Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk. At first, the authorities think its either underwater mines or underwater volcanic activity. The authorities soon head to Odo Island, close to where several of the ships were sunk. One night, something comes onshore and destroys several houses and kills several people. A later expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyôhei Yamane, his daughter Emiko, and young navy frogman Hideto Ogata (who also happens to be Emiko's lover, even though she is betrothed to Dr. Daisuke Serizawa) soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 164-foot-tall (50-meter-tall) monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now, the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan but the rest of the world as well. Can the monster be destroyed before it is too late, and what role will the mysterious Serizawa play in the battle? Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
The movie's opening scene was inspired by the Lucky Dragon incident, where the fishing boat known as the Lucky Dragon strayed too close to what was named the most powerful nuclear test ever and was contaminated with radiation. A crew on board a fishing boat, going about their normal day, suddenly a bright flash of light catches their attention, and they are soon bombarded with radioactivity. The only difference is that the boat catches fire and sinks in the movie. Also, if you look closely at the life preserver, you will see the marking "No. 5". This was a reference to the ship Lucky Dragon No. 5, which was one of the inspirations for the film. See more »
When Ogata picks up Emiko on the mountain after she's fallen while running away from Gojira, the monster isn't visible on the hill above, even though he's supposed to be directly behind them. See more »
I can't believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species... But if we continue conducting nuclear tests, it's possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again.
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Along with the 1933-version of "King Kong", this original Japanese release of "Gojira" is THE most essential giant monster movie ever and one the very few horror movies that every film lover in general has to see at least once. Why? Because, it's so much more than just silly drive-in cinema with a cheap looking monster! This is dark and apocalyptic Sci-Fi with a nearly allegorical rant about nuclear warfare and the honest fear for new types of weaponry. But I really don't feel like going into the deeper meaning behind "Gojira", as it primarily is an adrenalin rushing and overpowering action classic that doesn't need intellectual defense at all. One of the many reasons why I love this film so much (and same goes for "King Kong") is that we don't have to wait a dreadfully long time and/or endure a large amount of tedious speeches before we see the monster we want to see! Godzilla makes his highly memorable first appearance after approximately 20 minutes (by stretching his neck over a cliff!) and, from then on, this is deliciously hectic and paranoid monster-madness! The little bugger is presumably the result of too much H-bomb radiation and lives in the depths of the ocean, near the island of Odo. But now he's heading for Tokyo with his unnameable strength, fiery breath and oh yeah insatiable appetite for destruction! Particularly this extended sequence in which Godzilla blasts his way through the Japanese capital, crushing buildings and setting monuments on fire, is very impressive and legendary. The actor-in-monster-costume works a lot better than any form of computer engineered effects and the carefully imitated Tokyo sets are truly enchanting. The absolute best aspect about this production is its powerful score, which makes Godzilla even more threatening. Great stuff!
This milestone simultaneously meant the go-ahead for an innumerable amount of quickly shot sequels ("Son of Gozilla", "Godzilla vs. Mothra"), spin-offs ("Godzilla VS. King Kong"), remakes ("Godzilla 1984", the hi-tech American version) and of course an overload of pathetic imitations ("Reptilicus", "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet"). I still have to see all the direct sequels but don't really know what to expect from them. I guess that even if they're only half as good as this original, I'll be very satisfied.
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