The Monster Report

Highlighting those entertaining creatures of film history

Godzilla (Gojira)1954

Monster Rating:

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Director: Ishirō Honda

Producer: Tomoyuki Tanaka

Composer: Akira Ifukube

Special Effects Director: Eiji Tsuburaya

Starring

 

Akira Takarada Momoko Kôchi Akihiko Hirata
Akira Takarada Emiko_Yamane Hirata
Takashi Shimura Sachio Sakai
 Kyohei_Yamane  Sachio Sakai

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Personal Review

Author: Nick Adam Poling

When I finally found a home video copy of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, I was probably 12 years old.  Finding it was like unearthing the Ark of the Covenant.  Keep in mind that there was no internet and I live in a very rural area, so the journey to complete my VHS collection meant looking…EVERYWHERE!  The Vestron Home Video release was waiting there for me in a used video/rental store; resting there like a rare gemstone.  I had to double-take to be sure.  In the past I’ve been fooled by deceptive cover art.  In fact this tape almost had me putting it back due to the color photo on the back featuring a shot from Godzilla vs. Megalon; no shortage of home video releases of that jewel.

 

This film is fantastic in every way.  Watching this film for the first time opened up a whole new perspective on the iconic movie monster.  Obviously this wasn’t my first Godzilla film.  The closest release that compares would be Godzilla 1985, which was my first exposure to our favorite fire-breathing monster.  Plus, ’85 had references to the original film which built up this experience for me, but the film didn’t disappoint in the least.

 

Grim, dark-tone, nightmarish, frightening…so many adjectives to describe this film.  It stands alone in many respects among all of the subsequent releases.  I would even go as far as to make that last statement to all other films in this same genre.  Audiences during the time of it’s initial release must have been impacted exponentially more than I was.

 

Years later, I had the chance to see the original Japanese version of this film.  Once again, I was floored!  This experience was almost like seeing the movie for the first time.  Not forgetting the fact that it was the American release that brought the monster to the states so I could see it, I prefer this version.  It obviously gave a shot in the arm to American distributors considering they took such measures and invested heavily to re-edit the film for American audiences.

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