route I see this Godzilla following, and I will hold final judgement on its execution until the film’s release but at the moment I am not thoroughly impressed.
My hope is this film is something akin to GMK, which also held a Godzilla that was not as pleasing to the eyes as others, but was executed extremely well though only time will tell on the final result. In the meantime, I will try to avoid making direct eye contact with the newest interpretation of everyone’s favorite lizard.
When the poster for Godzilla Resurgence/Shin Gojira was released, I was very excited. I shared the same picture on my personal Facebook page at least three times. Nonetheless, when I took a good look at what I was presented I had slightly mixed feelings.
The first thing that grabbed me was that maw. I LOVE the teeth design, but I didn’t really care for how far back into the head the jawline receded. I also thought the eyes were too far forward in his head. It just didn’t look badass. I showed it to my friends the same evening, and they loved it… and I have to say I actually agree with them now.
Looking back at Godzilla (1954)’s design, there’s one thing that makes it very different from almost every other suit. It was hand made, and is therefor very unsymmetrical. And on a black and white screen set at night, it looks very realistic, and even terrifying… well, maybe not to us, as we watch it on DVD, but it’s easy to imagine why everyone in the movie is screaming.
What this suit does is capture that same realism that the 1954 suit had… and mixes it with imagery that is actually terrifying to look at. The sharp teeth, the uneven skin texture, the scarecrow like grin… it’s creepy. Imagine looking 389 feet into the air, and seeing that weirdly human eye staring directly at YOU. That would be horrific.
Looking at every Godzilla design from 1999, to 2014, they’re all badasses. Emphasizing Godzilla’s strength, endurance, and sheer power levels. Even in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), where we the how cruel Godzilla actually can be, it still looks like the design is meant to be super cool. This Godzilla doesn’t have to be badass. This movie is Japan vs. Godzilla, and he knows he can win. This Godzilla simply wants to be cruel, not cool.
My first reaction to the design was negative. Not overwhelmingly so, but to the point where I didn’t care much for it. I was a bit shocked as well compared to my expectations. Toho had been on a Heisei series splurge of late. They recently created a moving statue of the Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) on the top of the Toho Cinemas Shinjuku theater. Meanwhile, the King of the Monsters in the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 game Godzilla was also dedicated to this era. Going further back, we also have the toy line S.H. MonsterArts, which started with a 1990’s slant, and all the Heisei series films were also the first to hit Blu-ray in Japan over the other eras.
Heck, the first image surrounding the film, seen to the right, had a very Heisei vibe to it. So I was bracing for something that evoked that look, a fan favorite and mine as well. What we got was something totally unlike any Godzilla seen to date. As others here have touched on in this article, the look is horrific. The King of the Monsters never struck me as scary. His opponents, in particular Hedorah, terrified me as a kid, but Godzilla himself never caused that reaction.
Given that, it’s easy to see why they did not evoke a look similar to the 1990’s series run. That Godzilla looked bad ass, but scary is not a reaction anyone would have to it.
All that said… as things often do, my feelings toward it warmed as I looked at it more. While there are elements I still don’t like, in particular the incredibly small eye, I am more open to it. I have the luxury of reading the other staff’s thoughts before giving my own, and must say Nicholas Driscoll summed up the mutated angle way more succinctly than I could have hoped to.
While reactions here are mixed, none are negative and some quite positive. The unusual look is certainly getting people talking as well, which is helpful for any film versus a sentiment of indifference. So I would be willing to say Toho did right by the design even if most fans aren’t ecstatic toward it. If the company follows through on giving us a film suited for the look, the entry will certainly stand out in the franchise. At the very least it will prove a large counterpoint to the more heroic Godzilla seen in Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla(2014), which may or may not have been intentional on Toho’s part.
Thoughts of your own on the design? Weigh in yourself in the comments section for your reactions to the look of Godzilla 2016.General // December 15, 2015