A week or so ago I put up the latest pictures from Franz Vorenkamp’s much-anticipated Godzilla Zero Hour project. The colourful and spectacular scenes of Gigan — along with some test animation I’ve seen but am forbidden to put online — suggest that those in attendance at G-Fest XV on 5 July are in for a real surprise.
In the lead up to that premiere, I asked Franz to tell us more about Godzilla Zero Hour (GZH).
What Is It?
In brief, Godzilla: Zero Hour is the world’s first ever full-length Godzilla film made by non-professional artists. Set for release at G-Fest XV, the first of three planned episodes of Godzilla: Zero Hour will run approximately 45 minutes in length, and will contain all original CG effects and an original score. This project is the first to ever pit the classic Japanese monsters, Godzilla and Gamera against each other in a battle to the death — both fully realised without the use of suits. As well as the two Big Gs, the film will feature Legion, Gigan, and Gyaos. There will be some cameos made by the Green Gargantua, and some others.
Godzilla Zero Hour begins months after Gamera 3 left Kaiju fans hanging without closure. After a fierce battle, the Gyaos swarm had been all but obliterated by the shocking self-destruction of Gamera in a last ditch attempt to end their reign of terror. The victory is bittersweet, however, as the apparent death of Gamera has caused an imbalance in the mana system.
Giant monsters (kaiju) have become a common occurrence, wreaking havoc across the globe. Despite the chaos, a new form of thrill-seeking has garnered an underground following — like storm chasers, these groups of young people chase down not tornadoes but kaiju, hoping to sell their amateur footage for a lofty price to the major news corporations who are too afraid to get close.
Lucas Ballard (Bob Keith), Casey Hartright (Alex Berg), and A.J. Smith (Michael Royer) are three such individuals. And just when their insane business scheme begins to take off, they find themselves in the middle of an interstellar war!
Suddenly re-emerging is the Legion swarm, and this time they’ve developed a bizarre appetite for flesh! As the swarm begins to march, they are met with force by a new creature — seemingly sent in a giant meteorite from another world — called Gigan. As the death toll rises, and Gigan’s battles with Legion level city after city, it becomes apparent that it wasn’t sent from space to save humanity from Legion, but to stop Legion from migrating at any cost!
Meanwhile, in lieu of the destruction at hand, reports of fishing boats going missing are being overlooked. Mass quantities of sea life are washing up on the shore dead. The ocean begins to boil … Then, one night during the brunt of a thunderstorm a massive creature unseen since it was thought killed in 1984 lumbers out of the depths and unto American soil. Godzilla Returns.
Comments from Franz
“Not only will Godzilla Zero Hour be one hell of a debut for my creative team … It will be the no-budget independent kaiju film by which all the others will be judged.”
“I’m not declaring this the end all be all of Godzilla films, or even fan films. However, I am guaranteeing a quality work full of passion and a surprising amount of polish.”
“We’re not going toe to toe with the big movies, but I really believe that we’re setting the bar for the other creative teams out there … I hope that the results of our part time hobby will inspire other people to step up to the plate to reinvigorate this stagnant fan base … I want that badly — to see others step up and carry the flag after we’re done.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Introduction, coming soon.