I’ve been feeling unduly stressed and introverted this week and I’m not sure why. Like my mind’s a tightly-packed ball of rubber bands bundled up around an idea, and I can’t seem to snap it free. I had plans to finish, like, three posts this week (though they fortunately linger in partial draft form, thanks WordPress!), but didn’t get there. I was waiting for something to arrive all week, and when it didn’t get here yesterday (when I thought it was going to) I got more stressed… I didn’t want to have to wait the whole weekend to get it! But fortunately, it showed up today, so I’ll take this opportunity to exhale and force myself to release some of this mental congestion. And, as an added incentive, I’m not gonna get dinner til I’m done. But what was so cool, after all?
What is it? – The sixth Godzilla feature finds our titular monster pitted against giant pterodactyl Rodan and the three-headed dragon King Ghidorah. Meanwhile, humanity faces off against an alien race bent on world domination.
How do I get it into my brain? – you can watch it on Netflix (instant streaming), or buy it! The DVD actually has the original Japanese version on it, too.
Though my original exposure to them was through the classic cheese processing facility known as Mystery Science Theater 3000, I have developed an appreciation for Japan’s particular kaiju–or “strange beast”–genre. The first, most popular and most enduring of these is definitely Toho Studios’ Godzilla. Originally envisioned as a metaphor for the devastation of nuclear weaponry, Godzilla (or Gojira in his native land) soon became a mascot of sorts, owing to his portrayal as a powerful yet misunderstood creature. A 165 foot-tall nuclear Frankenstein’s Monster, a sympathetic beast that was roused to defend itself. Longtime franchise director Ishiro Honda had said at one point, “monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy—that is their tragedy”. The original Japanese Godzilla is a dark, spooky, and ominous film, but future iterations would find the monster’s menace diminished as he became more of a heroic figure in the films. Here in the sixth feature, Godzilla is in full-on sympathetic portrayal mode, even comedic at times.