|The original Godzilla (or Gojira)|
First up was the return of the original monster over the past 4 days. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the movie's release, Rialto Pictures showed its new restoration of Honda Ishiro's uncut landmark 1954 film at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Springs.
The original film was chopped and butchered before it screened in America under the title Godzilla: King of Monsters in 1956. Actor Raymond Burr was inserted in the American version as the protagonist and only one hour of the original 98-minute running time was used. All the Japanese speaking roles were dubbed over. The restored version, named Godzilla: The Japanese Original, delivers the complete version with no dubbing.
For those few who might not be familiar with the Godzilla tale, it is the story of a radiation-breathing prehistoric monster, awakened after millenia by hydrogen bomb testing. Impervious to repeated shelling by the Japanese army, Godzilla wreaks havoc on a helpless Tokyo.
At the time, the monster - actually named Gojira in Japanese - was a visual metaphor for the feared effects of a nuclear attack and the aftereffects of radiation. It had specific resonance with Japan since they had been the scene of 2 nuclear attacks just 9 years before the movie's release.
To celebrate the release of the new Godzilla (one of our favorite monsters of all-time and the only monster to be the central figure in a song by Blue Oyster Cult), here are a series of fun articles featuring the central figure of so many 50s and 60s nightmares.
Japanese are upset with supersized, fat American Godzilla. (from Science Fiction.Com)
In crossover ad, Godzilla chows down on a Fiat (from The New York Daily News)
Here's what you all have been waiting for - Jawzilla: A Godzilla and Jaws trailer mashup. (from Indiewire)
Godzilla versus Smaug from The Hobbit: Who would win that dragon duel? (from The Wall Street Journal)
The ever increasing size of Godzilla and its implications for sexual selection and urine production. (from Deep Sea News)