In 1954, the decades-old monster film genre was transformed by radiation into a brand new thing: the Japanese daikaiju genre. This was started off by Gojira. Is the original article worthy of the title, or is it just the first in a long line of B-movies made for children?
The world of Godzilla is truly frightening. Every time a Godzilla is killed, another shows up. And this is a good thing, because he’s among the least aggressive of the mutant dinosaurs, giant robots, pollution creatures, and other menaces he teams up with or fights on a regular basis. That’s not even including the ageless dragon that travels from world to world leaving only dust in its wake, that Godzilla has driven off no less than five times.
The original Godzilla, lovingly crafted from a screenplay adapted by Honda Ishiro and Murata Takeo from Kayama Shigeru’s original story, was a deep allegory about nuclear warfare and disarmament, whose main characters featured heavily in the ideological struggle between scientific study and destructive technology and whose side characters featured a war widow and her two children facing the destruction of yet another city, that ran for 95 minutes and had a purpose for every minute. The sequel was slapped together in six months from a screenplay by Murata Takeo and Hidaka Shigeaki with half a dozen recycled scenes and a half an idea, whose main characters partake in half a romantic comedy while the supporting characters run a prison escape farce, over the course of eighty two minutes that is mostly filler. Read the review here.