Friday, December 5, 2014

Godzilla, King Kong and Kaiju....Oh My!!!

What is it about giant, fictional beasts that always draws huge crowds to flock to the movie theater in masses? Maybe it is the fact that in some ever so small way they create a reality that would be very exciting.

Or perhaps we just like the thrill of seeing huge lizards and gorillas show their amazing ability at destroying perfectly good cities. 

Whatever your reason may be, I am dedicating this entire post to three of my favorites: Godzilla, King Kong and the Kaiju 
(from Pacific Rim). 

(Photos courtesy of: The Wrap, Wikizilla, and io9)

First up, Godzilla.....

This massive lizard is known in Japan as a Daikoiju and first originated from a series of Tokusatsu films with the same name. 

His first appearance was in 1954 and since then Godzilla has become one of the world's most popular icons. He has starred in an amazing 28 films, which have been produced by the Toho Co. Ltd. He has also been seen in video games, novels and comic books.

(Photo courtesy of: Den of Geek)

In 1998, Tri-Star pictures re imagined Godzilla and set him loose upon New York City with a fun filled cast the was led by Matthew Broderick. Yep that's right, Ferris Bueller took on Godzilla!!
Then, in 2014 another remake was created by Legendary Pictures

But how was Godzilla created. Well, common theory is that he is a genetic mutation that was created as a result from nuclear bombings. Say What!!! According to the information I found he was indeed created from nuclear waste. 

(Photo courtesy of: GForever)

Interesting fact, in early years, Godzilla was portrayed as a hero. While others decided to make him a destructive monster.

In Japan, Godzilla is actually pronounced Gojira and is the combination of two Japanese words, gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale). This is most interesting because Godzilla is often described as a cross between the two. 

(Photo courtesy of: Cine 31)

Although many specifics of Godzilla have varied over the years, the overall impression is that he is big, lizardy, and destructive. 

Next Up, King Kong... 

He is a giant movie monster who vaguely (sarcasm) resembles a very, very large gorilla. 

He as appeared in many of forms of media dating back to 1933 in which he starred in his debut film, aptly titled, King Kong. This film ended up receiving universal acclaim when it was initially released.

(Photo courtesy of: Rotten Tomatoes)

The film went on to be remade twice. Once in 1976 and then once again in 2005. However, before being remade the giant Gorilla had already made himself one the most famous movie icons, ever. He inspired several sequels, spin offs, parodies, comic books and video games.

King Kong is the creation of U.S. filmmaker Merian C. Cooper. Little known fact, in the original movie his name did not include the name King. He was simply known as Kong which was given to him be in inhabitants of Skull Island where a majority of the movie takes place.

Also in the originally movie, Kong lives with additional over sized animals, like dinosaurs. The movie shows Kong being captured and taken to New York to be put on exhibit.

(Photo courtesy of: Dienanh)

However, like any angry giant gorilla would do, he escapes and begins to reek havoc on the city of New York. Eventually we see him climb to the top of the iconic Empire State Building where he does battle with airplanes that are trying to shoot him down. 

Among all of this madness is the beautiful actress Ann Darrow who was offered to Kong as a sacrifice back on Skull Island. 

Over the years, Kong has undergone many changes. In his first appearance in 1933 he was portrayed as a giant ape that presented humanoid looks and actions at time. It was once said that King Kong was neither beast nor man, but something completely different. 

Kong has definitely seen changes, for instance, Merion C. Cooper made him about 40 to 50 feet tall. But when animator Willis O'Brien built his scale model, King Kong was only 18 feet tall for his appearance on Skull Island and then enlarged to 24 feet tall when shot climbing the Empire State Building.

(Photo courtesy of: The Guardian)

In the 1975 remake by Dino De Laurentiis, Kong was shown as an upright walking anthropomorphic ape that appeared more human than in his original movie. For this movie however, King Kong was made to be 42 feet tall on Skull Island and 55 feet tall in New York. 

Leap forward 10 years, DDL gets permission to make a sequel called King Kong Lives and Kong ended up being 60 feet tall.

Finally, we have the Kaiju....

(Photo courtesy of: Videogame-Art)

This creature is definitely something right out of Japan. It's name, in Japanese, literally translates to "strange creature" and is generally used to describe a specific genre known as Tokusatsu. This term was actually mentioned earlier when I was talking about Godzilla. 

Kaiju films most often feature creatures of several different forms attacking different major Japanese cities. You can also find Kaiju in other movies, like Pacific Rim, attacking other large monsters or giant robots.

(Photo courtesy of: Digital Art)

There are two types of Kaiju. One is the Kaijin, which refers to a monster that appears humanoid. The second type is Daikaiju, which is used to explain a large variety of monsters. This also was discussed earlier when I talked about Godzilla. Others include Mothra, Rodan, and Mechagodzilla to name a few.

90% of the time Kaiju are modeled after conventional animals or insects. Occasionally even after mythological creatures. In English, the term Kaiju is used to describe monsters.

(Photo courtesy of: On Secret Hunt)

But did you know that in Japanese the term is used to describe vampires, werewolves and zombies? Neither did I, that's pretty freaking cool!!!

Well, that brings us to the end!! I hope you enjoyed learning more about a few of our most iconic over-sized monsters that are out there. Catch Ya'all later!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love how varied your posts are and I also love reading your writing! Creative and very cool post! Keep them coming because I thoroughly enjoy what you have to share