I’m not sure how old I was when I stumbled onto King Kong and Godzilla. I had to have bee in elementary school and younger than 10 when I saw the original King Kong. I caught the original Godzilla around the same time. One day I was shown the original Rodan and that freaked me out. After that, a friend showed me King Kong vs Godzilla and pointed out that our local video store had a ton of these films. I became a major fan of Godzilla for a few years and then moved on when I couldn’t find the films anymore. I’d catch a flick from time to time and sat through the 1998 film. At the time, I liked it because I hadn’t seen any for a while. Now, I’m not a real fan and am kind of glad that the people behind the real Godzilla wrote the Fish-Eater out of his evolution chain. They renamed it Zilla (stating that the American version took the ‘God’ out of the monster) and he appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars to have the shortest fight with Godzilla in the history of the franchise. I really need to get back into these movies when my son is old enough to enough them.
The point of this post is to say that I think this type of character is overlooked by authors and artists. People love the human monsters like Dracula and Wolfman because they’re easier to connect with. They resemble us more than the enormous bipedal lizard with atomic breath. Still, Godzilla has personality and presence without being able to have words. He even has a kid in some of the movies.
I think the raw power and mystery of Godzilla is part of his appeal. As a character, he has to depend on actions and instinct that fit his monstrous role. He can be a villain and a hero depending on what he is fighting. There are ways to control him and events that bring out a sensitive side. I’ve always found it amazing how such a character has depth and personality. In a book, you would have a lot of trouble creating such a character because they’d have no dialogue. I’m considering trying it though when I make any characters that come from the giltris (lizard people) tribes. In film and television, you have the visual of facial expressions and movements. I’d love to give this a shot though to see if I can do it.
Anybody else a fan of these movies or an author considering trying their hand at a primal monster character?