Godzilla turns 60: Five monstrous films you must watch

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 13:54 IST

It may have appeared in numerous ­adaptations of video games, comics, novellas and ­television series, but


— the ­original Kaiju (Japanese for giant monster) — is best known for its ­appearance in movies.

Its name was derived from the Japanese word ‘Gojira’. This beast was imagined as a “cross between a gorilla and a whale”, ­hinting at its strength, scale and aquatic origin.

From its first ­appearance in a Japanese film in 1954, when it was ­portrayed by an actor wearing a latex costume, to ­becoming a ­full-blown computer-generated ­creature in movies from 1998 to 2014, Godzilla has evolved over the years.

Here’s ­celebrating 60 years of the creature’s movies through five of its most iconic appearances.

Godzilla (1954)

The first ever Godzilla film directed by Ishiro Honda, featured the creature as a ­pre-historic monster who was resurrected due to nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean. The film showed the behemoth as a symbol for the ­nuclear holocaust.

The movie was the first of many Kaiju films released in Japan. It paved the way and became a set standard for many future Kaiju films. This movie became so popular that it spawned 27 Toho sequels and inspired countless ripoffs, imitations, ­parodies and tributes. This film made Godzilla a worldwide icon.

Godzilla (1977)

Popularly known as Cozzila by fans, this movie was a colourised version of the ­original that was heavily edited with stock ­footage of graphic death and destruction, and short scenes from newsreel footage of World War II. Directed by Italian director Luiz Cozzi, the movie colourised the black and white scenes using coloured softgels.

Godzilla (1998)

This flick was the reimagined version of the original Godzilla ­franchise and was directed by Roland Emmerich. It was a huge financial success, but it failed to impress critics and fans. The film is famous for winning ­multiple Golden Raspberry Awards, which recognise the worst films of all time.

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

The 28th instalment in the Godzilla series and the sixth film in the millennium era, this Japanese movie was compared to a musician’s ‘best of’ album by filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura. It was released in November 2004. Godzilla was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame around the release of this film, to ­celebrate the premiere of the character’s 50th anniversary.

Godzilla (2014)
Portraying Kaiju as a ­‘terrifying force of nature’, this reboot, directed by Gareth Edwards, impressed fans and critics alike for keeping the spirit alive and the ­legacy intact of the ­character and the franchise. The film’s success prompted the makers to green light a trilogy starring a beast.

(Compiled by Aditya Dogra)

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