Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Aiii! Gojira!

In keeping with yesterday's discussion of underrated pleasures, let's talk a bit about Godzilla. I've mentioned in the past that I'm a fan of these slices of cinematic fried gold. Sure, they're not to everyones taste but sometimes only the sight of two grown men in rubber monster suits smashing each other into cardboard replica cities will satisfy*. With that in mind, you can understand my complete lack of excitement at the news that a Hollywood studio has once again bought the rights to the big green lizard and plans to return him to the screen.

It was twelve years ago that this was last attempted and let's just say that the results were woeful (thanks to Independence Day's Roland Emmerich). With that in mind, here are my top tips to the new production team as to what to do to avoid stinking up the joint 1998-style:-

Don't Turn Him Into A Giant Crocodile-Style Jurassic Park CGI Rip-Off
Now, I'm not necessarily saying that they should break out the rubber suits again** but that doesn't mean they should change the overall look of the big fella. I mean, it's an iconic look, the sort of half-tyrannosaur-half iguana thing so why mess about with it for the sake of modernisation? By all means use CGI to realise the creature but make sure that it stays true to what was popular about the character in the first place.

Don't Give Him Kids
In the original run of films, Godzilla's son (who's name was Minilla, fact fans) was a sign of the series taking a more family-friendly turn as well as being one of the worst ideas imaginable. In the American film, lots of little Godzilla babies running around was just an excuse to have a bit of Jurassic park-style raptor action. And, of course, in the cartoon, Godzooky was an abomination before the eyes of man. So, please, no mini-Godzillas.

Give Him Some Massive Monsters To Fight
If I'm going to see a Godzilla film, I want to see him stomping about, smashing buildings and fighting other monsters. I don't want to see him going up against Matthew Broderick. That's not what I've paid my money for. Giant monsters, please.

Of course, the best option all round would be for Hollywood to leave him alone and for Toho Studios to get the suit out of mothballs and start building tiny Tokyos again. Mainly because this might be one of those cultural things that just doesn't really translate. That's not gonna happen, though, so let's hope that maybe someone somewhere remembers the lesson of the 1998 version and shows a bit more appreciation for the character.

Think I'll stick to watching "Destroy All Monsters!" instead. Abunai! Gojira!

* In fact, I have a fondness for the kaiju genre in general - how can you not love characters like Gamera, a giant space turtle who sprouts rocket jets from his leg-holes once his limbs are fully retracted and flies through the air in a spinny leg-hole-propelled fashion?

** Which reminds me, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of South Park and Team America fame) where supposed to be making a monster movie called Giant Monsters Attack japan! in a Godzilla-styley but I never heard any more about it after the initial announcement. Wonder what happened to that?


MJenks said...

Wow. Payday is tomorrow. I might have to go up my Godzilla movie collection.

And by up, I mean purchase at least one...

That Baldy Fella said...

The original's a surprisingly good film - reflecting Japan's nuclear fears post-Hiroshima - and builds slowly to the reveal of the big fella, cranking up the tension. But if you want to see loads of blokes in rubber suits smacking each other around then go for "Destroy All Monsters!". Kaiju fun!

MJenks said...

Oh, I remember watching Destroy All Monsters on Saturday afternoons as a kid. It seemed like every Saturday afternoon, there was another Godzilla movie on. I still have a soft spot for Mothra and his tiny singing girlfriends.

I was upset when, in America, King Kong beat Godzilla. In fact, I think I still am.