TCM has picked Godzilla as its monster of the month for October & have been showing 4 or 5 films from the cannon every Friday. Unlike past monsters of the month Godzilla has been produced solely by Toho studios. Dracula, Frankenstein etc have been produced by various studies so there’s a lack of cohesion in those picture.
Not that Godzilla has a story arc but the creature has looked pretty much the same with its oversized rubber suit, staggering walk & roar. Various performers have brought nuanced various on their monsters. Godzilla is noted for his lack of nuance 🙂 That goes for the man in the suit to the actual actors in the films. These aren’t Kurosawa, though I wonder how he would have treated Godzilla – Toshiro Mifune could be pretty scary without the rubber suit.
I have been loving these films & seeing them subtitled, as opposed to dubbed, gives them more oomph. They are from a recent Criterion boxset that covers the oeuvre from 1954 to 1975. Plus TCM has added the ‘stand-alone’ backstory films of Rodan & Mothra. So they have been restored from original Japanese releases & have new subtitles theatre more accurate. All of them had been reconstituted at one time for the American market & as a result some of humour & political stances were lost in translation.
I’m also loving Ben Mankiewicz’s introduction to the pictures as he tries to treat them with scholarly insight. Let’s face it Kill All Monsters isn’t Throne of Blood.
I’m seeing many of these pictures for the first time though I have seen Mothra repeatedly – the Christian symbolism is surprising. I do have the 1954 original in both the Japanese version & the American remix with Raymond Burr seamlessly inserted into it. The American version removes all mentions of the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan. Radioactivity plays a role in many of the films – as it did in American creature features on the time.
Of the ones I’ve seen so far my favorite has been 1966’s ‘Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.’ It has a fun teenage dance contest I watched a few times before going on with the film. A bit of James Bond, a bit of beach party, & a great sea creature. Son of Godzilla was amusing but there was no Mrs. Godzilla – not that I’m expecting a documentary about reptile reproduction.
I have soundtrack music in my cd collection, also other music written by some those composers. I have two Godzilla action figures & at least 3 t-shirts. I guess I’m a bit of fan. Thanks to TCM I’m not shelling out the nearly $300 for the boxset though.
Arrgh – Godzilla
as a kid
I would often play at being Godzilla
stomping on my toys
kicking them over
breathing my fire breath on them
invulnerable powerful dangerous
enjoying that ants were sacred of me
as I grew up
I would pull on my Godzilla suit
when things weren’t going my way
emotionally swing out at people
stomping on their intentions
when they didn’t suit my expectations
I later found out that Godzilla
was a man in a rubber suit
a small Japanese man
because the suit didn’t breath properly
the actors would tire out get sick
they couldn’t see well out of the eye holes
and have to lead to the set
pointed in the right direction
just like my loss of vision
when I pulled on my Godzilla suit
to strike out at life
refusing to let anyone
lead me in the right direction
if the actor was in the suit too long
he’d break out in a rash
get too itchy to wear it
me I’d break out in rash decisions
end up with itchy resentments
that I’d take out on those around me
like those actors
no one knew who I was
as long as I wore the suit
every good villain has a motive
has something he wants
but it was never clear what Godzilla wanted
expect to be left the fuck alone
we never see Godzilla relaxing
to the bottom of the sea to sleep
all of his energy was spent
battling the nuisances of a life
he didn’t even want to be part of
of being a monster stuck in a normal world
that didn’t have a place for monsters
every Tuesday 2019
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.
The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA
23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre
June – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. capfireslam.org
Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet