The Kaiju Thread of Building-Smashing, Flame-Breathing, and Slam-Dunking

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Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
Not really a new thing, but a pet peeve I want to whine about: because I have a smart phone now and can actually, like, use the internet, and because my 4-year old son would watch stuff all day if I let him, I will occasionally put on music tracks off of YouTube like this:
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...And I've started noticing that Godzilla's Theme is being attributed to Bear McCreary. Yes, that particular arrangement is from his Godzilla King of the Monsters soundtrack, but that is Akira Ifukube's theme. McCreary just tweaked it a bit. Shouldn't it have a joint credit, or some kind of a "thanks to Akira Ifukube" or something? At least acknowledge the man who did the ground work for most of the musical world-building of the Godzilla Universe. [/end rant]

Also, I need to post pics of the new Godzilla ReAction figures. Those things are legit!
 

Platypus Prime

Well-known member
Citizen
I got the new 3-Pack of Hedorahs.

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Godzilla Vs. Kong does not work as well when they are at their 'original movie' scales.

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Gozer the Destroyer materializes just long enough to say something that translates, from Ancient Sumerian, into something that won't make it past the Swear Filter.

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Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
Nice Hedorahs!

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So, here are 4 of the 6 Super7 Godzilla ReAction figures (I'm not counting the Shogun Warrior, because he's branded differently). They are decently detailed, and the (mostly) 5 poa is acceptable at this scale. Mothra can rotate her head, and her wings flap, so she is technically 3, and Rodan has some limited wing flappage, so he is barely a 5. The attention to detail is superb, the weakest of these 4 is Jet Jaguar, who is the most ReAction-ey, but that also is just who Jet Jaguar is, so 🤷.

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Mothra and Rodan with BioGoji and Anguirus from the recent Bandai 4" line.

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A battle of the mecha-kaiju, with Hedorah on the sidelines to huff any stray exhaust.

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Next week on Jaguarseven...

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Godzilla vs. Mothra battle pack!

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It's Groot! Hey, Groot, We are Groot!

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Wait, no....

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One of these things is not like the other...

All in all, these are decent additions to a roughly 4" collection. My only complaint is that Mothra didn't include a larval form, but I was still impressed with the figure. I might have to pick up one or both of the Godzillas, although the typical $20 apiece ReAction price is still a little prohibitive to going completionist. I'm hoping we get a second wave with a classic Anguirus, maybe Ghidorah, MegaloGoji, and would really like to see a Hanna-Barberra Godzilla from this lineup. (Oh, and given Super7's penchant for the bizarrely amusing, basketball Godzilla from the Nike ad)
 
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Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
So, I am babysitting my store tonight while a technician does some work on the network cabling, and, as tradition demands, I brought in a TV to watch some Pinky and the Brain, Godzilla: Up From the Depths (my son's name for the H-B cartoon, I quite like it), and now Gamera vs Gyaos (in Japanese w/subtitles).

This got me to thinking: what kaiju films would you use to introduce a friend who had never seen them to the genre? Do you go dubbed or subbed? Granted, it depends on the friend, but here are some of my picks:

1) Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (dubbed) Probably one of the best reimaginings of a classic kaiju, and the dub is energetic and fun. It's not perfect, but it still holds up well even today, and bonus points for still being mostly suitmation. The fast pace and interesting character threads make for a solid intro movie for someone unfamiliar with kaiju.

2) Godzilla vs the Thing (dubbed) okay, I may be a bit biased here, but I feel like this was the turning point in Godzilla's portrayal in films. From the way he shakes the dirt off when he first appears, to the various times he stumbles through the city, this is the first time you get the sense that he's an animal who's found himself in an alien environment that he's not really suited for. He's still the "bad" monster of the picture, but it's less malevolent than his previous films, almost sympathetic (without actually stating it, like in Godzilla 1985). Throw in a plot about greed, corruption, and exploitation, strong performances from the leads, and some fantastic model work, and you've got a great film to show off classic kaiju at its best.

3) Godzilla vs the Smog Monster (aip dub)
Okay, we all have that one friend with the quirky sense of humor. This is the movie for them. The Smog Monster version is worth tracking down over the international "vs Hedorah" version just for the "Save the Earth" theme song. Add random animated weirdness, Hedorah puffing away on a smokestack like it's a joint, the fish hallucination in the go-go bar, and all the rest of the assorted weirdness, and you've got a recipe for a couple hours of laughter. And then Godzilla flies...

4) Gojira (1954, subtitled) Honestly, the Godzilla King of the Monsters dub is not much worse, but I didn't have any subtitled movies on my list yet! This is the one that started the franchise, the origin of the species, so to speak. If you have a friend that likes dark, moody, and tension between characters, this is the place to start. It's rough in places, they still had a lot to figure out, but there are a lot of powerful and thought-provoking images in this movie!

What do you think? What movies would you introduce to a kaiju newbie?
 

Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
Ironbite-I'd add Godzilla vs. King Kong just for some fun times.

That's a great suggestion! I can't believe I forgot it, King Kong vs Godzilla was the first Godzilla film I remember seeing, and it is a lot of fun!
 

Platypus Prime

Well-known member
Citizen
Speaking of less modern Godzilla stuff, there's now a 12-inch high Playmates brand '54 at Target for less than 25 bucks. Not exactly 'high end' but it looks spot on to the '54 model from the side, and while not super posable (head, shoulders, hips, ankles, base of tail) it makes a great stunt double for more expensive stuff. Worked, too, it wasn't in my house long enough to get a picture before my nephew borrowed it and since there are no springs or electronics I have no fear if it somehow 'returns to the sea' via a bathtub or something (don't laugh, these things happen...)
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
I actually agree with Haywire's list, too, but here's some other options.

Again, it kind of depends on the person you're trying to introduce to the kaiju genre.

Colossal (2017)-More of a "indie" kaiju movie. A woman is connected to a kaiju on the opposite side of the planet. It's got a interesting story and it might be a way to ease someone into the genre.

Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie (2009)-Okay, sure, this is more of a "toku" than a "kaiju" movie. But, it's still got a LOT of giant monsters running rampant. A lot of good action, and it introduces a few iconic characters from the Ultraman franchise. I kind of wanted to include ONE movie that was a big crossover with a BUNCH of different monsters. But, Destroy All Monsters is a little slow. Godzilla Final Wars might be a little bit too much for a new viewer. And Godzilla King of the Monsters 2019 is a bit odd in places. This also introduces them to a different side of Kaiju, so I think it might be a interesting way to introduce someone to kaiju...just maybe not their very first movie.

Pacific Rim (2013)-Again, it's debatable if this is a "pure" kaiju movie. But, it is a good one. The mechs and kaiju are well designed. And it's got a good plot.

Kong Skull Island (2017)-I wanted to include ONE film from Legendary's Monsterverse. And I think this might have the best plot and setting. The monsters themselves are a little forgettable, but it's the first movie chronologically, so I think I'll add it to the list.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)-I debated on which Godzilla movie I'd want to show a new fan. As a big fan of Mechagodzilla, I think I'm leaning towards this one. But, there's a BUNCH I'm waffling over. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 1974, Godzilla vs Biollante, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah 1991, Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Godzilla Final Wars, Shin Godzilla, Godzilla King of the Monster 2019. Any one of those could have been on the list.

I'm debating on if one of the Rebirth of Mothra Trilogy movies from the 90s should make the list. They're different...but also a little lighter. Not sure if they're good "introductory" movies, though.

Daimajin (1966) might also be something worth showing, if only for something a little different.

The Great Yokai War (2005) might be fun too. The adzuki beans song alone is meme-worthy.



,,,I think MY list actually works better as a "second-tier" kaiju-movie list than the first introductory movie for a brand new fan.
 
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Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
Pacific Rim is definitely a first-tier choice. It's self-contained, and got a great story. And, it's visually amazing! Good call!

I saw Colossal, it was different, for sure, definitely not the traditional kaiju flick, but fun to watch!

I love Godzilla vs Biollante! Lots of fun moments; I wish the Godzilla Memorial Lounge was a real thing. I think it's a solid second-tier film, although that somewhat depends on the audience. It's got some of the best character moments for Godzilla in the Heisei series, for sure.

I maintain that the only way to watch Shin Godzilla was when it was in the theater, surrounded by fellow fans. It loses something on a small-screen. We should schedule a meeting to discuss that... 😁

Daimajin...I have to thank the Dark Horse Godzilla vs Gekido Jin comic for prodding me to search these out. They're great samurai films with a mystical kaiju twist ending. I love the expressiveness of Daimajin's eyes in the first one!
 

Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
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I am fairly vocal for my love of the Trendmasters Godzilla toys, and I recently acquired a couple of my favorites that were missing from my collection: Biollante and Spacegodzilla!
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TM Biollante compared to a Bandai Biollante. Obviously, the Bandai version is more faithful to the film appearance, but TM Biollante is still a hulking monster. All 6 of its tendrils have some range of motion, and the sculpting on them with those teeth gives them a real sense of menace. And the feet! This Biollante is going to chase after whatever it wants. Obviously, this design isn't as wide as the Bandai one, but I really feel like it makes Biollante look like a kaiju a kid would want to play with, and not just the Boss stage of a video game.
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Spacegodzilla! It's like regular Godzilla, but from space! What can I say, I love the vibrant colors of this version. Some of the earlier Bandai releases were similarly-colored, but it seems like Spacegodzilla's official color is now darker blue-to-black with just red on the chest, and that just doesn't pop as well for me.
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Anguirus! Okay, I've had this one for a while, but while I'm on the subject, I love this design as an update for Anguirus! I wish I could afford to buy the Doom Island Armored Anguirus, and I guess there was a tiny version as well, but I am satisfied with the one I have. I think Final Wars Anguirus was a solid update for the kaiju, and while I'm not a big fan of the Singular Point version, I do see what they were going for, but this, this is Anguirus X-treme! At some point, someone ought to revisit this design for Anguirus, even if only briefly for a "powered up" or "mutated" form. (I can't help but think that if he'd had this form in Final Wars, Anguirus would have gotten more screen time. The director seemed to favor bipedal kaiju...)
 

Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
Super7 Godzillas!
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I haven't even gotten these out of package, yet, but I'm pretty excited to have them! Shogun Godzilla and Marusan Godzilla were some of the amazing vintage figures I drooled over in the pages of G-fan magazine and Godzilla collectible guides. Having versions I can own and display with my other kaiju is awesome!
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...and then there's this guy. I was initially puzzled why Super7 would do both 1954 Godzilla and 1957 Godzilla. I mean, they aren't that different, right? Well, I did some research, and realized that this Godzilla is based on the suit created for The Volcano Monsters, the original plan to import Godzilla Raids Again to the US. I knew the studio had gotten Godzilla and Anguirus suits to film extra footage; what I didn't realize until now was that the studio had requested alterations to make Godzilla more "dinosaur-like". Gone were the little ears. Four toes on each foot became 3. The head was narrowed and elongated. It seems like, when Toho revived Godzilla for King Kong vs Godzilla, they took these suggestions as a way to better appeal to western audiences, and so for the rest of the Showa Era, Godzilla lost his ears and had 3 toes. Essentially, this figure is the missing link between Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong vs Godzilla's designs, which I think is pretty cool!
 

Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
If you aren't subscribed to the Godzilla channel on youtube, I would check it out. Their Godzilla Fest 2022 is live. They just announced a (Shin) Godzilla 2 for next November, and they are showing off some really interesting stuff, like Akira Takarada's collection of scripts for his films.

EDIT: The Godzilla vs Gigan Rex short played during the stream, and there was also supposed to be a Final Wars Godzilla vs 70s Gigan battle using the newly recreated Gigan suit they debuted, but I didn't stay up for that one.

Also, Happy Godzilla Day!
 
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ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
(Turn on Closed Captioning for English subtitles)

It both opens and closes with a fairly iconic scene from Godzilla vs Destoroyah, so...yeah I think we can assume this is Junior.
 

Platypus Prime

Well-known member
Citizen
I found the Gigan short! I love these suit-based shorts, I know how much work goes into making these things work, in terms of the sets, choreography, etc. It's amazing that they can SURPRISE anyone with this given the sheer number of people that have to be involved.

Edit: And it's gone. Similar to last year's Godzilla vs. Hedorah, it looks like they only left it up a day...
 
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