Tag Archives: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Review! The Monster Battle We’ve Waited For Is Finally Here!

This is the movie kaiju fans have been ravenously waiting to see! It’s been 7 years in the making, ever since Gareth Edwards brought the world a proper and faithful Western-made Godzilla film with a titanic budget backing it and cutting edge special effects befitting to the King of the Monsters.

Godzilla and King Kong, two of the most groundbreaking monster names in all cinematic history, have not met since the early ’60s. There was a lot of talk in the ’90s to bring these two colossuses back for a battle of the ages and I’m sad that never happened. I love the Heisei Godzilla films and seeing that Godzilla battle a revamped Kong would have been nothing short of extraordinary.

art courtesy of Bob Eggleton

Well, after many decades, after many plans fell by the wayside, and once a new universe of monsters and mayhem had been established – courtesy of Legendary Pictures – the wait has come to an end at long last. The monster clash of the century has finally dawned and fans may rejoice in the neon haze.

Clash of the Titans!

If you’ve been following us here on Nightmare Nostalgia our readers will find it no surprise that I’m a Godzilla fanatic. I mean holy hell, people! If you search Godzilla there are at least 5 pages of Godzilla articles by me! So oh hells yeah, I’m excited about this movie. I’ve been looking forward to watching it for years!

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

First off I never thought it’d ever happen. Even while watching Godzilla back in 2014 I didn’t anticipate Legendary’s sensational vision to bring about a thriving MonsterVerse. One filled with classic Toho monsters and a fresh new evaluation of how these beasts would work in our world today.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

Legendary’s treatment of these movies (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters) has been with the utmost respect for each creature and project. The filmmakers don’t treat these guys as great big monsters nor have they handled the projects as a ‘big dumb monster movie.’ Unlike the 1998 Godzilla atrocity.

Legendary treats these beasts reverently and as individual characters – and not just some CGI thing – and that’s what makes them work. What separates this series of monster films from many imitators is the fact that the monsters have so much heart and character, just like the original monster films Gojira and King Kong

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Their latest monsterpiece, Godzilla vs. Kong, is no different. And this was not an easy project to bring to life either. Anticipations were high as fans of both beasts wanted to see their Titan done properly. This would have been a movie that easily could have monumentally fucked up – and fuck up hard – had it been handled in lesser experienced hands. I trusted Legendary’s vision and they didn’t disappoint. As far as both monsters go that is.

Let’s get the most obvious fact out of the way. This is a remake, but it’s the kind of remake that works just like Carpenter’s The Thing and Cronenberg’s The Fly. King Kong vs. Godzilla was a fine achievement for Toho back in 1962.

image via Toho, ‘King Kong vs Godzilla’

It was the first time either Kong or Godzilla appeared in color for one thing, and it was the third outing for Godzilla (just like this new film come to think of it) and a completely new take on Kong’s mythos.

In KKVG King Kong was a juice-drinking bachelor living the good life and being worshipped by adoring fans. He kind of had it made…aside from having to kick the shit out of rowdy gigantic sea life every now and then.

Fun fact: this was not the first time Kong appeared in a Toho production. Sadly (as of this date) the original Toho Kong movies are lost to Time but, as has happened before, perhaps they’ll resurface someday. Anyways that’s a topic for another article.

image via Toho, ‘King Kong vs Godzilla’

That original movie also set the formula every other Toho Godzilla project would follow – that being Godzilla vs. (insert monster here). It’s a brilliant formula too and it’s enchanted generations of fans ever since. Because of this movie’s success, it led Toho to quickly follow up with fan-favorite Godzilla vs. Mothra. And the rest is cinematic history!

So being a remake, Godzilla vs. Kong pays faithful tribute to the original (and much adored) Toho classic– and all of us fans are given some pretty nostalgic Easter eggs – while forging a modern classic out of the heat of Godzilla’s flames themselves.

This is a must-watch – I can’t stress that enough – for monster fans and whether you find yourself favoring Kong or if you’re more of a Godzilla nut there is plenty enough in this film to appease and delight fans on both sides.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Godzilla is shown in all of his raging glory and fans have not long to wait before seeing our Monster King. When he arrives all Hell breaks loose as he obliterates an Apex facility at Pensacola, FA. People flee (helplessly) in terror as he blasts away towers, buildings, and streets nearby. The very air sizzles in the tormenting heat of his inner radiation.

Flesh, blood, and bone melt by the heat of his atomic flames! Something, to be frank, I was expecting to see back in 2014. I was expecting to see the destruction of which Godzilla is very well known for. Godzilla is pure energy, a child of the Apocalypse, born of nuclear terror and he who walks with destruction in his stride. In Legendary he is an ancient Titan come from primordial mystery and awe, so it was nice to see him blast things apart just like he did in the good-old days. Naturally it also plays into the film’s narrative.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

We are given a glimpse of the terror and awe that was revealed back in Gojira. I just wish there could have been a little more.

Kong is our lead though, a powerhouse of brute strength but with sympathy. I swear I keep seeing that beautiful Willis O’Brian touch (from the very original King Kong film) here in Legendary’s Kong. It’s in his eyes and how expressive they are. There is a profound soul behind his gaze and even a crazed G-Fan like myself can’t help but fall in love with Big Monkey.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Without getting into spoiler territory (yet) I’ll say this really is a Kong adventure-story where we follow him on his quest to kingship. Godzilla is not the villain though, which I theorized earlier. We’ll cover that a bit later though.

The movie is brimming with fantasy and sci-fi adventure. It’s a visual masterpiece that awes its audience. It also (most importantly) gives us a massive slugfest as monster battles monster to the violent end. Enjoy the marvel of seeing two of the most famous monsters of all time beating each other to bits. And yes, the battles – notice I say ‘battles’ because we get a few – are mind blowing.

Now for spoilers!

SPOILERS

Final warning: If you don’t want the movie spoiled for you do not read further.

The rumors and theories were all true. The hidden villain of the film is none other than Mechagodzilla. I fucking knew it.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Mechagodzilla bursts onto the scene, tearing his wear out of the heart of a mountain, very similar to one of his earliest introductions from Toho, and as he’s born a wave of mayhem ensues. He is the new era of Titans, a new god, brought to life by none other than pure mad science! Don’t you love that? Classic sci-fi stuff right there.

They hint at him from the beginning of the film as we delve into the malicious secrets of Apex and learn of the company’s true intent.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Science may have built the chrome design of this mecha-nightmare, but the soul of the creature, and yes, at least in this particular case, the machine has a soul, one that’s blighted and thrives on the agony of others, is the DNA harvested from Ghidorah’s skull (just as I predicted from seeing the first trailer).

And he is vicious! I was curious how exactly Mechagodzilla would perform in the movie – like would he be a bulky stiff machine or something? He quickly proves (right off the bat) to be more than Godzilla or Kong could handle on their own. There’s a serpentine way the creature moves, and he possesses surprising agility. He’s out to kill and it could be argued that he is the Second Coming of Ghidorah seeing as he shares the devil’s own DNA.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

So we get the monster team-up fans have always wanted as both kings join forces to take down the terror of Mechagodzilla. As people have been posting on social media (and spoiling the movie left and right) it’s true: Godzilla wins the fight with Kong but Kong ultimately kills Mechagodzilla.

But Kong would have never bested Mechagodzilla without Godzilla powering up that cool axe of his. Yeah, it’s a whole thing and quite awesome.

Mechagodzilla always proved a formidable rogue in the Toho series. He’s easily beaten the ever-living crap out of the King of the Monsters anytime the two ever faced off. And Legendary’s MechaG is armed to the gills with weapons of mass destruction. He’s a great introduction to the series even if Kiryu (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla) is my favorite MechaG unit.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Plot

Since Godzilla is played up as the villain from the start it becomes a mystery race for Team Godzilla to discover why he’s attacking seemingly innocent people. Turns out Apex complexes are provoking him and Godzilla destroys each facility only because he believes a rival Titan is challenging him from each one. And he’s right considering it’s Mechagodzilla’s disassembled body parts behind it all. A single eyeball (seriously, his eyeball) emits a signal that just pisses Godzilla right off. Does he sense Ghidorah’s presence in the pulse? I really want to know more about this thing. Because the eyeball (hidden deep in an Apex factory) seems to act like the Orca did in GKOTM.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Kong’s journey is an adventure tale leading him from the borders of an artificial Skull Island and deep into the heart of the Hollow Earth. Whereas Godzilla’s story plays out as a conspiracy/mystery journey Kong’s story is played up as the hero’s quest to find a kingdom. And we spend a lot of time with Kong. And some of my favorite parts of the film were exploring the Hollow Earth! It was a beautiful place of fantasy and awe. I wanted to spend way more time there exploring all it had to show us. It’s said to be the birthplace of all Titans so who knows what other familiar faces are waiting down there and will appear in future movies?

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

And that’s where I do criticize the movie. I went to see this thing in IMAX – the first time I’d been back to a theater since seeing Joker. And after GVK was over I knew I could have (easily) sat an extra 40 mins just to get more details on, well, everything!

Criticism (of Human Characters)

Yeah, we gotta get into this territory.

With the previous three films, we were given plenty of ‘oh that’s cool’ explanations and things flowed fluidly as we followed people trying to figure out who the Titans were and why things were happening the way they were. I think Kong: Skull Island and GKOTM both did this the best. The human characters weren’t that boring and we clearly understood their motives and why they were reacting the way they did to the Titans.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Not saying GVK doesn’t do that. There is clearly a human villain and his motivations are evident. He wants mankind to be the apex ruler of the world again and will prove his place on top of the food chain by creating Mechagodzilla.

Not to get too into it (but you know I am) but how in the Hell does Apex manage to build an entire Mechagodzilla? Way back in 2014 I remember thinking ‘Wow! Imagine what Mechagodzilla would be like in this world.’ But the thought soon passed because I realized that realistically no one could afford to build that damn thing.

In this case we have the stereotypical business tycoon (Walter Simmons) played by Demián Bichir who just happens to have tunnels running through the earth to serve as his own personal transport. This way he can move his evil robot parts around and other fun black market stuff without anyone noticing. But holy shit how rich is this guy?

Unlike every other movie come before this one the military and government push to control the Titans are all missing. It could easily have been explained that world authorities had pumped all their resources together and given the military the go ahead with preparation for a man-made Titan combatant. That could have been Mechagodzilla’s origin and wouldn’t have taken much to set up. But no, rich guy built him.

The scene that stands out to me though was when Team Godzilla happens upon Ghidorah’s skull. It’s just there because of reasons. We get a quick rambling explanation that it’s fueling MechaG and Ghidorah used telepathy to communicate between his three heads, so this thing can talk to the mecha(?). But I would have liked a little more time knowing how did this thing get into Apex’s hands. I mean I know they must have bought it, but the last time we saw this skull was when Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) bought it off the black market in GKOTM’s post credits.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

And holy shit did I miss Jonah. Like what happened to him? He was such a great(!) bad guy, definitely in my top 5 favorite Godzilla human baddies, and his absence is heavily felt here. It would have been cool to know that Jonah was the evil mastermind manipulating the CEO of Apex. I’d have liked to know that smarmy businessman who thought he had all the Aces up his sleeve was nothing more than a witless puppet in Jonah’s hands. And perhaps Mechagodzilla was simply a little test for a much bigger horror Jonah had in mind. Oh well.

Most of the Monarch team was missed here too. But no one was more missed than Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) who died in the previous film. But in GKOTM it looked like Dr. Chen (Ziyi Zhange) was going to be taking his place as the voice of reasonable exposition. In GKOTM she was already explaining Titan myths and lore from across history. In GVK it would have been nice to have her give us a little insight into this ancient rivalry between Kong and Godzilla’s species. That rivalry is just a thing that’s mentioned and never goes anywhere else in the film.

Again to use GKOTM as example, we’re told that Ghidorah is a species come from outer space and that he and Godzilla fought once before. The return of Ghidorah from his icy prison threatened the world as it had in ancient times when he and Godzilla fought once before. So the hatred they both had for one another was clear and understandable. Same way with Kong’s hatred fro the Skull Crawlers in KSI.

In Kong: Skull Island we had an established character (Hank Marlow played by John C. Reilly) in place to explain to us the long feud Kong’s family had with the treacherous Skull Crawlers. They killed Kong’s parents and made it very personal, and they also nearly wiped out the Iwi people. Kong had to fight these beasts to the death to protect all life on Skull Island but everyone feared the day when the Big One came up.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

In the case of both films, Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, both Kong and Godzilla are given villains to battle and there’s a lot of personal trauma caused on both characters by their arch villains. It created tension and excitement when they had to face them. Not to mention whereas Godzilla had Alan Jonah as a master-class baddie Kong had to fight none other than mother-fuckin’ Samuel L. Jackson! Both of these human baddies brought sinister drama to the monsters and it’s brilliant.

image via Legendary, ‘Kong: Skull Island’

In GVK we have conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) who is running with Team Godzilla and spouting off random bits here and there. I loved this guy – actor not character – in Child’s Play, and I really liked the character at the beginning of GVK but towards the end of the movie I really wished he would just shut up. He quickly became the stereotypical conspiracy theorist nut-job who couldn’t stop talking about the Illuminati and lizard people.

I know I’m bitching a whole lot but this is the first Monsterverse film where the human cast did really bug me. They simply felt one-dimensional when in past films they had depth and a purpose that was immensely relatable in one way or another. And they weren’t forcing comedy on us. When the comedy happened in past films it felt natural.

image via Legendary, ‘Kong: Skull Island’

The one new character who carried her role perfectly was little Kaylee Hottle who plays the lone survivor of the Iwi culture. Her connection with a giant digital ape is so believable and precious. Kong acts as her guardian angel and she’s his voice to humanity. Really she stole every scene she’s in.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Do the monster battles make up for all this though? Oh hell yes! And my petty criticism can’t change how exciting and impactful the monsters are. And that’s why we go see these movies after all. Once the movie ended I could have easily sat there and watched a movie just about Godzilla and Kong without any human characters.

And that’s the bottom line. If you gotta have human characters at least take the time to make them interesting and give them depth.

Speaking of that I know there was talk about making a movie that went back in time and showed Godzilla and Ghidorah’s first battle. I’d be cool with that. And I’d also be cool with a movie focusing on the ancient rivalry between Kong and Godzilla’s species. I don’t care if there are no people in either film. Just let me see monsters fighting!

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

Overall I do love this movie even with my opinions about it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad. It also makes me hope there’s an uncut version of the film out there. At times it feels like scenes are just cut short, that, and, there are two characters listed in the cast who do not appear in the film. One being Dr. Ilene Chen (Zhang Ziyi) and that’s interesting! Where was she? Like I said, she was sorely missed. And a character played by Van Martin who is listed as Dr. Chen’s assistant. There has to be more to this movie than we’ve seen.

image via Legendary, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

And now that Kong is established in the Hollow Earth who knows what else we’ll get to see in future films? I know that there’s been talk to remake Destroy All Monsters, a Toho film that took place on Monster Island and featured nearly every kaiju from Toho’s legacy. Could there be plans to set up a Legendary version with similar themes?

That and there were rumors of aliens being involved in future films. And you know what that means: GIGAN!

So far GVK has done well and we can only hope it continues to do so so the studios green light some more of these great monster movies.

In the meantime LONG LIVE THE KING!

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Monster Theories

We all know the movie is focusing on the epic (and I mean EPIC!) battle between two of the most prominent kaiju in all cinematic history, but the whole story is yet to be told. We’ve only seen the tip of this colossal iceberg and there’s plenty left to speculation. So as we wait (finally!) for it’s long-awaited release in March let’s run down a few of our theories.  

courtesy of Warner Bros, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

MECHAGODZILLA!

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way. Given just a brief glimpse at the beginning of the trailer we see what could be none other than Mechagodzilla. 

image via Warner Bros. ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Watching this scene over and over again it really does leave little else to be argued. It has the shape of Godzilla but appears mechanic and we’re given the briefest glimpse of an orange-glowing energy pulse in the thing’s neck.

Unless Godzilla levels up his atomic flame from blue to reddish-orange, similar to what happened during the Heisei era, we might be seeing none other than Godzilla’s mechanical nemesis. 

Reasons for this theory.

By the trailer we’re told that Godzilla is out there hurting people. Now that’s a big turn of events given how Godzilla has been the earth’s defender and a hero to humanity. Although, the somber ending of Godzilla: King of the Monsters does reflect that Godzilla is on our side ‘for now‘ leaving room for a frightening possibility of Godzilla becoming our destroyer.

What could turn him against us? Now that’s the question. 

image via Warner Bros. ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Perhaps it’s our meddling with the Titans – genetic engineering or bio-experimenting – that pisses Godzilla off. After all he is their king and would only be protecting his subjects from us if that were the case. And you know it’s entirely within reason that people like Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) would be using Titans as his own personal weapons.

That could be enough to send Godzilla into a shit storm of fury. I don’t think that’s entirely the case though. If we are indeed getting Mechagodzilla in this movie then it’s possible Godzilla is not, in fact, to blame for these sudden attacks at all.

image via Toho

You see, back in 1974, when Mechagodzilla was first introduced he appeared as Godzilla at first, albeit a counterfeit. Just like the Terminator has a fleshy exterior to hide the monstrous T-800 underneath, Mechagodzilla wore a Godzilla skin suit to conceal his true identity while leaving a trail of destruction in his wake and the blame being pinned on Godzilla.

So what if what we’re seeing is not the real Godzilla but an imposter? Someone whose sole purpose is to create chaos and drive humanity to the brink of despair? In desperation, humanity would turn to the King of Skull Island to battle the King of the Monsters and hopefully end the sudden reign of terror.

image via Warner Bros. ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

While Kong and Godzilla are busy beating the shit out of each other the world would be left defenseless against whatever the true threat operating behind the scenes is. 

I can see this as being a likely case. We know Alan Jonah is still very much active out there. We also know that he had some sort of plans for that (SPOILERS!) discarded Ghidorah head in that post credit scene.  Hmmmm. (We’ll visit this plotline a little later on. )

Could Jonah be orchestrating events so earth’s two mightiest Titans fight to the death while leaving the planet open to advance his master plan? This does strongly echo the original intentions of Mechagodzilla. 

via Toho

Given that Legendary has been faithfully adapting classic motifs from Toho’s Godzilla mythos it makes sense to see Mechagodzilla finally given their extraordinary treatment. Mechagodzilla is renowned as one of Godzilla’s chief villains and became an instant fan favorite upon his introduction back in 1974. Also he is one of the few Godzilla kaiju to make an appearance in all three of Toho’s Godzilla eras, just like Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Kevin’s Head

Kevin’s head is still a mystery. Why did Jonah want to purchase it so badly? This could be another connection to the Mechagodzilla theory. In the 2002 film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, a film rebooting the original concept, Mechagodzilla is made from the bones of the original Gojira. Let that sink in a little.

via Toho, ‘Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

So in that film there are two different Godzillas: the original Gojira – who died by oxygen destroyer – and another who was the current Toho Godzilla. 

Humanity builds Mechagodzilla around the bones of Gojira to fight Godzilla. That’s just all kinds of Hell yeah!

via Toho, ‘Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla’

In that film Mechagodzilla was biomechanical and at one point the DNA of Gojia’s bones activates, takes over, and goes insane. 

Could it be the decapitated Ghidorah head (lovingly known as Kevin) serves as a kaiju DNA structure for Mechagodzilla? Or…is there someone else we could be seeing?

Mecha-King Ghidorah

Anyone familiar with 1991’s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah will know exactly what I’m talking about. In that colossal movie Godzilla promptly takes down Ghidorah but the battle is far from over. From the discarded body humanity builds the Mecha-King Ghidorah!

image via Toho

This mechanical beast is mankind’s only hope against the devastation of Godzilla.

Given that, at the end of GKOTM, there’s still that remaining piece of Monster Zero, and the fact that they purposely show it to us, it’s a good bet someone has some wicked plans for it.

It’s entirely possible that Jonah’s team builds Mecha-Ghidorah out of that head.

So would fans rather see Godzilla battle Mechagodzilla or Mecha Ghidorah? Fuck I’d hate to choose between the two. I’d be thrilled to see him and Kong fight both! Bring it on!!! 

image via Toho, ‘Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah’

And Legendary could make that shit look great!

So either Mecha is a possibility at this point. 

Could this severed head be the missing piece to the puzzle? The unseen force working in the shadows by a skilled puppet master to bring an end to the known planet?

Destoroyah! 

image via Toho ‘Godzilla vs. Destoroyah’

What if Legendary is planning something even bigger? Something less obvious? Something that embodies destruction itself? I mean would it be that far of a stretch for Legendary to bring in the Devil of Godzilla’s mythos to challenge the two Kings?

Think about it. Once again we point to Ghidorah’s rotting head (I swear there’s more to that thing). Let’s recall how Ghidorah lost that head: it was during the ocean battle with Godzilla, and Godzilla bit the head clean off. Then immediately afterwards the oxygen destroyer struck the both of them and left its carnage upon the waters.

In Gojira, this was the very weapon the slew our beloved monster. Then, during the Heisei era, the oxygen destroyer was brought back to fans’ memories, for out of the debris and mutations left behind from the OD a new and terrible force came into being: Godzilla’s most terrifying enemy, Destoroyah!

So…why would Legendary bring in the oxygen destroyer? And that thing not only hit Godzilla but also Ghidorah and the severed head. The same head seen at the end of the credits, letting us know it’s still of importance.

What if the cells of the head are crawling with radiation that could lead to Destoroyah’s emergence into the Monsterverse?

image via Toho ‘Godzilla vs. Destoroyah’

Destoroyah could be a new monstrosity grown from Ghidorah’s own cells, have prescient memory, and, along with that, an inherent hatred for Godzilla. Yes, I’m suggesting Keven could become Destoroyah.

During the movie Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Destoroyah was unique for the fact that it went through various evolutionary stages until reaching its final form.

What if whatever Jonah’s monster eventually evolves into this thing? That would be one helluva final form and final battle. It would be something beyond Kong or Godzilla’s ability to face alone. I can see them having to join together to defeat the power of Destoroyah.

image via Toho ‘Godzilla vs. Destoroyah’

After all, they’ve already hinted at Godzilla vs Destoroyah by introducing burning Godzilla at the end of GKOTM. Could it have been a hint of more things to come?

image via Toho ‘Godzilla vs. Destoroyah’

So those are my theories, at least for now. As more is revealed I’ll be sure to make a follow-up post. Maybe none of these are right. Maybe Gigan will be the big reveal! Or, better yet, Gamera shows up and beats them both into submission. I’d be down for that!

There’s still room for the Super X to make an appearance as well as other beloved kaiju. We’ll have to wait until March to know what all is in store for us.

It’s an exciting time to be a fan and I hope you share your thoughts and theories with us in the comments below. Thank you and long live the King!

Godzilla! How We Needed (a) King of the Monsters!

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

The ground beneath you cracks at the approach of an immortal titan returned from a bygone era of raw strength and savage power. The monster’s colossal might is felt in the air like electricity passing between each mote of dust falling on your face. The heavens clamor at the sound of his battle cry and nature itself is swept up in awe at his magnificence. Godzilla has returned and there is nothing that can stop the age of the King!

We have entered a brand new era, fellow believers. An era only thought possible in dreams of childhood imaginations.

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

As children, we didn’t see rubber suits or miniature sets. Back in those happier times of delicate innocence and sitting in front of the glow of our TV’s Godzilla was simply larger than life. We didn’t pay attention to bad dubbing or notice wires holding Monster Zero’s heads up. We believed in what we saw and to us, it was entirely realistic. 

Image courtesy of Toho, ‘Godzilla vs the Astral Monster’

Those monsters came to life before our eyes and no matter how silly it could get at times (Yeah, I’m looking right at you Godzilla vs The Smog Monster) we never stopped believing… at least for a time that is. 

And then the inevitable happened. Innocence came to an end and child-like whimsy had to be set on a shelf with the coming of age.

courtesy of Toho, ‘Godzilla vs Megalon’

In other words, we had to grow up. 

Do you remember how it happened? I don’t actually. I mean there was a time when I believed in fantasy: like I made my figures come to life every time I played with them. I saw a dinosaur on TV and felt how real it looked. I watched Godzilla knowing he truly existed, if nowhere else than in my heart. He was real. 

Image courtesy of Toho, ‘Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla’

And then as if overnight all of my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures were little plastic pieces sitting around gathering dust. I stopped playing. I quit running around outside pretending to be a giant monster destroying cities and battling other kaiju.

image courtesy of Manic Exorcism, little me in my Godzilla costume.

I no longer ran around in the weeds imagining myself to be the Predator hunting down prey. 

I stepped out of the hazy fog of childhood and had grown up before I knew it. And that’s just nature. It’s life and how it should be. But, no matter how old I got, I never stopped believing in certain things. In fact, as I matured it dawned on me that these guys could be larger than life itself! 

courtesy of Toho, ‘Godzilla vs King Kong’

Just because I could suddenly see the strings and knew about an actor being in a suit didn’t make the magic any less enjoyable to me. I just started dreaming bigger.

Like what if they made a Godzilla movie that could prove the enormity of these monsters we loved so much? 

 Godzilla approaches his ancient enemy, a lofty golden dragon with three vicious heads. About the heads of this rival king is a crown of blistering storms shattering the blackened skies above. If Godzilla is god then this is the devil, menacing and wrathful. He has come to our world like a fallen star and will stop at nothing until all life on the planet is under his hellish command. Or eradicated. An ancient battle between old enemies is about to take place over the fate of the world.  

This is what Godzilla fans expect to see. This is what we were given.

courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

This is a love letter to the classic Showa Era we all grew up on and dreamt of seeing someday. Thanks to Legendary we are being given the films fans deserve. 

And that’s how it truly feels: Legendary, through the three fantastic monster movies they’ve given us via the MonsterVerse, has written a love letter to fans of the classic movies.

The scope of imagination and attention to detail given to each project has not let us down. The people behind these movies have proven to be true fans of the genre and treat the kaiju with the titanic respect they each deserve. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

It doesn’t matter if these are modern-day movies, these films embody exactly what we expect from kaiju cinema. One tiny example among hundreds: Kong. In Kong: Skull Island, fans are not given another remake of the classic King Kong story. We’re given a Kong who is truly a kaiju. 

This Kong has more in common with Toho’s concept than it does the Empire State Building climber from the ‘30s. Even looking at the color of Kong’s fur, a reddish-brown hue, matches closely to the one seen in both King Kong vs Godzilla and King Kong Escapes. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Kong: Skull Island’

Yeah, they know what they’re doing. 

There’s been criticism towards GKOTM, but as an OG Godzilla fan, after seeing the movie I walked away with my expectations exceeded.

I expected a really good time but had no idea it would hit me in the feels as it did. It transported me back to my childhood, back to before I noticed the strings and rubber suits. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

The film embodies both the magic and awe that the classic Showa films inspired in me. It felt like a reward for being patient and loyal to the franchise. 

I think that’s something we all could use.

Sure we grow up and have responsibilities, but it’s important to not let all that adulting stuff erase the simple joy of being a kid at heart. It’s important for parents to get down on the floor and play with their kids. It’s important to just have fun sometimes. 

And these movies I’m talking about are pure fun. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

It’s important to let yourself be enchanted by things from childhood. For me that’s Godzilla. 

Godzilla For A New Generation

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

The Legendary MonsterVerse is one helluva great way to introduce our loved ones to these monsters. 

Just a few weeks ago I showed Godzilla: King of the Monsters to a girlfriend (who had never seen a single Godzilla film before in her life) and she loved it! That weekend we wound up watching Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla (2014), and in that order too. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

A new fan was born.

Now she comes over and asks if we can watch not only KOTM again, but she wants to see all the Godzilla movies I grew up with. 

Our world is changing. We’ve entered the proper age of the kaiju.

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

One that has its foundations laid down by pioneers like RKO and Toho. Jurassic Park furthered it and, in its own idiot way, so did Godzilla (1998). Pacific Rim introduced Western audiences to the word kaijuGodzilla (2014) gave us our first glimpse into a big-budget Godzilla film done right with the real Godzilla and not some radioactive iguana. 

The rest is history you could say. 

The age of monsters is in full force and there’s no sign of slowing down in sight. They come to us from the heavens above and the depths below. All we can do is stand in awe-struck wonder and enjoy the rapturous spectacle. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

For more love for Godzilla be sure to check out my previous article here. If you want those nostalgic feels be sure to check in with us and add us on all your social media fixes.

And be sure to keep checking in for even more GIANT MONSTER MANIA! We’re nowhere near being done. 

image courtesy of Legendary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

So if there are any Godzilla/kaiju topics you want to see us explore be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below. Give us a like and a share and we’ll see you in the shadow of the titans next time, 

Manic Exorcism out!

LONG LIVE THE KING!