(Japan-1954; dir. Ishirô Honda)
and 27 other Toho films
I can’t believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species… But if we continue conducting nuclear tests… it’s possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again.
The true “King Of The Monsters”, and one of the most unique in cinematic history: a gigantic, indestructible, atomic-powered mutant dinosaur who breathes nuclear fire and displays a variety of trademark features. These include very distinctive dorsal fins that glow when he is about to let loose with his fire-breath, a one-of-a-kind roar and, in several of his incarnations, ears! On first consideration you may feel that including a famous giant lizard on this list of the weird and unusual isn’t warranted; after all, huge reptiles are the most common form of giant monster. But Godzilla’s blend of attributes was, and still is, rather special. His extreme size (which gets even more extreme in the 1990s), his invulnerability (despite his death in the first movie) and his strong metaphorical complexities all mark him as vastly different from what had come before and even what was to come. It’s in the derivation of his name: “Gojira” is a compound of two Japanese words, one meaning “whale” and the other “ape”; “whale” for size and “ape” for the inspiration gained from King Kong and for the fact that, unlike his direct reptilian ancestor — the Rhedosaur from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms — Godzilla is bipedal. Godzilla has been re-designed many times over the years, but remains recognisably the King. And what other reptile monster do you know that was, like Godzilla (in one of his incarnations certainly) modelled on the designer’s cat?
This statue of Godzilla was erected in the Ginza district of Tokyo to commemorate the King’s “passing” in the 1995 film Godzilla vs Destroyer:
This is one of Rob’s favourite pictures of Godzilla, “Godzilla Rising” by Bob Eggleton:
Artist: Chris Scalf
Trailer for the original Gojira (1954):
And a trailer for Godzilla Final Wars:
Coming soon: Kaiju Search-Robot Avery’s Top 20 Craziest Kaiju Countdown Number 11!
Top 20 Craziest Kaiju Countdown articles:
- Kaiju Search-Robot Avery’s Introduction
- Number 20: The Monolith Monsters
- Number 19: The Giant Claw
- Number 18: Dogora
- Number 17: The Trollenberg Terror
- Number 16: Rectuma
- Number 15: The Outlander
- Number 14: The Host
- Number 13: DeepStar Six