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Countdown to Destruction: 2. “Godzilla Raids Again” (1955)

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A mere few months after the first Godzilla was defeated, a second monster was discovered on a remote island, fighting for it’s life against a new threat: Anguirus!

Godzilla Raids Again is one of the few Godzilla movies that I can’t watch with an English dub. It’s kinda silly, because I really like George Takei, but I dunno, calling Godzilla “Gigantis” just feels wrong. 

The Godzilla suit got heavily tweaked this go around. Much slimmer, more comfortable for it’s human wearer, which was a necessity in this film because it would mark Godzilla’s first time sharing his spotlight with a monster co-star.

This movie get’s a kind’ve lukewarm response from me. it’s not the best movie by any stretch… but it’s not the worst, either. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that the musical score is a pretty boring (-aaand I can’t stand Godzilla’s buck teeth.) I liked the fights between Godzilla and Anguirus… except when the footage becomes noticeably sped up. Some of the faster footage was ok, it made the creatures struggle feel very frantic and aggressive, but in other shots it looked very unnatural and it broke the immersion of the scene. Call this movie a learning experience for the film-makers, I guess.

I’m a big fan of Anguirus too. Even though the science is a little faulty (Ankylosaurus was -not- a vicious carnivore. Another scientist who got his degree at Bullshit U,) I like the creatures design and roar. It makes for a great first adversary to Godzilla by being… essentially the same creature: a hodgepodge of dinosaurs thrown into a blender, add some atomic radiation and hit frappe!

Overall Rating on the Godzillometer: 3/5 Scouting Planes

Countdown to Destruction: 1. “Godzilla” (1954)

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Atomic tests disturb the 65 million year slumber of the most terrifying creature on the planet: Godzilla! The King of all Monsters!

What can I say about this film that hasn’t already been said? The original Godzilla is an absolute classic, from the grim tone, the eerie monster, the post-war drama, to the abundant nuclear war allegory, It’s unique among its colorful franchise because of how downright scary it is. There isn’t another Godzilla movie quite like it.

I think my favorite aspect of this film (besides a giant radioactive dinosaur rampaging through a major city, of course) is how bleak it is. There are several scenes where there is no music, the footage is completely in black and white, there is little to no levity or comedy. It’s just grim and gray and depressing all the way through. It helps to strengthen the message of the film.

It’s interesting to think about how Godzilla would go on to evolve from a symbol of terror to a symbol of heroism. How in this first film the anxiety of Godzilla appearing again is so thick you’d need a saw to cut through it, yet in a mere ten years we end up asking for a miracle that usually manifests itself in Godzilla showing up in the nick of time.

Overall Rating on the Godzillometer: 5/5 Oxygen Destroyers 

Countdown to Destruction: -Godzillathon-

Starting tonight, with the original Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla Raids Again (1955), I’m going to countdown the last month to Legendary’s latest addition to the epic franchise by watching each movie and offering some of my thoughts and opinions on it. ((Yes, including the last American attempt at making a Godzilla film.))

IT CANNOT BE STOPPED!
A SIGHT TO STUN THE MIND!
IT IS—
GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS!

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