TEN TERRIBLE GODZILLA MOVIES FOR SHITMAS!
So for last year’s Shitmas, Tom asked me to write up a list of the ten best Godzilla films, as I saw them. You can look at that HERE. This year, we agreed it was worth doing a follow up, considering this year is Godzilla’s 60th birthday, and we’ve had a new, actually worthwhile Godzilla film bow in theaters. Let’s face it though, not all of these movies are good. A lot of them are pretty bad actually. Some are downright terrible. Now just because it’s on this list doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid it. A couple of them are actually quite enjoyable. I’ll note whether you should bother with it or not.
10. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
This is probably the most controversial choice to put on the list, let alone make it number 10. It’s actually a fun movie, and is worth seeing. What tends to be lost on most folks is that it was originally intended to be a satire. It has a top notch Godzilla suit. Unfortunately, when you look at the Kong suits (there are TWO terrible Kong suits at play in this), you wonder if Japanese people had ever actually seen a picture of a gorilla. The Kong suits look like they’re made from rat pelts. There’s also a goofy pro wrestling vibe to some of the action, which worked better for kids than adult audiences. That tendency towards kiddie matinee antics in the Godzilla franchise begins here, and its never really been able to shake it.
9. Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla (1994)
This one has sort of fallen out of favor with a lot of fans in the past decade. I don’t think it was ever highly regarded to begin with. It makes a half assed effort to throw new things into the mix, like gun play action scenes and a more overt romantic story line. It’s all too little too late however, and the movie shows how out of touch Toho was at the time while pumping out these movies on a yearly basis. However, if you were one of the bozos out there who complained about the lack of Godzilla in the new American Godzilla film, you’ll probably love this one, as it basically dumps its entire plot halfway to be one long giant monster three way fight. Hooray for Kaiju porn! Now shut up!
8. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1965)
This was the first of Godzilla’s short-lived excursions to fictional islands off the Japanese coast. Instead of having him raze Tokyo or Osaka, Toho had him making landfall on these random tropical paradises. This particular island is the hideout of a 60s criminal empire called “Red Bamboo” who guard their island stronghold with a giant prawn/lobster/thing called Ebirah (that’s the “sea monster” part). There’s also a giant condor thing that Godzilla fights, and Mothra makes an appearance, and boy is that Mothra puppet shabby looking at this point in time.
7. Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
Having found some success by reviving an old Godzilla foe for 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Toho decided it was time to being back their second most famous Kaiju. What we got was this dullard of a movie in 1992. Godzilla is barely in it and a lot of time is spent watching Mothra sit around doing nothing. A “dark” version of Mothra is introduced, known as “Battra”, but like Godzilla, is given short shrift story wise to accommodate Mothra’s lollygagging. This entry is a cure for insomnia. See it only if you must.
6. Godzilla 2000 (1999)
So after putting the series to rest in 1995, Toho decided to revive it for the new millennium! The resulting movie is BOOOOOOOOOORING! In it, Godzilla finds himself pitted against BOOOOOOOOOORING! Now, Godzilla and the humans find themselves aligned against BOOOOOOOOOORING! BOOOOOOOOOORING! BOOOOOOOOOORING! This movie sucks.
5. Son Of Godzilla (1967)
This movie is infamous, for mostly two huge reasons. One is the absolutely atrocious Godzilla suit. A blunt snout, huge eyes and a body that looks like a bag of mashed potatoes. It’s truly one of the character’s ugliest designs. The second is the introduction of Minilla, or “Minya” as he’s sometimes referred to, Godzilla’s insipid, anthropomorphic adopted son. He is akin to Scrappy Doo. Toho more or less disappeared the character after a couple movies, without any real explanation.
4. Godzilla Revenge (1969)
This one is truly one of the more unwatchable Godzilla movies. It’s actually not so much a movie, as it is a clip show episode. The story resolves a lonely boy named Ichiro, who day dreams of befriending Minilla and spectating at some of Godzilla’s battles on monster island. Minilla can change size at will and talk! Like Ichiro, Minilla has bullies to deal with, in the form of Gabara, a bumpy skin, bipedal hyena, who can send an electric charge through physical contact. This movie, which was the first Godzilla film fully intended for a children’s audience, has sort of a troubling message, which seems to be “solve your problems with violence”, as Ichiro ends the movie by…STOMPING THE SHIT OUT OF THE BULLY WHO PICKS ON HIM! There’s a contingent of fans who defend this film as a meta commentary on the entire series, as it takes place in “the real world” and not in the Godzilla universe. Godzilla is a work of fiction that Ichiro idolizes. It’s still a rotten, misguided movie.
3. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
For a very long time, this one was consider THE worst Godzilla movie. It earned this scorn for very good reasons. When many people dismiss the Godzilla franchise as shitty movies only fit for not-too-swift kids, it’s usually this movie that they’re thinking of. It is a bad film. Godzilla looks like a puppy. Megalon and Gigan are ridiculous looking creature, even by Japanese standards, and Jet Jaguar is a poor attempt by Toho to gain some Ultraman traction. The movie is earnest though. It’s a children’s film, and shouldn’t be taken any more serious than as that. It’s also a fascinating watch as time capsule piece, to see just how desperate and lost Toho was at the time. They were losing tremendous box office ground to TV in Japan. The audience for these movies, or any movies, just wasn’t there anymore, and they were trying anything and everything to try and get asses in the seats. A lot of things are going way wrong in this movie, but two films have come and muddied the waters since 1974…
2. Godzilla (1998)
One of those movies is this ass turd. A movie made by committee, and directed by a hack who proved with this film that the vague competence he displayed with Stargate and Independence Day was a total fluke. He also proved he had no clue what a Godzilla movie is suppose to be about. Imagine some filmmaker today trying to take something with a deep history of source material and turn into something like this movie, and then just shrug when the world rejects it. Some people like to say, “it’s a good movie, just not a good Godzilla movie…” These people are idiots and you should throw the nearest available bottle of liquid in their eyes. This is a movie that thought we were all too stupid to know it was a piece of crap, made by creeps who cared more about Puff Daddy CDs and Taco bell tie ins than an actual goddamned movie.
1. Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
Hey! Here’s a GREAT idea! Bring back a bunch of fan favorite characters for Godzilla’s 50th anniversary movie, like Gigan, Anguirus, Rodan, Hedorah, etc. Then give them basically glorified cameos in a two and half hour Matrix/X-men rip off. Make Godzilla so ridiculously powerful that he can basically kill you by looking at you and then have Keith Emerson do a really awful soundtrack. Then give MMA fighter Don “The Predator” Frye a speaking role in the movie and give him a lot of really serious dialogue. All these pieces make up the brain dead whole that is Godzilla Final Wars. A movie that you watch and are shocked to find that Toho actually expected foreign studios to want to buy it and release it theatrically. A movie so bad, you wonder if Toho was deliberately trying to kill the Godzilla franchise once and for all. A movie so awful, the only way to sit through the entire thing is while being chemically altered. This is a weeping diaper stain of a movie. It is beneath you, all of you.
- Michael Cherkowsky