This Critical Distant Deliveries Dallas is dedicated to an infamous creature. He’s easily the most recognizable inhuman antagonist that cinematic culture has ever seen. Take his reptilian portrait to Asia, Europe, or North America and you will find that everybody knows his name: Godzilla. Godzilla was intended to be a cross between a gorilla and a whale, as this is the translation for his name. Throughout dozens of remakes, comic books, and farces, the overall appearance of this monster has remained pretty consistent. He’s as tall as skyscrapers, and strong enough to crumble them. His atomic breath rivals even the worst of morning mouth. And those feet! Lizard-like with razor sharp toenails that haven’t seen a pedicure in his entire half century of existence.
For a guy whose looks haven’t changed much, he sure has gone through quite the transformation in the last fifty years. The original Godzilla, which some of the folks at Critical Distant Deliveries Dallas assure me is the best version, was a Japanese film that came out in 1954. This film, appropriately titled Gojira or “Godzilla” took place in Tokyo and told the story of a monster wreaking havoc on the city.
This film uses mostly stop-motion tactics to portray Godzilla as a dinosaur looking creature that stands up tall, has a tail covered in spikes, and has scaly skin, yet different from that of other reptiles. The Critical Distant Deliveries Dallas sci-fi buffs tell me that’s because the original Japanese film gave Godzilla origins that stemmed from nuclear radiation. The scars of Hiroshima survivors served as the inspiration for Godzilla’s skin.
Americans took the movie and adapted it into their own version starring Raymond Burr that came out in 1956 and was titled Godzilla, King of the Monsters! The American production company used the original Japanese film and added Burr’s scenes in to change the plot up. The scenes that weren’t remade were merely dubbed over in English. This wasn’t done spectacularly well, and to this day we still tend to make fun of the voiceover job done in this film.
The Japanese film company Toho Studios that produced the 1954 version of the film went on to produce 28 more starring the raging reptile. While these films were a big hit in Japan, Americans weren’t too keen on remaking the classic…that is until 1985 when they incorporated footage from Toho’s The Return of Godzilla, brought back Raymond Burr, and created a story that was a direct sequel of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Once again, the American version was just a dubbed over version of the Japanese film, and was met with unfavorable reviews.
While we probably could have let Godzilla rest in piece right there, we didn’t. Godzilla, the 1998 version, starred Ferris Bueller, I mean Matthew Broderick. It’s not just the Critical Distant Deliveries Dallas team who found this movie unlikable and unnecessary in the Godzilla franchise. The film was nominated for and awarded several Raspberry awards, for worst remake and worst picture.
After the 1998 disaster, we let Godzilla rest for awhile. There was an animated kids’ series, and a few campy commercial appearances, some pop culture references, and perhaps a Japanese remake or two. Godzilla even earned himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. Yet just when you thought the streets of Japan, or San Francisco for that matter, were safe, he returned!
The 2014 Godzilla film is the most promising yet. Its first weekend at the box office cleared $93 million. This time, the monster is bigger and badder than ever, but has a few common enemies in a set of giant “unidentified organisms”. As the heroes in the film attempt to save the world, the find an unlikely ally in Zilla. But don’t worry. This Critical Distant Deliveries Dallas blog contains no spoilers. You’ll have to watch to find out if this Godzilla film can fill the giant, four-toed shoes of his predecessors. We have high hopes.