Friday, April 13, 2012

Netflix Friday: Godzilla vs. Gamera

I think the words of Blue Oyster Cult say it all:
With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound He pulls the spitting high-tension wires down 
Helpless people on subway trains Scream, bug-eyed, as he looks in on them 
He picks up a bus and he throws it back down As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town 
Oh, no, they say he's got to go Go go Godzilla Oh, no, there goes Tokyo Go go Godzilla
-- Blue Oyster Cult, "Godzilla" 
Courtesy Monster Island News
I love monster movies! Particularly Kaiju Eiga: That is to say, Japanese monster movies featuring guys in rubber suits smashing buildings and other monsters. There is just something primal about seeing someone knock over model buildings. I think it comes from my childhood -- I would make Lego buildings and smash them down. It made me feel like a giant!

Now, I already have most of the Godzilla movies on DVD. I've also got a nice selection of other Japanese monster movies on tap. All in all, I've got a whole DVD cabinet full of them. Since I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck, though, I thought I'd do a search and see what they could offer me in the way of rubber-suited mayhem. Here's what I found featuring the king of monsters himself, Godzilla:

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956) The first and best of the movies, in my opinion. And yes, I prefer it to the original Gojira... which they also have.
  • Gojira (1954) - The original in the original language. I think some of the edits, and Raymod Burr's narration in the American dub of this movie, actually improve it.
  • Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965) One of the better monster vs. monster movies in the early cannon: The Big G fights Rodan (and I don't mean the guy who sculpted The Thinker)
  • Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964) I love Mothra, particularly in her later appearances. Still, this one features a pair of diminutive fairies that are mega hot in a tiny chick kinda way. BTW: This is also known as "Godzilla vs. The Thing
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955) Okay, I don't really like this movie very much, but it's nice to know it's here.
  • Godzilla's Revenge (1969) This movie is the Yoko Ono of G Films. It's so bad it could almost kill the franchise. This is the movie that features a kid on Monster Island hanging out with Minya... Godzilla's son. And no, his son was NOT "Godzuki." That was just from the crappy Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. His real name is Minya.
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) AKA "Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster." Yup, this is where we meet the Iron Man version of The Big G.
  • Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964) Monster mayhem ensues when Godzilla and Rodan team up to battle the cosmic bad-asssery of the three-headed space dragon, King Ghidorah.
They also have both of the animated Godzilla series -- the one from 1978 and the modern one from 1998.

FAIR WARNING: These films rotate on a regular basis. For example, last month they didn't have as many Godzilla films, but they had a lot of Gamera movies available. Aside from a bunch of cheesy Sci-Fi Channel movies (oops, I mean SyFy movies), there's not much else up at the moment except for the 1966 War of the Gargantuas. Even Mystery Science Theater 3000 is missing from the fray this month.

Korean monster movies are fairly well represented:
  • The Host (2006) This Korean film offers a fairly modern and somewhat realistic view of what would really happen if a giant monster suddenly appeared in Asia.
  • Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) Old-school weirdness about a boy who likes monsters (and even dances with one)
There's also an odd sounding film called Monster (2008) "Emerging from the rubble after a massive Tokyo earthquake, two American filmmakers realize they've accidentally captured a 200-foot monster on film." I added this one to my Instant Queue and will be watching it soon.

That's one of the cool things about Netflix. If you don't see something you like this month, just come back next month and check again.

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