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  #1  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:52 AM
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Default A Purposeful Grimace and a Terrible Sound. Talking Time watches Kaiju Movies

Hi! I'm Octo! Remember me from school?

This year I've found myself gradually watching entire film series I'd previously been spotty on, and after finishing off X-Men, Planet of the Apes and The Fast and the Furious, I've opted to start watching Every Godzilla Movie I Own. Which is about half of them all. And our own Mr. Dracula invited himself along for the ride to.

And then I thought, "well, we can't possibly be the only two posters here itching for an incentive to watch Godzilla movies."

And then I thought "Well, we already have a dedicated Godzilla thread, updated semi-regularly, even."

And THEN I thought "Well shucks, why stop at Godzilla? Watch them all!" or at least a whole bunch of them. Whatever.

Hence; this thread. No rules. No items. Final Destination. Let's All Watch Kaiju Movies and witness as nature points out the folly of man via the medium of NUCLEAR DINOSAUR!

It'll bring us together, in these troubling times, as true friends and family.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:57 AM
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DRACULA HAS JOINED YOUR PARTY
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:59 AM
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Here's what Mr. Dracul and I already thought regarding Mr. Gs debut, self-titled album; both with and without the helpful narration of TVs Perry Mason;

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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Anyway I was eager to finish the VROOMATHON in order to start immediately on watching every Godzilla movie! Or at least about half them, since I barely have any of the Showa series. BUT WHATEVER! NUCLEAR DINOTHON IS GO!

And that means starting with he original Godzilla: King of the Monsters, specifically the Raymond Burr version. I know that the Japanese version is superior, and the American edit really tones things down and barely even glances over some of the major plot-themes, but even still, it's a really good kaiju movie. Easily on par with THEM! or King Kong.

Godzillas attack on (well... stroll through) Tokyo still manages to be one of the most harrowing scenes of panic and destruction I've ever seen, far beyond anything Roland Emmerich managed to wring out of all his movies put together, even with all the really heart-wrenching stuff edited out. It's a great movie by any standard.
.
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Following up the first G movie with Smog Monster is insane but I'm here, I'm HERE FOR THIS.

...are you skipping to Smog Monster because you don't have any of the films between it and original G?

Anyway my review of Gojira (1954) is that it's still either the best or one of the best Godzilla films, it is eternal, it beats almost any American monster film from the same time period, and yeah both the American and Japanese versions are quality. However when given the choice, I will pick almost any other G film to watch. I still haven't watched the Criterion release of Gojira that I got...like...three years ago?
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:03 AM
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Giant monster movies seen by me:

King Kong (33)
The Son of Kong
Godzilla (54)
Godzilla Raids Again
Rodan
Mothra
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Mothra vs. Godzilla
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Invasion of Astro-Monster
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
King Kong Escapes
All Monsters Attack
Terror of Mechagodzilla
King Kong (76)
Godzilla (98)
King Kong (05)
Cloverfield
Pacific Rim
Godzilla (14)

I plan to see Skull Island. Not sure if there's anything else I need to see.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:09 AM
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Skull Island is a lot of fun, and, if I might be so bold as to make a proclamation; the 90s Gamera trilogy and about half the Millenium Godzilla movies are all among the best that the NUCLEAR DINOSAUR genre has to offer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:09 AM
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I'll offer my thoughts on the kaiju films that Octo watches, as well as the ones he's passing up. I might even re-watch some of them, too!

I currently own all but two of the classic G-series (Vs. Spacegodzilla got lost in a theft a long time ago, and Shin Gojira isn't out on DVD yet), and all but one of the Gamera series (just haven't picked up Gamera the Brave yet).

Someday I need to collect the non-G Toho kaiju and space films I haven't seen yet!
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Skull Island is a lot of fun, and, if I might be so bold as to make a proclamation; the 90s Gamera trilogy and about half the Millenium Godzilla movies are all among the best that the NUCLEAR DINOSAUR genre has to offer.
I can agree to this hot take.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:16 AM
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Shin G is totally available on home video on these shores!

His purposeful grimace stares at me from my DVD shelf!
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:22 AM
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Aya--!!

It totally is!
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:22 AM
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I wish it was easier to watch some of these without shelling out for out of print DVDs - some are rentable online, some aren't.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:28 AM
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While that does suck, I remember a time when a third to half (including the original!) of Godzilla films had absolutely no high-quality DVD release in the west, and even some of the ones that did would only be available with the English dubs.

When I visited Japan in '06, one of the things I did was rent all of the G-films that didn't have good western DVD versions and burned copies with subtitles I added myself. I think a couple of those are still the best versions you'd be able to find!
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:53 PM
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I hear that the 2000s Mothra trilogy is really good.

But I can never find it anywhere.

And that makes me a grumper.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:59 AM
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Dracula, Octo's live-blogging Godzilla times on IRC and you're missing out.

You're fucking this up!
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
(just haven't picked up Gamera the Brave yet).
Gamera the Brave is slowly becoming one of my favorite kaiju movies. I like it a little more every time I see it.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:21 AM
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I did some searching around, hoping to find some Godzilla or Gamera movies on streaming services to recommend people, but the results were disappointingly slim! There used to be options! Here's what I found:

Crunchyroll seems to have Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), famous for being one of the worst in the series.

Amazon Prime has no Godzilla movies, but does seem to have Varan the Unbelievable, a 1962 American/Japanese co-production with a monster that's kind of like a flying squirrel. Varan shows up in exactly one Godzilla movie.

Netflix and Hulu are wastelands.

Youtube, however, looks to have a pretty wide selection of full G-films, although you'll have to pay up the $2.99 rental fee for each one.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:05 AM
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My DVD copy of Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster has the following poem written on it;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraken Releasing

When the Ultimate Power of Green
Takes on the Menace of the Unclean, It's
GODZILLA vs. The Smog Monster

Hedorah Wants to Snuff the Planet
With Sludge and Toxic Gas
But first he's got to fight Godzilla,
WHO'LL KICK HIS SMOGGY MASS
And that's real literature.

GvH is, rightly, known as being one of the most bewildering and, well, friggin' weird-ass Godzilla movies in the franchise. It's a movie that opens with a hobo showing up to give SCIENCE DAD, invulnerable patriarch of Science Family (consisting of Science Boy, Teacher Mom and Rockstar Teen) a weird tadpole, which inspired him to go scuba diving and immediately get half his body dissolved by Hedorah; the massive toxic amphibian from outer-space, lured to earth by all our pollution!

This movie has a very clumsy environmentalism message that seems to posit that a giant radioactive dinosaur that breathes nuclear fire strong enough to kill with proximity is healthier for nature.

Anyway, Hedorah starts eating boats, prompting a very deadpan news reporter to posit that "it might be some new monster" and then SCIENCE BOY has a prophetic dream about Godzilla fighting Hedorah.

SCIENCE BOY has lots of prophetic dreams about Godzilla, and his only friends are Godzilla toys, and he did a school report on what Godzilla must think of pollution. He expresses dead-eyed disinterest on an exciting roller-coaster. In fact, the only thing BESIDES Godzilla he shows any reaction to through the entire movie is stabbing clams with a knife while on the beach.

Kids weird. I wouldn't let him pet my dog.

Anyway, after ROCK TEEN gets massively drunk and starts hallucinating about fish-people at a bar one one single sip of beer, he and his girlfriend, dressed like Slim Goodbody, as a fish, watch Godzilla and Hedorah wrassle at the pier. The wrassle lasts forever, but at least there's lots of interesting things happening during the fight. And Hedorah runs off when he's losing.

Later, Hedorah shwos up again and he can fly AND ALSO he's breathing out poison gas strong enough to melt buildings and turn people into skelly-people. So he had an off-camera training montage, obviously.

Back at SCIENCE FAMILY HOUSE, Science Dad discovers Hedorahs one weakness; electricity dries him out. And Rock teen has a considerably stupider plan of holding a charity rock concert to protest Hedorahs existence. I have no idea what he was planning to achieve with this plan, but he goes right ahead with it. And then Hedorah shows up like the mayor from Breakin' 2 to spoil everyones good time.

Also he melts Rock Teen and his parents don't even seem to notice or care.

Then Godzilla shows up for his final battle against Hedorah and... it takes... forever.

The movie isn't even 90 minutes, but the fight is three hours long. The sun rose and set several times during the fight. This might have been a continuity error within the film, Godzilla might have fought Hedorah in a barren, flat desert for 36 hours straight.

I don't know, but it was endless and slow and boring beyond anything you could envision regarding a GIANT NUCLEAR DINOSAUR FIGHTING A POISON TITAN FROM SPACE. Then Godzilla wins, and walks off into the sunset, while Science Boy cries out to him.

Somehow Toho managed to make a movie that was insane and captivating until Godzilla showed up. I have no idea how. I had no idea that was even possible. But it happened. That's incredible.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:14 AM
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Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster destroyed Godzilla movies for Kid Dracula for several years. I wouldn't watch any of the ones I hadn't already seen.

I have more thoughts on this film, because now I like it better, but for now here's post-it fanart I made of Hedorah during Octo's watch.

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Old 08-16-2017, 12:29 PM
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What if there was a Godzilla attack and nobody cared?

This is the question posed by The Return of Godzilla (Or Godzilla 1984, depending on which title you prefer). Toho decided that they needed to remake Godzilla as a fresh face for the 80s, a new movie that's a direct sequel to the 1954 original and they decided that the best best way to go about this was to make the movie boring as hell!

The movie juggles about a hundred subplots in telling its pretty basic story of "Oh crap, Godzillas back!" and it either abandon or resolves them at a breakneck speed so none of them feel at all dire. The government is ordering a news blackout on Godzilla stories so as to avoid a panic and also Russian and American miiltary are at each others throats blaming one another for warships Godzilla has been destroying? Well, that'd be a fun story, but it's dropped ten minutes into the film. A scientist with a burning vengeance for Godzilla to avenge his parents, killed in the monsters original attack? He never seems to bring it up again. Giant mutated lice that killed the sailors on a ship? That barely has anything to do with Godzilla and never gets mentioned again. And on and on like this.

Eventually Godzilla faces down the military's ultimate secret weapon the Flying Minivan MUNICIPAL AIR DEFENSE FIGHTER: SUPER X, which gets a title card and everything, which manages to kill Godzilla. Or rather, make him take a nap in the middle of his own dang movie after a pitched battle that, well, is exactly like fighting Kraid; they shot him in the face to make him roar, and then shot a missile down his throat, five or six times.

Then, long after all the other characters plum forgot about it, the Russians accidentally launch a nuclear missile at Japan to kill Godzilla, but the US launches a missile at THAT missile and it explodes, and the radiation heals Godzillas tummy ache and he gets struck by enough lightning bolts to supercharge him, and so Godzilla up and drops a building on the Super-X. Then a different scientist who I genuinely forgot was in the movie must have been busy off camera because he built a Godzilla beacon in a volcano, which lured G out of the city and into the lavaflow, where he was buried while a sad song played.

You know, because he was being portrayed so sympathetically up until now.

Man, it's a good thing I already knew the rest of the Heisei movies were so much better, otherwise I'd already have doubts about this experiment
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:35 PM
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I arted on this one too

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Old 08-16-2017, 12:41 PM
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That was the only thing distinct or memorable about the movie; no two characters seemed capable of pronouncing the words "Nuclear" or "Godzilla" the same way.

And Godzilla "feeding on nuclear energy" was depicted as him literally choking down on a nuclear power plant.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
I did some searching around, hoping to find some Godzilla or Gamera movies on streaming services to recommend people, but the results were disappointingly slim! There used to be options! Here's what I found:

Crunchyroll seems to have Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), famous for being one of the worst in the series.

Amazon Prime has no Godzilla movies, but does seem to have Varan the Unbelievable, a 1962 American/Japanese co-production with a monster that's kind of like a flying squirrel. Varan shows up in exactly one Godzilla movie.

Netflix and Hulu are wastelands.

Youtube, however, looks to have a pretty wide selection of full G-films, although you'll have to pay up the $2.99 rental fee for each one.
Vudu has the Showa Gamera movies, free with commercials.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:39 PM
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So on Octo's rampage through the Godzilla franchise, he passed up twelve (12) films on his way to Godzilla 1984. I was gonna review all the films he didn't watch, but that's a ton of movies!

And...I'm gonna do it anyway! I'll just make it short.

I already reviewed No. 1: Gojira (1954).

No. 2: Godzilla Raids Again (1955) (AKA Gigantis, The Fire Monster): A boring and hastily made sequel. Notable mainly for introducing Godzilla's bromantic partner, Anguirus. In this movie, they fight. The American release replaced all the music with a stock score and inserted a bunch of unrelated footage from war films and other weirdness.

No. 3: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962): Godzilla was shoehorned into this showdown in place of what was supposed to be a supersized Frankenstein's monster (who did eventually get his own Toho movie). It's a good one.

No. 4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) (AKA Godzilla vs. The Thing): First film to mash Godzilla against another established Toho critter (Mothra had her own 1961 film). A beautiful movie. Please watch it.

No. 5: Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964): The quintessential showa-era Godzilla film in my opinion. Godzilla, Mothra, and another established Toho kaiju, Rodan, team up against the intergalactic monster Ghidrah. Basically the Avengers of Godzilla films.

No. 6: Invasion of Astro Monster (1965) (AKA Godzilla vs. Monster Zero): Kind of a rehash of the previous film, but still p. good and has the infamous Godzilla dance. Monster Zero is just Ghidrah again.

No. 7: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) (AKA Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster): Godzilla finds himself in the middle of a James Bond film. This is a weird movie, but Ebirah is a cool lobster monster and there are some fun battle scenes. One of two Godzilla movies lampooned in the second season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

No. 8: Son of Godzilla (1967): Some scientists work on a weather control project on Monster Island, where Godzilla is hanging out with his son, Minilla, who looks like a boiled potato. Nobody likes Minilla. This film is still fun, though, and has giant bugs.

No. 9: Destroy All Monsters (1968): Toho monster movies were losing money, so they got every single monster they could find and crammed them into one film. There's a wide-scale alien invasion and it's all good fun. Still it manages to somehow be boring in a lot of parts. Still the final battle is one of the best things in the Showa series. They fight Ghidrah again.

No. 10: Godzilla's Revenge (1969) (AKA All Monsters Attack): There is no revenge in this film. Actually there's no Godzilla in this film. All the monster scenes take place within the daydreams of a bullied child. I'm serious. It's a bizarre movie, worth watching just for the BUT WHY, THOUGH factor.

No. 11: Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971) (AKA Godzilla vs. Hedorah): Octo's review sums it up. It's one of the only G-films in the showa era not to be directed by Ishiro Honda or Jun Fukuda. Yoshimitsu Banno was an environmental wingnut, not really a bad thing, but he had some truly wacky ideas for what would make a good monster movie. It scared the fuck out of me (it has a scene where a guy's flesh is melting off) as a kid and Godzilla movies were no longer "safe" for a while.

No. 12: Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) (AKA Godzilla on Monster Island): Honda didn't like what Banno did, so he took back the series and returned it to traditional monster battles. Godzilla is now basically Ultraman, fighting all manner of bad and naughty aliens. Gigan is my favorite monster, and this is my favorite G movie, but it's bad. They trot out Ghidrah again mostly so they can reuse footage from older G movies. The G costume is so battered it's literally falling apart on camera. Godzilla and Anguirus talk to each other in animated word balloons (or in garbled English, depending on the version). All the characters are silly. But I love it sooooo

No. 13: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973): Probably the most infamous of the showa movies (although I dunno why, since Godzilla's Revenge is right there - probably because this film was the other one on MST3K). Some Atlantians get tired of nuclear testing and send their guardian, a giant beetle man, to rough up the surface dwellers. Godzilla teams up with Ultraman Mirrorman Inframan Zone Fighter Jet Jaguar to save the day. Gigan comes back. There's a kid with shorts. It feels like a Gamera film. I love it.

No. 14: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974): People wearing ape masks invade Earth using a robot version of Godzilla. Godzilla teams up with Anguirus to save the day. Anguirus gets beaten up by the fake Godzilla. There's some spy movie type action. They have to resurrect an ancient guardian deity to help them fight robot Godzilla. It's good.

No. 15: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975): A mad scientist wants to rebuild Mechagodzilla to destroy the world; he also has a new monster, Titanosaurus, at his command. Titanosaurus might be the only Showa-era monster never to appear in another kaiju movie. He's a dinosaur with a fan on his tail. That's all there is to it. The movie's pretty OK.

Then Godzilla went to sleep for 9 years, and when he woke up, it was the heisei era.

No. 16: Godzilla (1984): I have little to add to Octo's review. I've seen this movie a number of times and almost always forget what happens in it. The original American dub brought back Raymond Burr as his character from the 1956 film. He's pretty old and tired in it.

Last edited by Dracula; 08-16-2017 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Poor Anguirus.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2017, 03:12 PM
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Didn't Titanasaurus show up in Destroy All Monsters?

Which is, also, a movie waaaaaaaaay too boring to ever possible warrant a title that awesome.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:35 PM
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Nope; was created after DAM! You might be thinking of Gorosaurus.

And, point of order, Godzilla and Anguirus don't team up in G vs. Mechagodzilla. The way I remember it, Mecha-G beats the crap out of Anguirus, and all the humans are like "Why are they fighting? They're friends!"
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:04 PM
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YOU STEPPIN' ON MY TURF MAN??

*pulls a knife*
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:11 PM
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Godzilla is a BIG DAD! He has love enough for us both!
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Scott View Post
And, point of order, Godzilla and Anguirus don't team up in G vs. Mechagodzilla. The way I remember it, Mecha-G beats the crap out of Anguirus, and all the humans are like "Why are they fighting? They're friends!"
This is correct! I forgot that Anguirus doesn't reappear after he gets kicked around by Mechagodzilla.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:31 PM
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So, like, are Kaiju specifically a Japanese thing, or are Them! and Attack of the Crab Monsters Kaiju films?
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  #29  
Old 08-17-2017, 01:24 AM
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I'd count them.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:45 AM
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Kind of. I think what separates a kaiju from any old giant monster is the presence of character. The ants in Them! have very little identity beyond just being big ol' ants. The movie is about people being killed by ants and then figuring out how to kill the ants. Who the ants are, what they represent, is not part of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HorrorFlora.com
What really gets me is how Godzilla’s menacing of the mob on Odo Island is restrained by his motivation. It’s yet another thing that sets this film apart from other 50’s monster flicks. In an American movie, Godzilla might have attacked the people then and there to establish his threat. We might get a shot of a minor character looking up at the monster and screaming before being eaten or crushed off screen. The monster would do this not for sustenance or any other reason, but because the movie needed to establish he was a threat. Instead, Godzilla notices the humans, roars at them, then goes back to doing what he set out to do in the first place by swimming off into the sea. Even this early in the series, Godzilla’s actions are driven by in character motivations rather than a formula’s need for conflict. It breaks with tradition, and even misses an opportunity to make the scene scarier, but it keeps Godzilla’s character intact.
Along similar lines, I'd argue that the T-Rex in Jurassic Park is much more of a kaiju than many other monsters in American film.
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