The Timeless, Mindless Monster

Evolution of Godzilla

Evolution of Godzilla

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?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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27 Responses to The Timeless, Mindless Monster

  1. mrschmoe says:

    I haven’t seen Godzilla the final wars. The Americanized version of the Godzilla aka Zilla was puny. The Godzilla 1985 to Godzilla vs Destroyah, they used all manner technology, not to mention Mechanical Godzilla heck even space ships just kill him. They almost succeeded twice.

    Take the monster from Cloverfield, they nuked New York as a last ditch effort to kill the creature. And that monster was just a baby. Before nuking that city, the military dropped all manner artillery on him. The monstrous grinning running creatures, that its version of flea or tick.

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    • A friend and I tried watching Cloverfield. We were thankful when his daughter woke up and forced us to change to Spongebob. The idiocy of the humans really got in our way.

      I’m looking forward to the upcoming Godzilla movie. A little reservation thanks to Zilla, but it looks respectful.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    I grew up watching and loving movies like Godzilla versus the Sea Monster. It seems that nowadays zombies are the mindless monsters that people love to hate. At least moves like Sharknado and Mega Shark versus the Giant Octopus are trying to bring back the fun of mindless monsters. The latter was hilarious!

    I don’t have a mindless monster in my book, but I’ll think about adding one in the next. I love scenes in movies where people run screaming from a monster. I guess that’s why I love Teen Titans so much. They battle so many monsters.

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  3. I love these characters, yes by today’s special effects standards they are cheesy, but I do love them as they were characters that I grew up with.

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  4. I don’t care what they do to Godzilla. I still think he’s cute. 🙂

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  5. Just imagine a really tiny character with a huge one. Like Mighty Mouse vs. Godzilla. 🙂

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  6. I love Godzilla, and I would have to imagine that at the time, the concept of an atomic dragon was very real to a post-WW2 Japan.

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  7. MishaBurnett says:

    I thought that “Pacific Rim” captured the feel of the old Gojira franchise very well.

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  8. sknicholls says:

    As a teenager I used to rush home to watch Godzilla with King Kong and Mothra. These were reruns that aired regularly on our only cable channel. It was the “raw power” that fascinated me. And that the Asian mouths moved out of sync with the words heard in translation. It did; however, change forever my illusions of Asian culture.

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    • Oh the bad dubbing was the best. I wonder if someone could make a TV channel that’s exclusively Godzilla-like movies.

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      • sknicholls says:

        That would be funny to watch. We only had one cable channel back then. If you didn’t want ABC.CBS, NBC, or PBS you had to watch reruns on Channel 17. It was great when the ballgames or State of the Union addressees or some other preemptive show was airing.

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      • My family didn’t get cable until my sister and I were off to college. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, WB, and UPN. How in the world did I survive?

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      • sknicholls says:

        Crazy how many channels there are to choose from now…like numbers of books. We find something we like and set the DVR…I am sure we miss some really good stuff. We are always finding out about shows after they have aired and then watch on netflix with no commercials. I don’t know if I would have actually watched all of those Godzilla shows if I had so much to choose from back then I consider them part of my youth culture.

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      • Yet it’s always odd when I can’t find anything that I want to watch.

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  9. When Blue Oyster Cult went off on the Godzilla theme I thought I had seen it all. Talk about having to relate to a monster how about when the Frankenstein monster was with that little girl by the water? Another was “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in the Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein?”

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  10. Oh, when I was 11, I loved Godzilla so much I wrote to my local TV station (Channel 13 in LA) to ask when they would show more. I was a much less critical viewer back then. 🙂

    And, Rodan freaked me out, too!

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