OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Gojira (1954)

Oh my Gods, I can't believe it. I am actually watching the original Godzilla movie.

Background story: I have never seen any Godzilla movie in my whole life (!!!). And as TF is very stringent about not allowing me to watch Cloverfield without having knowledge of Godzilla first, I am... doomed. Doomed to watch. And by the Gods, I will watch all of those movies if fate decrees!

OH MY GOD!!! THE DRAMA!!! Cancelling a date! What foul things could cause this?!
...He practically throws his girlfriend, or whatever she is, out of the flat. Whilst fetching his stunning captain's cap. What a nice chap. I'm sure he is our hero... and she our heroine (turns out I am right).

Despite my initial and deep-seated prejudice against Japanese Kaiju movies, ESPECIALLY ones from 1954, I actually... enjoy this thing. At the moment. Which is 6 minutes into the movie.

Okay, let me try to sum this movie up.

There is a fake explosion (atomic) in the middle of a fake sea, fake boats sink, people want to know what happens, and an old man remembers Godzilla. A monster that lives in the sea.

In the good old days, they also were much more liberal with the use of what I like to term bribery of higher powers:

And somewhere in there, people dance. Or rather, conduct an exorcism procedure.

Through dancing. In masks that somehow remind me of a mix between Pinocchio, Pluto (Disney) and a hot dog. Truly a sight that must scare mighty Gojira to death.

And of course, the exorcism leads to houses shaking... and the sound of footsteps. GIANT footsteps. Footsteps of DOOOOOOM! TRULY, GOJIRA HATH ARRIVED AND WILL CRUSH ALL AND FEED ON THE PEOPLE! Being a monster that lives in the sea, that is CLEARLY the only way to go. The mere trembling of the earth through his FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM also destroys fake helicopters. You know you've achieved something when your mere footstep destroys helicopters. I begin to understand the fascination that is the Godzilla phenomenon.

You also know you're pretty hardcore when you are responsible for the deaths of lifestock. Maaaaaaaaaan... hardcore.

Less dramatic paleontologists would call those abyssal regions "deep sea". But... wait! That is where the FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM come from! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

I've yet to see Gojira (yeah, I feel authentic) in this movie, but man, do I look forward to it. TF has a miniature (actually, it's a pretty big miniature - I'd go so far as to call it a "pretty cool toy") of the thing, so I know how it looks like, and whilst I haven't watched any of the movies before this as of yet, I do not entirely exist in a cultural vacuum.

But holy crap, it doesn't only have FOOTSTEPS OF DOOOOOM!, it also has RADIOACTIVE FOOTPRINTS! I approve.

My first look at Gojira himself. And he's... smiling?

(Is it a he? A she? An it? And why is it smiling? And why is it coming out of a mountain all of a sudden when in the beginning of the movie it was in the sea?! Why am I watching this instead of working on ludlul bel nemeqi*?!)

It is a little bit painful, though, to watch the movie getting its science wrong. Or, rather: It gets some of its science wrong, and some other right. Which makes for a confusing experience when you're a bit of a science nerd. Like, uhm, ...people I know. *nods*

AND Gojira is not just a giant monster movie. No, it deals with the problems of testing nuclear bombs and international relations. And... war. And shelters, and people not wanting to be in shelters. I can sort of understand the historical stuff. And, to a degree, this is ...moving. No, not moving. But it sort of tries to make a point. However, any point about the wrongs of war and nuclear bombs delivered by means of a giant fake monster/guy in a rubber suit automatically... well, fails. Ah, damn it. It's a giant monster movie, let's leave it at that. My powers of philosophical interpretations of movies that aren't exactly the most philosophical ones fail me at the moment. I blame lack of sleep and the headache I'm currently suffering from.

Or maybe it's that "Nippon Beer" thing. *recoils in terror* **

Okay, now they sort of try to... bomb Gojira to death. Whilst he moves. Underwater. What a brilliant idea. The thing survived atomic bombs, he will surely be scared to death (literally) by ...bombs of a more conventional sort. How could I not see the flawless logic behind this?!

The movie also introduces a mad, evil scientist. He seems to like the girlfriend of the stunning young man with the cap I mentioned at the beginning of this review. As in... fancy her. And as he's like an older brother to her, she won't tell of his super-secret evil plans (created by BLACK SCIENCE***). Ah, loyalty...

Soon after he shows his Black Science to the girl, Gojira comes out of the sea (again). This time, they shoot it. With rifles and other assorted things that are sure to harm something that survived atomic bombs.

Which, of course, leads to Gojira, uhm... destroying houses. Whilst moving very slowly. He also stops trains with his FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM... eats a wagon (hilarious!)... destroys stuff... flicks his tail... oh, the mayhem. The MAAAYYYHEEEEEM!

It all happens very slowly. VERY slowly. Gojira just sort of lumbers around, steps on a few fake constructions, screams (which actually sounds cool) and... well, lumbers away again. That's what I call an effective plan of attack. "Let's visit Tokyo for a change. Oh, a house... ooops, I stepped on it. Well, that was nice... back to the sea now!" ...what sort of self-respecting monster behaves like that?! Where is the carnage and destruction? Instead, we get lumbering and... inspiring, somewhat semi-patriotic music (I call it "HUMANS! FIGHT THE GOJIRA MENACE!") which is grating on my nerves. And it doesn't exactly help with my headache either, if you know what I mean.

54 minutes into the movie. I have to admit that it's getting a bit tedious now - I guess it's that mix between "I really should prepare myself for university right now"-guilt, the unnerving patriotic motivational music, the lumbering (oh my Gods... THE LUMBERING! *screams hysterically* MOVE, YOU GIANT LUMP OF RUBBER!!!!!), the headache... and the not exactly suspenseful movie. Then again, Gojira is full of surprises. He can melt stuff with his breath. A hallmark of being hardcore, that. I mean, if you could melt stuff with your breath... wouldn't you? On the other hand, I seriously have to wonder about the evolutionary processes behind having searing-hot melting-stuff-breath when you live under the sea (*starts to sing*)... anyways, I digress.

I also would have called him "Snuffykins" instead of "Gojira"/"Godzilla". I mean holy crap, he's actually cute! Now I understand why the fat, ugly goth chick I got my cute little Oona-kitteh from originally named her Godzilla: Cute. Compare:

If that isn't a resemblance, I don't know what is. Note the cute schnuffnuff-nose.

So... long story short: Gojira melts stuff with his super-breath, mainly buildings and stuff. Buildings in Tokyo, in case I hadn't made that clear. He also lumbers around... slowly... veeeery.... sloooowly...
Apart from that, he screams. And bangs his head against a clock. Maybe Gojira hates clocks? A reminder of his painfully slow lumbering (caused by his age, I'm sure) possibly? Anti-clock sentiments? Who knows... maybe this shall forever remain a secret. Although I am sure that somewhere, someone has thought of a really logical and good explanation for this banging of head against clock. Sensitivity to noises? This would add a whole new level to Gojira - a mythological level. He kills because mankind has become too numerous and makes too much noise. Just like Enlil****.

Unlike Enlil*****, though, Gojira wrestles with bridges... lumbers around for a bit... lumbers... and beats stuff up with his tail (and a magnificent tail it is, as if created for the very act of destroying fake structures!).

Ugh. 26 minutes left to go. *sighs*

At least, the Bad Science is now revealed to us, the viewers. It's a thing that makes bubbles in water. And by making bubbbles in water, I mean "it dissolves the flesh and muscle from the bones of innocent creatures happily swimming around". By... disintegrating oxygen and then liquifying the remains. Truly, an evil but perfect plan. It also involves powerful forces that scare evil scientists so much that they don't eat for THREE DAYS! IMAGINE! A human being not eating for THREE WHOLE DAYS! le GASP!


Can't it stop? Or speed up? Or... speed up, gain some suspense and THEN stop? I don't know if I can take the remaining 10 minutes.

Then again, my faith in this movie is restored. Our mad scientist actually has a heart (he uses Black Science for Good, not for Evil) and does not want to endanger the world by thrusting another superweapon upon the unsuspecting world. I vote for "selfless self-sacrifice".

"Why are we singing again?" - "It's for a movie about a giant rubber monster from the sea that lumbers around!" - "YAY!"

The End: Long, drawn-out pseudo-dramatic underwater scene, involving two brave men (can I say "selfless self-sacrifice"?) and the Oxygen Detonator, Gojira and... dramatic yet subtle music. How... moving.

Oh, the drama.

5.75/10 surprisingly entertaining although really drawn out classics when it comes to rubber monsters and archaic - nay, primordial! - monster screams

* The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer, Young Babylonian wisdom literature. Because you NEEDED TO KNOW THIS.

** I haven't ever had Japanese beer, but somehow, the thought of it is not very appealing. Remember, I live in a country in which we have real beer. For those of you who truly love Nippon Beer: I am sure it is awesome, and I hope you truly enjoy it. More power to you. Seriously. *thumbs up* However, I will stick to beer I know and trust. Please don't take offense at this.

*** Black Science is the scientific equivalent of Black Magic. It is used by evil people, for evil purposes. And usually involves nifty colours. Think "radioactive green", if you don't know what I mean.

**** If I see this popping up somewhere else on the intarwebs, you'll be paying me royalties. And no, NO ALIENS! ><

***** Please, do me a favour and DON'T wiki or google the name - you're bound to find useless crap. If you really need to know, leave a comment. Chances are, though, that, by the very act of reading this, you already know who Enlil is.