May 20, 2004

I was very excited to see the original Godzilla, which I'd never seen, in it's original Japanese cut, subtitled, at the Castro Theater, which is a big old original single theater. Apparently when the film was shown to American audiences back in the day, they cut out some of the harsher nuclear weapon references as well as putting in some lame Orson Welles footage, and of course dubbed it. Like I said, I haven't seen it so I don't know this personally.

The plot, for anyone who doesn't know, is a probably nuclearly-mutated giant lizard who walks upright wreaks havoc on a little island then heads to Tokyo to cause complete destruction. Godzilla, or Gojira as it was actually called in Japan apparently, doesn't seem to have a reason for his path of destruction. He just seems to be pretty pissed off and likes to step on things. Trying to find a way to stop and/or kill Godzilla are a scientist and his daughter, her fiance, and the man she really wants to marry. The scientist father is frustrated by everyone's decision that Godzilla must be killed as he's a rare, new creature to be studied. The daughter's fiance comes up with a way to destroy Godzilla but is horrified about the implications of the military getting its hands on something so powerful.

This is an overacted film with ridiculous special effects. But it's great. It has a solid moral center. It has things getting destroyed. It has a nearly mad scientist and a love triangle. And a giant mutated lizard. What more do you need? The overacting can be expected in a film about a giant marauding lizard. And the special effects are about as good as can be expected from a film of that time. It's really an ambitious film about the perils of dabbling in science and causing your own destruction, as well as the destruction of others.

Posted by Alyssa at May 20, 2004 07:59 PM
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