Teh Old School

Teh Old School

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Godzilla Awards!

It's time! The lights are set, the giant monster size appetizers and glasses of champagne are set, and it's time to get down to business with the Godzilla Awards!!

Before I get into anything, this is my opinion. You as the reader are completely entitled to your own opinion, and if you disagree with me that’s perfectly fine. There are tons of lists out there with favorites of every subject imaginable, and many times they’re never the same. But that’s half the fun is seeing what everyone else comes up with!
Let’s begin, shall we?

OLD SCHOOL AWARD                                                                                                     

Godzilla (1954): Shōwa Series

Seriously, what’s better than the original? Even though I only have the heavily Americanized version, I wanted to give this movie some credit. This movie was the beginning, even though the 1956 movie with Raymond Burr overshadowed this original, it is still the original. Godzilla isn’t yet the protector of Tokyo, attacking monsters more terrifying than himself: he IS the terrifying monster!
This movie also introduces one important piece: the oxygen destroyer. This is what is planted to kill Godzilla in this movie. Well…kill isn’t really the word…but you know what I mean. Anyways, this piece is important because it is the basis for the monster Destroyah. It is the one thing that is actually a threat to Godzilla.
I want to give credit where credit is due. The Americanized version (Godzilla: King of All Monsters, released in 1956), is largely responsible for introducing Godzilla to a wider audience, and helped make him the most recognized daikaiju, well, ever! However, it’s just not as old school as this movie is.

SEE YOU IN HELL AWARD                                                                                                     

Destroy All Monsters (1968): Shōwa Series

Ever had a family reunion or a large graduation party where everyone comes together? This is that movie, and I never get tired of it because it’s my favorite movie to see all the classic monsters in addition to the second-most classic monsters. It’s also considered the last of the classic Shōwa movies, and a time where Godzilla begins his transition from the destroyer to the protector.
The monsters are all confided on Monster Island, where they are kept from humans and also researched. However, when an alien race called the Kilaaks come to destroy earth and release them, they begin attacking major cities, including Beijing, Paris, Moscow, and New York. However, they soon realize that their enemy is not the humans, but the aliens, who are controlling King Ghidorah.
Move the right foot...the RIGHT!!

This movie also has the most monsters, featuring Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, Varan, and King Ghidorah. This coupled with the plotline about the aliens really makes for some fun times. It is the movie that really lets it be about the monsters.
In addition, I honestly don’t get tired of watching this movie. I could watch it over and over again without getting tired of seeing all of my favorite monsters battling it out. Even though I don’t really believe in Hell, this is the movie I hope would be on loop if there was.
Hopefully hell won't have this much sparkly alien fabric, however.

BEST ENEMY AWARD                                                                                               

Godzilla Vs. Biollante (1989): Heisei Series

I absolutely love the organic nature of this character (she is a plant anyway). And yes, I mean a SHE, since she is the combination of Godzilla cells, rose cells, and the cells of the deceased daughter of the mad scientist who creates Biollante. She is also like Hedorah (Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster), Destroyah and Mothra where she actually evolves into new forms throughout the movie.
Can YOU guess my weak point?!

She’s not just a monster, she has the emotions and psychic energy of the human that she was created with. The battle scenes with her vine tendrils are really cool, and overall she has a cool design. In addition, her cry is one of the most memorable; it reminds me of a banshee.
This movie also begins to ask more of its viewers. Most of the monsters come from either outer space or under magical circumstances, but not from a combination of a human and a monster. Godzilla even seems to recognize that they are both the same monster, since they share the same cells. This movie also looks into the world of the psychic, and combines that magical element with science to create Biollante.
Overall the Heisei series is where even though Godzilla is becoming for of a protector, he is still the enemy according to the humans. While Godzilla is fighting his enemy (the enemy of earth), the humans are trying to destroy their “protector”. The relationship between humans and Godzilla begins to deepen, especially since the monster he fights in this movie is part human herself. The originality of this creature and her design concept made her a “natural” choice.

HUMANS FIGHT BACK AWARD                                                                              
Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla (1994): Heisei Series

There are a lot of elements that make this movie worth watching, but for once, THE HUMANS AREN’T LAME!! There are a lot of Godzilla movies where the humans become awfully boring halfway through the movie. This one…they have the M.O.G.E.R.A. (Mobile Operation Godzilla Expert Robo Aero-Type), one of the few machines made by the humans that is ever able to withstand against Godzilla. The team that operates it creates another dimension to the humans that are battling Godzilla. In addition, you have the psychic, Miki Saegusa, who is chosen for Project T, which attempts to control Godzilla using her psychic powers along with technology that they’ve developed.
This movie is just a fun adventure, even though Space Godzilla is somewhat simplistic in his concept (though those giant crystal shoulder pads are quite spiff). This movie also includes Mothra, and my favorite version of Godzilla’s son, in this version called LittleGodzilla.
Wait...wait I've seen this before...


Unfortunately this movie is pretty flat in regards to the plot and the originality of the character, but epic battle scenes and probably the cutest version of Godzilla’s son to date.

Tissue Box Award                                                                                                     
Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah (1995): Heisei Series
The only other movie I can think that made me cry this hard is either Lord of the Rings: Return of the King or Marley and Me. This is the death of the Godzilla from the Heisei series and the succession of his son, who has since evolved from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla.
Holy @#*&%!!
Destoroyah is created by the same machine that killed Godzilla: the oxygen destroyer (hence the name Destoroyah). This movie is the end of the Heisei Series, and the beginning of the new Godzilla. It makes me sad because Godzilla is genuinely heartbroken when he appears unable to save his son, but continues to fight against Destoroyah regardless. In few movies do we see Godzilla reacting in such a way (he does have some fatherly characteristics in Son of Godzilla) but we never see his emotions come out this much in battle. Godzilla becomes more than a monster – he is a wounded father facing death either from Destoroyah or from his internal body temperature becoming too high and causing him to melt down like a nuclear reactor.
Even though Godzilla Junior survives, it is the end of the Godzilla that I had been following for the majority of my childhood. The Godzilla Millennium Series hadn’t begun, so I didn’t know what the future would hold for my daikaiju friends.
This is the only time where the battle was more serious than just a special effects and stunt show. These two monsters are actually fighting for their lives, and in the end, one of them fails to return from battle. This emotion contained in the movie was what eventually lead to me needing a tissue box.

And there you have it!! These movies are very close to my heart, and writing about them has made me want to watch them all over again. But for now, you should go watch the Tony’s, and help my sister root for Warhorse.


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