Monday, December 18, 2023

Kaiju never meant anything to me



I recently made a public admission that I've never said out loud before, and I did feel really bad about it because the person I told was enthusiastically raving about the latest movie and I had to be a little bitch about it and finally admit the truth - I just don't give a shit about Godzilla, or any goddamn kaiju movies.

I never gave much of a damn about any of the big G's movies - I've seen seen several of the weak sauce US reboots on the big screen, and plenty of the true Japanese films, and won't deny that they can be full of startling imagery, but they're just not my thing.

Mothra meant more to me as an amateur film festival in Dunedin than any creature soaring through Tokyo skies, and those Pacific Rim films just left me cold as ice.

If I indulge in some blatant self-analysis - and what is the point of having a blog like this if I can't - it might date back to when I tried to watch the original Godzilla film on TV when I was seven years old. I'd seen it in the newspaper and knew it looked amazingly exciting, but was on at 10pm, so there was no chance I could stay up that late because I was seven, but I went to bed as normal, dozed a bit and got back up when everybody else went to bed, but it turned out to be 6am and I'd missed the movie by about eight hours, and I just never got the feeling that I ever properly caught up.

Man, we didn't even have video players for another couple of years, so maybe there was a sweet spot in 1982 when I could have fallen hard for the Godzilla, but it sailed on by on a cloud of atomic breath. It was years until I saw my first real kaiju, and by then I'd already fallen hard for the Aliens, and the Predator, and the Robocop. Gamera ain't got nothing on Murphy.

The one big monster film I always roll for is the original King Kong, which is just a perfect piece of cinema. But the most recent Kong movies, where everything is smushed together into a big monster universe, did nothing for me.

(And holy shit, that one shot of Kong and Godzilla and the end of the trailer for the latest movie , where they're bounding off to battle together, is one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen in anything anywhere. How the fuck is this directed by the same guy who made the absolute perfect You're Next and The Guest?)

I don't begrudge anybody who loves it, it's easy to see the stomping appeal of all the monster mayhem. If anything, I feel bereft that I'm missing out, and I'm still kicking myself for sleeping so long and so deep back in 1982.

Say┼Źnara, big fellas. You have legions of fans, but I was never really one of them.


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