Wednesday, October 07, 2020

15 Favorite Horror Movies: Gojira (1954)

Some friends of ours knew that my son David is a huge Godzilla fan, but don't know anything about the King of Monsters themselves, so they invited us over for lunch and an introduction. We showed them the original, 1954 Japanese version and in hindsight, I don't know if Gojira is the best way for everyone to meet the world's most famous kaiju. There are some substantial barriers to entry, depending on how you feel about black-and-white film and subtitles. But we couldn't bring ourselves to show them the English version with Raymond Burr.

I don't know if it's accurate to say that our friends "enjoyed" it. The word "interesting" was used and I never take that as high praise. But we spent some time at the end talking about the movie in its historical and cultural context, which is what I love about the film. 

There's some goofy stuff, but there's also truly horrific and powerful imagery. I think the best horror movies are ones that turn some real, cultural fear into a metaphorical monster. That's certainly the case with Gojira, which makes it an impressive insight to Japan's feelings around the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than ten years before. And around atomic energy in general. It's a powerful document and I'm always touched by the film's discussion of science and how it's applied.

1 comment:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Not sure it is a favorite, but I certainly watched it A LOT as a kid. Creature Double Feature made sure of that.


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